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Friday, February 29, 2008

Killer of Georgia woman indicted in death in Florida

(Death Penalty taken off the table in the case of Meredith Emerson. Not so in Florida in the death of Cheryl Dunlap. Looks like Hilton needs to prepare to meet his maker after all...:) )

Associated Press - February 28, 2008 9:13 PM ET

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - He's already serving a life prison term for killing a hiker in Georgia. And now, Gary Hilton has been indicted in another killing.

He's been charged in Florida in the slaying of a woman whose body was found decapitated in a forest.

Sheriff's officials say Hilton is charged with one count of murder, one count of kidnapping and two counts of grand theft in the death of Cheryl Dunlap. She was a nurse and Sunday school teacher whose body was found in a national forest in Florida on December 15th.

Hilton has already pleaded guilty in the beating death and decapitation of hiker Meredith Emerson in Georgia. He was sentenced to life in prison, with the possibility of parole after 30 years.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Savio Family vs Drew Peterson Readers Digest Version

Below: All that's left of Kathleen Savio

To try to more clearly explain the divorce assets that were still being negotiated when Kathleen died, the major points were:

1. proceeds from the sale of the tavern "Blue Lightning Corporation" (amount not stated, but already paid to Drew.)

2. proceeds from the sale of the house at 392 Pheasant Chase Drive ($287,154,) Kathleen was in the process of moving out when she was murdered.

3. Drew's accrued retirement.

Drew's attorney was Alex Beck who was later replaced by Joseph Mazzone.

Harry Smith was Kathleen's divorce attorney. When she died, Richard J Kavanaugh, Public Administrator of Will County, administrated her final estate working with Harry Smith.

Consensus was that since Drew had kept all of the money from the sale of the tavern, Kathleen would keep more than her 50% percent of the sale of the home to offset the tavern sale, up to 100%. Drew wasn't able to show documentation of how much he had received.

Although Kathleen's new will was never found, Drew came across an "old" double (husband and wife) will, hand written by him, supposedly from years ago, that left everything to him or ALL of his children, and naming his uncle to be executor. The divorce knocked him off the beneficiary list. Any funds from the sale of the house should have become the inheritance on her two sons, (144K would be half, up to 287K, total sale price.)

I believe the will is a fake since it took Drew a whole month to come up with it, and Donna could not find the new will Kathleen told her she had written. Whomever the witnesses are on the old one have probably testified before the Grand Jury already as to when they signed and if they witnessed.

Then the quit-claim deed that Kathleen supposedly signed so that Drew could buy a house with Stacy while still legally married to Kathleen. Her signature was forged then notarized by himself. He is certainly bold.

The day the judge accepted the will, James B Carrol, Drew's uncle, fired her attorney, Harry Smith and settled the estate by giving all the assets to Drew, explaining that the boys had the $1million dollar life insurance policy, so he made the decision to give Drew the rest of her estate.

Drew was so angry that Kathleen had changed her life insurance beneficiaries to her sons, he not only stole the 287+K from his own sons, but he stipulated in HER estate settlement that he will not be responsible for those two children's college educations. I have never heard of such a thing. He's probably excluded them from his own estate because of it.
Now the Savio family wants what was stolen from her sons when Kathleen died. The sale from the proceeds from the house, at least $287,154, belongs to Kathleen's sons, not to mention any monies recieved from the sale of her car, jewelry and house full of personal property.

Drew, his sons Steven, Eric, Anthony and daughter Lacy have no claim to Kathleen's estate.

Wrongful death will come, but in the meantime, they will win this case on the estate. It's simple mathematics and obvious fraud.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Gary Michael Hilton Timeline

Gary Hilton Timeline

11-26-46 Born in Atlanta, Ga. to father William E. Hilton and mother Cleo M. Reynolds.

1964-1967 Hilton enlisted in the Army in 1964. According to Military records, Hilton spent some time in Germany and received basic airborne training along with his GED. He was honorably discharged in 1967.

1969 He was married to first wife Sue in DeKalb County, Georgia; divorced in 1971 in Miami Florida.

1970-1972 Qualified for a Florida chauffeur’s license from 1970 to 1972, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

11-09-07 1972 Arrest warrant dismissed, Miami Dade County. Florida. See following court action.

12-01-72 COURT CASE: F72008604 S
tate Case#: 131972CF0086040001XX
DOB: 11/22/1946
Date Filed: 12/01/1972
Date Closed: 11/09/2007 Warrant Type:

1-24-1973 He was convicted of DUI in Miami Dade County on Jan. 24, 1973. His Florida license was revoked for a year, and he never took steps to re-instate it.

08-24-77 Married Dina Evonne Baugh in DeKalb County, Ga; divorced on 05/16/1978.

03-19-79 Married third wife Betty Sue Edwards Galloway, a security officer for Atlanta’s Stone Mountain Park; they divorced 10-24-1979. Hilton apparently spared the world his spawn.

1983 Hilton was convicted in Clayton County of carrying a pistol without a license in a trial that convicted him of a drug charge. Asked in court why he carried a gun, he stated that he didn't need one, but that he had one for protection.-(!)

10-06-87 DeKalb County, Georgia
Criminal Case Information Case: 87C34780 ( Closed )
Filing Date: 10/06/1987 Type:
State Criminal Judge: J. ANTONIO DELCAMPO State Court

01-20-94 Hilton charged with 21 counts of solicitation.
Cobb County, Georgia
Criminal Case Number: 94900196 - 07
Judge: HINES Filing Date: 01/20/1994

12-01-94 Melissa Witt disappeared from Fort Smith, Franklin County, Arkansas on December first, 1994. More than a month later, her body was found in a rural area of Franklin County. Officers say while the crimes are separated by years and states, their similarities make it worth investigating a possible connection.

