Manhattan mother returns home to find two of her children stabbed to death by the nanny

October 26, 5:00 a.m.: I’ve replaced the AP story that was originally in this space with a much more detailed account from the New York Times that was posted overnight. The Times story has the names of the family, the Krims, and the nanny, Yoselyn Ortega, a native of the Dominican Republic. Mrs. Krim kept a detailed, loving blog about her children’s activities with many photographs. [Update: the blog has been suspended. Here is a copy of it.] She was also very close to Yoselyn Ortega, recounting in the blog how last February the family vacationed in the Dominican Republic and spent several days visiting Ortega’s family: “We spent the past 9 days in the Dominican Republic. We spent half the time at our nanny, Josie’s sisters home in Santiago. We met Josie’s amazing familia!!! And the Dominican Republic is a wonderful country!! More pics to come!!”

Lucia Krim, six, murdered along with her
two-year-old brother, Leo

2 Siblings Killed in New York City; Nanny Arrested

A mother returned home to her luxury Upper West Side apartment on Thursday evening to find two of her children, a 2-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl, fatally stabbed in a bathtub by the family’s nanny, the authorities said. The nanny herself lay on the floor, near a bloody knife, with an apparently self-inflicted slash to her own throat.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said the mother, Marina Krim, had left her apartment a block from Central Park at 57 West 75th Street to take one of her children, a 3-year-old girl, to a swimming lesson. The two other children were left with the nanny, Yoselyn Ortega, 50.

When Ms. Krim returned around 5:30 p.m., the commissioner said, she found a dark apartment. She went back down to the lobby to ask the doorman if he had seen the nanny and her children. When told that they had not left the building, she returned to the apartment. She looked around in the quiet rooms. Finally, she turned the lights on in the bathroom—and discovered her two children in the bathtub and the nanny unconscious on the floor.

“There were bloodcurdling screams from a woman,” said Rima Starr, who lives down the hall from the victims’ second-floor apartment. Ms. Starr also recognized a man’s screaming voice as that of the building superintendent. The screams prompted neighbors to call 911. Ms. Ortega was arrested as soon as the police arrived. She was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where she was in critical but stable condition.

According to the police, Ms. Krim and her husband, Kevin, had three children—Nessie, the 3-year-old who lived, and Lucia and Leo. Ms. Krim wrote a blog where she documented “life with the little Krim kids” and showed them in photos around New York City, eating Gray’s Papaya hot dogs, pretending to use a pay phone, napping on the sofa and picking pumpkins. [LA adds: Here is the blog.]

On the Upper West Side, where nannies are often an integral part of children’s lives, pushing strollers or walking their charges by the dozens home from school in the afternoon, the news of the double killing was met with stark disbelief.

“It’s family-oriented, this neighborhood,” said Pauline Sklar, a real estate investor who lives a block from the building where the children were stabbed. “Parents are working. They have to depend on people. My niece hires people. She researches them.”

Ms. Sklar paused, then added, “Or tries to.”

Nannies are there for meal times, for bedtime, for birthdays and holidays, and go on vacations. Indeed, on her blog, Ms. Krim described how she and her family had spent several days visiting Ms. Ortega’s family in the Dominican Republic, speaking to just how close her relationship had been with the family.

“We spent the past 9 days in the Dominican Republic. We spent half the time at our nanny, Josie’s sisters home in Santiago,” she wrote. “We met Josie’s amazing familia!!! And the Dominican Republic is a wonderful country!! More pics to come!!”

Commissioner Kelly said that given the horror Ms. Krim had just witnessed, it was difficult for her to communicate. Mr. Krim was told of the situation hours later, when he landed after a flight back to the city. He was met at the airport by the police, who told him what happened and took him to see his wife at St. Luke’s Hospital, where the couple remained on Thursday night, along with Ms. Krim’s sister.

There were no immediate explanations for what drove the nanny’s actions. Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, said he did not know if she left a note behind, and he could not immediately say how long she had worked for the family. The Krims moved to New York from California in recent years, neighbors said.

A Harvard graduate, according to his LinkedIn profile, Mr. Krim is an executive at CNBC and had previously worked at Bloomberg and Yahoo.

Ms. Krim had worked in California for a wholesaler of powders made from exotic fruits, like acai berries and pomegranates, according to her LinkedIn profile.

A neighbor said that in New York, Ms. Krim largely devoted her time to her children. This past year she taught a weekly early-childhood art class at the Hippo Playground Parkhouse on 91st Street.

“Marina likes strolls in Central Park, doing art projects with the kids and delicious food,” according to a Web site set up for the wedding of one of Ms. Krim’s siblings.

