Meat Cleaver Murder Hunt Hits Roadblocks

Cops can't check patient files; top suspect has alibi
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2008 12:03 PM CST
This still image from a surveillance video provided by the New York Police Department, shows a man police believe to be a suspect, center, carrying two bags as he enters the lobby of a New York building...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Yesterday police thought they had found the man who viciously stabbed a Manhattan psychologist to death. But after 9 hours of questioning, the prime suspect in the murder of Kathryn Faughey was released after his alibi checked out. Frustrated investigators turned to Faughey’s patient records, only to learn that privacy laws forbid checking them, the New York Post reports.

Police suspect the killer was Faughey’s patient, but they’d need a subpoena to look at her records, and even then patients could sue to block them. Police found William Kunsman through e-mails and thought they had something when another doctor who survived Tuesday’s attack positively identified him. But the curly-haired Kunsman looks nothing like the balding man on the security tape.