An 83-year-old serial killer who identified as a transgender woman has been arrested and detained at Riker’s Island for killing and dismembering her friend in Brooklyn.
Harvey Marcelin served a life sentence for killing a woman in 1963 and then sentenced again to 12 years for killing another woman in 1985 after being released on parole in 1984. Now she has killed yet another woman and kept her head at home.
Susan Leyden, 68, had been reported missing on March 2, but a street video caught her going into Marcelin’s apartment that same day. On March 3, Marcelin was seen on video surveillance dumping trash bags which were later found to contain severed human legs and torso at her street.
Knowing her history and suspecting her, police officers went to Marcelin’s house to execute a search warrant on March 4 and found Leyden’s head in a plastic bag. On Thursday, March 10, Marcelin was indicted for second-degree murder by a grand jury.
“Last week my office charged Harvey Marcelin with allegedly concealing the severed head of a woman in her home and discarding the victim’s torso in a bag on the street,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “Today, the grand jury indicted Harvey Marcelin for murder, and my office is committed to vigorously seeking justice. The facts of this horrific case are gruesome and unsettling.”
Marceling shot and killed girlfriend Jacqueline Bonds in Manhattan in 1963. He identified as a man at this time and had shot Bonds several times in a Harlem apartment. He was sentenced to life in prison but got lifetime parole in 1984.
He went on to kill another girlfriend, Anna Laura Serrera Miranda, by stabbing her severally in Central Park in 1985. He was charged with manslaughter and sentenced to 12 years in prison in addition to his running life imprisonment.
But he got paroled again in 2019 and identified as a transgender woman.
Leyden’s best friend, Nesrin Oncu, expressed dismay at her death, saying she never knew how Leyden came to be involved with Marcelin or what she was doing in his house on the day of her death.
“I have no idea about the relationship between Susan Leyden and this person,” said Oncu. “This person doesn’t seem like her caliber of person she would associate with. She liked good things around her, good people. I’m not sure what she was doing there, really. Tragically, she lost her family members at such a young age; her brothers and then her sister and her father and her mother. She was a survivor.”
Oncu said Leyden lived at a residence for LGBTQ+ seniors in Fort Greene and had high blood pressure and liver disease. She was also a cancer survivor who had complained of being ill on the day of her disappearance and eventual death.