In one post on her blog, Ms. Krim talked about how she cherished her time with her youngest, Leo, nicknamed Lito.

“One of the best parts of my day is after I drop both girls off at school and have 3 precious hours with little Lito all to myself. Ok, I’m near getting cheesy I adore this boy so much!!! He’s obsessed with collecting acorns he finds ‘on the floor,’ he loves riding ‘the school bus’ and he happily plays by himself for long periods of time. Here he has set up his kitchen in the living room and is ‘making bacon’ (not sure where he learned the word ‘bacon’).”

Ms. Ortega lives a few miles away, on Riverside Drive in Harlem. Marcelina Lovera, a neighbor of Ms. Ortega, said she had moved to New York from the Dominican Republic. She had not been officially charged as of Thursday night.

“I’m still shocked,” Ms. Lovera said. “She seems like a normal person. I wouldn’t expect that from her.”

Outside Ms. Ortega’s apartment, a woman could be heard through the closed door wailing, “Porque dios mio, porque?”

Neighbors said she lived with her three sisters and had an adolescent son. They described her as industrious and unremarkable. All expressed disbelief that she could commit a crime so heinous.

On the Upper West Side, neighbors described seeing Ms. Krim, a towel over her head, clinging to her one surviving child, being escorted by the police to a waiting ambulance.

Ms. Starr said that when she saw Ms. Krim in the building’s lobby, she was in a state of shock. “She was screaming in a psychotic state,” she said. “She was not lucid.”

Ms. Starr said she did not know her neighbor well but described a young, loving couple, often seen on neighborhood streets with a big, friendly greyhound named Babar.

She had seen Ms. Ortega in the building, she said, but never got the sense of anything being out of the ordinary.

“I rode in the elevator with the nanny just the day before yesterday,” Ms. Starr said. “I was making small talk. She was sort of unfriendly, didn’t want to interact. But I didn’t notice anything strange or weird.”

- end of initial entry -

Kristor writes:

I’m seeing more and more of this kind of thing in the news. Is it just that the internet is informing us of more such events? Or is there an upsurge in this kind of insane crime — the sort that seems like the acts of those possessed? There is an eerie, horrible quality of insane evil emanating from these crimes that are on the one hand wildly over the top and senseless, and on the other insufficiently motivated. They tend either to be totally unmotivated, or very close to it. Have you noticed this rash of crimes in the news lately that feature naked men or women attacking cops, or trying to burn down their own houses, and behaving so wildly that the cops have to shoot them?

What the hell is going on? Is something in fact going on?

October 26

Ed H. writes:

If the Dominican nanny Ortega was insane, how many times were the signs of it ignored by the Krims because she was so “colorful and vibrant”? Which will be more a more horrifying, the crime which Yoselyn Ortega committed, or the inevitable statement by the father, Kevin Krim, CNBC media executive, about diversity and tolerance and forgiveness? Which will indicate the more widespread depravity and insanity?

LA replies:

The NYT story says that Yoselyn Ortega is described by her sisters as “industrious and unremarkable.”

Buck writes:

Kristor poses the question: “Is it just that the Internet is informing us of more such events?”

Either it has long been the case and we’re just learning about it, or it’s a new phenomenon that we’re learning about. In either case there is a cause.

A speculation: Is it possible that the relationship between an obtuse liberal well-to-do Upper West Side family and a servant who is far away from her own home and family was harboring a growing resentment? She would have had to have very strong character and a healthy sense of self and her place and probably a healthy faith not to be seriously bothered by her status within this prosperous and perfect New York family.

The Dominican Republic is half no-go zone. People who has been there see this immediately as they travel from the airport to their all-inclusive resort compound, a compound that they are strongly warned not to leave. Even my long time friend and his family, when they return to his childhood home, they stay only in a resort compound. He came from a rich family; he’s described it in dramatic terms. The DR is a stark contrast between the haves and have-nots.

There are other phenomena that go unnoticed or ignored in this country. I’ve written before about the fact (I have collected the data) that Hispanics—by orders of magnitude greater than their ratio to our population—dominate most state’s top ten Most Wanted lists, and make up 95 percent of the thousands of Most Wanted by the DEA. We discuss the wave of black savage-on-white crime. The statistics on Hispanic crime are even more startling. They rule a drug nation within our borders.

One does not have to be a rocket scientist to see that there is something going on in this country, and that we are doing nothing about it.

This murderous nanny could simply be crazy, or she could just a statistic in a huge phenomenon that we need to be aware of and doing something about. But we won’t. We will keep it a secret. God forbid that we upset the economics of “America.”

