Handyman Arrested in Suspected Serial Killings of Elderly Women in New York City Low Income Housing Complex
A handyman for a low-income senior housing complex in New York City was arrested on suspicion of serial murders of three elderly women. Authorities said the handyman lived in the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) building and took advantage of his friendship with these women before carrying out the brutal murders, which included stabbing, bludgeoning and choking over the phone cord.
Kevin Gavin, 66, from Brooklyn, was arrested Thursday and charged with three cases of second degree murder. He allegedly admitted killing and claimed his victims did not pay him for his services, the New York Post reported.
“I’m lovesick. My mother was brutally murdered,” Steven Caballero, son of Gavin’s youngest victim, told reporters. “It’s still fresh, I can never get the vision of seeing my mother out of my eyes.”
His mother, 78-year-old Juanita Caballero, was strangled with a phone cord in the hallway outside her apartment in the Carter G. Woodson retirement homes in Brownsville, Brooklyn, ABC7 reports.
Caballero said he was the one who found her body and tried unsuccessfully to perform CPR, according to authorities.
She was the youngest victim of Gavin’s alleged murders, authorities said.
In May 2019, 83-year-old Jacolia James was discovered dead in her apartment with wounds to her head and trauma to her body. Authorities believe she was beaten to death.
“We don’t know whose grandmother or grandfather might be next,” said her grandson Lamarr Crafton at the time, according to the New York Post.
Gavin had already been identified as a possible suspect after finding forensic evidence linking him to the murder, the Wall Street Journal reported. However, ABC7 reported that he was not charged for lack of evidence.
At this point, according to ABC7, he was also identified as possibly linked to the 2015 murder of 82-year-old Myrtle McKinney, who was discovered dead on her kitchen floor. It was originally believed that her death was natural, until the coroner found a stab wound on her neck. She also suffered broken ribs.
“I am confident that the defendant took advantage of his relationship with these women, was admitted into their homes and committed unspeakable acts of violence against him,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said at a news conference.
He was known around the building for helping senior tenants run errands, said Rodney Harrison, NYPD chief detective.
According to ABC7, Gavin moved into his brother’s unit of the complex after his death in April 2020, but it’s not clear why he was allowed to move since NYCHA leases are not always transferable.
Inside Edition Digital was unable to reach him or his attorney for comment.
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