Daphne Abdela Today: Where Is She Now? Homicide New York Criminal Breakdown

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Daphne Abdela

What happened to the "Baby-Faced Butcher" Daphne Abdela after the events described in Homicide: New York?

Netflix's latest true crime docuseries Homicide: New York dives into five cases from the U.S. city's checkered past, hailing from Law & Order creator Dick Wolf.

What Did Daphne Abdela Do in Homicide: New York?

44-year-old estate agent and aspiring musician Michael McMorrow was killed in Central Park, New York City on the night of May 22, 1997. 

Years later, McMorrow's murder is the focus of Netflix's Homicide: New York Episode 2, "Central Park Slaying."

McMorrow was found deceased, mutilated, and floating in Central Park's Lake in the early hours of May 23, 1997, having suffered over 30 stab wounds including six to the heart and a gutted abdomen.

Earlier that night, McMorrow ran into a drunken Daphne Abdela, whom he previously met at an alcohol rehab program, and suggested sharing drinks while she was with her boyfriend Christopher Vasquez.

It was at this point McMorrow allegedly made advances toward Abdela, age 15, prompting a jealous reaction from Vasquez who attacked him with a knife while his partner kicked him from behind repeatedly.

The pair attempted to dispose of the body by sinking it into the lake before returning to Daphne's apartment to clean away the traces of blood.

It was here that Abdela made a 911 call reporting the crime to shift the blame onto her partner. This made them both prime suspects, especially after they were found with McMorrow's wallet and a knife carrying his DNA.

Was Daphne Abdela Convicted?

Daphne Abdela in court
Daphne Abdela

Daphne Abdela and Christopher Vasquez were charged with murder and arrested on May 23, 1997, they were later indicted for both the killing and robbery the following month in June 1997.

Abdela pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in March 1998 and was sentenced to between 39 months (3 years, 3 months) and 10 years in prison.

Vasquez would not be tried until November 1998, around a year and a half after the crime, and was eventually convicted with the same sentence as Abdela.

The pair were only convicted of manslaughter as opposed to murder after jurors were unable to decide which of the two did the stabbing.

Where Is Daphne Abdela Now?

Both of Michael McMorrow's killers are now free from prison, having been quietly released in January 2004 after serving around two-thirds of their sentences.

After her release, Abdela returned to the scene of the crime to leave a note - via The New York Post - saying "Rest easy. I tried to save you. I’m sorry I failed you. I’m sorry for the pain I caused you & your family."

Dubbed the “Baby-Faced Butcher,” Abdela has maintained a fairly low profile over the years, but she did run into further legal trouble shortly after her release.

As reported by The New York Post, Abdela was arrested on October 13, 2004 on misdemeanor charges of aggravated harassment. This came after she made a phone call to a woman with whom she was in prison saying, "If you leave your house, I’m going to kill you."

The following month after the threats, once again as stated by The New York Post, New York's Division of Parole was given a curfew to be in her home from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., an increase from its previous 9 p.m. start.

The last word came in November 2009 as she filed a lawsuit over "serious personal injuries" she sustained in a car accident in Harlem in April.

Little is known of what happened to Vasquez, who was met with crowds of reporters upon returning home. This angered his father Gerardo who smashed the flash on a photographer's camera and traded punches with a reporter.

According to The New York Times, Vasquez suffered from agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder leading to several attacks. He was treated with the antidepressant Zoloft and sedative Lorazepam which had a minimal effect on his issues.

He was described by a friend as depressed with "really low self-esteem."

Homicide: New York is streaming now on Netflix.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.