Harvey Marcelin is a depraved serial killer who has murdered at least three women, spent over 50 years in prison, and whose recent grisly deeds have just hit the news. But if you were to read about Marcelin in the New York Times or the BBC, you would have thought he was an elderly lady.

That’s right, two of the biggest news brands in the world are so committed to the cult of wokeness that they’re afraid of misgendering a psychopath who literally dismembers his victims.

The Times appears to almost revel in Marcelin’s recently-adopted pronouns, including them twice in its headline: “She Killed Two Women. At 83, She Is Charged With Dismembering a Third”. While both outlets eventually provide readers with enough clues that Marcelin is actually male, their two articles rack up an impressive 20 she/her pronouns collectively along the way.

As Brendan O’Neill of Spiked remarks, two of the Western world’s most established media institutions “are implicitly downplaying the gravity of this terrible incident by depicting it as essentially a scrap between two old ladies.”

We have reached a point, mourns O’Neill, when “the emotional needs of a murderous male take precedence over the experiences of a brutalised woman”. He continues:

They have sacrificed a woman’s truth to the narcissistic delusions of a violent man. Like religious fanatics, they believe their articles of faith are holier than the realities the rest of us see with our own eyes.”

It is difficult to overstate the psychological trick these pronouns play on readers in the context of a serial killer. Having read both the Times and the BBC’s reports, the treachery of Marcelin’s career only hit me when I recast it with the correct words (he and him), as below.

On March 4, police searched Harvey Marcelin’s Brooklyn apartment to discover saw blades and a human head — that of 68-year-old Susan Leyden. Law enforcement found the remainder of Leyden’s body which Marcelin had scattered across various parts of Brooklyn.

Harvey Marcelin has since been charged with second-degree murder and concealment of a human corpse.

Marcelin’s butchery began in 1963, when he murdered his girlfriend in Harlem and was given a life sentence. Less than a year after he was released from jail on lifetime parole for that crime, in 1985, he stabbed another woman to death. Released on parole again in 2019, Marcelin soon met Susan Leyden online and knew her for around two years before taking her life, according to police.

As the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh points out, it is reasonable to assume that Marcelin’s adoption of a female persona is wrapped up in his murderous fantasies of women. In a 1997 parole board hearing, Marcelin admitted to having “problems” with women — an almost ubiquitous trait among male serial-killers-of-women. Indeed, how common is it to hear of a female serial killer who targets women?

And yet, Walsh scolds, “the New York Times, not to mention the cops, the court system — everybody — they’re all making sure to respect this lunatic’s delusional fetish and even participate in it.” Walsh sees the Marcelin affair as an extreme, though not unprecedented, example of “a problem that permeates our society” — namely:

“We don’t tell people ‘no’. We’re not allowed to say ‘no’ anymore. Nobody says ‘no’. We’re so allergic to ‘no’ that we won’t even say it to a damned serial killer who asks us to affirm his alleged gender identity.”

Because of our unwillingness to say “no”, Marcelin will now likely be put in a women’s prison — which is presumably part of his motive for assuming a female identity in the first place. “Any reasonable person can see that this is almost certainly why he is calling himself a woman,” adds Walsh, “so that he can be housed with women, his prey of choice”.

Woke dogma is now so entrenched in the West that entire institutions now record crimes committed by men as crimes committed by women — if the serial killer merely claims to be a woman. In the process, we are recording for ourselves a false history, misdiagnosing the problems our society faces — and both falsely framing and endangering women. All to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.

Maybe we should start telling the truth instead.

Kurt Mahlburg is a writer and author, and an emerging Australian voice on culture and the Christian faith. He has a passion for both the philosophical and the personal, drawing on his background as a graduate...