Queens man arrested for therapist slaying

February 16, 2008 6:42:39 PM PST
A Queens man with a history of mental problems was arrested Saturday in the vicious slaying of a psychologist butchered in her office with a meat cleaver and 9-inch knife, police said. David Tarloff, 39, was taken into custody in the morning, after investigators matched his prints with three palm prints found at the bloody crime scene, said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Tarloff was questioned for about 20 minutes. The interrogation stopped when he asked for a lawyer. Kelly said murder and attempted murder charges were pending.

Therapist Kathryn Faughey was slashed 15 times with a meat cleaver and a 9-inch knife in her Manhattan office Tuesday evening. A psychiatrist who worked in the building, Dr. Kent Shinbach, came to Faughey's aid and was badly injured.

During questioning, Tarloff said he had gone to the office because Shinbach had him institutionalized in 1991. He said he planned to rob the psychiatrist and leave the country with his mother, who lives in a nursing home, but until recently had lived with him in an apartment in Queens.

Kelly couldn't confirm if Tarloff was ever Shinbach's patient, or whether he'd met Faughey. It remained unclear why Tarloff would have attacked Faughey, police said.

The breakthrough in the case came as friends, family, and former patients attended a funeral for the slain therapist in Manhattan. Hundreds of mourners filled St. Monica's Roman Catholic Church on Manhattan's East Side, just down the street from the scene of the crime.