December 24, 2004 |
Imagine this scene: a bunch of toy makers sitting around a cozy fire on Christmas Eve, relaxing and enjoying each other's company, and passing around the instructions they drew up for their toys. Then they begin laughing heartily, thinking about the people struggling to put together all those little bits and pieces just hours before Santa is to appear. I like to refer to this rite of passage as Evil Eve: a time when holiday carols are drowned out by dads losing their patience as they put together bikes, toys and games; men cursing aloud after they have followed the 29 steps in the multi-language instruction manual, only to discover that they put together step four backward and must start over.
April 29, 1988 |
It was a messy way to kill. Eric Vanzant, 14, used a butter knife to saw the throat of his next-door neighbor, according to testimony at a hearing yesterday. "It was sickening," Vanzant allegedly told a friend after the April 14 slaying. The friend, James P. Burns, 17, testified that Vanzant, of Churchill Lane near Morrell Avenue, had told him he killed Margaret Boyle, 38, robbed her of $30, and stole her car. Police testified that Vanzant told them he "didn't like" his next-door neighbor and "wanted her car. " Police said Vanzant told them he sexually assaulted Boyle with a shower rod. Municipal Judge Michael J. Conroy held Vanzant without bail and ordered the ninth-grade student at George Washington High School to stand trial in adult court on murder and other charges.
November 22, 2002 |
A man was convicted of assault yesterday for punching Yankees pitcher David Wells and knocking out two of his teeth during an early-morning fight in a Manhattan diner on Sept. 7. Rocco Graziosa was acquitted of two other charges after a weeklong trial in Manhattan Criminal Court. The jury deliberated less than 3 hours. The 27-year-old Graziosa faces up to a year in jail when he is sentenced Jan. 15. He will remain free on $1,500 bail, but he was ordered to stay away from Wells.
August 6, 1999 |
A 37-year-old man was charged last night with committing 23 burglaries within 21 days in a West Philadelphia neighborhood to feed a crack habit, police said. The 23 are on top of two others that Horace Walker committed on Wednesday night before police nabbed him, said Sgt. Michael Chitwood. Walker, of the 5000 block of Florence Avenue, was charged with those two burglaries as well, making his total 25 since July 15. A rash of break-ins had been reported in an area bounded by Baltimore and Woodland Avenues and 42d and 48th Streets.
March 12, 2005 |
Edward Woodside III lost his life apparently over a pocketful of coins. That's how the man who killed Woodside explained it to a judge in Gloucester County yesterday. After pleading guilty to murder in Superior Court, Kevin Spragg Jr. detailed how he went to Woodside's Paulsboro home last summer to steal some "coins. " While rummaging through the house, Spragg said, he encountered Woodside, a 60-year-old man who had trouble hearing and speaking. Spragg told Judge John Tomasello that he stabbed Woodside with a butter knife and "slammed" a computer monitor over his head about 2 a.m. on Aug. 7, 2004.
September 8, 2002 |
Yankees pitcher David Wells lost two teeth and was punched in the head when he was attacked by a man waving a butter knife at a diner early yesterday, police said. Wells refused medical attention after the altercation at 5:50 a.m. at the restaurant on Manhattan's Upper East side. Rocco Graziosa, 27, was arrested and charged with assault and menacing. Wells pitched a complete game Friday night, throwing a five-hitter as New York beat the Detroit Tigers, 5-1, at Yankee Stadium.
May 22, 1987 |
Police are expected to file charges today against a 22-year-old man who was found trapped in a chimney after 13 hours. The first thing Michael DeLong, manager of Philadelphia Auctioneers, heard at work yesterday morning were moans and groans coming from the chimney. DeLong called police. By 8:30 a.m., police and firefighters had pulled Alberto Carrera from the chimney in the city's Northern Liberties section. Carrera, a self-described "street person," was missing his shoes, but he was conscious.
June 14, 1995 |
Today's Poor Ronald's Almanac considers two interesting but totally unrelated Philadelphia tales. FOUND IN THE DUNGEON: Eastern State Penitentiary in Fairmount was abandoned 20 years ago, and most everything of value was removed. Still, fascinating artifacts keep surfacing at the grim national landmark. Found recently in an area where the roof partially collapsed was a classic prison "shank. " The homemade knife is a sharpened piece of metal with a handle made of black tape.
October 5, 2012 |
AS POLITICAL satires go, "Butter" is about as subtle as a slab of lard served on a slice of ham. Big, broad, but only fitfully funny, it takes a swipe at Iowa and Iowans. A few sucker punches land, thanks largely to a star-studded cast. But it never feels like anything but an outsider's nasty dismissal of the corn-fed corner of red-state culture. Jennifer Garner is cast amusingly against type as Laura, a real Lady Macbeth with a butter knife. She shouldn't have to take up that knife, but the Iowa "Mastery of Butter" judges have nudged her dairy-Degas, 15-time state fair butter-carving champ husband, Bob, out of competition.
April 2, 1995 |
The scene was daunting for the 50 children who entered the dining room. Spread before them on tables, in neat yet vulnerable-looking formations, were pairs of forks, spoons in triplet, an array of plates and couples of glasses, which were filled alternately with water or sparkling apple cider. Though they giggled their way through a five-course, dressy dinner at Montgomeryville's Legends Restaurant at Pine Crest Golf Club, the children finished the evening with little mishap.