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Tue Nov 2, 2021, 05:00 PM


The Murders Down the Hall 393 Powell Street was a peaceful home until residents started dying

The Murders Down the Hall 393 Powell Street was a peaceful home until residents started dying in brutal, mysterious ways.


When Myrtle McKinney first moved into the Carter G. Woodson Houses in 2004, she felt lucky to be there. The complex is one of only 38 public-housing developments in New York City reserved for seniors, and the waiting list for a one-bedroom can stretch on for years.

A Jamaican emigrant in her early 70s, she had raised seven kids working as a housekeeper in Florida and the Bahamas before relocating to Brooklyn to live with her daughter. By the time her application was approved, she was desperate for a place of her own.

After settling into apartment 6M, McKinney quickly jumped into the bustling social scene enjoyed by the development’s 450 residents. She joined a knitting circle in the first-floor senior center and spent her mornings relaxing with friends amid the rows of shade-dappled benches in the courtyard out front. In the afternoons, her neighbor in 6E, an easygoing man in his early 70s named Leon Gavin, whom everyone called “Music Man,” liked to DJ dance parties in the courtyard from a small speaker hooked up to his mobility scooter. It was like a middle-school dance, one resident said: girls on one side, boys on the other.

Situated in the heart of eastern Brooklyn along the border between Brownsville and East New York, the Woodson Houses occupy nearly an entire block in one of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods. But to the residents who lived there, the complex was a refuge, “a place of peace,” as one family member put it. Over the next decade, though, that feeling would slowly disappear. The complex had always dealt with its share of low-level crime, but around 2013, an influx of new tenants seemed to bring with them new dangers. Now, when a resident’s caregiver was buzzed into the main tower’s front door, a seemingly endless stream of interlopers sneaked in after, vanishing into the dark corners of the high-rise. Longtime residents suddenly found themselves accosted in the hallways by strangers asking for money. Some smoked crack in the stairwells and on the roof. And while some residents fretted over the conditions, others started supplementing their income by renting out couches to drug users off the street. Things got so bad that at one point, a small band of users took over an elderly tenant’s cramped second-floor apartment and turned it into a thriving crack den.


Long Read but very interesting murder (multiple) mystery. Sad story on how the city and state of New York failed the elderly.

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Reply The Murders Down the Hall 393 Powell Street was a peaceful home until residents started dying (Original post)
cinematicdiversions Nov 2021 OP
malaise Nov 2021 #1
malaise Nov 2021 #2

Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Tue Nov 2, 2021, 05:17 PM

1. Thanks for this

The indifference of the investigators was shocking

A month after McKinney was found dead in her apartment, her body was finally given an autopsy. The results were devastating. “It was what we’d been trying to tell them from the beginning,” Lewis said. McKinney had suffered blunt-force trauma to her head and torso, three broken ribs, and a fatal stab wound to her neck. She hadn’t died of natural causes. She had been brutally murdered.

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