Ex-convict arrested in NYC in 1996 has been targeted as a possible serial killer

An ex-convict just arrested in the 1996 murder of a pregnant woman at her home in the Bronx is being targeted as a possible serial killer, according to the detective who cracked the case.

Police on Monday charged Gregory Fleetwood, 66, with the strangling death of 36-year-old Jasmine Porter after a longshot test on her fingernails found a match to the suspected killer’s DNA – and now they are examining the possibility that he was behind others have unsolved cases, Bronx homicide detective Robert Klein said Tuesday.

“I’ve definitely started looking through our old murder logs and looking at strangled women,” Klein said. “There are a few other cases on the radar that I think kind of fit the early elements of something he might have been involved with, but it’s very early for that.” There’s a lot to see, but… I’ll definitely start doing that soon.”

Cops could also re-examine sexual assault kits in unsolved “stranger rape” cases, the seven-year-old homicide detective said.

Fleetwood’s arrest comes 26 years after Porter was attacked in her kitchen on February 5, 1996, when her then-5-year-old son told officers he saw a naked man sitting on his mother as she called for help.

Gregory Fleetwood perpetrators on the way
Gregory Fleetwood is the killer in the 1996 murder of a 36-year-old pregnant woman.
Paul Martinka
Gregory Fleetwood
The victim’s fingernails had DNA traces linked to Fleetwood.
NBC4NY

“And [the child] said he tried to help her but she was too heavy and the man yelled at him to get away,” the detective said.

Porter was later found unconscious with neck trauma and died, police officers said.

About nine years earlier, Fleetwood had been charged with strangling a woman he knew in the Bronx. He was convicted and in that case served seven years behind bars, police said.

In Porter’s case, Klein said he’d become hopeful in recent years that he was on the verge of a rupture when a prison inmate claimed to have information about the murder. But the tip turned out to be a dead end.

When the dogged detective continued to check the cold case last year, he found the victim’s fingernail scratches and clippings had been rescued — but never tested.

“I knew there was a high probability that the suspect’s DNA would be under those nails,” Klein said. “Obviously, the first step was to find this evidence, which can sometimes be difficult. But in my efforts to reach the Chief Medical Examiner’s office and the people over there, they were actually able to find it. It took a while but they found it.”

The testing process continued through much of 2021 as police continued to search for witnesses, he added.

Gregory Fleetwood arrested in the Bronx
Fleetwood had a troubled past in which he strangled a woman in the Bronx before allegedly murdering the pregnant victim.
NBC4NY

“When the DNA came back, I was given the name Gregory Fleetwood and started digging into his past, where he lived and things that he was arrested and convicted of – it all started to make sense,” Klein said.

Fleetwood’s criminal history included the 1987 manslaughter charge and eventual conviction in the strangling of a woman he knew in the Bronx.

When police eventually hired Fleetwood over Porter’s death, he claimed the DNA fingernail test was a mistake, according to the detective.

“He basically denied the victim ever knew, ever interacted with her and said that if his DNA was on her for any reason, that’s a mistake we made,” Klein said.

Gregory Fleetwood arrested in the Bronx
Police officers are currently examining the verification of sexual assault kits in unsolved “stranger rape” cases.
NBC4NY

The police officer said he “couldn’t think of anything more gratifying” than making an arrest in the decades-old case and telling the long-mourned family that Porter’s killer had been caught.

“I think ‘Cold Case’ gets thrown around a lot, like reality TV, but for families like the Porters, it was never cold,” Klein said. “Every birthday, every holiday, every anniversary of her death and every milestone with the son.

“Being able to make that call and let them know we caught him – almost 30 years later – that justice is at least on the way to being served is something of the pinnacle of my police career.” said Klein.

https://nypost.com/2022/08/09/ex-con-busted-in-1996-nyc-cold-case-eyed-as-possible-serial-killer/ Ex-convict arrested in NYC in 1996 has been targeted as a possible serial killer

JACLYN DIAZ

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