Randy writes:

I went to the family blog and noted a picture with the following caption;

Here’s Nessie on her first day of school—she’ll be attending Escuelita 5 mornings a week, from 9-12. All this activity and she doesn’t nap … you can only imagine how hyper and exhausted she is by 6pm. Fun times with the Nessie!!

What is that about? They don’t have enough “American” schools in New York City? Maybe the Krim’s devotion to multiculturalism and embrace of the HIspanic culture [sentence is unfinished]?

LA replies:

I repeat the quote from Marina Krim’s blog:

“We spent the past 9 days in the Dominican Republic. We spent half the time at our nanny, Josie’s sisters home in Santiago. We met Josie’s amazing familia!!! And the Dominican Republic is a wonderful country!! More pics to come!!”

There is something excessive about all this. The three exclamation marks after “amazing familia,” and the “Dominican Republic is a wonderful country!!” Is it really? As Buck points out, outside the resorts, which are foreign owned and managed, the country is poor and undistinguished. Marina Krim’s excessive enthusiasm about her nanny’s country and her nanny’s family suggests she had zero antennae up to sense possible dangers, especially from the Other. She’s a familiar kind of liberal: for her, everything she encounters, everything she experiences, is “wonderful!!” I can’t help but feel that this “wonderful!!” syndrome, this inordinate openness, played some part in the circumstances that allowed this soul-crushing crime to occur.

In the photograph of the six-year-old Lucia, you see all the promise of life. How the Krims and their remaining child will live the rest of their lives is hard to picture.

Jeanette V. writes:

What would turn a “industrious and unremarkable” person into a crazed killer? Drugs. I think we see more of this today because it seems the societal breaks have simply vanished. This is the fruit of liberalism. It isn’t so bad today to do something like like drugs.

Matthew H. writes:

This shocking case reminds me of the stories one often read on the old South Africa Sucks site (before it was forced off-line) where the nanny or the maid would let in her boyfriend who would proceed to rape, brutalize and murder the owners. This is apparently a routine occurrence there. As the quality of our own nation’s human capital declines, hiring employees becomes ever riskier. Surely this, in turn, will lead to the further isolation of our elites from the societal mess they, through their chic multi-culty-ism and hypocritical leftism, are largely responsible for creating.

Thomas Bertonneau writes:

In view of Yolanda Ortega and the Krim toddlers:

I agree with Kristor that the contemporary reality at this moment has a grimly apocalyptic character. We might be living in one of those nightmarish Hellscapes painted by Jerome Bosch or one of his Netherlandish peers of the early Sixteenth century. I am reminded by the headlines at Drudge of a passage from H. P. Lovecraft’s classic story, “The Call of Cthulhu,” where bizarre events seem to converge to a culmination—about which the narrative gives an account in the climax. Here, the narrator has been pouring over the notes of his deceased uncle, an archeologist and connoisseur of the occult who had been keeping track of alien trends:

The press cuttings, as I have intimated, touched on cases of panic, mania, and eccentricity during the given period. Professor Angell must have employed a cutting bureau, for the number of extracts was tremendous, and the sources scattered throughout the globe. Here was a nocturnal suicide in London, where a lone sleeper had leaped from a window after a shocking cry. Here likewise a rambling letter to the editor of a paper in South America, where a fanatic deduces a dire future from visions he has seen. A dispatch from California describes a theosophist colony as donning white robes en masse for some “glorious fulfillment” which never arrives, whilst items from India speak guardedly of serious native unrest toward the end of March 22-23.

The west of Ireland, too, is full of wild rumour and legendry, and a fantastic painter named Ardois-Bonnot hangs a blasphemous Dream Landscape in the Paris spring salon of 1926. And so numerous are the recorded troubles in insane asylums that only a miracle can have stopped the medical fraternity from noting strange parallelisms and drawing mystified conclusions. A weird bunch of cuttings, all told; and I can at this date scarcely envisage the callous rationalism with which I set them aside.

In the Lovecraft story, the insane disturbances result from the telepathic emanations of Great Cthulhu, an ante-diluvian creature who once ruled the world and who has recently re-awakened after millennia of sleep in an Atlantis-like sunken city. Cthulhu manipulates his followers, most of them weak-minded or neurotic, through provoking them into Dionysiac-type sacrificial orgies. I notice how many of the news items to which Kristor draws attention have a sacrificial quality, like the double child-murder in New York City, with its implications of voodoo. Readers of VFR might remember that on more than one occasion during the current year, we have assented with qualifications to the thesis that the liberal-modern dispensation is a sacrificial cult.

