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Man Charged with Murder in Overdose Deaths of NYC Fashion Designer Katie Gallagher and Four Others

The death of designer Kathryn “Katie” Gallagher is believed to be part of an alleged drugging and robbery scheme that left “far too many families mourning," according to the Manhattan District Attorney.

By Joe Dziemianowicz
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A man has been charged with the murder of Kathryn “Katie” Gallagher nearly a year after the 35-year-old fashion designer who dressed Lady Gaga was found dead in her New York City apartment. 

Kenwood Allen, 34, was charged with second-degree murder in Gallagher's death, the New York Times reports. Allen is also charged with four other murders and multiple robberies, according to a statement from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Allen faces 10 counts of second-degree murder — two for each of the five deaths — 17 counts of robbery and attempted robbery, 11 counts of second-degree assault and additional charges. 

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Allen has pleaded not guilty, the DA’s office confirmed.

Gallagher’s lifeless body was discovered by NYPD officers responding to a 911 call on July 24, 2022, according to NBC New York.

The medical examiner’s office previously told the NBC outlet that Gallagher died from acute toxication by the combined effects of alcohol, fentanyl, ethanol and the designer drug p-fluorofentanyl. The manner of death was homicide.

Designer Katie Gallagher

Gallagher’s overdose death is believed by authorities to be linked to a series of druggings that took place in Manhattan in 2022 by perpetrators who robbed their victims.

Assailants “targeted people in bars who looked like they had money,” the New York Times reported. 

The deadly crime spree was concentrated during a five-month period, running from March to August of 2022according to the DA’s statement. 

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“Between March 18, 2022, and December 18, 2022,” it notes, “Allen committed a series of robberies and other crimes throughout lower Manhattan, sometimes alone and sometimes with other individuals.”

Sean Shirley, 36, is Allen’s alleged accomplice, according to the Times, but he is not charged in connection with Gallagher’s death.

Designer Katie Gallagher

In most of the incidents, according to the DA, “Allen drugged his victims with fentanyl and other opioids in order to steal their credit cards, watches, phones, and other personal identifying information.”

Bragg called the alleged drugging and robbery schemes “pernicious,” adding that they have left “far too many families mourning the loss of their loved ones.”

According to the Times, Allen was indicated in December for the drugging deaths of Nurbo Shera and Ardijan Berisha. On June 21, he was charged will killing Gallagher, Alexander Rudnitsky, and Satath Ahmed. The DA's office is "not confirming victim names at this time."

Gallagher’s obituary celebrated the Pennsylvania-born designer for her “strong work ethic” and for striving “for perfection in all of her designs.”

In addition to Lady Gaga, Gallagher’s designs were worn by performers Rita Ora and Laverne Cox. Gallagher also modeled for other designers.

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