Posted by sheryl on November 26, 2001 at 01:32:22:
November 26, 2001
New York Times
Landlord Kills Tenant and Tries to Commit Suicide, Police Say
By SARAH KERSHAW
Queens landlord who had been feuding with a tenant for months beat her to death and then poisoned himself by swallowing a bottle of drain cleaner, the police said.
The landlord, Pakhnauth Geer, was hospitalized with severe internal bleeding on Saturday after he called 911, the police said.
Several hours later, the police found the tenant, a 59-year-old woman, dead in her apartment at 107-59 125th Street in Richmond Hill.
She had been struck on the head several times with an unknown object, they said. The police would not release the woman's name pending notification of her relatives.
Yesterday, the police charged Mr. Geer, 54, with second-degree murder in the tenant's death. He was listed in critical condition last night at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.
The police were continuing their investigation last night. The woman lived alone in the basement apartment and was the only tenant.
Xiomara Perez, a next-door neighbor, came home Saturday afternoon to find Mr. Geer's wife, Rosa, locked out of her apartment, she said. Another neighbor explained that an ambulance had taken Mr. Geer away.
Ms. Perez offered to take Mrs. Geer to see her husband, and as they drove to the hospital, Ms. Perez said, Mrs. Geer told her that he had been feuding with the tenant for the past few months and that the tenant had refused to move out, was not paying rent and had called the police and the city's Building Department several times to lodge complaints.
Ms. Perez said Mrs. Geer had told her that things had gotten so tense that Mr. Geer had sought counseling and that she thought he was having a nervous breakdown.
At the hospital, Mrs. Geer learned that he had poisoned himself. "She kept saying, `The tenant has destroyed our lives,' " Ms. Perez said, "and that he probably did this because he couldn't take it anymore."
After returning from the hospital, Mrs. Geer called the police because she was trying to contact the tenant and could not reach her or open the door to her apartment. The police found the body at 7:35 p.m., officials said.
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