Police Arrest Alleged Brooklyn Handyman Serial Killer For Deaths Of Three Women

He and the elderly alleged victims all lived in the same housing development complex for seniors.

January 25, 2021

Alleged serial killer Kevin Gavin [WABC-TV]

Alleged serial killer Kevin Gavin [WABC-TV]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

New York City police have arrested an alleged serial killer handyman and accused him of murdering three elderly women living in his Brooklyn senior housing development.

According to law enforcement officials, Kevin Gavin, 66, allegedly killed Juanita Caballero in her sixth-floor apartment at the Carter G. Woodsen Houses in Brownsville. The 78-year-old victim’s son discovered her body on Jan. 15 with a cord around the neck, and Caballero’s cause of death was ruled to be asphyxia.

Gavin reportedly often helped older people living in the New York City Housing Authority-run building with their errands.

“All the tenants know him,” one neighbor, Esther Williams, told New York’s WCBS-TV, “and he was always looking for money.”

“The defendant took advantage of his relationship with these women, was allowed into their homes, and did unspeakable acts of violence against them,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez claimed, according to the news station.

Gavin, police said, may also be responsible for the death of Jacolia James, 83, found beaten to death in her apartment in May 2019, as well as the November 2015 slaying of 82-year-old Myrtle McKinney, who had suffered three broken ribs and a stab wound to the neck.

“There was some additional evidence in this most recent homicide that allowed us to make the connection,” Gonzalez said, according to WCBS-TV.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison confirmed Gavin had ties to all three victims and claimed the suspected serial killer allegedly may have committed the murders “over an argument over money or finances,” WABC-TV reported.

New York Police Department officials said Gavin has been charged with multiple crimes, including three counts of second-degree murder.

Investigators are now looking into whether he could have had any connection to other deaths in the building.

According to the New York Times, loved ones and some elected officials have accused the NYCHA of having poor security and the NYPD of negligence for initially failing to properly investigate the first two murders.

In the 2015 case of McKinney, the elderly women’s death was at first determined to be caused by congestive heart failure but was later changed to homicide after a funeral director found the knife wound on her neck. Family had also noted at the time that $800 had been withdrawn from her banking account and her apartment keys had gone missing.

“They dropped the ball from the beginning,” McKinney’s son, Mark Lewis, told the Times. “If a family says something isn’t right, you should at least take the initiative to look into it.”

Brooklyn D.A. Gonzalez insisted Gavin’s case would now move forward quickly.

“I understand how devastating these losses have been to the people of Brownsville, to the residents of those houses, that these women who are beloved mothers and grandmothers and neighbors, the fear that has existed in the Woodson Houses regarding what’s happening there,” he said.

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