- ahsid McLean, 23, is charged with murdering his mother Tanya Byrd, 45, and chopping up her body into pieces
- Cops found gruesome pictures of the man and his mother’s body on his cell phone
- Byrd’s head, torso, hands, and leg were found in at least four travel and plastic bags strewn among garbage in South Bronx
- Pal William Harris, 26, is charged with helping to cover up the grisly crime
- McLean wore a black plastic garbage bag to court on Friday and made several outbursts
- He is on suicide watch and hadn’t been taking his medication, his lawyer said
A gruesome photo emerged on Saturday showing the Bronx man accused of killing and dismembering his mother’s body, smiling and displaying the head of the dead woman.
Bahsid McLean, 23, posed in front of the bathroom mirror holding the bloody head of his slain mother, Tanya Byrd, like a trophy and used his phone to snap the grisly photo as a keepsake, in the image leaked to the New York Post.
McLean has been charged with killing Byrd, 45, after an argument in which the mother told her son to grow up and move out of her apartment in the Morrisania neighborhood in the South Bronx.
A law enforcement official said the shocking photo is just one of several images found on McLean’s cell phone.
‘I lost sleep over it. Just sheer inhumanity. It’s horrible what he did to her,’ the source told the Post.
Police say that after McLean stabbed the woman to death, likely on late Saturday or on Monday, he cut up her body with a power saw and scattered the body parts around his Bronx neighborhood.
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Then he and a pal allegedly stuffed the woman’s body parts into three heavy-duty garbage bags, some of which were zipped inside luggage, and dumped them in at least four different locations in Morrisania, where they were discovered early Tuesday morning by a dog-walker.
McLean appeared in court on Friday for his arraignment, claiming that ‘didn’t do anything wrong.’
Wearing a black plastic garbage bag to the hearing because he kept urinating on himself, he is being held on suicide watch after the horrific attack earlier this week on his mom.
The mentally ill man told the judge that Byrd was dying and that he was trying to help her, though it was unclear what she was supposedly dying of.
McLean’s defense attorney Jerry Iannece said his client, who is undergoing a psychological evaluation, was off medication but he didn’t disclose what the 23-year-old had been taking.
The lawyer admitted it was a ‘troubling’ case but insisted to CBS News that his team would ‘investigate it and defend it thoroughly.’
During the court appearance, McLean made several other outbursts and was ultimately ordered held without bail.
‘He’s definitely sick,’ a law-enforcement source told The Post. ‘It’s a ghoulish act. This guy is so mentally defective to do that. That’s pretty outrageous. That’s hardcore s***.’
Police say McLean, whose Twitter handle is @killtanyabyrd, stabbed his mother to death in the bedroom of the apartment they shared on either Sunday night or Monday morning. It is not clear whether McLean’s seven-year-old brother Nasyr, who has Down’s syndrome, was home.
The gruesome pictures, discovered by cops on his cell phone, and an initial confession led to McLean’s murder charge on Wednesday.
Byrd’s sister Cassandra McLean told The New York Daily News that the mother-of-three had caught McLean scouring the Internet for how to tips on covering up a murder and that he later created a MySpace page called ‘Kill the b**** Tanya.’
Police say McLean murdered his mother because she ‘wanted him to grow up and move out and be a man,’ The Post reported.
Concerning: Byrd was reportedly frightened of McLean, pictured left and right
His aunt said her nephew harbored resentment towards his mom after he was placed in a foster home while she battled a drug problem. He came back to live with her when he was 18. He was also suspected of abusing his younger brother, whose body began displaying bruises.
His friend, William Harris, 26, allegedly helped him get rid of the body. The pair were reportedly caught on surveillance video at a nearby hardware store where they bought a power saw with cash.
A blade and a box were found in the apartment McLean shared with his mother while the saw – 2-foot-long Black and Decker jigsaw – was found at Harris’ home, sources said.
Cassandra McLean labelled the 23-year-old a ‘monster’ who had been plotting his mother’s murder. ‘My nephew is a monster,’ she told the Daily News. ‘This murder was premeditated.’
She said he deserves the death penalty. ‘He took away one of God’s angels, and for that he deserves to go to hell.’
Even his father said he was a bad egg.
‘He did destructive things,’ James McLean told the Daily News. ‘He set fires; nobody could control him.’
A photograph on his Facebook page shows him burning a scarf.
His sister, Porsche Lovett, said he wasn’t remotely sorry for what he’d done. ‘He looked me in the eyes and told me he did nothing wrong when he killed her,’ she told the Daily News. ‘I don’t know who he is.’
McLean confessed to the sickening crime after police found a shower curtain missing at his apartment, which wreaked of bleach. The shower curtain was later found wrapped around his mom’s body parts in one of the bags dumped on the curb for collection.
