Some Multiple Slayings . . .

Posted: December 30, 2000

The Philadelphia area has seen its share of mass killings. Here are some of the more notorious multiple slayings in the last century:

In 1948, Melvin Collins, 30, opened fire with a rifle from his boardinghouse in Chester, killing eight people and wounding four. Collins then killed himself.

In 1949, Howard Unruh, a World War II veteran, walked through his East Camden neighborhood and shot 13 people to death, including two children, in a matter of minutes. Described as the first of the modern rampage killers, Unruh was ruled mentally unfit to stand trial. Now 79, he is incarcerated at Trenton State Hospital.

In 1950, Ernest Ingenito shot and killed his estranged wife's parents and three other relatives in Piney Hollow, N.J. He wounded his wife and three others. Released on parole in 1974, he was arrested in 1977 for assaulting a woman. In 1995, at age 70, he was sentenced to 50 years in prison for sexually assaulting his former girlfriend's daughter when she was a child.

In 1974 and 1975, Joseph Kallinger, a Kensington shoemaker, killed three people, including his son, in a rape, robbery and homicide rampage - in which he was joined by another son, Michael. Kallinger, who claimed to be an agent of God, told his story in a book titled The Shoemaker. He died in prison at 59 in 1996.

In 1976, George Geschwendt was convicted of killing five members of the John Abt household and a family friend in Trevose. He broke into the unoccupied home of the Abts, his neighbors, and shot the victims one by one as they returned. After his arrest, Geschwendt told police that the Abts had teased and taunted him, and that an obsessive anger drove him to kill them. He is serving life in prison.

In 1982, Ralph Trent Stokes, 19, shot and killed three people, to eliminate them as witnesses, during a holdup inside Smokin' Joe's Korner, a Wynnefield restaurant co-owned by boxer Joe Frazier. Two other employees at the restaurant survived the shooting, apparently because the gun Stokes was using misfired. In 1987, Stokes was sentenced to death.

In 1984, a jury found former kitchen worker Anthony Joyner, 24, guilty of raping and murdering six residents of a Wynnefield home for the elderly. At the time, the six murder charges against him were said to be the most against any individual in Philadelphia in the 20th century. He is serving a life sentence.

In 1985, Sylvia Seegrist, 25, dressed in military fatigues and armed with an automatic rifle, opened fire in the Springfield Mall in Delaware County, killing three and wounding seven. Seegrist, who was found guilty of murder but mentally ill, was given three life sentences.

In 1986 and 1987, Harrison "Marty" Graham murdered seven women during an eight-month period and stashed their bodies in or near his North Philadelphia apartment. He confessed to luring them there and strangling them during sex. His death sentence was commuted, and he is serving life in prison.

In 1987, a prostitute who escaped from Gary Heidnik's car led Philadelphia police to a "House of Horrors" at 3520 N. Marshall St. In the basement, police found three women in chains. The survivors said Heidnik had raped and tortured them. He killed two women, Sandra Lindsay and Deborah Dudley, during the four-month ordeal. Heidnik, 55, was executed by lethal injection in July 1999.

Ken Dilanian's e-mail address is

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