October 13, 2012
Norman Johnston, 91, chairman of the sociology department at Arcadia University and an authority on the history of prison architecture, died of complications of strokes Saturday, Oct. 6, at Artman Lutheran Home in Ambler. He was the author or editor of eight books and numerous articles on criminal justice and prison architecture. He was associated with the Pennsylvania Prison Society and the Eastern State Penitentiary historic site for many years. Mr. Johnston was born an only child in Marion, Mich., in 1921.
August 26, 1999 |
He is a fugitive, eluding the authorities in his native Chester County. He has stayed one step in front of police, and is thought to rely on a network of friends, relatives and associates to help him survive. No, convicted murderer Norman Johnston has not escaped again. This is 20-year-old Kenneth M. Tucker, known in his native Coatesville as "Fudd" - as in Elmer - his boyhood nickname. Seven months after slipping out of leg shackles after a court appearance, Tucker is still on the lam. In all, law enforcement agencies from Caln Township Police to the FBI have obtained 12 arrest warrants for Tucker in connection with incidents dating back to November and continuing after his January escape.
August 3, 1999 |
One of the murderous Chester County Johnston brothers, who left a trail of crime, blood and terror across three states in the 1970s, escaped from prison yesterday in Central Pennsylvania. Norman Johnston, 48, broke the window of his cell in the maximum-security State Correctional Institution at Huntingdon, sneaked across a grassy yard and wriggled through a fence to make his getaway. He apparently stole a truck from a house across from the prison and drove off. It took prison authorities a while to realize that Johnston was gone.
August 12, 1999 |
Norman Johnston's friends might be throwing officers off the trail of the escaped murderer with phony sightings, dusting off tactics used to foil law enforcement during the heyday of the notorious Johnston gang, police said yesterday. Since Johnston's escape more than a week ago from a maximum-security prison, police in three states have been swamped with hundreds of calls from people saying they had just seen the Chester County killer. Police say they have no concrete evidence that those who know Johnston are trying to dupe officers.
September 20, 2000 |
Saying he has nothing to lose, the Huntingdon County prosecutor has filed a memorandum in court requesting that a judge tack on $440,000 in restitution when sentencing Norman Johnston for his prison escape last year. Huntingdon County District Attorney Robert B. Stewart 3d filed the memorandum after tallying expenses associated with Johnston's August 1999 escape and capture at $441,592.05. He said he wanted Johnston liable, in case the convicted killer happens into some cash. "The point is to get this judgment against Norman Johnston for this restitution," Stewart said.
August 24, 1999 |
There is no question that Rick Mercurio and Ellen Baldo of Pennsbury Township, Chester County, placed the phone call early Friday that led to the capture of escaped murderer Norman Johnston. What remained unclear yesterday was whether the couple would collect any of the $40,000 in reward money that was offered for information leading to Johnston's arrest. The couple, scheduled to wed in a couple of weeks, might get an answer as early as Thursday, when officials of Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers, which put up some of the reward money, meet to consider whether any of the cash will be awarded.
August 9, 1999 |
Police were scouring an area near the Pennsylvania-Maryland border yesterday after two women saw a man resembling a photograph of escaped murderer Norman Johnston that they had just seen in a local newspaper. The women, who were at a fruit stand, called 911 shortly after 12:30 p.m., but the man, who had been sitting on a guardrail at the intersection of Routes 273 and 213, apparently saw them making the call. By the time police arrived 10 minutes later, Johnston was gone. Police from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware immediately began an intensive search, using helicopters and tracking dogs.
September 30, 2003 |
Norman Johnston, Chester County's most infamous escapee and a four-time convicted murderer, will appear in court today under heavy guard - and in this case, heavy guard may be an understatement. The last time Johnston, a member of the notoriously lawless Johnston gang, spent time in the county, he was on the lam, having escaped from maximum security at Huntingdon State Prison in August 1999. Johnston's 18-day jailbreak, which traumatized communities from Chadds Ford to Nottingham, cost authorities an estimated $440,000 in overtime costs and reward money.
August 13, 1999 |
Police searched through the night for Norman Johnston in northeasternMaryland last night after officers spotted a man who looked like the escapedmurderer outside his niece's home. Police helicopters whirled overhead in the darkness as officers and theirspecially trained dogs, which had picked up Johnston's scent, searched in andaround Cherry Hill, Md. Helicopters and patrol cars kept searching earlytoday, and officers were to be sent back into the area at dawn. When spotted shortly before 2:20 p.m. yesterday, the man believed to beJohnston was at the front door of a house occupied by Jim Arches and hisgirlfriend, Mary Montgomery, who said she is Johnston's niece.
August 10, 1999 |
As police investigated new reported sightings of escaped Chester County murderer Norman Johnston, including one that drew a Maryland state trooper into a high-speed chase last night, Pennsylvania corrections officials disclosed yesterday that Johnston's escape came on his second attempt. In October 1991, Huntingdon Prison officials discovered that Johnston had tried to get a security key, said Susan McNaughton, a state Department of Corrections spokeswoman. Johnston remained at large yesterday, and except for two unconfirmed sightings in Oxford, Chester County, and the one last night in Maryland, there were no new developments in the search for the former member of the notorious Johnston gang.