Psychiatrist Threatens Rampage [2003-01-10]

Associated Press [From WPVI.Com Action News Channel 6, Philadelphia]

MINEOLA, N.Y. A Long Island psychiatrist who allegedly claimed he planned to kill up to a half-dozen people had become irate after a patient ended their affair, the woman’s lawyer said. Dr. Richard Karpf, 50, of Great Neck, was arrested Wednesday after meeting with an undercover police officer posing as a gun dealer and paying him $1,600 for a .22-caliber automatic handgun, a silencer, and four clips of ammunition, Nassau County Assistant District Attorney Fred Klein said Thursday. He also told the undercover cop of his alleged plans to kill people, the prosecutor said.

One of Karpf’s patients notified authorities about two weeks ago after the psychiatrist allegedly told him of the plot and tried to procure a gun from him.

Authorities said they have not determined a motive for the killings. And investigators have not determined whom the alleged intended victims were, although Klein indicated one may have been another of Karpf’s patients.

Peter De Filippis, a Manhattan lawyer for one of Karpf’s patients, told several newspapers in Friday editions that his client may have been one of the doctor’s intended targets.

The police “strongly intimated to me that the problem might have been my client,” De Filippis told The New York Times.

“My client told me that Dr. Karpf used the power of persuasion and induced her to have sexual relations,” De Filippis told the Daily News.

When she tried to break off the affair this week, the lawyer told the papers, Karpf became irate. The New York Post reported that the doctor then chased the woman. She became so frightened, the papers said, that she reported the doctor to police.

The woman, who had been counseled by Karpf for about a year, was later contacted by homicide detectives and told that Karpf “made statements indicating he intended to take care of a problem and … strongly intimated that the problem was her,” De Filippis told the papers.

Klein told reporters that the patient to whom Karpf confided his alleged intentions told authorities the doctor “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 _ and that 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.”

The prosecutor added that a number of conversations between the patient and psychiatrist were secretly tape-recorded after the patient notified police.

Karpf, 50, whose office is in Garden City, was charged with second- and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted of the most serious charges, he could face up to 15 years in prison.

Karpf pleaded innocent at his arraignment before Judge Martin Massell in First District Court in Hempstead. He was ordered held without bail, and was scheduled for a court appearance on Monday.

“I deny all of that; none of that is true. … It’s a mistake,” Karpf said as he was led into court.

Klein also told the judge that prosecutors are “seriously considering” bringing additional charges of conspiracy to commit murder. He said the investigation is continuing.

Karpf’s attorney, Glenn H. Morak, told The Times that the doctor “is a nonviolent person, and we believe that these allegations will not be borne out.”

Karpf graduated in 1980 from the medical school at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, in Mexico. He completed a residency in psychiatry at Bergen Pines County Hospital in Paramus, N.J., and is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.