1995 "He was a weird character," said Chris C. Johnson, who rented a room to Hilton for several months in 1995 in the Marietta area; Marietta, Cobb County, Georgia http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/gwinnett/stories/2008/01/12/hilton_0113.html

06-20-1995 Hilton pleads guilty under agreement to 21 counts of solicitation.
Cobb County, Georgia
Criminal Case Number: 94900196
Defendant #: 1
Probation Officer: HILTON GARY MICHAEL
Judge: HINES
Monthly Payment: $50.00
Sentence Date: 06/20/1995.

08-11-95 Hilton was arrested again in DeKalb County, Ga. for stealing books he was hired to sell for the American Book Display Company. Instead, he attempted to sell them for personal profit at a local flea market.

08-11-95 DeKalb County, Georgia
Criminal Case Information
Case: 95CR3990 ( Closed )
Filing Date: 08/11/1995 Type:
Superior Criminal Judge: ROBERT J. CASTELLANI Superior Court
Booking Link: 9519007
SPN Link : 00120663 --- 1 -- F 2317-
NO SENTENCE 0 DAY(S) 27-OCT-95--- 2 -- F 2317-
PROBATION 5 YEAR(S) 27-OCT-95--- 2 -- F 2317-

1997-2007 Around 1997 he answered a help wanted ad for Insulated Wall Systems, owned by John Tabor. For 10 years Hilton worked on and off to help the siding company market its services. Duluth, Gwinnett County, Georgia

10-22-97 Levi Frady was abducted from Little Mill Road in Forsyth County, Georgia http://www.wsbtv.com/news/15009776/detail.htmlhttp://www.ganet.org/gbi/homicides/frady.html
10-23-97 Levi Frady’s body found in Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area in Dawson County, Georgia http://www.wsbtv.com/news/15009776/detail.htmlhttp://www.ganet.org/gbi/homicides/frady.html
04-12-98 Authorities in South Carolina and Georgia are working to establish a timeline in the 10 year old disappearance of Jason Knapp. The 20-year old Clemson University student vanished in April 1998. His car was found days later at the Table Rock State Park in Pickens, South Carolina.

01-18-01 DeKalb County, Georgia
Case Information Case: 01V75298 (Closed)
Filing Date: 01/18/2001
Type: Magistrate Abandoned Vehicle
Judge: WINSTON P BETHEL Magistrate Court
Secondary: Abandoned Motor Vehicle

04-15-04 Patrice Endres disappeared from her hair salon in Cumming, Dawson County, Georgia http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/northfulton/stories/2008/01/10/hairdresser0110ns.html?cxntlid=inform

08-10-2004 An Atlanta man named William Brent told DeKalb County, Ga., police he had witnessed Hilton beating a dog in the park. http://www.tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080114/NEWS01/801140319/-1/RSS18

12-06-05 Patrice Endres remains found behind a church in Dawson County, Georgiahttp://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/northfulton/stories/2008/01/10/hairdresser0110ns.html?cxntlid=inform

12-07-05 Rossana Miliani was in the area to go hiking. She was last seen in Bryson City, Swain County, North Carolina.

07-??-06 A neighbor called Duluth police in July 2006 to report Hilton soliciting at the intersection of River Summit Trail and Clearbrooke Way. He was handing out flyers, in which he used his dog Dandy, to advertise for a hardiplank siding business. Police quickly arrived. Duluth, Gwinnett County, Georgia.

09-??-07 John Tabor said in September he filed a compliant with authorities after Hilton threatened to kill him if he didn't pay Hilton $10,000. At that point, he told Hilton he had to leave his property. "He cleared out his stuff over the next few days," Tabor said. Duluth, Gwinnett County, Georgia.

10-21-07 John Bryant abducted, Irene Bryant was killed, Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina, near Ashville. Irene tried to call 911 at 4 pm but the call didn't go through.

10-22-07 Bryant’s bank card used at 7:35 pm to withdraw $300 from a machine at a bank in Ducktown, Tennessee.

10-26-07 12:51 PM Hilton on dash cam video, Cherokee County, Georgia. Hilton says he was stopped 6 hours earlier in Gwinnett County, Georgia

11-09-07 Irene Bryant’s body discovered just yards away from the Bryant’s car in Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina, near Ashville.

11-09-07 1972 Arrest warrant dismissed. Miami Dade County, Florida, see below.

11-17-07 Dept of Forestry runs Hilton’s vehicle tags. Apalachicola National Forest in Leon County, Florida.

11-21-07 Michael Scot Louis, 27, went missing November 21. There may be a period of time where Michael was been alive but unaccounted for. Found at Tomoka River, Ormond Beach, Volusia County, Florida

12-01-07 Cheryl Dunlap abducted. Tallahassee, Florida

12-02-07 Cheryl Dunlap’s card used first time at ATM, Tallahassee, Florida

12-03-07 Cheryl Dunlap’s card used second time at ATM, Tallahassee, Florida

12-04-07 Cheryl Dunlap’s card used third time at ATM, Tallahassee, Florida

12-06-07 Unidentified woman missing hands, feet and head was found in five black plastic garbage bags along Stitcher Road in LaGrange, which is west of Macon near the Alabama line. An attempt had been made to burn the bags. Lagrange, Troup County, Georgia

12-06-2007 Remains of Michael Scot Louis discovered at Tokama River, Ormond Beach, Volutia County, Florida. Michael went missing 11-21-2007, but coroner ruled he had been dead 2-7 days when found--he had been gone 16 days.

