Search Is On For Dismemberment Killer
Police say 19-year-old Rashawn Brazell's decapitated body was found stuffed in this bag in a Brooklyn Subway Station. Around 3:00 a.m. on February 17, 2005, New York City transit workers found two suspicious bags alongside the track at the Nostrand Avenue station in Brooklyn. One of the bags was a black trash bag. Inside it was a blue trash bag, and inside that were the body parts of a young black male. The other bag was a beige and black tool bag with wheels and an insignia on the side that says "Rooster." Inside this bag, police found blood-stained drill bits and other tools. Police later learned this bag was one of only 15 bags made as a prototype and sold to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in 2001.
On February 23, 2005, workers at the Humboldt Street recycling plant in New York made another gruesome discovery -- more body parts found inside a blue trash bag, which had been stuffed inside a black trash bag. A day after that, workers at the recycling plant found yet another black trash bag which contained a blue bag of body parts.
The killer had carefully traced the body with a sharp instrument before cutting it apart with an electric chain saw. Every cut was clean and on a joint, indicating the killer had a knowledge of human anatomy. Mysteriously, the head was never found. Without it, the actual cause of death is unknown. Cops fingerprinted one hands found with the body. The prints matched those of Rashawn Brazell, who was once arrested on a minor marijuana charge. He'd been reported missing on Valentine's Day -- three days before the first bag of parts was found. Forensic work confirmed all of the body parts from the three bags belonged to Rashawn.
A retired NYPD detective helping to profile the suspect believes the killer has killed before.
Teenager May Have Been Held Prisoner Before Being Killed
Police say 19-year-old murder victim Rashawn Brazell was a good kid; detectives haven't found anything to link him to nefarious activity. Friends and family members describe 19-year-old Rashawn as a "good kid." He worked four jobs, and he wanted to be a web page designer or go into the fashion industry. In fact, months before his murder, he actually had a gig in a New York fashion show modeling clothes. Rashawn was gay, but police say there is no indication it was a hate crime. So what could the motive have been? The medical examiner believes Rashawn was kept alive for two days before he was killed, dismembered and disposed of in the trash bags. The autopsy report shows cuts and stab wounds to the side of Rashawn's torso, indicating there may have been some kind of a struggle.
Killer Tries To Dispose Of Body In Trash BagsPolice believe the killer placed the body parts in blue plastic bags and then carried the bags of body parts, one at a time, in the beige and black tool bag. They believe the killer then transferred the blue bags into black trash bags in the subway. The killer probably thought the trash inside these bags would be crushed, but trash from the subway system is always sorted for recyclable material. Ray Pierce, a retired New York Police Detective helping to profile the suspect, believes the killer has killed before. "He's had a violent history in the past, and this is culminated in this homicide and perhaps other homicides," Pierce said. Rashawn's family said that on the morning of February 14, 2005, Rashawn was scheduled to meet his accountant and then meet his mother for lunch in Manhattan. At 7:30 that morning, an unknown person rang the apartment building's security buzzer, and Rashawn went down to meet them. According to other witnesses, Rashawn met a man outside his Brooklyn, New York apartment and the two men entered the subway together at the Gates Avenue J Line.
Witnesses believe the two exited at the Nostrand Avenue A Line in Bedford Stuyvesant a short time later.
Rashawn was never seen alive again.