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NEWS
June 17, 2011
A 55-year-old woman was attacked and rendered unconscious Thursday at 12:30 a.m. in Pennypack Park, police said. The woman was riding a bike in the 3000 block of Rhawn Street when she was grabbed from behind by an unknown man, police said. The man threw the woman over a guardrail into a wooded area of the park. The woman lost consciousness when the man covered her hose and mouth with his hands. She woke up and found she was naked except for her shoes, police said. She had no recollection of a sexual assault.
NEWS
May 3, 1987 | By Lisa Ellis, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennypack Park needs organized lobbying and plenty of volunteer labor to halt the deterioration of maintenance caused by years of budget cuts, officials and ordinary citizens agreed at a recent meeting. But a representative of a park advocacy group and Republican City Councilman Brian J. O'Neill disagreed about just who should be on the receiving end of public pressure to ensure more money for parks. "If you care about the park, you would do well to drop a line to your councilman," Nancy Longstreth, membership chairwoman of Friends of Philadelphia Parks, urged the more than 60 people who packed a meeting April 23 at Pennypack Environmental Center on Verree Road.
NEWS
March 3, 1988 | By Eils Lotozo, Special to The Inquirer
The first thing Ben Cohen makes clear is that he doesn't think this story should be about him. As chairman of Friends of the Pennypack, he would much rather discuss the activities of the advocacy group than talk about himself. "There are so many people who are working hard in the organization. I don't like the idea of focusing on me," he says. Instead, the white-haired Bustleton resident insists that his story is no different than stories of others who loved the park, got angry at its deterioration and were moved to action.
NEWS
March 27, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
TWO WOMEN testified yesterday to similar accounts of how a man in a white pickup truck drove each of them, on separate occasions, to Pennypack Park in Northeast Philadelphia, then brutally raped them. After hearing their testimonies, Municipal Judge Teresa Carr Deni held defendant Robert Palen, 39 - the most recent high-profile alleged Pennypack Park rapist - for trial on charges of rape, aggravated assault and related offenses. One woman, 31, tearfully testified that a little after 7 p.m. Aug. 1, 2010, she was hanging on the corner of Disston Street and Torresdale Avenue in Tacony when Palen, whom she did not know, circled around her in a white "utility" pickup truck.
NEWS
January 1, 2015 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
The investigation into a series of rapes in Pennypack Park was years old, and still open, when a man named Robert Palen was arrested in Wisconsin late last year. The 38-year-old, born and raised in Philadelphia, had lived near the park, where three women said they had been abducted, beaten, and raped by a man driving a white work van, in 2010 and 2011. But DNA evidence - found in just one of the cases - never turned up a match, and the trail had grown cold by December 2013, when Palen was arrested and accused of beating, strangling, and raping a Madison, Wis., woman in her home.
NEWS
March 24, 1988 | By Lynn M. Waltz, Special to The Inquirer
The Friends of the Pennypack have begun a campaign to prevent the Fox Chase Soccer Club from building a soccer field on Verree Road north of Susquehanna Road in Pennypack Park. Ben Cohen, president of the organization, distributed petition forms at the group's meeting Thursday, urging members to get as many signatures as possible. "We're going to go ahead and take our position so it's clear where we stand," Cohen told members at the meeting, held at the Baptist Home on Roosevelt Boulevard.
NEWS
September 4, 2014 | By Ronnie Polaneczky, Daily News Columnist
FOR SOME FOLKS, the wind's howl in the night makes them grateful to be safe under cozy covers. Joe and Janet Witkowski are not among these people. In their home - a sweet little rowhouse on Rhett Road in the Northeast - the roar of wind chases them out of their bedroom, in the rear of the house, and into the living room, up front. That's because their property backs up to the forested Walton's Run section of Pennypack Park. The Witkowskis fear that a gigantic limb from one of its ancient sassafras or maple trees will crack through their roof, crushing them in their bed. Branches have plummeted before; Hurricane Sandy blew a heavy limb on top of their backyard fence.
NEWS
April 28, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
Two years ago, when Robert W. Palen was awaiting trial for a rape in Madison, Wis., a judge ruled that the jury could hear that he had also been accused two months earlier of raping a woman in Philadelphia. "Accused" is no longer part of the description. On Monday, a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury found Palen, 40, guilty of sexually assaulting two women in Pennypack Park in 2010 and 2011. Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright set sentencing for Aug. 4 after Palen undergoes an evaluation under Megan's Law to determine if he is a sexually violent predator.
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NEWS
April 28, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
Two years ago, when Robert W. Palen was awaiting trial for a rape in Madison, Wis., a judge ruled that the jury could hear that he had also been accused two months earlier of raping a woman in Philadelphia. "Accused" is no longer part of the description. On Monday, a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury found Palen, 40, guilty of sexually assaulting two women in Pennypack Park in 2010 and 2011. Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright set sentencing for Aug. 4 after Palen undergoes an evaluation under Megan's Law to determine if he is a sexually violent predator.
