Mother's persistence ends in murder arrest

Posted: January 11, 2012

THE KENSINGTON Strangler already had killed two women when Allison Edwards, 22, was found strangled 13 months ago in an apartment on Glendale Street near Erie Avenue.

Despite street rumors that Edwards was the strangler's third victim, Philadelphia police never said so.

On Monday, police arrested William Walton, 40, of 45th Street near Lancaster Avenue, and charged him with her murder.

"Police knew who the killer was soon after the murder occurred," Karen Emery, Edwards' mother, told the Daily News last night.

"They found [Walton's] DNA under my daughter's fingernails. But they said that it was from consensual sex, so it wasn't strong enough evidence.

"The thing this arrest shows is that in order to get any justice in Philadelphia, you have to probe and prod and keep at it. If I didn't keep calling the D.A.'s office, I wouldn't have gotten anywhere."

Walton, she said, "is the guy who called in my daughter's supposed overdose to 9-1-1. He claimed she was fine when he left for work and when he came back she was dead. He waited like 13 hours to make the 9-1-1 call."

Emery said that her daughter, who relapsed into addiction after being clean for six months, "met [Walton] on a Kensington corner. He sold her heroin. She stayed with him one night. On the second night, she was murdered."

Emery said that Homicide Detective Gary White "was awesome. Soon after the murder, he told me, 'We have him. We know it's [Walton].' But it took 13 months to get the D.A.'s office to issue the arrest warrant. I've been on them like crazy. I refused to go away."

Emery said that she persisted because "I love my daughter. This was driving me nuts. It's bad enough this man took her life, but for him to get away with murder and be free to hurt someone else, that was worse. I told the D.A.'s office from the start, 'I'm not going away.' Finally, they issued the warrant and got him off the streets."

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