October 29, 1987 |
Joseph Wambaugh hasn't always been satisfied with what's been done with his books when they're adapted for film. He can still, for instance, barely conceal his rage over what Hollywood did to "The Choirboys," his third novel, in a notorious 1977 film adaptation that Wambaugh has long since disavowed. Since then, the former Los Angeles Police Department sergeant has assumed more control over his properties in transition. For example, he himself wrote the film adaptation from his 10th book, "Echoes in the Darkness," a super- selling account of the 1979 Reinert murders.
December 20, 1986 |
Proctor Nowell, a key prosecution witness against William Bradfield in the Susan Reinert murder case, has been convicted in Delaware County Court of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his girlfriend. Nowell's attorney, Ed Harris, had contended that Nowell, 27, was mentally ill and therefore not responsible for his actions. Nowell admitted killing Monica Hines, 23, in July but said that he committed the crime while under a witchcraft spell and had heard voices telling him to do it. The 12-member jury deliberated for about 3 1/2 hours before returning the verdict at 8:05 p.m. Thursday.
September 2, 1987 |
Triple murderer William Bradfield, who swindled $25,000 from schoolteacher Susan Reinert before he murdered her and her two children, can't weasel out of paying back the money to her estate, the state Superior Court has ruled. Bradfield, the enigmatic former Upper Merion High School teacher who masterminded the sensational 1979 murders with the Montgomery County school's former principal, Jay C. Smith, had claimed he shouldn't have to pay back the money just because a Delaware County Court jury convicted him of extorting it from Reinert.
May 14, 2009 |
Jay C. Smith, 80, the former Upper Merion High School principal convicted of a teacher's shocking 1979 murder, then freed from death row by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 1992, died Tuesday. "It is the end of an era of sorts in the criminal-justice system," said William C. Costopolous, Smith's longtime attorney. "He brought a lot of controversy to the legal community, but he always maintained his innocence. " Smith died at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, which he had checked into Monday for treatment of a heart condition, his wife, Maureen, said yesterday.
March 25, 1986 |
A Dauphin County judge ruled yesterday that former Upper Merion High School principal Jay Smith can have a court-appointed lawyer at his side when his murder trial begins next week. Senior Judge William Lipsitt, who will preside at Smith's trial in the 1979 murders of former Upper Merion teacher Susan Reinert and her two children, dismissed a claim by the state attorney general's office that Smith was not indigent. Deputy Attorney General Richard L. Guida contended that Smith, 57, could afford to hire private counsel because he receives $653 a month from the Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System.
February 9, 1987 |
Murder, they wrote . . . There was never any doubt that someday, someone would write a book about the Susan Reinert murder case. The story is so tragic . . . and so bizarre. And, as it happens, two books about it have just been published: "Engaged to Murder" by local writer Loretta Schwartz-Noble (Viking, $17.95) and "Echoes in the Darkness" by best-selling author Joseph Wambaugh (Morrow, $18.95). Susan Reinert was a quiet, bespectacled teacher at Upper Merion High School, a divorced mother of two nice kids, Karen, 11, and Michael, 10. In June, 1979, her nude, bruised, body was found in the trunk of her car, in a parking lot just outside Harrisburg.
November 17, 2008 |
Some real-life figures walk straight into the history books. Sixteen years after he was freed from death row, Jay C. Smith has tried to write his way out of a true-crime best-seller. Smith, 80, is the former Upper Merion High School principal whose Jekyll-and-Hyde downfall became the stuff of suburban legend. A lifelong educator and Army Reserve colonel, he was caught in 1978 with drugs, illegal guns and pornography. He was convicted in a string of Sears robberies, and then found guilty of killing Upper Merion teacher Susan Reinert and her children.
December 10, 1998 |
Convicted murderer William Bradfield may have died in January, but he continues to haunt his old colleague and alleged coconspirator, former Upper Merion High School principal Jay C. Smith. Items removed from Bradfield's prison cell appear to be the driving force behind the renewed investigation of the 1978 disappearances of Stephanie and Edward Hunsberger, Smith's daughter and son-in-law, Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. said yesterday. "Near as I can tell, they uncovered some evidence in Bradfield's cell they think might be of value," Castor said.
September 8, 1987 |
Former high school principal Jay C. Smith today was sentenced to three separate death sentences for the 1979 murders of schoolteacher Susan Reinert and her two children. In a rambling, 45-minute speech before the sentencing, Smith denied he committed the murders and said they were committed by William Bradfield, a schoolteacher who also has been convicted of the killings. "There is no Reinert blood on my hands," Smith told Dauphin County Senior Judge William W. Lipsett in a small, crowded courtroom in downtown Harrisburg.