12-07, 12-08 and 12-09-2007 A witness places Hilton in Apalachicola National Forest in Leon County, Florida

12-15-07 Cheryl Dunlap’s body is found in the Apalachicola National Forest in Leon County, Florida

12-28-07 Dept of Forestry runs Hilton’s vehicle tags Osceola National Forest in Columbia County, Florida

12-29-07 Cayle Bywater missing from Athens, Georgia http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/011008/news_20080110058.shtml

01-01-08 Meredith Emerson kidnapped from Vogel State Park, Union County, Georgia

01-04-08 Murder warrant says that Meredith Emerson was murdered on this day in Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area in Dawson County, Georgia

01-04-08 DeKalb County police took Hilton into custody. Emerson's dog, Ella, wandered into a grocery store, and Emerson’s belongings found nearby in Forsyth County, Georgia

01-07-08 Gary Hilton appeared in court and was denied bond. Meredith Emerson’s body was found in a wooded area of Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area in Dawson County, Georgia.
01-11-08 An Athens-Clarke County police spokesperson said during a press conference Friday night the body found in an Athens lake is missing University of Georgia student Cayle Bywater. Athens, Clarke County, Georgia

01-18-08 Second Van found.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Drew Peterson: It’s All Just a Coincidence

Right: Hiding like the hideous creep that he is; peeking at the real world.

Just yesterday, the death of Drew Peterson’s third wife was officially ruled a homicide after a second autopsy revealed that she was drowned to death...

The second autopsy on Kathleen Savio’s March 2004 death included photos from the scene and reports from the initial investigation, along with results from microscopic examinations and toxicological tests, State’s Attorney James Glasgow said.

“We have been investigating this as a murder since reopening the case in November of last year,” Glasgow added. “We now have a scientific basis to formally and publicly classify it as such.” Forty-year-old Savio was found dead in her bathtub shortly before her divorce settlement with Peterson was finalized...

When asked about these latest results, Drew Peterson, a former sergeant with the Bolingbrook Police Department, said he was “shocked. … You’re kidding me. Unbelievable. That’s hard to believe.” Am I alone in wanting desperately to slap the living shit out of him?

Savio’s family members, who received the news from Illinois State Police on Thursday, were not surprised, however. “This is something we’ve believed for almost four years. It’s a good thing that it finally came out,” Savio’s niece Melissa Doman said. “But it could have prevented if people would have listened to her before she was killed.”

Savio filed a protection order after Drew knocked her down one day in 2002 and ripped a necklace from around her neck that left marks on her body. In the order, Savio said she “feared [Peterson] could kill her.” Apparently, this new evidence makes it look as though she might have been right.

Perhaps prosecutors have that additional evidence they need to finally drag Drew in to answer some tough questions.

I hope the Savio's have good enough attorneys to win a wrongful death conviction as well as just a challenge to the settlement of her estate. That in itself was clearly so wrong that Kathleen's estate attorney, , who was fired by Drew's uncle, James B Carroll, stated in his final report that the asset distribution was against the interest of the late Ms Savio and her estate.

After Savio died, there was a Will County probate case to settle her financial affairs. Well-known local lawyer Dick Kavanagh was the public administrator of Will County, a governor-appointed position. Simply put, the public administrator tries to find the fairest way to settle an estate after a death, among other things. Excerpt: "The actions of (Carroll) were not in the best interest of the estate or the beneficiaries," he wrote in a court document.

After seeing the corruption of Law Enforcement at all levels in Chicago, I no longer think the governor was wrong to stop the death penalty. No one is watching the watchers.

Kathleen Savio Murdered

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE--Feb. 21, 2008 JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced today that his office has received the final report on the autopsy performed on the remains of Kathleen S. Savio on Nov. 13, 2007.
Dr. Larry W. Blum, the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy, concludes in his report that the actual cause of Kathleen Savio’s death was drowning and that the legal manner of death was homicide. Dr. Blum’s report was delivered to the Will County Coroner’s Office on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008 and immediately forwarded to the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Illinois State Police.
“Dr. Blum’s forensic report renders his expert opinion that this is a homicide,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “We have been investigating this as a murder since reopening the case in November of last year. We now have a scientific basis to formally and publicly classify it as such.”
The complete autopsy report is a component of the investigation into the March 1, 2004 death of Kathleen Savio and will not be released. However, the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Illinois State Police are releasing the following quote from the conclusion in Dr. Blum’s report:

“It is my opinion based on my education, training, experience and personal observations, and to a reasonable degree of medical and scientific certainty, compelling evidence exists to support the conclusions that the cause of death of Kathleen S. Savio was drowning and further, that the manner of death was homicide.”

This was the second autopsy performed on Kathleen Savio’s remains. The first was performed shortly after her death in March 2004. Her body was exhumed on the morning of Nov. 13, 2007, and Dr. Blum performed the second autopsy that afternoon...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Missing college students found

By Jessica Fargen

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The six-day search for the missing college couple is over after one of the students landed in a Pennsylvania jail and the other made it home safe to her parents, police say. Daniel B. Querzoli, the 22-year-old Bridgewater State College student missing since Friday, was arrested at 3:15 a.m. today for allegedly speeding down a Pennsylvania highway in a stolen Buick, according to police. His girlfriend is home in New Jersey.

Querzoli was arraigned this morning on one count of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and two counts of receiving stolen property, according to Pennsylvania State Police Sgt. Jonathan Mays. He is being held on $50,000 bail in Cumberland County jail. Meanwhile, his girlfriend of five months, Amy Scott, 21, surfaced yesterday in New York City and is home with her family, according to Providence police.

Scott, a Johnson & Wales student, and Querzoli threw their parents into a panic last week when they disappeared together in a borrowed car on the night of Valentine’s Day, leaving behind credit cards and cell phones. The car, borrowed from Scott’s roommate, was recovered this week in a Manhattan garage. Providence Police Det. Sgt. Carl Weston said Scott’s mother, Laura Tool, called police at 3 p.m. yesterday to say the family was going to pick up Scott in New York City, but she refused to give any more information. He said Scott’s family will not cooperate with police.

