The Cold Case Of Gregory Fleetwood Uncovers A Possible Serial Killer's Past

Murderer Gregory Fleetwood in NYPD in handcuffs with detectives
youtube | PIX11 News

News & Politics
Heather L Lawton

A detective in an investigation can resemble a family figure. For a while, they can fill a solicitous void hunting for the deceased's assailant, who is the center of the detective's focus. T

The investigator eats, breathes, and sleeps their victims, promising families not a victory but justice; not a healed heart, but the beginning of finding a glimmer of peace. According to Jasmine Porter's sibling, Detective Robert Klein of Bronx Homicide was like a brother to his family.

The Loyalty Of A Child

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Shutterstock | 928051

In 1996, a 4-year-old boy stood guard over his mother's dead body for two days, perhaps wondering why mommy wasn't amusing him with toddler talk or making breakfast. It was her son who sat with his mother's wounds and decomposing body until neighbors discovered the horror on the floor of a Bronx apartment.

“The son indicated there was a man sitting on top of his mother, and that the man was naked,” said Klein. “He stated that he tried to help her, but [the killer] was too heavy and that the man yelled at him to get away.”

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A Detective Combs Through A Killer's History

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Unsplash | Markus Winkler

Fleetwood, now 66, is an ex-con who strangled to death Porter, 36, in her and her son's home 26 years ago. Nine years before Porter's murder, Fleetwood strangled another woman to death. He served seven years for manslaughter and was released in 1994. Both of his victims were pregnant, reports say.

Klein faced many misleads, including a tip from a prison inmate claiming to have information regarding Porter's murder. In 2021, according to the NY Post, the detective found evidence that would lead to the mother's killer.

The detective stated about the frustrating leads to the NY Daily News, “But in the interim, I got ahold of the case file. I started tracking down people who were interviewed back in ‘96, and I also got ahold of the forensic biology report."

“I can’t think of anything that’s more gratifying than taking a case that’s sort of lying dormant for so long. Justice is at least on its way to being served. It’s sort of the pinnacle of my police career," said Klein to reporters.

Clues That Led To An Arrest

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Shutterstock | 2295023

The scrapings found under Porter's fingernails were never tested for DNA until Klein, a seven-year veteran detective, took the case.

DNA Will Find Its Murderer

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Unsplash | National Cancer Institute

The power of DNA is purposeful magic that lingers in the air for months which often turns into decades. But it is patient and unrelenting, just like the detective. Most of the time, DNA is as famous as its killers. It is also the murder's forfeiture and the investigator's payoff.

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

A Family Rallies Around A Traumatized Son

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Unsplash | Chang Duong

Porter's brother Dereke told PIX11 News that Det. Klein conducted himself as though he were a brother to his deceased sister. Dereke continued that Porter's son grew up to be a great young man, but his success is due to his grandmother's care, and the entire family supported his nephew after his sister's murder.

DNA plays a significant role in solving cases, but the investigator is irreplaceable. While DNA leads the investigator to the killer, the detective consoles a broken family that wants answers, no matter how long it takes and no matter how cruel.

On August 8, 2022, Fleetwood was led out of an NYPD Detective Bureau and is being charged with the 1996 murder of Jasmine Porter.

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