On Monday night Hassan Malik, 55, was charged with the strangling death of 28-year-old Betty Williams, who worked as a prostitute and whose body was found by an unlucky passerby after it was stuffed into a suitcase and left on a Harlem Street. Malik is claiming that the murder was self-defense.
The story goes like this: After Malik paid Williams for sex, she fought with him about money, going on to hit him with a frying pan. He hit her back with the frying pan. She grabbed an electric cord and wound it around his neck. He got loose and then did the same to her, resulting in her strangulation.
Via CBS, “He acknowledged packing her in the luggage and abandoning it in a street.” But, he says, she attacked him first. (He was not visibly injured.)
Both Williams and Malik have pretty full rap sheets, including, in the case of Malik, currently being on probation for attempted robbery — he stole money and a public-benefits card from a woman, then punched her in the stomach when she tried to get them back.
Interestingly, he “had been poised to start a job this week as a drug counselor.” He’s now being held without bail.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 29, 2010