Cops: Man shot 2, set their bodies on fire

Posted: March 04, 2014

WHEN COPS cornered William "Pookie" Deputy cowering under a pile of blankets Saturday, he denied shooting two people and setting their bodies ablaze in a van last month, but police said the proof was written all over his face.

The singe marks where Deputy's beard used to be, and the burns on the rest his body, were telltale signs that police had their man, said Upper Darby Superintendent Michael Chitwood, whose department aided Philadelphia police in the takedown.

"He did have a full beard, but he'd burned his beard off and he had all kinds of burns on his body when we got him," Chitwood said. "He claimed he got the burns in the snow."

Now Deputy, 36, is charged with murder, arson, abuse of a corpse and related offenses for the charred bodies found in the front and rear passenger seats of a fully engulfed Ford Windstar van shortly before 4 a.m. Feb. 22 on Trenton Avenue near Orthodox Street, in Frankford.

The bodies were so badly burned that police yesterday still had not released the identities of the victims, pending confirmation from the Medical Examiner's Office.

The Medical Examiner's Office was able to determine that both victims had died from gunshot wounds to the head and torso, police said.

According to the arrest affidavit, police tracked down the registered owner of the van, who said that her brother was the last one to take it and he was last in the company of a woman. Police determined that the man was supposed to buy marijuana from Deputy, according to the affidavit.

Video surveillance allegedly shows Deputy pouring the contents of a gas can into the van on Orthodox Street near Trenton Avenue, police said.

Before he did that though, Deputy allegedly took his dog, which is believed to be a Great Dane, and tied it to a nearby fire hydrant. Deputy then drove the minivan around the corner to Trenton Avenue, where he got out of the van just before it was seen catching on fire, police said.

According to authorities, Deputy then walked back to Orthodox Street to get his dog, but at some point the dog broke free from the leash and Deputy was seen chasing the animal down the street.

Philadelphia police determined that Deputy was staying at his girlfriend's Upper Darby home, and around 5:30 a.m. Saturday about 30 members of the Philadelphia police, Upper Darby police and the U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force went to the house on Springton Road near Marshall.

The woman, who had two small children in the house, answered the door but claimed she hadn't seen Deputy in years, Chitwood said. Police didn't buy it.

"Lo and behold, upstairs in the middle bedroom, hidden under some covers in the corner, was Pookie," Chitwood said.

Deputy tried to give a fake name to police, but an officer recognized him from a shooting in Upper Darby years ago and called his bluff, police said.

"Not in my town, Pookie," Chitwood said.

On Twitter: @FarFarrAway



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