Handicap-free wheelchair for NYC serial killer Harvey Marcelin
Harvey Marcelin was the center of gossip on Saturday in Tompkins Square Park, where acquaintances marveled at the accused killer’s alleged ability to dismember a human being in a wheelchair.
“She cut off someone’s head. In fact, she cut off someone’s head, ”said Junior, a homeless man in the park frequented by the serial killer.
Marcelin, 83, is a transgender woman and twice convicted killer charged this month with the gruesome murder by dismemberment of Susan Leyden, 68, of Brooklyn, who will be laid to rest Sunday in Paramus, NJ.
“She was in a wheelchair,” said John Gallagher, 30, one of the killer’s acquaintances in the East Village park.
“I don’t even understand how she did what she did to this last one. She is so fragile. Even disposing of the body like she did, she must have had some sort of help.
“I imagine it’s not that easy, even with power tools, to get rid of a body. Seems like a lot for an 83-year-old woman in a wheelchair,” said Gallagher, who says Marcelin “told me once that she wished she had been born a goat and that she was a satanic witch. It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard.
Friends of the troubled Brooklyn woman who was allegedly brutally slaughtered by Marcelin are horrified that the suspect is free.
“The person who did what they did deserved the death penalty, or certainly life in prison without the possibility of parole,” said a longtime friend of Leyden, whose dismembered body parts were found at several locations around Brooklyn last week.
Marcelin was charged last week for receiving a human corpse. She spent more than 50 years in state prison for two past murders.
“It’s unspeakable (Marcelin) was free,” said the friend, who did not want to be identified.
Marcelin shot and killed his girlfriend, Jacqueline Bonds, inside the couple’s Manhattan apartment in April 1963, sources say, and fatally stabbed another girlfriend in 1985, thrusting her body into a discarded bag near Central Park. Leiden’s friend says she is not aware of any relationship she might have had with Marcelin.
Leiden’s barbaric death marked the tragic end to a deeply troubled adult life.
Leyden grew up in a “conservative upper-middle-class Jewish family” in Teaneck, NJ, where she tap danced, took ballet lessons, rode horseback and graduated from Teaneck High School in 1972. She was “so cool and so pretty with her long blonde hair and boots,” childhood pal Karen Leyden Gross wrote in a Facebook memorial.
A photo from Leiden posted on the forum shows a pretty young woman with blonde hair and porcelain skin wearing oversized sunglasses and a low-rise bikini top. Another image shows an older Leiden with her daughter Nicole, now 36, at the Rockefeller Center ice rink.
Her life began to fall apart when she lost her father and three siblings in quick order when she was in her twenties. Her now deceased mother lived 1,000 miles away in Florida, her 16-year marriage ended in divorce in 1992 and she was long estranged from her only child, the friend told the Post .
“She had no family. She was alone,” the friend said.
She managed to run her own business, Jewels ‘n More in Fort Lee, NJ, for many years before closing up shop and losing touch with most of her old friends.
Leyden most recently lived at Stonewall House, an LGBT-friendly senior housing development in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, where questions linger about his grisly death.
” I do not know what to think. It’s tragic. It’s tragic and it’s sad,” said a resident of the building. “I don’t think (Marcelin) should have been released from prison. If she hadn’t been rehabilitated, she shouldn’t have come out. And she continues to kill like that.