“They wouldn’t tell us when they found her. They wouldn’t tell us where she was. They wouldn’t tell us where the car was,” Weston said. “They made some statement that she was in danger and her roommates were in danger. As of now, I haven’t spoken to the family in almost 24 hours.”
He said Tool requested that police send an officer to guard Scott’s Angell Street apartment, but he has refused that request until he has more information. “They insisted that the police protect her roommates at the house, but they wouldn’t tell me what kind of danger,” they were in, Weston said.

Querzoli was pulled over this morning near Carlisle, Pa., for driving 64 mph in a 55 mph zone and erratic driving, police report. Mays said he was driving a 1999 Buick Century that had been reported as stolen in New Jersey. He also allegedly had attached stolen plates to the car, police added. Querzoli’s father, Brian Warren of Bridgewater, has not returned several messages left over two days. With the exception of a phone call Scott made Sunday afternoon from a pay phone in Illinois, no one had heard from the couple until yesterday, according to police.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bridgewater State College student reported missing with girlfriend

A Bridgewater State College student and his girlfriend were last seen on Valentine’s Day in Providence.

right: Daniel Querzoli, 22

BRIDGEWATER — The father of a missing Bridgewater State College student says he last heard from his son through a text message late Thursday night, shortly before he went missing.
Brian Warren said he sent his son, Daniel Querzoli, a text message asking him to help with some yard work the following day. “He said, ‘OK, I’ll see you tomorrow. Good night,’” said Warren Sunday night as he recalled his son’s reply in another text message. “That’s the last I’ve heard of him.” Authorities are seeking information concerning Querzoli and his girlfriend who have been missing since Friday.

Daniel Querzoli, 22, of Bridgewater, and his girlfriend, Amy Scott, 21, of New Jersey, were last seen in Providence, late Thursday night when they borrowed a car from one of Scott’s roommates, Providence police Detective Sgt. Carl Weston told the Providence Journal.
Querzoli is a junior majoring in business at Bridgewater State College, his father said.
Scott is a student at Johnson & Wales University in Providence. Her mother called police to report her daughter missing, authorities said. The pair reportedly left behind their own vehicles, money, credit cards and cell phones, authorities said.

The Journal reported that police notified local TV stations and entered the students’ names and information into the National Crime Information Center, a computerized index that goes out to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Scott and Querzoli have been dating for three months, Warren said. “He was going to meet Amy for a Valentine’s dinner,” said Warren, 40, a retired minor league professional baseball player.
Warren described his son, an only child who lives with him at his Bridgewater home, as a typical college student with a “free spirit.” He said it was not uncommon for his son to go a couple of days without contacting family.

“Danny’s a free spirit. He’ll go a couple days (without contact) to go skiing,” Warren said.
But it is very uncommon for Scott to be gone without contacting anyone, he said. That is what has concerned both Warren and Scott’s family, he said. According to family members, friends and media reports, Scott and Querzoli went out to dinner Thursday night and went back to Scott’s apartment at 521 Angell St. in Providence. While both have cars, they borrowed a roommate’s car and left the apartment around midnight, leaving behind their money, credit cards and cell phones.

“Everything was left behind at the house,” said Scott’s roommate, Allen Walski, who gave Scott the keys to his 2004 silver Honda Civic with New Jersey plates — RUF20X. Scott said she had to run downtown and she’d be back shortly, said Walski. He thought his roommate “was going to the store to get cigarettes or something.” Walski said he awakened the next day to find his car missing. “They just said they were running downtown and they would be right back and sure enough they never came back,” said Walski, 20. He said he has not heard from the pair since they disappeared. “Of course we’re worried,” Walski said. “We have no idea what’s going on.”
Authorities described Scott as Caucasian, 5-foot-7, 105 pounds with wavy red hair.
Warren described Querzoli as 5-foot-11, 185 pounds with long, dark, hair. He often wears a baseball cap or ski hat, his father said. Warren also described his son as “very intelligent.”
“I don’t think there’s any situation that he can’t get out of. He’s a smart kid,” Warren said.
He was trying to make sense of his son’s disappearance Sunday night. “I don’t know,” Warren said. “That’s the question. Why?”

College Couple Vanishes After Valentine's Day Dinner

Medley of articles to catch up with this interesting mystery. Two young adults borrow a roommate's car to run to the store, take nothing with, and vanish. Two days later, she calls a friend with his phone card, from somewhere near Chicago--can't talk long for fear of being "traced." Too weird.

Rhode Island police are searching for a college couple, who vanished after having Valentine's Day dinner together.

Amy Scott, 21, and her boyfriend Daniel Querzoli, 22, borrowed a friend's car "just to run an errand," but haven't been heard from since, the station reported. "I hope it's just a matter of them wanting to be in solitude and trying to work things out between the two of them," Brian Warren, Daniel's father said. "Maybe they got in an argument, something like that. But the circumstances just don't seem... It doesn't feel right to me."

The couple, who have been dating since last fall, left without taking their wallets, ID or cell phones. Scott's roommate said the couple had a minor argument the day before, but also said they looked happy after their Valentine's Day dinner. "She said she just wanted to see him and exchange Valentine's Day gifts with him, but everything was fine, Jackie said. Both of the students own cars. Scott is a student at Johnson and Wales University and Querzoli attends Bridgewater State College.

"Sometimes she'll just... go away for the weekend, or whatever, but we definitely, definitely, hear from her regardless... if it's like a text message, or whatever, we know she's okay," Lauren Hackett, a friend of Scott's, told the station.

