NY Man Denies Involvement in '93 Killings

A Mount Vernon, N.Y. man charged with murdering a woman in his home is denying police claims that he confessed to two other killings.

Lucius Crawford spoke in a jail interview posted Friday on The Journal News' website.

Crawford says he had nothing to do with 1993 killings of women in Yonkers and the Bronx. He says he told police he didn't know those women.

But Crawford admits in the interview that he killed Tanya Simmons. Police found her stabbed body Tuesday when they went to his home to talk to him about the earlier cases. The body was in his bed under the covers, a law enforcement official told NBC 4 New York.

"One stabbing and they blame me for everything," Crawford said at the Westchester County Jail in Valhalla.

Crawford's lawyer hasn't immediately returned a call. The 60-year-old Crawford has pleaded not guilty to the Simmons killing.

Police said Wednesday that Crawford admitted killing all three women.

In the interview, Crawford said police showed him pictures of Learonda Shealy and Nella West, the women killed in 1993.

"I said I didn't know them," Crawford said. "It's something I didn't do."

He apologized to Simmons' family for her killing, the report said.

"Tell them deep down in my heart I'm sorry for what I did," Crawford said. "Tell them I love her from the bottom of my heart. ... Tell them this will bring closure to her family and the people I stabbed in the past."

Crawford previously served 13 years in prison for attempted murder after stabbing a 31-year-old co-worker who allegedly refused to date him. He was paroled in February 2008 and has lived in the Beekman Avenue apartment for more than a year. 

Crawford moved to Westchester in 1991 after his release from a South Carolina prison, where he'd served two separate terms totaling 17 years for stabbing at least seven women.

Four were attacked in a five-day spree. The victims ranged in age from 14 to 28. None were fatal. 

The NYPD alerted Suffolk County police to Crawford's arrest to investigate whether he may have any connection to several unsolved murders of women on Long Island dating back to 2007.

But a law enforcement source in Suffolk told NBC 4 New York that Crawford "doesn't pan out" as a suspect in those killings, noting that he was in jail when one of those victims was killed.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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