Robert Morgenthau, celebrated New York District Attorney feared by murderers, mobsters and Wall Street fraudsters – obituary

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Robert Morgenthau, who has died aged 99, was District Attorney for New York County for 35 years. His office prosecuted some of the most infamous cases of the time: the “Subway Shooter” Bernard Goetz; John Lennon’s murderer, Mark Chapman; the “Preppy Killer”, Robert Chambers; and the Central Park Jogger assault trial, where the 1990 conviction of five black youths was overturned in 2002, based on a new confession and DNA evidence.

Morgenthau’s prosecution had been heavily criticised at the time, but he won respect for the way he quickly reopened the case and got the verdict reversed.

Mark Chapman, John Lennon's assassin

Mark Chapman, John Lennon’s assassin Credit:  PA

But New York County is better known as Manhattan, the financial centre of the United States, and it was from his…