The 2004 Honda Civic they borrowed had a Johnson and Wales University decal on the back, and was low on gas. The car's New Jersey license plate reads RUF20X.


Police Search For Missing Students
Students Left Money, Credit Cards, Cell Phones Behind

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Police are looking for information about two students who have been missing since Friday night. The Providence Journal reported Amy Scott, 21, a Johnson and Wales University student from New Jersey, and her boyfriend Daniel Querzoli, 22, a Bridgewater State student from East Bridgewater, Mass., borrowed a car from Scott’s roommate and left around midnight. They left behind their money, credit cards and cell phones. “It’s extremely out of character for Amy. She talks to her mother on a daily basis. We’re scared to death obviously, and we just want them home no matter what the problem is,” said Amy’s father Bernard Tool.

Scott’s mother called the police to report her daughter missing. Providence police Detective Sgt. Carl Weston told the Journal they normally don’t begin searches so quickly, but the case “is a bit perplexing.” The car they were last seen driving is a 2004 silver Honda Civic with New Jersey plates RUF20X. The police ask those with information concerning the students to call 401-272-3121.

Latest developments on the search for two missing college students

Providence (WPRI)-- Now, the latest developments on the search for two missing students last seen in Providence.
Police are scaling back their efforts to find Johnson and Wales student Amy Scott and her boyfriend Daniel Querzoli. Amy Scott and Daniel Querzoli have been missing since Thursday. After having a Valentine's Day dinner together, the pair borrowed a friend's car to go somewhere. Now family and friends are worried. The two have been dating since last fall.
Amy's roommates say the couple had a minor spat a day before they left, but nothing seemed wrong when they returned from dinner.

Investigators say Scott called a friend Sunday- saying she was o-k. The call was traced to Illinois. The pair has been missing since midnght on Valentines Day. They borrowed a friend's car, leaving behind their wallets and cell phones.

Couple Vanishes on Valentine's Day

A Rhode Island college couple is missing after the two went to run an errand on Valentine’s Day.

Amy Scott, 21, and her boyfriend Daniel Querzoli, 22, went for dinner and then borrowed a friend’s car to run an errand, Fox News reported. The couple left without their cell phones or wallets. Both of the students have their own cars, but the two were last seen in a 2004 Honda Civic with a Johnson and Wales University decal and license plate number RUF20X. Scott is a student at Johnson and Wales University.Querzoli is a student at Bridgewater State College.

Scott’s roommate told police that Scott and Querzoli were not arguing when they left, even though they had a minor argument the day before. "I hope it's just a matter of them wanting to be in solitude and trying to work things out between the two of them," Brian Warren, Querzoli’s father, told MyFOXProvidence. "Maybe they got in an argument, something like that. But the circumstances just don't seem ... It doesn't feel right to me."

Missing LBI woman called friend, police say
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A Beach Haven woman who is a student at Johnson and Wales University reached out to one of her best friends Sunday after she and her boyfriend disappeared Friday night, authorities said. Amy Scott, 21, called the friend from a pay phone at about 2 p.m., less than two days after she and her boyfriend Daniel Querzoli, 22, of East Bridgewater, Mass., borrowed a friend's car and said they were going downtown and would be right back, Providence police Detective Sgt. Carl Weston said.

"The friend said Amy was very cryptic as to where she was and what she was doing," Weston said. "Amy said she was OK and was still with Dan, the kid she left with, but she was very brief."
When Scott left Friday night, she took none of her belongings with her, said her mother, Laura Tool. "They didn't take anything, not their cell phones, wallets. She didn't even take her pocketbook," Tool said. Scott may not have been wearing a coat, Tool said.

According to Tool, police usually don't get involved this quickly in a missing-persons case, especially for people of Scott and Querzoli's age - but the circumstances are unusual, Tool said.
"We don't know why they would take their friend's car and not their own and leave all of their things behind," Tool said. Scott, a junior at Johnson and Wales in Providence, worked as a waitress and bartender at the Marlin bar and restaurant in Beach Haven, where she lives when not at school, according to Tool.

According to a report by the Providence Journal, Scott and Querzoli went out to dinner Friday night and went back to Scott's apartment at 521 Angell St., in Providence. Even though both have cars, they borrowed a roommate's car and left the apartment at about midnight, leaving behind their money, credit cards and cell phones. Also, the roommate's car had little gas; its gas cap was broken and could only be removed by the car's owner, Providence police Detective Sgt. Carl Weston told the newspaper.

The car they drove off in is a 2004 silver Honda Civic with New Jersey plates - RUF20X, according to Weston. Because Scott is an adult, she cannot be forced to come home, and although she is still considered missing, the investigation is on hold, Weston said. "We won't be taking any further steps until there is more contact made. We were out there actively pounding the pavement for her up until this afternoon, up until that contact was made," Weston said.

"Before we heard from her, we were very concerned that something very bad may have happened to her; we were actually baffled for a long time. But we still don't know what's going on." Tool described her daughter as white, 5-foot-7, about 115 pounds, with curly, reddish hair.
Police ask anyone with information about Scott and Querzoli to call 401-272-3121.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Hilton pleads guilty, gets life for killing hiker

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Gary Michael Hilton pleaded guilty Thursday to killing hiker Meredith Emerson, and was sentenced to life in prison.
Hilton, 61, wore an orange jumpsuit and bulletproof vest as he sat somberly through the sentencing.
He was charged with kidnapping with intent to harm and malice murder in Emerson's January 4 death.
The 24-year-old University of Georgia graduate disappeared on New Year's Day while on a hike in the North Georgia mountains with her dog.

Emerson's parents gave emotional statements in court.

"I feel that no punishment for Mr. Hilton is too great," said her father, David Emerson. "I only pray that he suffers immensely for his heinous acts."

