Should A Transwoman Who Rapes/Murders Women Be In A Homeless Shelter For Woman?
New York City says yes, reflecting the inherent danger of a policy equating "gender identity" with "sex"
Harvey Marcelin, 83, was released from prison in 2019 after serving 50 years for murdering two women in 1963 and 1985.
Marcelin, also known as Marceline Harvey, a trans woman, is back in jail.
She was arrested in March for murdering and dismembering Susan Leyden, 68, a former jewelry designer and divorced mother of one daughter who had fallen on hard times in recent years.
New York press accounts present a disturbing picture of Harvey, who, of course, should never have been released from prison. But one of the most disturbing aspects of the case is that Harvey was admitted to a women’s shelter after he left the Cayuga Correctional facility.
A New York Times article quotes Anne Brennan, a shelter nurse, as stating that Harvey presented at the shelter as a mild spoken, very tall black man. Brennan said she learned of Harvey’s history of murdering women and didn’t want to admit Harvey but was overruled by shelter managers.
“Apparently his feelings and identity were far more important than all the other women that were terrified of him,” Brennan said.
It’s not clear how Harvey met Leyden but she was seeking placement at city shelters around the time that Harvey was seeking placement.
Now you would think that city officials would have second thoughts about the wisdom of admitting a rapist and serial murderer of women to a women’s shelter. But no.
The NYT quotes Julia Savel, a spokeswoman for New York City’s Department of Social Services, as stating the rules were followed: “Our policy — in accordance with the law — is to place individuals in shelters based on their reported gender identity.”
What about Leyden?
Harvey told the New York Post he killed Leyden because she was very popular, and “I didn’t want anyone else to have her.”
Harvey is now housed in the men’s unit at Rikers.
Police found some of Leyden’s body parts in Harvey’s apartment. Harvey allegedly scattered other body parts in black plastic bags around the city. Police have a video in which Harvey is allegedly shopping at a bargain store on a motorized scooter while sitting atop a garbage bag containing Leyden’s severed leg.
Harvey lived as a male until met a transgender inmate at the Auburn state prison in 1993 who encouraged Harvey to start taking Premarin hormone therapy. He has a history of mental health problems dating back to his childhood.
The Biden administration in January adopted a policy requiring federal prison staff to house transgender people according to their “lived” genders on a “case-to-case basis” and to use a transgender person’s “lived name” and “pronouns.