McLean was charged on Thursday with second-degree murder and he and Harris were also booked on charges of hindering prosecution and the unlawful dissection of a human body.
When they were questioned they both blames the murder on the other. Harris, who has been arrested 12 times prior to yesterday’s booking, told police McLean confessed to the slaying on the subway and begged for his help. Meanwhile, McLean, who was on probation after attacking two police officers with a knife in 2010, said Harris killed the woman at their apartment.
‘Bashid had a problem controlling his rage,’ a neighbor told the Daily News. ‘He had creepy eyes. Didn’t like to look you in the eye — but when he did, they went right through you.’
McLean confessed to the crime late on Tuesday after cops found the electric saw and other carving implements.
Police were overwhelmed by the stench of bleach when they entered the apartment Bahsid McLean shared with his mother and little brother. He was led out of the house in handcuffs after police recovered the frightening evidence in the apartment.
Byrd’s body parts were found strewn around at least four different curbside locations within a half-mile of the pair’s Morrisania home in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The pieces – which include her head, torso, right leg and hands – were found zipped into travel bags or stuffed into plastic garbage bags.
McLean, who suffers learning disabilities, admitted to the crime during questioning by NYPD officers, sources told The New York Daily News.
Investigators spent Tuesday scouring through piles of trash in the South Bronx neighborhood after a horrified dog-walker discovered the human remains in a travel bag at around 4:30am and called police.
One-by-one, Byrd’s decapitated head, right leg, torso and hands have been unearthed in the area around Eagle Avenue, 158th Street, 156th Street and Cauldwell Avenue.
Some of Byrd’s body parts were still wearing the clothes she was in when she was slaughtered, police sources told the Daily News.
A neighbor told the paper: ‘I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Bashid killed her. She was afraid of that boy… He was a hellion.’
Byrd was sometimes frightened of her son but loved him, a relative who didn’t want to be named told DNAInfo. ‘He’s acted out in violent ways before, but I never thought he could do something like this. Not in a million years.’
Grim: Police guard a sheet-covered plastic bag next to a police vehicle on Eagle Avenue in the Bronx borough of New York, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013
Police confirmed Byrd’s son reported her missing at the Bronx’s 40th precinct station.
He found a photograph of her, which they matched to the decapitated head found in one of the bags, when police showed up at his house. This is when they discovered the carving equipment.
He reportedly told police he hadn’t been able to contact his mother for at least a day.
Cassandra McLean said her nephew suffered learning difficulties from an early age.
She said Bahsid McLean told her Byrd’s former boyfriend dropped by on Monday and that was the last time he saw her.
‘He (the ex-boyfriend) came over yesterday and walked out with her in the morning, yesterday morning,’ McLean said on Tuesday. ‘That’s what her son told me on the phone just now.’
She told DNAInfo that Byrd’s ex-boyfriend was trouble.
‘I told my sister to stay away from him, but she said he’s harmless and not to worry.’
McLean added of her sister: ‘She was a loving mother and very devoted to her son. That’s what she lived for. That’s her joy in life.’
Neighbor Elizabeth Cruz said the woman would never have left her youngest son willingly, as his Down’s syndrome means he is very reliant on her.
Another neighbor who knew the woman told DNAInfo that Byrd was a good to her kids.
‘She’s a good person, she’s a good mom,’ they said.
The Daily News reported a witness saying they saw a suspect dump the bags and their gruesome contents on the curb for collection and then flee the scene in a silver SUV.
One woman said a female leg was clearly visible, protruding from one of the bags.
‘It was sticking out the bag and apparently it was an African-American leg,’ she told WCBS 880. ‘It was on top of the garbage that we put out.’
Byrd’s right leg was found on Eagle Avenue near 156th Street, while her torso was discovered on Eagle Ave near 158th Street, witnesses told The Post.
The mother’s head was found at Cauldwell Avenue and 158th. Investigators have also found the woman’s hand, though it’s unclear where.
‘I saw the police find it. It was on top of the garbage, the recyclables,’ a 53-year-old witness told The Post of the leg discovery.
She said it was in a plastic trash bag that was stuffed inside a small traveler’s bag.
‘You could tell it was real. You could see past the ankle, but there was no blood,’ Bobby, a superintendent for a building overlooking where one of the body parts was found, told DNAInfo.
‘It’s creepy. It feels like some Freddy Kruger stuff. I don’t like it at all, man.’
Byrd was taken to the medical examiner to determine the cause of death, which came back with stabbing on Wednesday.
The bags were found strewn near El Batey Borincano Garden, part of a quiet residential block that comprises two religious schools and a church.
‘I really don’t know what to think,’ nearby resident Joyce Placencia told CBS News. ‘This is the first time I’ve seen something like this happening around here.’