The New York Times
November 9, 2007
Assistant Arrested in Killing of Real Estate Agent
By AL BAKER and SEWELL CHAN
A Manhattan personal assistant fatally bludgeoned her boss, the well-connected real-estate agent Linda Stein, in the woman’s opulent Fifth Avenue apartment because Ms. Stein “just kept yelling at her,” a law enforcement official said today. The assistant was arrested this morning...
Officials said the assistant, Natavia Lowery, 26, of Brooklyn, made statements implicating herself in the Oct. 30 killing of Ms. Stein after detectives interviewed her and re-interviewed her in recent days. Criminal charges from the Manhattan district attorney’s office are pending. Ms. Lowery was being held at the Seventh Precinct on the Lower East Side.
According to the woman’s account, her tempestuous relationship with Ms. Stein — a punk-rock pioneer and real estate agent who worked with numerous celebrities — built from animosity to violence, the official said.
“It was that Linda just kept yelling at her, over everything” the official said. “They fought. It was like a continuous thing, like a buildup.”
Another official, Paul J. Browne, who is the Police Department’s chief spokesman, said that investigators followed a dual path of combing for physical evidence while conducting dozens of interviews with Ms. Stein’s friends, acquaintances and family members.
Investigators returned to Ms. Stein’s apartment to examine the door frame of the apartment and collect fiber samples from the carpet, while detectives from the 19th Precinct in Manhattan and from the Manhattan North Homicide Task Force interviewed Ms. Lowery repeatedly.
Ms. Stein, 62, a real estate broker at Prudential Douglas Elliman, had a varied and storied career. Born in the Bronx, the daughter of a Jewish caterer, she was a pioneer on the punk-rock scene and became a manager for the Ramones. Later, she turned to real estate, working with celebrity clients like Madonna and Billy Joel.
The singer Elton John is preparing a memorial concert in Ms. Stein’s memory.
Citing friends of Ms. Stein, The Daily News reported that the real estate broker might have met Ms. Lowery when the younger woman worked as a secretary at the Rogers & Cowan public relations agency in Manhattan.
The News, citing unidentified sources, reported that Ms. Lowery had been arrested in December on misdemeanor charges of identity theft and petty larceny — and that Ms. Stein did not know about the arrest.
According to The News, Ms. Lowery had been accused of stealing a high school friend’s identity and using it to open accounts at Target and T-Mobile and to make additional purchases in Virginia. The charges against Ms. Lowery were eventually dropped and the case was sealed, The News reported.
09 November 2007
The New York Times