Handyman

Brooklyn Handyman Accused of Three Separate Killings in Identical Condominium Advanced

Officials arrested a Brooklyn handyman for killing three elderly neighbors on separate occasions in the same New York City Housing Authority apartment building from 2015 to 2021, New York Police Department officials said Thursday.

Brooklyn-born Kevin Gavin, 66, was taken into custody by police in the 73rd district of the NYPD in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn on Wednesday, officials said. He is charged with three cases of second degree murder and other crimes, officials said.

Mr. Gavin was held while awaiting charges. Lawyers representing Mr. Gavin could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Gavin and the three women he is alleged to have killed all lived in the Carter G. Woodson Houses senior complex in NYCHA. His first alleged victim, an 82-year-old woman, was found dead in her home with a stab wound to the neck in November 2015, police officers said. Mr Gavin is also charged with beating an 83-year-old woman to death in her apartment in April 2019. He is accused of strangling 78-year-old Juanita Caballero in her home on Friday.

Police officers said investigators began to consider Mr. Gavin a suspect after investigators found forensic evidence linking him to the 2019 murder. When another Woodson House resident was killed last week, officers said the police went to Mr. Gavin for questioning.

At a press conference to discuss the case at NYPD headquarters in Manhattan, NYPD chief investigator Rodney Harrison said that Mr. Gavin had won the trust of his victims by doing them a favor.

“Mr. Gavin was familiar with many of the residents of the building and ran errands for some of the older tenants who lived in the place,” said Chief Harrison.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez speaks at a news conference Thursday about the arrest of Kevin Gavin for the death of three elderly neighbors.


Photo:

NYPD

Mr. Gavin, who had previously been arrested multiple times on burglary and other charges, may have been motivated by disputes with residents over payments or money, officials said.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said at the news conference Thursday that forensic evidence and other leads linked Mr. Gavin to the killings. “The defendant took advantage of his relationship with these women,” said Gonzalez. “He was allowed into their homes and committed unspeakable acts of violence against them.”

Mr Gonzalez said the years of murders cast a shadow of fear on the Woodson House community. Mr Gonzalez said he would soon be hiring a large jury to hear the case.

“This arrest will have a profound effect on the feeling of public safety in Brooklyn,” he said.

Write to Ben Chapman at Ben.Chapman@wsj.com

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Appeared in the print edition of January 22, 2021 as “Craftsman charged with murdering three women”.

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