Police Say Neighbor is ‘Person of Interest’ in Homicide

Police investigating the homicide of Sue Trott say that a neighbor of Trott’s at 710 West End Avenue is considered a “person of interest” in the case.

“We believe that all the pieces of that puzzle are in that building,” Dermot Shea, the chief of detectives for the New York Police Department, told reporters.

Police did not name the person. The building between 94th and 95th Streets has a doorman and security cameras, and police say no one had signed into the building to see Trott, according to the Times.

Trott, who was 70, was found Sunday in her apartment with her throat slashed. She was a copywriter who had risen up in the male-dominated advertising world, the Times reported. She was inspirational to younger women in the field.

She was also known for loving and caring for animals, even starting her own dog-rescue organization. Trott would spread bird seed in the area — a practice that sometimes frustrated neighbors who thought it also brought rats to the area.

Aaron Biller, president of the local Neighborhood in the Nineties group, called Trott “a controversial figure in the neighborhood” because of her practice of spreading bird seed. “Susan was the “Bird Lady of the West 90s,” so called because she drew the ire of many in the neighborhood due to her passion and methodology for feeding birds, which undermined the City’s rat population control efforts,” he wrote in an email to us.

Others said that Trott was a popular neighborhood figure.

“Everyone loved her,” neighbor Cristine Delgado, 50, who occasionally walked with Trott at Riverside Park, told the Post. “She’s very, very friendly and protects animals.”

NEWS | 34 comments | permalink
    1. Kaz says:

      Biller’s comment seems like a weird, unnecessary dig at a woman who was just murdered.

      • J says:

        The first NYT article also had some unkind words about her from a different neighbor. Let’s be better to one another!

      • Bandy says:

        Sounds like he is just being honest. Stating facts doesn’t mean he doesnt feel badly she was murdered. Do we know this is the only thing he said in his email? It’s an excerpt.

    2. Sarah says:

      I share in the masses’ disdain for people who feed birds in the neighborhood, but this woman was murdered… have you no respect? Is it really necessary to spend so much of this “update” painting such a negative picture of this woman? One sentence about her accomplishments and the rest just entirely unnecessary and immature…

    3. geoff says:

      this reads as if mr biller did not know ms trott well at all, despite his claim.

      it reads like a textbook complaint to 311.

      what gives, mr biller? plenty of good riddance?

      and why, west side rag, would you stop at this?

    4. Susan Kagan says:

      “So shines a good deed in a naughty world ..” (Shakespeare)

    5. Freddie Katz says:

      She was a lovely little pink and blonde eccentric always smiling wheeling her dog in the stroller. Who knew she was so accomplished? This whole discussion is laughably like the UWS, swwet eccentrics and curmudgeonly rats making the perfext ecosystem. That this little smiling lady had her throat slashed—and by a nighbor?!?— is unthinkable. May she rest in peace. I will miss our pleasant exchanges.

    6. Scott Schaffer says:

      Printing Mr. Biller’s comment proves that this website is true to its name, a “rag”.

      • ScooterStan says:

        This excellent and carefully-edited local blog is a “rag” just because it dared to print a negative comment?

        The WSR is NOT intended to be a “Hagiography” (look it up). It is a NEWS site, and had it left out that slightly-negative comment about Ms. Trott, any number of its vigilant readers would have done a “Gotcha” comment for ignoring that fact.

        You may recall that a certain president’s favorite “news” station is Fox-News, which laughingly called it self “Fair and Balanced”. Which is what news’ sources must be, presenting BOTH sides of a story, WITH attribution.

        Unless, of course, you agree with that certain president and his clueless “base” in calling a free press “The Enemy of the People”

    7. Westside Mimi says:

      For the folks who are throwing shade on this poor woman, she did not deserve to be murdered, no matter how eccentric and annoying.

    8. Chrigid says:

      I think it’s kinda refreshing to have a mixed-bag description of her, like she was human and different people had different relationships with her (although one mention of birdseed/rats might have been enough).

    9. leticia says:

      One of the neighbors, a older female, made nasty comments about Trott on CBS news. People have no respect, the woman was murdered.

    10. Ed says:

      The negative background information is particularly relevant, because it could be a motive for the murder. A rat-hating neighbor may have had enough.

      • dannyboy says:

        Ed, Very practical advice, that I will take to heart.

        If I find myself in a situation where there’s been a murder, I will be sure not to make myself a suspect by providing the investigators with probable motive.

        In this particular case, I believe it is the media that is exaggerating the negative impressions express by Ms Trott’s neighbors.

        My wife was interviewed by the press about her reactions. They baited the interview with questions like “Doesn’t this incident make you afraid?” Of course they baited the wrong person, as she pointed out the stinkiness of that question coming from a journalist. The journalist wanted a story, but couldn’t get one from her.