NEWS
March 17, 2016 | By Julie Shaw, STAFF WRITER
Philadelphia police are looking into several apparently unrelated allegations of sexual assault or attempted assaults, including one in which an 11-year-old said she was raped. The girl told police that about 8:30 p.m. Friday, she was walking on the 5100 block of Woodland Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia when a stranger forced her into an alley and raped her at knifepoint, police said Tuesday. She described her attacker as black, about 30 to 40 years old, 6-foot-5, and wearing a black hoodie and dark jeans.
NEWS
March 13, 2016
Police are searching for a man with a heart tattoo and crooked front teeth who is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in the vicinity of Pennypack Park, in Northeast Philadelphia. A 22-year-old woman told police she was walking about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday on the 2800 block of Rhawn Street, when a stranger snuck up behind her, covered her mouth and forced her into the woods, police said Friday. She told police the man put duct tape over her mouth, cuffed her wrists to her ankles, then physically and sexually assaulted her. The man was described as black, in his 30's, about 6 feet tall and weighed 250 to 300 pounds.
SPORTS
August 23, 2015 | By Jen A. Miller, For The Inquirer
Signed up for a fall race? Sure, you could do a traditional distance: 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon. Or you can try something different, if not to switch up your race distances then to grab yourself a new personal record because you've never run it before - and maybe a burger or two in between. Here are seven fall races that can give you that instant PR. Dine and Dash Burgers and Trail Race on Sept. 5 in Hamburg, Pa. This is a two-mile run with a meaty twist. Runners start by eating a burger.
NEWS
June 12, 2015
I LIVE IN the Andalucia neighborhood of lower Bensalem and use SEPTA up and down Frankford and Torresdale avenues regularly. Upon recently happening by the old Holmesburg Prison on Torresdale Avenue (and in the past riding my horse in the area) I got to thinking that, rather than what seems to be its present use - storage for city vehicles and other equipment - perhaps it could be converted into a local attraction . . . much like the old Eastern State Penitentiary in Fairmount. I remember a film, "12 Monkeys," having been filmed at Holmesburg sometime in the '90s (a buddy of mine from our gym played an extra 'prisoner' in the movie)
NEWS
May 28, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
SHAKING AND sobbing, a Northeast Philly man apologized for strangling his wife in Pennypack Park last year. Christopher Murray, 49, his hands trembling while holding a handwritten statement, turned around and stood facing the courtroom gallery filled with his and his wife's family members. "I accept full responsibility for my actions on that night and the days following, and I never meant for that to happen," he said of the strangulation of his wife, Connie Murray, 46. "She was my first and only true love," he said.
SPORTS
May 10, 2015 | By Jen A. Miller, For The Inquirer
Now that it feels like summer, I've changed part of my running routine. In addition to my lighter summer road running, I've hit the trails. Trail running offers more benefits than just shade on a hot day. It can make you a stronger and faster road runner, says Lisa Jhung, author of Trailhead: The Dirt on All Things Trail Running . "It strengthens any type of runner, not only because trails are often hilly, but because [trails] are also uneven terrain, which strengthens the tendons, ligaments and muscles.
NEWS
May 1, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
THE NORTHEAST Philly man accused of strangling his wife in Pennypack Park during an argument last August is expected to plead guilty to third-degree murder, lawyers said yesterday. Christopher Murray, 49, is expected to plead guilty at a May 26 Common Pleas Court hearing, Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore said. Pescatore said Murray, under a plea deal, would be sentenced to 20 to 40 years behind bars and prosecutors would drop a first-degree murder charge. Murray is accused of strangling his wife, Connie Murray, 46, who was born without her right arm below the elbow.
NEWS
May 1, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Northeast Philadelphia man charged with strangling his wife last Aug. 4 along the edge of Pennypack Park is expected to plead guilty, lawyers said Wednesday. Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore confirmed the move after Christopher Murray's attorneys, Andrea Konow and Roger Schrading, announced their intent at a pretrial hearing before Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner. Pescatore said the guilty plea in the death of Murray's wife would likely happen on May 26 before Lerner.
NEWS
March 27, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
TWO WOMEN testified yesterday to similar accounts of how a man in a white pickup truck drove each of them, on separate occasions, to Pennypack Park in Northeast Philadelphia, then brutally raped them. After hearing their testimonies, Municipal Judge Teresa Carr Deni held defendant Robert Palen, 39 - the most recent high-profile alleged Pennypack Park rapist - for trial on charges of rape, aggravated assault and related offenses. One woman, 31, tearfully testified that a little after 7 p.m. Aug. 1, 2010, she was hanging on the corner of Disston Street and Torresdale Avenue in Tacony when Palen, whom she did not know, circled around her in a white "utility" pickup truck.
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