Susan Emerson, the victim's mother, said she was not sorry that prosecutors took the death penalty off the table.
"I feel like he should stay alive and slowly rot," she said. "As far as I am concerned, there is no such thing as justice in this case. Nothing will bring our daughter back."

Dr. Kris Sperry, the state's chief medical examiner, concluded Emerson died of blunt force trauma to the head and was decapitated after death. Witnesses said they saw Emerson on Georgia's Blood Mountain with Hilton.
Days later, Hilton led authorities to her body, reportedly in a deal to avoid the death penalty.

"Anyone's emotional reaction would have appropriately be that this defendant deserved the penalty of death," said Lee Darragh, Hall County District Attorney at a news conference following Hilton's plea.

But after much deliberation, research and consultation with other prosecutors, Darragh decided a life sentence "in practical terms" is a "death penalty in and of itself."

"The most appropriate course was to have this defendant take responsibility for the death of Meredith Emerson through his guilty plea today," he explained.

Hilton would not be eligible for parole until he is 91 years old. "He will most likely die in prison and most certainly never see the light of day again," said Darragh.

Emerson's family agrees with the sentence, a family spokeswoman said.
"Today is the last day of a very long month, but January on its last day is a safer place than January on its first," Peggy Bailey told reporters. "There are sources of joy that will lead our families through the suffering and on to healing."

Investigators also suspect Hilton in the October slaying of Irene Bryant and the presumed death of her husband, John, in Transylvania County, North Carolina, said Sheriff David Mahoney. Authorities haven't specified what evidence they have.

Hilton also is the suspect in the death of Cheryl Dunlap, 46, whose body was found in December in Apalachicola National Forest, southwest of Tallahassee, Florida, according to authorities.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Gary Michael Hilton Evil on Earth

Hilton Suspected In Fourth Hiker's Disappearance
BRYSON CITY, N.C. --6:30 pm EST January 15, 2008-- The man charged in the beating death of a Georgia hiker is being looked at in the 2005 disappearance of a Florida woman who was hiking in western North Carolina.
Investigators said 26-year-old Rossana Miliani was last in Bryson City on December 7th, 2005.
A store clerk from Bryson City recently told a private investigator that Miliani came into her store with a white man in his 60s and appeared nervous when they bought a backpack. The clerk contacted private investigator Steve Siske after reading about Miliani on the second anniversary of her disappearance.
Siske said he noticed case similarities when 61-year-old Gary Michael Hilton was arrested for the murder of 24-year-old Meredith Emerson, whose body was found in a national forest in the north Georgia mountains.
A spokeswoman with the State Bureau of Investigation confirmed Monday that agents are "considering the possibility of a connection," but declined further comment.

Hilton Considered "Prime Suspect" In Fl. Woman's Murder
The Leon County, Florida, sheriff's office said the man charged with murder in the death of 24-year-old hiker Meredith Emerson can be considered a prime suspect in the death of Cheryl Hodges Dunlap.
Her body was found December 19 in the Apalachicola National Forest, southwest of Tallahassee. Sheriff's Major Mike Wood said today that authorities have confirmed that Gary Michael Hilton was in the area at the time of Dunlap's disappearance.
A state law enforcement source told WSB-TV that Dunlap also was decapitated, as was Emerson.

(upper right, Rossana Miliani; right, Cheryl Dunlap; below John and Irene Bryant)

Hilton Named Suspect In NC Murder
Investigators in North Carolina named Gary Hilton a suspect in the abductions of two hikers, both found bludgeoned to death in separate locations. The body of Irene Bryant, 84, was found about a month after she and her husband disappeared while hiking in the Pisgah National Forest near Asheville. She had been beaten to death. John Bryant, 80, found in Macon County Feb 2.
"At this point, I do consider Hilton a suspect,” said Transylvania County Sheriff David Mahoney. “We are following up on all information regarding possible sightings of Hilton. We have not released any other information regarding Hilton at this point.”

NC Sheriff: Hilton Responsible In NC Case Of Missing Hikers, Too
AP February 1, 2008
ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Authorities said there is "no question" that a man who pleaded guilty to murdering a hiker in Georgia is responsible for the deaths of two hikers in North Carolina.
Transylvania County Sheriff David Mahoney said Friday that North Carolina authorities tried to interview 61-year-old Gary Michael Hilton in Georgia on Thursday, the same day he pleaded to killing Meredith Emerson in the mountains of northern Georgia.
Mahoney said Hilton declined to talk and asked for an attorney.
Authorities have named Hilton a suspect in the beating death of 84-year-old Irene Bryant, who was found dead near a hiking trail in western North Carolina. Her 80-year-old husband, John Bryant, who was found dead February 2 in the Nantahala National Forest in Macon County, North Carolina.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

New subpoena served Anthony "Bindy" Rock--Drew Peterson corruption case

New subpoena served

February 16, 2008
By JOE HOSEY Staff Writer

A convicted cop killer reputed to have organized crime connections was subpoenaed to testify at the grand jury investigating the fate of Drew Peterson's last two wives.
State police served Anthony "Bindy" Rock, 68, with his papers Friday, a source said. Contacted Friday night, Rock declined to comment.

