A patient at the Clifton T. Perkins mental hospital in Jessup is charged with murder after another patient was found dead in her room Sunday morning with a string tied around her neck, state police investigators said.
Maryland State Police charged El Soudani El-Wahhabi, also known as Saladin Taylor, with first- and second-degree murder in the death of Susan Sachs, 45, also a patient at Perkins. Court records put El-Wahhabi’s age at 49, although a statement from the Maryland State Police said he is 46.
Sachs was found face down in her bed about 8:30 a.m. by a nurse who went to check on her after she didn’t show up for breakfast. Doctors at the hospital determined that she was dead.
State police investigators arrested El-Wahhabi after a daylong investigation that included dozens of interviews.
El-Wahhabi and Sachs had rooms in the same hallway at the hospital, investigators said. Both had been admitted to the hospital in connection with previous murders.
Sachs pleaded “not criminally responsible” in 2004 for fatally stabbing her 71-year-old landlord in her Chevy Chase home, according The Washington Post, which covered the trial extensively.
Sachs, who was found by a psychiatrist to have paranoid schizophrenia, cleaned up victim Joyce Hadl’s bloody bedroom and then she and two men hid the body, according The Post articles at the time.
Police did not have a motive for Sunday’s killing.
However, this is not the first time El-Wahhabi has been charged with killing a woman. Known then as Saladin Ishmael Taylor, El-Wahhabi was charged in 1995 with the slaying of Mona Johnson, after police found part of his tongue at the crime scene. El-Wahhabi had told his parole officers the day after the murder that he had accidentally bitten off his own tongue.
El-Wahhabi’s history of sex offenses and criminal charges stretches to the early 1980s. In 1993, he was released on parole after serving more than two years for assaulting a patient during a previous stint at Perkins Hospital.
El-Wahhabi had been sent to Perkins back then after a judge found him unfit to stand trial on charges of sexually attacking his sister-in-law, while wearing women’s lingerie.
A spokesperson for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene directed inquries about the case to the Maryland State Police, citing an open investigation.
El-Wahhabi is expected to appear at a bond hearing Monday evening.
Sachs’ body was transported to the medical examiner’s office in Baltimore for an autopsy.