Doc’s Killer Plan – L.I. shrink schemed to murder lover & other patients, cops say [2003-06-01]

Brian Harmon and Tracy Connor [New York Daily News]


The doctor is in – jail.

A Long Island psychiatrist is behind bars for buying a black-market pistol and ammo with plans to murder six people – including a lovelorn patient he seduced, police and sources said yesterday.

Dr. Richard Karpf was so brazen he enlisted one of his patients to broker the gun deal – and bragged about his scheme to shoot the victims through the heart, chop them up and toss them in the sea, police said.

Karpf, 50, was nabbed Wednesday in a sting operation after the patient went to cops, agreed to wear a wire and helped set up a rendezvous with a bogus gun dealer.

As the shrink was taken into court for an arraignment on weapons charges yesterday, he said the allegations were “a mistake.”

“None of it’s true,” said Karpf, who lives in a ritzy Great Neck building where apartments sell for about $600,000.

But police and prosecutors painted a portrait of a man who became unhinged, abused his position and confided in the wrong people.

Broken heart

The seamy tale began a year ago, when a Long Island woman in her 30s went to Karpf’s Garden City office with her boyfriend for couple counseling.

The romance foundered, and Karpf moved in on the woman, her Manhattan lawyer, Peter De Filippis, told the Daily News.

For months, the two met in Karpf’s office, across the street from Nassau County Police Headquarters, the lawyer said.

The woman eventually fell in love with the doctor – a bachelor who graduated from a Guadalajara, Mexico, medical school in 1980 and set up a practice in Garden City specializing in bipolar disorder and depression.

But Karpf had something other than love on his mind.

About two weeks ago, he asked a male patient who looked streetwise if he knew where he could get a gun, Nassau County Assistant District Attorney Fred Klein said.

The astonished man alerted cops, who wired him with a hidden recorder so he could tape his next few meetings with the doctor.

The patient then hooked up Karpf with an undercover cop posing as an underworld gun dealer – and a meeting between the two was set for Wednesday afternoon, Klein said.

Scared to death

Police suspect one of the targets was on Karpf’s alleged hit list was his lover, who said she had a frightening encounter with him Tuesday when she knocked on his office door to discuss the affair.

“She said, ‘I want to talk to you,’ and he erupted,” the lawyer said. “When he opened the door and she saw how irate he was, she started to run.”

The woman fled down a flight of stairs and down the block, with Karpf in pursuit, DeFilippis said, “Fortunately, she was able to get away.”

But she was so shaken by the alleged incident, she called police to report it.

The same day, Karpf went to Police Headquarters and picked up a gun-permit application.

The following afternoon, Karpf drove to a Home Depot in Westbury to meet his connection.

He forked over $1,600 for a .22-caliber handgun, a silencer, four clips and 50 bullets, police said.

“He indicated to the undercover police officer … that he wanted to shoot the people point-blank in the head and the heart,” Klein said.

He “had plans of killing these people all at one time, of then dismembering the bodies, putting the bodies in plastic bags – heavy-duty plastic bags,” the prosecutor said.

“He wanted to rent a boat and get some cinder blocks to weigh down the body parts and take all this out on a boat in the Atlantic and dispose of the evidence in the ocean.”

Instead, cops busted Karpf. Last night, they were investigating who was on the hit list-but DeFilippis said cops told him his client was believed to be one of the targets.

Karpf was held without bail.