October 12, 1994 |
Robert Austin was convicted of first-degree murder yesterday in the robbery and slaying of a Center City store manager, whose neck he fatally cut with a hacksaw. The Common Pleas Court jury will resume deliberations today on whether to sentence Austin to life in prison or to death. Austin, 23, initially told police he went to the Toofers store, at 1108 Chestnut St., to see Christina Ginsberg, 25. While he stepped out for half an hour, he said, two unidentified males entered the store and attacked Ginsberg shortly before 10 p.m. on April 28, 1993.
April 30, 1993 |
No one could recall anything so horrible happening in the 1100 block of Chestnut Street. Not merchants, who routinely suffer brazen shoplifters and break-ins, even during the Blizzard of '93. Not shoppers, many of whom said they feared being in Center City but had never suffered anything untoward there. And not city officials, whose campaign to cast downtown as a safe and welcoming place took a temporary dive. The perception of danger and the reality of crime in Center City - and questions of which would triumph in the public's mind - swirled in an upsetting mix yesterday on the streets of Center City, in City Hall and in the media.
May 9, 2010 |
Given his druthers, Dave Ravanesi would be the one making the pizza, not just eating it. But he was giving the impression, nonetheless, that he was enjoying himself one recent evening, the air balmy, the sidewalk scene easy outside Zavino, the pizza and wine bar at 13th and Sansom. He lofted his Margherita, examining the constellation of chars (almost counting them, it seemed) on its bottom. He turned it sideways like a carpenter sighting down a board for evidence of warp, studying the bubbling in the crust.
November 24, 1998 |
Robert J. Pezzeca, charged with the murder and dismemberment of his Bensalem Township roommate Ronald Updegrave, was ordered by a Bucks County judge yesterday to provide prosecutors with samples of his handwriting. Common Pleas Court Judge Edward G. Biester Jr. took the action at the request of C. Theodore Fritsch, chief of prosecution for the District Attorney's Office. In an interview, Fritsch later declined to be specific about why he wanted the samples from Pezzeca, 21. He would say only that "certain evidence" collected by the state contained writing believed to be Pezzeca's, and that samples would be used for comparison.
January 28, 1986 |
Fierce winds and a stubborn hatch bolt forced NASA yesterday to again scrub the launch of the space shuttle Challenger with schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe aboard, the second straight mission hindered by fickle Florida weather. Space agency officials decided to try again at 9:38 a.m. today. Although the weather was perfect yesterday at the scheduled launch time of 9:37 a.m., the problems with the hatch started about an hour before. They were not resolved until shortly before noon, when workers used a hacksaw on the bolt after contending with the late delivery of tools, a drill with a dead battery and broken drill bits.
October 13, 1994 |
If a convicted killer is sentenced to life in prison, does that mean he'll really be in prison the rest of his life? The question is on the minds of Pennsylvanians who follow election campaigns because Lt. Gov. Mark Singel, running for governor, has been criticized by his Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Tom Ridge, for voting to parole a man who then allegedly committed crimes in another state. It was also on the minds of jurors considering the penalty for Robert Austin, 23, convicted of killing the manager of a Center City discount clothing store with a hacksaw.
October 4, 1994 |
The defense lawyer told the jury there was nothing to link Robert Austin to the robbery and murder of a Center City store manager, whose head was nearly severed from her body with a hacksaw. Nothing except Austin's statement admitting he did it. And that, said attorney William T. Cannon, was not made voluntarily. Police say Austin, 23, of Carlisle Street near Wyoming Avenue, was fully warned of his legal rights before he confessed to the savage killing of Christina Ginsberg, 27, inside the TooFers store, on Chestnut Street near 11th, on April 28, 1993.
September 28, 2004 |
In February 2002, Red Colt was an aging homeless man living on a vent and surviving on dog food and what he scavenged from trash cans, Assistant District Attorney Roger King told a jury yesterday. But when police stopped Colt to question him that September, he had developed a taste for gourmet salmon, King said. Detectives found $4,200 stuffed in the pockets of Colt's shirt and pants. And inside three graham-cracker boxes in his push-cart they found $50,000 - the bills all scented with the peculiar and pungent herbal smell of Josephine Angelo's Fairmount apartment.
October 7, 2004 |
Red Colt, 66, will have a home for life - in a state prison with no opportunity for parole - after a Common Pleas Court jury convicted the homeless man yesterday of murdering and dismembering his girlfriend in 2002. The sawed-apart remains of Josephine Angelo, 60, were discovered July 4, 2002, in trash bags hanging from trees over the Schuylkill, just south of the Spring Garden Street bridge near I-76. Angelo's estranged son, Joseph Angelo, wiped away tears as the jury of eight women and four men announced their verdict of guilty of first-degree murder after about 5 1/2 hours of deliberations over three days.
August 13, 1998 |
Three weeks ago, Ronald Updegrave made a fatal mistake. He rented a room in his Bucks County apartment to a violent tenant. Updegrave, quietly aging and dying of cancer, met his end this week when the tenant made ghastly use of assorted garage tools, police said. Slugged in the head with a hammer, then partly butchered with a hacksaw, Updegrave's mutilated body parts were found yesterday in scattered trash bins and his bathtub in Bensalem Township. Police said his housemate, a 21-year-old named Robert Pezzeca, confessed, saying things got out of hand when he rebuffed the homosexual advances of the older man. Robbery was more likely the motive, police said.