Schenectady Police Close Two 20-year-old Murder Cases

Pictured: Suzanne Nauman

Thanks to DNA, old fingernail scrapings, and some good, old-fashioned detective work, Schenectady police have closed two murder cases dating from the mid-1990s, and have cleared an innocent man in the process.  

The murders of Suzanne Nauman and Phyllis Harvey have been solved, thanks to new forensic technology not available in 1995, when Nauman's body was found near the Schenectady Municipal Golf Course.

"We conclude that Stanislaw Maciag murdered Suzanne Nauman on May 30, 1995," said Schenectady County DA Bob Carney.  ""He took his own life in 1997, thus escaping justice."

Pictured: Stanislaw Maciag

According to Carney, Nauman was a 17-year-old prostitute and drug user.  Her boyfriend, Keith Gavreau, was originally arrested for her murder the following April, but was not prosecuted for the crime, because witness accounts and evidence was "wildly inconsistent."

"Suzanne Nauman was strangled with a sneaker lace," Carney said.  "A sneaker missing a lace was found in the wooded area near the body."  But, it could not be matched to Gavreau.

In March of 1996, the decomposed body of another young drug abuser and prostitute, Phyllis Harvey, was found on the upstairs porch of a Polish immigrant named Stanislaw Maciag.  Maciag was quickly arrested, but was not charged with Harvey's death.  He killed himself in prison as authorities were building a case against him.

Last year, the Schenectady PD and State Police assigned an investigator to look into the Nauman case.  In the process of researching the case, NYPD Investigator Kevin Noto came across a Gazette editorial that pointed out the similarities of the two cases.

"Looking at it with fresh eyes, Investigator Noto decided to explore those parallels by digging into the death of Phyllis Harvey," Carney said.

Thanks to the use of old fingernail scrapings, which were preserved after the autopsy on Nauman, investigators were able to conclude that Maciag was responsible for her death.  Maciag is also believed responsible for Phyllis Harvey's death, although evidence in that case was destroyed some years ago. 

"Keith Gavreau has committed crimes and paid for them," Carney said, "but he did not murder Suzanne Nauman."

Photos:  Schenectady County DA

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