Beth M. writes:

The Krims actually spent several days with the nanny’s family, and it appears that Marina Krim did not work outside the home, so this is NOT a case where the parents hired a total stranger with no references and then left the children alone with her for fifty-plus hours per week. My experience has been that the average family hiring a nanny spends FAR LESS time and effort than this in choosing a nanny. When I lived in California, many parents with backyard swimming pools hired Hispanic maids who couldn’t swim a stroke.

What is curious to me is that the Krims appear to have been wealthy enough to have hired a trained nanny from an agency, but chose to hire “Josie” instead. I used Central American maids when my first child was born, but after the fourth maid in four months, I quit my job and took care of the baby myself. The first three maids had no real interest in the baby—they simply took the job because they were illegal and had no other job skills. The fourth maid appeared to have genuine affection for the baby, but just was not safety conscious at all. I asked her repeatedly NOT to cook while she was holding the baby with one hand (and with the baby’s blanket dangling over the stove burner) and she would say, “Oh, okay, okay,” but a day or two later I would see her doing it again. I got to a point at which I was terrified to go to work in the morning.

I wonder if the Krims had a NannyCam, and whether they ever reviewed the tapes to see how the nanny interacted with the children when she was alone with them. I don’t think that these murders were caused by envy or jealousy—the fact that the maid tried to slash herself to death after killing the children leads me to believe that she was either profoundly depressed or psychotic. It is interesting that one of the Krims’ neighbors thought that Josie behaved in an unfriendly or emotionally distant manner, but that the Krims did not notice this.

Kidist Paulos Asrat writes:

The horrible story of the little children murdered by their nanny should haunt ordinary Americans, who are so generous and open towards “others” yet these “others” never reciprocate, or thank, this generosity.

I live across the street from a family with a little blond-haired, blue-eyed boy who could be the Krim’s son. He is about three or four. He is playful, cheerful, curious, and very friendly. He stands at the gate of his home and greets the passersby, with a mature “Hello … Hello there.”

His parents leave him with a Chinese babysitter, who wheels him in a stroller around the neighborhood.

One day, I found her and this little boy in the nearby mall during the afternoon rush hour. It was crowded, and I hate going there at that time unless I have to. She was stuffing him with candy and a can of coke. I felt immensely sad on seeing this lovely boy in such a horrible atmosphere, being cajoled with junk food, and busy, careless people rushing around him. I actually met her in a clothes store, where she was trying on some jacket, with the boy strapped right beside her. Is this the daily stroll his parents had in mind?

The babysitter speaks broken English (I talked to her in the store), and seems to travel from a distance as she’s always rushing whenever I see her. Her life is very different from this charming family. My assessment is that she’s one of those “newcomer” Chinese, who managed to get a job as a nanny through one of those immigration/welfare agencies. I get the feeling that she subtly mistreats this little boy, to get him to quiet down, or to rein in his energy. Strapping him to a stroller and feeding him junk food is one way to do that. I sensed a subtle cruelty in her treatment of the boy,

I don’t doubt that she also follows Chinese child rearing practices in her own home, which are far more authoritarian than Western ones (I taught Chinese immigrants English for several years, and I’ve heard some of their ideas on child upbringing, and here’s a blog post I did on the infamous “Tiger Mom”).

This is the kind of person that white liberal families are trusting their CHILDREN with. It is incredible.

I agree more with Matthew than with Jeanette that this Upper West Side murder is not really a case of drugs, but some other social dynamic going on.

I think it is a form of envy, which turns evil. The Dominican nanny could never have the kind of life this Upper West Side family has (had). Her children will never have the life that these little kids had. Like the South African child rapists, this is an evil retaliation to something they cannot have. I think it is pure envy.

This Chinese woman also can never really live like this white family. Even her children, brought up in Canada, and some (the girls) likely to marry white Canadians, will never really live like the white family, with its Western traditions. I think that there is more and more of an insidious atmosphere of envy (and evil) that seems to hang over life here. I often see it in the eyes of these non-Westerners, who are turning bitter and angry at the promises that cannot be fulfilled by these white people who gave them free rein to come and live in their country, marry their men and women, take over their homes, and bring up their children in anything but in accordance with the cultures and norms of the country.

I’ve written about this young neighbor here, here and here.

Mark A. writes:

Here is the New York Post’s article on this beyond-horrible story. The first comment that I read was from Martin Hutchison. He is the top commenter:

Martin Hutchison · Top Commenter · University of Central Missouri

Raise your own damn kids, stop hiring (third world) servants to do it for you. Reply · 118 · Like·

Note this comment has 118 facebook “likes.” I keep seeing VFR-esque comments everywhere I turn.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 25, 2012 09:05 PM | Send

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