September 15, 1988 |
It had been three weeks since Etta Juanita Smith had seen her daughter Sharon Mae. Then she answered a knock at the door. "It was two detectives," Smith, 46, said last night on the front stoop on Lansdowne Avenue near 54th. "They told me she was dead . . . I went down to identify her. That's all I know . . . " Sharon Mae Smith, 25, is the woman whose body was found in the dank basement of a West Philadelphia crack house on Tuesday. Smith's body was found after police, responding to rumors that there was a body in a Jamaican crack house on Wanamaker Street near Race, broke into the house.
February 1, 1989 |
The 10-year-old South Philadelphia girl who told police she sold drugs from her stepmother's house is back at the house despite the city's claims that the girl and other children were no longer living there. On Friday, two days after police raided the alleged drug house on Bainbridge Street near 13th, Deputy Human Services Commissioner Harold Burton said that the 10-year-old and at least five other children had been removed because of concerns of DHS social workers. The children, he said, are "definitely not in that house," adding that they were with relatives.
December 15, 1988 |
A Common Pleas Court jury was trying to decide today whether two 16-year- old runaways brutally murdered another teen in a Southwest Philadelphia crack house, or if a reputed drug boss committed the murder and frightened the boys into confessing. The jury of seven men and five women broke off deliberations yesterday after hearing closing arguments in the murder case of Kempis Songster and Dameon Brome, runaways from Brooklyn, N.Y. The boys are accused of the September 1987 stabbing death of Anjo Pryce, 17, inside a drug house on 58th Street near Whitby Avenue.
August 14, 1993 |
The prosecutor urged the jury not to shed tears for the 34-year-old South Philadelphia mother accused of being a crack dealer. "Shed tears for the people whose lives were ruined when she dispensed drugs in the community," said Assistant District Attorney Paul Riley. Nancy Young, of Bailey Terrace in the Wilson Park housing project, denied dealing drugs. She said she lived alone with her three children, and had no idea how crack got into the house. But, wait, the prosecution demanded.
August 15, 1992 |
Neighbors on Upland Way near 54th Street in Wynnefield said they know Curtis Hester as a hardworking family man who loves to spend his spare time playing with his two young children in the back yard. From their comments, it appears Hester, 33, would be an unlikely candidate for murder charges. "He's always a perfect gentleman," said Alberta Hughes. "He's got a good job and a beautiful family. " "I don't know him too well," another neighbor said. "But whenever you pass by him, he always smiles and he always speaks.
July 29, 1988 |
Three men described by police as Jamaican drug dealers were ordered yesterday to stand trial on murder and criminal conspiracy charges in the beating death of 17-year-old Paul Oates in a Southwest Philadelphia crack house. Owen Hugh Williams, 23, of the 4400 block of North Sixth Street, and brothers Aston A. Gordon, 20, and Ronald E. Gordon, 22, both of the 3200 block of West Susquehanna Avenue, are being held without bail. They are scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 18. Oates' decomposed body was found June 23 in the basement of a fortified drug house at 923 S. 54th St. It had been wrapped in a blanket and placed under the steps.
September 7, 1991 |
A narcotics officer shot his way out of the gloomy cellar of a North Philadelphia crack house yesterday afternoon, killing a suspect, then helping a wounded colleague up the steps, police said. Armed with a warrant, several undercover officers entered the two-story brick rowhouse in the 3500 block of North 13th Street at 5:15 p.m. and made straight for the basement, where traffickers were known to dispense drugs through cellar windows to customers on the street, authorities said.
July 15, 1990 |
Glenda Stewart tries to remember the good times she had as a child growing up in the big brick rowhouse at 1902 N. 24th St. But it's hard not to see the place and remember the bad things, too. Most of them started with an addiction to cocaine that made her desperate enough to let some Jamaican drug dealers turn her family home into a crack house. They hid guns in the walls. Stewart was afraid to come inside. Yesterday, she came back without fear to see her North Philadelphia house take on a new role.
December 10, 1988 |
The Pennsylvania state trooper whose investigation led to the conviction last month of a Media solicitor on fatal hit-and-run charges was suspended from duty yesterday after losing his gun in a crack house, then breaking into another home to try to get it back, authorities said. The trooper, Robert McBride, an auto accident investigator assigned to the Media station, lost his pistol and might lose his job following his arrest Thursday night. He was jailed in the Police Administration Building, awaiting arraignment on charges of burglary, aggravated assault and criminal trespass.
May 11, 1997 |
In her newly published mystery novel, If I Should Die, Grace F. Edwards has her lead character, Mali Anderson, go undercover in a crack house that truly lives up to its name: The Inferno. When asked in a recent interview whether she'd ever been in such a place, Edwards gasped: "God no. I'd be scared to death. " Instead, she says, she learned what it was like from parole officers who had been inside crack houses in search of their clients. And that's the way it is with If I Should Die. So realistic that at every turn you expect to hear that Edwards has encountered firsthand all she portrays.