Rock was a central figure in an unsanctioned undercover investigation Peterson undertook while he was on loan from the Bolingbrook Police Department to the Metropolitan Area Narcotics Squad in 1985. That investigation led to Peterson's indictment on charges of official misconduct and failure to report a bribe.
Peterson was fired following his indictment when the Bolingbrook Police and Fire Commission found him guilty of those charges, as well as disobedience and conducting a self-assigned investigation.
On different occasions, two appellate court judges ruled Peterson's firing was excessive. The criminal charges against him were dropped and he got his job back.
Narcotics probe

Peterson's trouble from two decades ago started when he revealed to his supervisors that he'd embarked on a solo narcotics investigation of Rock. A state police undercover officer was already working on Rock, according to court documents, but Peterson went ahead with his probe and failed to tell his superiors until it hit a dead end.
"You had better take your guns off. I have something to say that's real bad," Peterson allegedly told his supervisors at the time. Then Peterson's former supervisor with the narcotics squad, retired state police Lt. Col. Ronald Janota accused Peterson of leaking the state agent's identity to Rock.
Murder conviction

Before he was investigated by Peterson, Rock was convicted of the April 1970 murder of Joliet police Det. William Loscheider.
But it was actually a fellow officer who gunned down Loscheider during a burglary investigation at a North Broadway liquor warehouse, but courts blamed Rock because the death occurred while Rock was committing a crime. Rock, a reputed loan shark, was allegedly fleeing the scene with two accomplices when Loscheider was killed by friendly fire.
Subpoena issued

The spokesman for the state's attorney's office, Charles B. Pelkie, said he could not comment on why or even if Rock was subpoenaed. Peterson himself could not understand what prosecutors wanted with Rock, who he had arrested once before the unauthorized investigation in 1985.
"All he knows is, I tried to buy dope from him a couple times. I put him away for 20 years," Peterson said. "He got out on appeal."
Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, has been missing since Oct. 28. The results of a November autopsy conducted after the exhumation of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, who was the victim of a mysterious March 2004 bathtub drowning, have yet to be released.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Halter in Colorado June 17, 1881

Execution of a Massachusetts Man at Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, Col., June 17.—William H. Cauby of Salisbury, Mass., was privately executed here this afternoon. He passed a wakeful night, protesting his innocence to his attendants, and declared that he would never allow himself to perish at the end of a rope. He said that the law as carried out in the State was a mockery and a farce. He cursed the newspapers for the publicity they had given his crime. Subsequently he said, with many oaths, that he had no fear of death. A rumor was spread that a rescue would be attempted, but nothing came of it, for the reason that the jail, by order of Sheriff Fearing, was well guarded. The Colorado Springs Gazette said the condemned man was much affected by the death of Pall in Denver. He met his fate with courage.

Source: Charlie Crowell. Capital Punishment Scrapbook, Philadelphia Newspaper Article, about March, 1881.

Judge Lynch on the Bench Cincinnati, Ohio, May 13, 1881

An Old Grudge, Attempted murder and Swift Punishment

Cincinnati, May 13—The Republican’s Charleston, Mo., special says: “Four men—Frank Brown, Jesse Meyers, James Hamilton and Pat Rhodes—visited the house of William Knox, five miles south of New Madrid last Monday night with the intention of killing him and his half-sister on account of an old grudge.

A man named Coleman was carrying a child and walking the floor in the house, and mistaking Coleman for Knox the party fired on him and wounded both him and the child.

A warrant was issued Tuesday for the arrest of the assassins and Sheriff Walters, with a posse, started in pursuit and overtook them at Bayne’s store, five miles south of Sikeston. The men fled to the woods and secreted themselves behind a fallen tree. When the posse came up they received a volley from the concealed party and Robert LaFarge was killed. The Sheriff’s party returned the fire but receiving a second volley, retired. The desperadoes then robbed the dead body of LaFarge of his watch, money and shirt-studs and fled.

In the evening Pat Rhodes, one of the gang who had been wounded by the Sheriff’s posse came in and gave himself up. This morning a party of vigilantes took him out and hanged him and hundreds of men are scouring the country in every direction for the remainder of the party. If caught they will be served as Rhodes was served.

Source: Charlie Crowell. Capital Punishment Scrapbook, Philadelphia Newspaper Article, about March, 1881.

Galveston, Texas Murderers May 11, 1881

One Sentenced to Die and Another to Thirty Years’ Imprisonment

Galveston, May 11, 1881—A special to the News from Will’s Point, Texas, says: “In the case of the State vs. Tiel the jury rendered a verdict of guilty of murder in the second degree; punishment, imprisonment in the penitentiary for thirty years. In the case of the State vs. White the verdict was guilty of murder in the first degree and the prisoner was sentenced to be hanged. After the verdict was rendered White made a statement denying his guilt, but in the latter portion of his speech he virtually confessed the crime. He was charged with killing a peddler near here several years ago. A motion for a new trial was overruled, and an appeal will be taken to the District Court.

Source: Charlie Crowell. Capital Punishment Scrapbook, Philadelphia Newspaper Article, about March, 1881.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Frank Pfeifer’s record in New York March 17, 1881

Frank Pfeifers, Murdered and Committed Suicide, March, 1881

(right: cell furnishings of a wealthy criminal)
A Daring Criminal Who is Believed to Have Murdered his Father.

Special Despatch to the Press

New York, March 17,--Frank Pfeifer has always been one of the most desperate ruffians in the Twentieth Precinct. He has been a “regular comer” at the station, in the words of an officer, for the past ten years. Most of his offenses were only punished, however, by a few months at Blackwell’s Island, but in May, 1878, he was arrested for burglary and was sentenced by Recorder Hackett to three and one half years imprisonment in State Prison, which term he served out.

About three months ago a cigar store in Thirty-Ninth Street near Tenth Avenue was robbed and Pfeifer was suspected. The police were on the lookout for him when his mother, who keeps a tenement-house at No. 413 West Thirty-Seventh Street, called Officer Malone and informed him that her son had purchased a revolver, with which he intended to shoot Officer Biglin of the same precinct. She wished to prevent it and showed the police the stolen goods, which Pfeifer had concealed in his trunk.

