ACE “Arohn Malik Kee” In ‘Homicide: New York’ Episode 5 East Harlem Serial Killer Recap & Ending

In the gripping new crime thriller series on Netflix, Homicide: New York, the fifth episode is named East Harlem Serial Killer. This bone-chilling case delves into the haunting story of a serial killer popularly known as “ACE.” His victims are young girls, predominantly teenagers and black Hispanic girls, living in the East Harlem area of New York. The perpetrator’s modus operandi involves a gruesome mix of murder, rape, and burning of the victims. As the narrative unfolds, the pressing question is: Who is ACE? Will law enforcement manage to catch him? Join us as we witness the relentless efforts of police and detectives working tirelessly to serve justice in this case.


Spoilers Ahead

Who Is Rasheda Washington? 

The case is set in the East Harlem area of New York, where in the 1980s various cases of murder occurred and the number of serial killers was alarmingly high. In 1983, Irma Rivera worked in Spanish Harlem within the Hispanic community. It was a truly lovely neighborhood with vibrant music and a positive atmosphere. However, as we delve deeper, we realize that these are all superficial; inside, there are multiple heinous cases that would make your spine chill. On June 2nd, 1996, the police received their first homicide call in the area. It involved a 19 or 20-year-old black girl who was murdered through asphyxiation. Since the girl had no ID card, the police checked if anyone had reported a missing girl, and they found out it was a girl named Rasheda Washington who’d been reported missing. Her family was clearly devastated upon hearing the news. She was a bright young girl with enormous potential, a brilliant student who wanted to pursue further studies in fashion, and a hard worker. She even had a lovely group of friends and a good boyfriend within her circle. So, there was no one in close proximity who would have any motive to murder her, you see?


Barbara Butcher, the homicide investigator in the case, said that she was not only murdered but also assaulted, with neck and chest compression. What a tragedy! However, the sad part was that the DNA database in the police station did not have any matches with previous potential perpetrators. So, who could this be? Is there a new perpetrator in the mix? This case makes you realize how weak these people really are. Through sexual assault and strangulation, they seek power and control, nothing else. We are introduced to Richard Plansky, the former assistant DA in the case. Rasheda was found blocks away from her home. After finishing her work, she headed towards the subway to get home but never arrived. She was found dead on June 2nd, 1998, at 6 a.m. After interrogating her family members, the DA found out that since Rasheda had never come home late in her life, everyone became naturally suspicious when she didn’t return that day. However, as they were not getting any leads, the police offered a reward of $11,000 for any clues. They were desperate to bring justice to the girl, who did not deserve such injustice. Sadly, nothing was found as of then. 

Who Is ACE?

Three months later, another disturbing incident occurred when a 15-year-old girl became a victim of rape. She was held from behind by a black man who held a knife against her neck and stole her jewelry. The only things left behind were a sweatshirt and a baseball cap belonging to the perpetrator. However, a crucial lead came to light as the DNA from the semen matched the DNA found on Rasheda’s body. Was it the same perpetrator? Scott Warner, an NYPD homicide detective, was brought in to solve the case. When another 13-year-old girl fell victim to this serial incident, a pattern became apparent: all the victims were black Hispanic women in the same area. Detective Rob Mooney suggested creating a sketch of the perpetrator to help in identifying the suspect and initiating a manhunt. Posters were plastered around New York City, and the media was alerted for coverage. However, the sad reality was that, because the victims were black women, the media did not show much interest. Amid the investigation, a call came into the police line mentioning someone named ACE targeting another potential victim. Did this ACE hold any significance for the police? Soon, it was revealed that a 19-year-old female burned victim had connections to ACE and his girlfriend. The identity of this ACE turned out to be Arohn Malik Kee.


How Was ACE Involved In This Case? 

This “ACE” was a remarkably outgoing individual—charming, handsome, and possessing a pleasant personality—that made it difficult for police to suspect him as the perpetrator. All their knowledge about reading suspects’ behavior proved futile because this man was genuinely helpful and showed no signs of fear. In fact, the police even captured a Polaroid photo of him as proof, which was similar to the poster sketch. In another case from January 1991, Paola Illera, a 13-year-old girl, was stabbed and assaulted. It was later found out that ACE lived in the same building as her. When questioned by the police, he claimed they were in the same elevator, but he exited on his floor. However, he was the last person to see her alive before her tragic demise. Was it all just pure coincidence? The police began to treat him as their prime suspect and intensified their efforts to apprehend him. As ACE was also a serial larcenist, the police arrested him, seeing an opportunity to obtain a DNA sample. However, ACE proved to be too clever. He swapped his cup with the man beside him in his cell and then swapped it back. Eventually, the police caught wind of this deception and realized that the DNA found on the victims matched ACE’s. Finally, they had their man!

At the end of the episode, we see that after being released from jail, ACE disappeared, knowing that the police were hot on his trail. He fled to Miami with his girlfriend. But the police received a tip and managed to locate him with a SWAT team. During a confrontation, he confessed his crimes to his girlfriend, admitting that he had uncontrollable urges when he was young, because of which he did such a thing. Can you believe it? It was a moment of truth and betrayal, all rolled into one! However, when he testified in court, ACE spun a different tale. He claimed to have stumbled upon an illegal organ harvesting scheme by the police; thus, they are trying to frame him. However, with testimonies from over 140 victims and numerous pieces of evidence, the court knew he was their guy. Thus, ACE was sentenced to a whopping 409 years behind bars! Justice prevailed in the end, sending shockwaves through the city! But let’s not forget the unsung heroes in all this—the brave police officers and detectives! They poured their hearts and souls into cases of such magnitude, which took an emotional toll on them! When asked if they miss anything from working in New York, they respond with a resounding “Nothing!” They find relief in distancing themselves from such cases and in serving justice to the families involved. It’s not just a job to them; they genuinely care about the victims and their grieving families.


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Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka, a devoted movie enthusiast, embarked on her cinematic journey since childhood, captivated by the enchanting world of the Harry Potter series. This early passion ignited her love for movies, providing an escape into the magical realms of cinema. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in media science, combining her academic pursuits with her unwavering passion for the silver screen.

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