September 23, 1993 |
It was sometime in the spring - she's not certain of the date - when Helen Steinbacher swung open a long-locked safe in her Chester County home. Widowed since 1966, Steinbacher had lost the key to the safe years before and "had no idea what was in it. " But her son Michael "had been bugging me for years" to find out what was inside, she recalled last week. And so she had called a locksmith. Inside she found a confusing hodgepodge of papers and artwork that had belonged to her husband, Charles, who for 30 years was art director at the George Moll advertising agency in Philadelphia.
April 11, 1987 |
Within hours of the discovery of Salvatore Testa's murdered corpse trussed up by the side of a lonely South Jersey road on the morning of Sept. 14, 1984, the theory was on the minds and lips of law enforcement authorities who study the mob: Nicky Scarfo did it. Even given the bloody factional war that had enveloped the Philadelphia mob since the execution of longtime boss Angelo Bruno in March 1980, law enforcement officers viewed the Sal...
October 24, 2003 |
There were, her lawyer said, "a couple of million other places she would rather be," but Deborah Merlino, the wife of jailed mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, spent yesterday morning testifying for the prosecution in the murder trial of Billy Rinick. "She answered all the questions, and she told the truth," attorney Brian McMonagle said after escorting Merlino through a gauntlet of reporters and television cameramen as she left the Criminal Justice Complex at 13th and Filbert Streets.
February 21, 2001 |
The three men drove around Center City and North Philadelphia searching for a victim. Finally, they spotted Donald J. Pickron, 41, a former teacher's aide, walking alone at 10th and Brown streets in the early morning of Nov. 26, said Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson. One of the bandits commented, "Maybe this guy's holding some money. " The alleged getaway driver, Jyhair Rice, 20, of Rosella Street near Elmwood Avenue, was told to park while his two accomplices got out to rob Pickron.
April 25, 1997 |
Lisa Michelle Lambert's lowest moment came late in 1994. She was 21 and two years into a life sentence for a murder she swore she didn't commit. And while imprisoned at the Cambridge Springs Correctional Facility in rural Crawford County, Pa., she had become the sexual property of a male guard - raped at his whim. When she complained, she said, she was placed in "the hole" - solitary confinement for 24 hours a day. Lambert had been pregnant when she was arrested in 1991 for the killing of another Lancaster County teenager, 16-year-old Laurie Show.
May 15, 1990 |
Leroy "Bucky" Davis, a former amateur boxer who was the reputed head of the Junior Black Mafia's operations in Southwest Philadelphia, was shot to death early yesterday on the front porch of a JBM safe house in West Philadelphia, authorities said. Davis, 22, wearing a gold and diamond-studded necklace that said "Bucky," was struck four times from a fusillade of gunfire that left the street littered with shell casings and the white brick and stucco house on Creighton Street pocked by bullets.
April 8, 1987 |
If it had to happen to any of the TV preachers, it was bound to happen to Jim Bakker. Granted, there are others whom I'd rather it happened to, but if I were taking bets, I would've put on the collapse of the PTL Club. I spent a summer watching TV evangelists, mostly out of curiosity, comparing their approaches. It was fascinating. There was Jimmy Swaggart, who relocated his tent-show revivals into gigantic auditoriums. Oral Roberts and Rex Humbard would trot out their families to sing, pray and generally demonstrate the Wonderful World of Jesus.
January 9, 1998 |
Jeremiah Shabazz, 70, former minister of Mosque No. 12 of the Philadelphia Nation of Islam and confidant and adviser to Muhammad Ali, died of congestive heart failure Wednesday. It was Mr. Shabazz, a family member said, who in 1960 persuaded boxer Cassius Clay to become a follower of Elijah Muhammad and to become Muhammad Ali. In the late 1970s, Mr. Shabazz joined Ali's entourage, and news accounts at the time refer to him as the boxer's "top aide," "administrative assistant" and "legal counsel," although he had no law degree.
January 26, 1993 |
Sam Brown, a Junior Black Mafia lieutenant, and an associate, James Anderson, were sentenced to life in prison yesterday for the execution-style slaying of a West Philadelphia food store owner. Defense attorneys asked the jury to spare their clients, and argued that Brown, 29, and Anderson, 21, acted under "extreme duress" on orders of their JBM boss, Aaron Jones, who commanded the slaying of Bruce Kennedy in Mommie's Food Market in West Philadelphia. Jones, 30, a founder of the JBM, was sentenced to death on Friday by the jury, after all three men were convicted of first-degree murder.
January 10, 1990 |
The final chapter to a duel under a warm June sun was written in Chester County Court yesterday, as a 22-year-old man was sentenced to up to 40 years in prison for killing his former girlfriend's lover. Jason Jaye Welles pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and aggravated assault for the shotgun slaying in the middle of a Phoenixville street as neighbors looked on. Witnesses told police that Welles shot Michael Brockerman four times with a 12-gauge shotgun about 4:40 p.m. on June 6, the last three blasts coming as the 24-year-old Pottstown man lay prone on the street.
July 24, 1987 |
An early death is almost commonplace among pop stars, but there is surely no more unusual epitaph associated with all of rock's tragedies than the one written on Ritchie Valens' headstone in Los Angeles. His stage name, Ritchie Valens, and his given name, Richard Valenzuela, share equal space on the marker. Beneath them are the title and music to the opening bars of his first hit, "Come On Let's Go. " "That's just the way Connie (Valens' mother) wanted it," said Luis Valdez.
December 6, 1998 |
When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the 111th Infantry Regiment of the Pennsylvania National Guard had been, along with many other units, on federal service for almost 11 months. It would be four years before the guardsmen would return home. During World War II, this Norristown-based regiment would add to an already-honorable tradition. According to retired Col. William J. Huber, historian of the 111th Infantry Regiment, the unit can trace its lineage to colonial Pennsylvania.
April 29, 1988 |
It's hard to tell which aspect of Sunset is sillier, the plot or Bruce Willis' wardrobe. For plot, we have Hollywood 1929, where a studio mogul has imported legendary marshal Wyatt Earp to be technical adviser for a movie based on his exploits and starring legendary screen cowboy Tom Mix. Earp (James Garner) instantly bonds with Mix (Willis). They exchange tall tales and, between drinks, lazily solve a shocking murder. Tell us, what self- respecting screenplay would find humor in the fact that the marshal can ride a horse but not drive a car?
September 21, 1990 |
The exhibition of sculpture by the late Henry Mitchell that fills both the Paley and Levy Galleries at Moore College of Art and Design pays homage to an artist whose creations adorn a number of public spaces in the city. Mitchell's pieces, like the impala fountain at the zoo and the cat fountain at the Betsy Ross House, are highly visible; Mitchell is less well known. This exhibition of 59 pieces, the majority of them maquettes for public commissions, seeks to offer Mitchell some belated recognition for enlivening the city's public landscape.