        • Bill says:

          Had the exact same experience from a TV interviewer.
          Asked, “Aren’t you scared?” Answered firmly NO.

          • dannyboy says:

            Good for you Bill.

            I feel that these reporters do little investigative reporting and, at the same time, want to scoop their competition with immediate articles.

            The results of that, as we see in this case, is that they report on the neighbors’ critique of the victim and look for an angle like “UWS is Terrified”.

            I disdain this reporting because it replaces the ‘Who/What/When/Where and Why’ with sensationalism.

        • Ed says:

          Yes Dannyboy, murderers often become suspects by pointing out their motives to the police. That has happened almost never.

      • Steen says:

        Yes, Ed, that’s what I thought as well. I did not get the sense that people were denigrating her because of her habits, but trying to verbalize what might have caused someone to murder her. Obviously, it came out as being spiteful to some people, but I didn’t see it that way–it felt more like their minds were casting about for a “why,” which is a total human reaction to a horrifying thing.

    11. GetAGrip says:

      Unbelievable that some people can be so small and heartless and petty as to hold grudges over BIRD SEED when this beautiful and kind soul just had her life taken from her. Just unbelievable. And by the way people who begrudge the natural pleasures of feeding the birds are useless human beings as far as I am concerned. Go live in a concrete box where neither sweet elderly heros nor birdsong will “ruin” your days . . .

      • EricaC says:

        We should separate the rightness or wrongness of spreading birdseed from the rightness or wrongness of focusing so deeply on that when a woman has been murdered. Putting out seeds for birds in a rat-infested area is wrong for many reasons. But compared to being murdered – not even on the same scale. And if the worst that can be said about Ms. Trott is that she let her zeal for helping animals outweigh her concern for her neighbors objections, she did much better than many of us. I am very sorry that this happened to her, and I hope they catch the perpetrator and imprison him or her for life. How terrible.

    12. Louise says:

      If she was killed over birdseed and “eccentricity” — then we certainly are in bad shape as a society. What a tragedy.

    13. Anonymouse says:

      Aren’t y’all jumping to conclusions to assume this poor woman was murdered because of feeding birds? It could be a myriad of reasons and no reason at all. People do crazy and nefarious things all the time here in the Naked City. Let’s wait till the experts and NYPD finish their CSI – they’ve already collected evidence in the apartment.

    14. Bruce E. Bernstein says:

      Aaron Biller continued his campaign of gross insensitivity with negative personal remarks in today’s NY times article.

      Feeding the birds, including pigeons, is a time-honored NYC practice. i’ve never heard anyone complain about it before. it seems like Biller wants to modify our behavior; he wants the whole neighborhood to behave like a bunch of suburban Stepford Wives.

      RIP Susan Trott; i am confident that your unique personality was appreciated by most of your neighbors.

    15. Ed says:

      Update from the NYT here:


      Trott reported being threatened and harassed by neighbors due to her spreading of birdseed throughout the neighborhood.

    16. sylvia says:

      That was no reason to kill her sad ppl are crazy ready to kill for nothing R.I.P.

    17. Manny says:

      She was such a sweet lady! She had rescued an elderly dog, and was the most patient and loving person ever with him. I ran into her again after her dog passed, and she was just walking in the park, made a lovely comment about the dogs I was walking, & was sad but trying to be positive & happy. I didn’t know her well at all, just the occasional similar park interaction, but the way she treated that old white rescue dog – the love and care she showed him, the patience she had with him – was remarkable. I am so sad this happened to her!! My condolences to her friends & family.

    18. John McCabe MD says:

      The lack of followup information on this subject is deafening!

    19. Priscilla says:

      I am curious to know if Trott ever filed a complaint against the neighbor for harassing her, or vice versa. Seems like there must to be history before such a horrible event. I hope the 24th provides updated info.

      I’ve had a problem with a neighbor and went to the 20th twice but they didn’t do anything except take a complaint. This story is very unsettling.

    20. Galpal says:

      All this speculation could be addressed if there didn’t seem to be a gag order on relevant information. A neighbor is currently undergoing psychiatric evaluation yet, no other details have been released. Last update three days ago said that the police had not yet questioned her, a women in her 20’s. Why have her name and circumstances not been released. Money? When the brutal slaying of children by a nanny shocked the UWS, her name was released immediately. She was taken into custody then evaluated, I believe. Does someone have their finger on the scale? This poor woman was murdered in her home. SHE deserves justice!

      • Juan says:

        Why is it your business who did this? The curious side of me wants to know, but if they are choosing not to release the name, that is fine. In the case of the murdering nanny, the police were 100% sure who did it. Based on the limited information available, this seems like a very likely suspect, but there is no certainty. I would rather the police spend their time investigating the case then providing information to neighborhood yentas.