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Queens Man Convicted In 25-Year-Old Chelsea Murder Case


A trail of blood that ran down several flights of stairs and out the front door of a slain Chelsea man's apartment complex led police to a convicted rapist in Queens who, nearly 25 years later, would be found guilty of the murder.

Gordon Francis, 60, was convicted on Wednesday in the brutal 1993 murder of 50-year-old social worker James Hawkins, who was discovered in his apartment after he was stabbed more than 25 times in the neck, chest and stomach, authorities said.

The violent slashing on Aug. 15, 1993, left behind a pool of blood from Hawkins' apartment, down four flights of stairs and out the complex's front door.

Francis was arrested in 2012 after new DNA testing the blood helped police link him to the slaying, said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

"Cold cases should never become forgotten cases," Vance said. "As forensic science accelerates forward, law enforcement has new opportunities to ensure that previously unresolved cases are examined with the same care and technology as newer cases."

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