Bartender killed while filling in for another worker

Posted: June 26, 2012

A BARTENDER filling in for another worker early Sunday was stabbed to death while on the job in South Philly during a robbery.

George Fox, 44, of South Philly, was killed about 1:15 a.m. at T-Barr's Bar, at 8th and Jackson streets. He was one of four people slain as of Sunday evening during a violent weekend in the city.

Bar owner Tom Barr, 76, poured himself a glass of Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey inside the brick corner bar Sunday afternoon. "I need one today," he said.

Behind the long wooden bar, worker Richard Cullen, 55, mopped up with bleach and Pine-Sol the trail of blood left by Fox.

A police source said that surveillance video showed a man with a hoodie come into the bar, go toward Fox, then stab him multiple times.

Barr said that nothing like this has happened in the bar's 30 years. He said that Fox used to work for him about three years ago, and then was just filling in for a female bartender over the weekend. He heard that a dozen customers were in the bar at the time. He estimated that the robber stole at least $500 from the cash register.

Fox's girlfriend, Debbie Diantonio, 48, said that she last saw Fox at the bar about 10:30 p.m. Saturday before she walked back to the home they shared in South Philly.

Fox called her to make sure she made it home safely and told her, "I'll be OK. I don't need any help. I'll be all right," she recalled.

Fox, thin with orange hair, worked as a plumber and electrician. He had three adult sons, with whom he didn't have much contact, and two daughters, 12 and 14, who live in Florida, Diantonio said.

Contact Julie Shaw at 215-854-2592 or shawj@phillynews.com.

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