June 27, 2014 |
A man whose DNA led him to be charged in two cold-case murders from 1989 was held Wednesday for a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court trial. Police arrested Rudolph Churchill, 52, on March 19 for the murders of Ruby Ellis and Cheryl Hanible, whose bodies were found five weeks apart in North Philadelphia. Detectives, using decades-old DNA collected from both crime scenes, charged Churchill, who was living in Paulsboro. He had a three-year prison stint in DeKalb County, Ga., for burglary.
April 29, 2014 |
At times, Grace Bowen has caught herself forgetting her sister is gone. At 30, Bowen is older than her sister, Joy Hayward, was when someone strangled her a decade ago in a Chester hotel room. Police found DNA and other leads. But the case went cold. "Whoever it was, they must have stopped leaving DNA, or they died," Bowen said recently from Annapolis, Md. "In the end, I think she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think there was no motive, no reason. " Across the region and the country, unsolved murders are increasingly common.
April 5, 2014 |
Maintaining his innocence - but wanting to avoid a possible death sentence - a Florida man allegedly linked by DNA to the 1996 rape and murder of a Kensington teen has agreed to a nonjury trial. Rafael Crespo appeared before Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart on Thursday and waived his right to a trial by jury in the slaying of 17-year-old Anjeanette Maldonado. Minehart set Sept. 8 for a three-day bench trial, though he heard brief testimony from the girl's mother, Paulette Smith.
February 13, 2014 |
IT TOOK 16 years and a little bit of DNA for a Philadelphia jury yesterday to find Calvin Gadson guilty of raping a 15-year-old girl and robbing her and her boyfriend. The couple - who are now married - testified last week that they were ambushed by two gunmen and forced into Reyburn Park in North Philadelphia just after midnight Feb. 1, 1998. It was there that the gunmen took turns sexually assaulting the girl and holding her boyfriend at gunpoint, according to the couple, whom the Daily News is not identifying.
February 13, 2014 |
For most of the last decade, his lawyer said, Calvin Gadson steered clear of the criminal justice system, living in West Philadelphia and helping support his five children. On Tuesday, however, Gadson's past caught up to him when a Common Pleas Court jury found him guilty of a 1998 rape to which he was linked four years ago by a federal DNA database. Gadson, 37, a tall, muscular man wearing a well-tailored tan suit, seemed surprised when the jury of seven men and five women found him guilty of rape after two days of deliberations.
February 9, 2014 |
DNA DOESN'T LIE, but a 15-year-old girl who 16 years ago accused a man of raping her in a North Philadelphia park did, a defense lawyer told a Philadelphia jury yesterday at the conclusion of a trial that pitted science against credibility. The man in question, Calvin Gadson, 37, is charged with raping the young woman at gunpoint and robbing her and her boyfriend in Reyburn Park near 20th Street and Lehigh Avenue about midnight Feb. 1, 1998. Gadson, who was 21 then, took turns with an accomplice raping the girl and ordering her not to look at them, the victim, now 31, emotionally testified during a weeklong trial in Common Pleas Court.
January 17, 2014 |
IN ALL likelihood, the three men who were involved with the slaying of Officer Frederick Cione Jr. have stopped running by now. It's been nearly 44 years since Cione, a 25-year-old rookie cop, was gunned down, 44 years since the shooter and his two accomplices - none of whom were ever identified - hit the bricks under the cover of the early morning darkness in North Philly, where Cione had tried to stop and question them. Did the killer and his pals leave the city and try to pretend as if the whole thing never happened?
October 26, 2013 |
It has been 20 years since the body of Jennifer Tong was discovered in a car left on a tree-lined Delaware County street. Now, Radnor Township police are hoping improvements in DNA and fingerprint technology will give them the assist they need to solve the cold case. "About a month ago, we decided to give this case another look," William Colarulo, the police superintendent, said Thursday. He added that some details in the case "just don't add up. " In June 1993, Tong's body was found in a kneeling position in the backseat of her 1993 Toyota Camry with a single gunshot to the head.
June 13, 2013 |
USUALLY Tattle writes about actors and actresses who get famous doing movies or television. Actress/singer Joselyn Martinez may one day be famous for her work (she'll soon be seen in the Web series "Wives in the Heights"), but the New York Daily News reported her story yesterday because of her ability to solve a crime. And not just any crime. Joselyn, 36, tracked down the man who allegedly killed her father, Jose Martinez , 26 years ago. She then gave his address and phone number to police at New York's 34th Precinct.
June 6, 2013 |
Days before he died, Fred McGraw realized that he would never know who killed his daughter - a mother of two shot execution-style behind the Jericho Fire Company in Deptford Township. Thursday marks seven years since Desiree McGraw, 27, was found dead. She had been a good student and an all-star pitcher in Audubon, Camden County, before her life took a tragic turn: She lived for three years on the streets of Camden, addicted to drugs. "On his deathbed, he made me promise him that I won't give up, and I won't," said McGraw's other daughter, Jennifer, 35, who helped care for her father at his Maple Shade home.