Katherine Mary “Katy” Hawelka died in 1986 at the age of 19. She grew up in Central New York as the second of four children. Joe was 16 years old, Carey was 17 years old, and Betsy was 21 years old at the time. Carey and Katy were the type of sisters that spent their adolescence at Henninger High School in Syracuse as best friends.
Katy, who had a pleasant grin as well as a quick wit, was known for breaking up arguments amongst the siblings. Katy was assaulted, beaten, raped, and strangled outside the university’s Walker Arena. Watertown physicians declared Emily brain dead three days later, on September 1, and the Hawelka family consented to remove life support.
Brian M. McCarthy, a Parishville native, has spent more than three decades behind bars. He is currently incarcerated at the Cayuga Correctional Facility in Moravia, Cayuga County, where he is serving his term. McCarthy’s most recent hearing was held on April 20 in the Cayuga Correctional Facility, which is a medium-security facility. Later that month, Katy’s family received the denial. McCarthy was sentenced by now-retired St. Lawrence County Court Judge Eugene L. Nicandri on August 13, 1987, after pleading guilty to Katy’s murder.
His punishment could be anywhere from 23 to life in jail, with a maximum of 25 years in prison. Since 2009, Katy’s family has awaited a decision from the state Board of Parole every two years. McCarthy’s mother, three siblings, and other relatives and friends write letters to the board of directors before the meeting.
Brian McCarthy is in his late 50s in 2022. He was 23 when he was charged with rape and assault in the first degree. In addition, after Katy died, he was charged with second-degree murder. McCarthy had spent his entire life in and out of jail before being arrested in Katy’s case. He was charged with burglary, theft, and forgery in St. Lawrence County.
In Virginia, he served 10 months of a two-year jail sentence for car theft. His charge was eventually reduced to illegal use of a motor vehicle.
There have been online petitions to deny Brian McCarthy parole every year. Though he received parole in April 2021, many advocacy groups have been raising concerns about it. Katherine Hawelka, a 19-year-old college sophomore, died on September 1, 1986. It was a result of a brutal attack by Brian M. McCarthy on the Clarkson University campus in Potsdam, New York.
He viciously attacked her as she walked through campus. McCarthy raped and strangled her, battering her so badly that she was unrecognizable due to head and face trauma. She never regained consciousness following this heinous assault. Three months prior to the attack, Brian McCarthy had just been released on parole.