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Neighbors of Alleged 'Suitcase Killer' Overheard Woman's Screams

By DNAinfo Staff on December 29, 2010 7:04am  | Updated on December 29, 2010 10:36am

By Jennifer Glickel

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

EAST HARLEM — Neighbors of an East Harlem man who prosecutors say murdered a Bronx woman and stuffed her body into a suitcase said they heard an argument in the alleged killer's apartment before the victim's body was found on an East Harlem sidewalk.

One woman said she heard Hassan Malik arguing with a woman the morning of the alleged killing.

"It was a loud screaming match," said a neighbor of Malik, 55, who was charged Monday with the gruesome murder of Betty Williams, 28.

"I heard him walking heavy and heard her in her heels. I was awoken from sleep and I heard, 'No, Daddy, no!' and then a loud bang," added the resident, who declined to provide her name.

Neighbors of Hassan Malik, who lived in this Pleasant Avenue building in East Harlem, said they heard him fighting with a woman last week.
Neighbors of Hassan Malik, who lived in this Pleasant Avenue building in East Harlem, said they heard him fighting with a woman last week.
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DNAinfo/Della Hasselle

"It was ongoing for 45 minutes to an hour, and it just stopped abruptly. I was wondering what was going on."

The woman said she was startled by the screaming, but did not call police because she didn't want to get involved.

According to prosecutors, Malik said he hit Williams twice in the back of the head with a frying pan before strangling her with an electrical cord and disposing of her body and belongings.

Malik reportedly told police that he had paid Williams for sex, and that he killed her when she tried to steal his money.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that Malik tried to cover up his crime by disposing of Williams' belongings and dumping her body before fleeing.

One neighbor said Malik asked his to borrow a mop last Wednesday afternoon and then returned it about 20 minutes later.

The resident, who asked to remain anonymous, added that Malik also gave him a small couch and footstool he said he was getting rid of. Police confiscated the mop and the furniture items, the resident said. An NYPD spokesman would not comment on the items.

Prosecutors said Tuesday they had forensic evidence that would contradict Malik's claims that he killed Williams in self-defense. They did not elaborate on what their evidence was.

Neighbors said they had seen Malik, who prosecutors said was on probation for a violent attempted robbery he carried out in January, being brought out of the building in handcuffs in the past. They added the building was filled with rumors he was a former con man.

"He used to meet ladies on the internet, go to hotel rooms and rip them off," added another neighbor, who declined to provide his name. "I was never frightened of him, he was such a friendly man."

Malik was arraigned Tuesday on second-degree murder charges.

"I was a really shocked to hear about this," said another third-floor tenant, Ana, 27, who declined to provide her last name.

"He seemed like a very pleasant guy. He would always hold the door, say good morning and good afternoon. He seemed like your average neighbor next door. It's creepy, but what can you do. This is New York, I guess."