A 33 year old Queens resident who was already facing two murder charges, for a murder and robbery spree in Manhattan in the summer of 2022, saw that count upped to five murder charges including the killing of noted fashion designer Katie Gallagher.
Kenwood Allen, who has reportedly been charged in her murder is said to have had 21 different victims in a drugging, robbery and larceny spree that resulted in the deaths of three additional victims including the initial two that he was indicted for December. Four of the alleged murders, including that of Gallagher, took place in one bloody 15-day spree in the summer of ‘22.
The other victims included Sadath Ahmed, 34, of Queens, Alexander Rudnitsky 26 of Yonkers, Ardian Berisha and Nurbu Sherpa.
A second co-conspirator, Sean Shirley was indicted on June 22. According to prosecutors, Shirley currently stands indicted for two counts of depraved-indifference murder, two counts of felony murder, and other charges arising out of a conspiracy spanning from June 2022 through December 2022.
“In most of his crimes, the defendant Sean Shirley, acting in concert with his co-conspirator Kenwood Allen, drugged their victims with opioids such as fentanyl in order to rob them of their phones, credit cards, and other belongings,” prosecutors said in the indictment unsealed June 22.
Allen had originally been charged with two murders. Now the DA says he allegedly committed three other murders on July 22, 2022, July 23, 2022 and August 6, 2022.
NYPD chief of detectives James Essig said that Allen followed Gallagher to her home on the lower East Side chatted her up and offered her a marijuana cigarette laced with fentanyl. He apparently left her in her apartment where she was discovered dead several days later.
The family had always suspected foul play because they said the fashion designed never used hard drugs. The medical examiner eight months after her death ruled it a homicide.
In two other cases, Allen and Shirley had trailed victims Ahmed and Rudnitsky from bars in lower Manhattan on separate occassions to their homes in the Bronx. Rudnitsky was murdered on July 22 and Ahmed was killed on Aug. 6, cops said.
Her obituary at the time of her death said she had dressed the likes of Lady Gaga, Laverne Cox and the model Chrissy Teigen.
Allen now faces a 45 count indictment that includes ten counts of murder in the second degree, thirteen counts of robbery in the first degree, eleven counts of assault in the second degree and three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, among other charges.
“These alleged pernicious drugging and robbery schemes have left far too many families mourning the loss of their loves,” DA Alvin Bragg said. “We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to aggressively uncover and investigate these incidents,” said Bragg.
Prosecutors said that in most of the incidents, Allen drugged his victims with fentanyl and other opioids in order to steal their credit cards, watches, phones and other personal identifying information. Many of the victims were later found unconscious on the street. Allen allegedly would withdraw money from the ATMs and use the stolen credit cards to make purchases and transfer money.
Bragg thanked detective Scott Williams of the Manhattan South Homicide squad.
Allen’s legal aid attorney Joseph Furmin could not be reached.