N.Y. Police Believe They Caught Cleaver Killer

Share
Copy

New York authorities plan to charge a Queens, N.Y., man with murder in the vicious hacking death last week of psychotherapist Kathryn Faughey, and assault for the simultaneous attack on Dr. Kent Shinbach, the city's police comissioner said.

David Tarloff, 39, a former patient of Shinbach's, has been tied to the crime on Manhattan's Upper East Side by palm prints at the scene, eyewitness accounts and his own words, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

"He made statements implicating himself in the homicide and the assault," Kelly said. "I hope this arrest provides some measure of solace at this time for [Faughey's] husband and the rest of her family."

Kelly added that, according Tarloff's statements, "He intended to rob Dr. Shinbach and not to harm Dr. Faughey."

Nevertheless, Faughey was hacked and stabbed to death in her office on Manhattan's Upper East Side Tuesday night. Shinbach was severely injured by the attacker when he attempted to rush to her rescue.

Police said Faughey was stabbed with such fury that at least one knife used in the attack was bent from the force of the thrust and the handle of a meat cleaver used was jarred loose.

The killer was caught on the building's surveillance cameras and was seen entering the main entrance rolling one suitcase and carrying another. He was spotted about an hour later exiting through a basement door. Police described him as a balding, middle-age man clad in a three-quarter-length green coat, knit cap and gloves.

Officials ran forensic tests on evidence gathered at the crime scene -- including adult diapers, a bag of knives, women's clothing, rope and duct tape.

"We don't know specifically why he had women's clothing and those other items in that bag," Kelly said.

Kelly said police had Tarloff's palm print on file after a Feb. 1 arrest in connection with an alleged assault on a security guard at a Queens hospital, and that more than once he was classified by police as an emotionally disturbed person.

In addition, Tarloff indicated to police that Shinbach had him institutionalized in 1991, Kelly said. He added that Tarloff at one point suggested a possible plot to rob Shinbach and use the money to leave the country with his mother.

"It is not totally clear," Kelly said. "We are going on some of the statements he made, and we stopped questioning him after he asked for an attorney."

On Thursday, William Kunsman, 43, a previous suspect in the case, was questioned for eight hours. But he was released without charges when he obtained a lawyer and police and prosecutors felt there was a lack of evidence linking him to the scene -- though sources said Shinbach picked Kunsman out of a photo lineup.

Kunsman, who met the victim and her husband six years ago at a guitar camp, denied any involvement in the murder during an interview with WABC-TV's NJ Burkett, and said he was at his home in Bethlehem, Pa., when the assault took place. His wife, Lynn, backed up his claim.

"The reasons they had for questioning me were valid," Kunsman, of Coplay, Pa., told WABC, adding that he was "extremely saddened" to hear of her death. "I've been in more contact with Kathryn lately. I've been speaking to her a lot lately on the phone and by e-mail. I guess that's what led them here."

ABC News' Richard Esposito, Emily Friedman and NJ Burkett contributed to this report.

Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...