When Class Envy Kills

New details suggest a chilling motive behind a Manhattan nanny's murder of two children.

A devoted mother of three on Manhattan’s posh Upper West Side, came home one evening to find that two of her beloved children suffered a gruesome murder by the family’s trusted nanny.  Emerging facts indicate that class envy may have been the motive.

On Thursday, October 25, 2012, Marina Krim took her 3 year old daughter Nessie to a swimming lesson.  The nanny, Joselyn Ortega (age 50), was supposed to meet them at a dance studio afterwards with Marina’s two other children, Lulu, age 6, and Leo, age 2.

When they didn’t show up, Marina became worried and returned to the apartment.  She went upstairs and found the apartment dark.  She then headed back down to the lobby where she asked the doorman if the nanny had left the building with the children.  He replied that they had remained in the apartment all day.

Marina returned to the apartment, turned on the lights and found nobody in the living room or the bedrooms.  Finally, she turned on the bathroom light to discover the most horrific sight imaginable to a mother: her two children had been stabbed to death, apparently by the nanny.  Both were lying in the bathtub, fully dressed, and drenched in a pool of blood.  Lulu suffered slashes around her neck, multiple stabs to her stomach and defensive wounds to her arms, indicating that the 6 year old had attempted to stave off the knife.  Leo, who had only recently had his second birthday, had two slashes across his throat.  Police Commissioner Ray Kelly asserted that the nanny started slitting her own throat when she heard the mother enter the bathroom.

The children’s mother yelled out bloodcurdling screams, prompting the neighbors to call 911.  Ironically, she still took a towel to stop the blood flow from the nanny’s neck, likely saving her life.

An ambulance came and took both children on a single stretcher to the hospital where they were pronounced dead on arrival.  The nanny, unconscious by the time the ambulance arrived, was taken to New York Presbyterian/Weill-Cornell Medical Center where she was admitted in critical condition.  She had puncture wounds to her neck vertebrae, was put into a medically induced coma and placed on tubation.

Marina grabbed her only surviving child and continued screaming uncontrollably.  Neighbors state that she could be heard half way down the street.  Witnesses sympathetically attest that Marina was hysterical and not lucid, except when she requested a physician.  She and her 3 year old had a sheet placed over their heads so that little Nessie would not absorb the magnitude of the situation, attendant with police and crowds. They were whisked away to St. Luke’s hospital where Marina was sedated.

Marina Krim’s whole life revolved around children.  She had been a stay-at-home mom for four years until she decided to return to her day job as a pediatrician.  On weekends, she taught art classes to little children.  She also kept a blog called “Life with the Krim kids”.  It was filled with hundreds of photos showing the joys of motherhood and the loving relationship that her children had with each other.  Some brothers and sisters exhibit sibling rivalry, but the Krim kids were always hugging, snuggling up with each other and playing together.  Photos showed them strolling through Central Park, chomping on Gray’s Papaya hotdogs, and enjoying ice cream with their friends.  It wasn’t difficult to detect Marina’s strong bond with her children as her blog gushed love and admiration at every entry.

The final post, entered three hours prior to the murders, read:  “[M]y favorite part of the day is after I drop the two girls off at school and get to spend three whole hours alone with my son.  I know, I’m getting darn near cheesy, I adore him so much."

Kevin Krim, the father, is the General Manager of CNBC’s Digital Media Division.  At the time of the double murder, he was flying home from a business trip.  He was met at the airport by the police, who informed him of what had transpired, and escorted him directly to the hospital to see his wife.

Afterwards, the family stayed at a hotel for a time and then with family members.  Marina can’t bring herself to return to the apartment, even to pack up her belongings.  She proclaimed that she never wants to go back and does not want the worldly possessions she left behind.

The Krim residence is a 3-bedroom apartment in a prewar doorman building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  It’s in an ideal neighborhood:  walking distance to Central Park, Lincoln Center, and the Museum of Natural History.  It has numerous restaurants and quaint shops, and is one subway stop away from the Broadway theatre district.  Similar apartments in their building are on the market for $10,000 per month.

The nanny, Joselyn Ortega, hales from the Dominican Republic, and has been a naturalized US citizen for twelve years.  She had been recommended to Marina by a friend two years ago.  The Krims did everything they could to thoroughly vet her.  They even visited Joselyn’s family abroad for nine days prior to hiring her.

At first, they all got along great.  Marina treated Joselyn like family.

But Joselyn had been suffering financial problems recently.  The sublet in the Bronx where Joselyn and her son resided had expired, and they were forced to move into a Harlem apartment with Joselyn’s sister and niece.  Rumor has it that Joselyn was in debt, despite the fact that the Krims paid her well.  Having been made aware of her troubles, the Krims tried to help.  They offered Jocelyn five additional hours of light housework per week to help her earn additional money.  They also paid for her round trip airfare to the Dominican Republic so she could visit her family.  They even arranged an interview for her as a part-time baby-sitter with another family.  However, the family declined to hire her, explaining that her demeanor was too grumpy.

Initially, police had no clue as to what could possibly have been the motive for Jocelyn to engage in this unspeakable crime.  She had no criminal record, left no note, and no evidence was found in her home.

But upon her return to consciousness, tidbits of information began dribbling in.  According to Joselyn’s peers, Joselyn resented her employers for living a life that she perceived as luxury, while she struggled to pay her bills.

Reportedly, there was recent tension between her and the Krim family and Joselyn didn’t like “being told what to do”.  Instead of being grateful that they did so much to try to help her, she griped about doing housework, quipping that she’s not a maid, but a nanny, which apparently she thought was more dignified.  Her financial situation was taking its toll.  Joselyn had been loosing sleep, weight, and her relatives took her to visit a psychologist.  Joselyn’s mood had changed and the Krims told her that if her work performance didn’t improve, they might have to let her go.

After Joselyn awoke from her coma, she immediately lawyered up.  She inquired about how her own family was doing, but never once asked about or mentioned the Krim family.  To date, reports indicate that she has shown no remorse for stealing the lives of the two children who were left in her care.

Those who knew Joselyn are indicating that class envy drove Jocelyn to commit her heinous acts.  Her apparent notions of entitlement and fairness echo those on the left who perceive that life is supposed to result in financially equal outcomes for all.

But life isn’t just about money.  Everyone is dealt a different hand in all regards.  Some people are blessed with beauty, brains, or a loving family.  Others suffer the hardships of physical disability, or come from abusive or drug-addicted homes.  And, it is only through an accident of birth that some are born into freedom while others are born into politically tyrannical countries.

Those who understand at an early age that life isn’t fair and accept it, have a chance of growing up as well adjusted adults to have the best lives they can with whatever assets or attributes they’ve been given.

Others, forever the victims, demand that society meet their every need.  But as the famous author, Thomas Sowell noted, “social justice” is an illusion, impossible to attain.  Additionally, the premise that money cures all ills is patently false.

The Krims worked hard for their money, and appear to have been generous with it.  But they know first hand that all the material riches of this world cannot cure the pain or fill the void caused by the brutal and senseless murder of their two young children.

Joselyn Ortega was reportedly a religious Catholic.  In Catholicism, envy is deemed one of the Seven Deadly Sins.  They are often described as “capital sins” because they engender the commission of further sins.  And sometimes, as in Joselyn’s case, class envy kills.

This holiday season please keep the Krim family in your prayers. And remember, the greatest gifts in life cannot be bought.  RIP sweet Lulu and Leo.

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