Police arrest alleged serial killer, notify Gilgo investigators

Suffolk County police searched through thick brambles in the area around Gilgo Beach.
NATALIE PLACEK/METRO

Cops found a dead woman’s body on the bed of a suspect they had arrived to arrest, suspecting him of being a serial killer, they announced today.  

NYPD and Yonkers cops arrested Lucius Crawford, 60, Tuesday afternoon and charged him with murder.  

After his arrest, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said they notified detectives in Suffolk County, where officers suspect a serial killer left multiple women’s bodies by the sea.

The NYPD detailed the arrest this afternoon, listing a string of decades-old crimes, from Charleston, S.C., to White Plains, N.Y., where they say he slashed and murdered women.   

Police say that Crawford admitted killing Yonkers woman Laronda Shealy, stabbed to death in September 1993.

He also admitted killing Nella West, 38, in October 1993 in the Bronx’s Riverdale neighborhood, cops said. West was found stabbed multiple times in the head, face and torso, with a broken eye socket and crushed skull.

The women, including the body of a 41-year-old found under the sheet on his bed stabbed nine times in the chest, had all been slashed multiple times.  

According to police, a detective’s interest piqued after talking to a retired cop who had investigated one of the 1993 murders.

 

Crawford was identified as a possible suspect by running old evidence through the DNA database, according to police.

He was on parole after serving 13 years in prison for the stabbing of a Westchester woman, cops said. His tracking ankle bracelet had been removed and was in the apartment.

A history of violence

Police said Crawford had an “extensive history of violence against women.”

Cops released a list of encounters with female strangers, dating from 1973 to 1994, detailing an alarming pattern of slashing women he approached and tried to engage in conversation:

He was put in prison in 1973 after approaching a woman in Charleston and stabbing her when she walked away, twice in each leg.

He was released three years later, going on to stab another 28-year-old woman the next year.

That year, he was sentenced to 24 years in prison after a five-day stabbing spree.

But he was released in 1991 and back in jail in 1995 after a conviction for attempted murder for stabbing a former co-worker 13 times.

He was released in 2008.


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