He could not be captured, however. When next heard of it was in connection with a burglary at Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Sergeant C. H. Pless of the Twentieth precinct said that he was one of the hardest cases he had ever met with. His father was murdered about nine years ago and strong suspicion was directed toward the son as his murderer, as he had often been arrested for violence toward his parents.

This suspicion was strengthened some years afterward, when he was arrested and tried for disorderly conduct before Justice Otterberg on complaint of his mother. He was sentenced to imprisonment for one month, when his mother cried out: “For God’s sake, Judge, don’t give him such a short time, for when he gets out he will kill me, as he did his father.” His sentence was thereupon changed to six months.

Previous to his sentence at State Prison, Pfeifer kept a low dance house in Thirty-Ninth Street which was the nightly resort of the most degraded criminals of both sexes. The place is still known by the name of Pfeifer’s Hall. Pfeifer’s most intimate associate was “Dutch” Harmon, now serving a term of eight years in the State Prison at Sing Sing for car robbery. Both these men were supposed to have been connected with the murder of a watchman in the Harlem Railroad yard at Thirtieth Street, with the intention of committing burglary.

Source: Charlie Crowell. Capital Punishment Scrapbook, Philadelphia Newspaper Article, about March, 1881.

The Dead Convicts March, 1881

Additional information gained of horrible crimes

The Coroner’s Jury Find that Pfeifer Murdered His Companion and Committed Suicide—the end of a Life of Wickedness.

Coroner Janney’s investigation yesterday into the circumstances of the double tragedy that occurred in the Eastern Penitentiary of Tuesday night failed to throw much additional light on the motive of Frank Pfeifer for killing his fellow convict, John McBride, and then committing suicide. Edward Townsend, Warden of the Penitentiary, was the first witness examined, and testified that early on Wednesday morning one of the officers notified him that two convicts had been found dead in their cell and upon visiting the scene of the tragedy he discovered one man lying on the floor and the other suspended by the neck from a gas bracket.

When Pfeifer was admitted to the institution on the 18th of February last he simulated insanity, but this being of such frequent occurrence little attention was paid to it. A subsequent examination of the convict by the medical examiner bore out the supposition of simulation. Pfeifer seemed to be afflicted with melancholy when admitted, and he said that he had served three terms of imprisonment in Sing Sing Prison. He was put in a cell with McBride and they always appeared to be on friendly terms.

Finding the Bodies.
Thomas McGuigan, the overseer, who first discovered the dead bodies, was next called. He stated that on Tuesday he asked Pfeifer how he was getting along, as he had previously complained of feeling unwell. “Very well,” was the reply and the witness heard him make a similar reply to McBride. The witness then detailed the finding of the bodies on Wednesday morning.

Thomas Harney, another overseer, who went on duty at 6 o’clock Tuesday evening and remained until midnight, and William H. Johnson, also overseer, who came on duty at midnight, testified that they had heard no noise during the night in the cell occupied by the men.

Edward Swazer, residing at No. 2219, Oxford Street, testified to having been present at the trial of Pfeifer in Wilkes-Barre, this state and heard testimony offered to the effect that the prisoner had made an attempt to take his life by hanging himself in his cell. Witness noticed that Pfeifer acted strangely during the trial, and on one occasion asked for permission to go out of the court room for a few minutes. When asked for what purpose he replied, “Why, I want to commit suicide. I am tired of living.” The request being refused, the prisoner took a vial from his pocket and attempted to swallow the contents, which consisted of small particles of glass, but was prevented by one of he court officers.

A terrible confession.
Deputy Coroner Powers, who visited the cell in which the tragedy occurred, testified to having found a large knife, used in the manufacture of tobacco, lying in a box, and gave it as his opinion that Pfeifer cut McBride on the wrist with the knife and then strangled him. A convict in an adjoining cell informed the Deputy Coroner that he had heard an unusual noise during the night in the cell occupied by Pfeifer and McBride.

Witness found in the cell a small card on which was written the following:
“To Captain Washburn, Twentieth-ward Station-house, Thirty-Seventh Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues, New York City.”

On a table were two slates, one of which contained the following:
“Stroudsburg, Pa.—Miss Elna Bittenbender, Jackson Township—Last fall me and my cousin George Kraft. I am—“
Witness here explained that he had been informed the Miss Elna Bittenbender referred to had been feloniously assaulted and murdered near her house last fall, it being supposed at the time that the killing had been done by tramps. A cousin of the woman was subsequently arrested and tried for the crime, but was acquitted.

The second slate contained the following:
“I also kill that girl in Jackson County, Cousin George Kraft last fall was arrested his brother. They call me the devil and a wich, so if you all knew all the people I have kill, you would be astonished. So in New York they and you will find out all about me. I am sorry for me owen Family for I know they use them ruf on my account. They could not help for what work I did {sic}.”
On the reverse side of the slate was written “You can tell Judge Rice (the Judge who sentenced him at Wilkes-Barre) not to send down here any crazy man.”

The Cause of Death.
Dr. J. G. Lee, the coroner’s physician, testified to having made a post-mortem examination of the bodies, which he found lying on the floor in a cell. He noticed that the furniture in the apartment was in great disorder.

The face of McBride was covered with blood, which had trickled from his nostrils, and on his forehead, above the left eye, were three bruises. The palm and back of the right hand were stained with blood, and there was also some blood on the back of the right foot. Around his neck was a tightly tied pair of drawers which had belonged to Pfeifer, as they had stamped on them his number. Corresponding to the bruise on his forehead there was an irregular fracture involving the frontal, parietal, temporal and sphenoid bones, the right orbital plate of the frontal bone was also fractured.

Pfeifer was found hanging by a piece of twine, which formed three coils around the neck, and his feet were bound together with twine. There were several spots of blood on his hands, and over the right one was drawn a sock, which was stained with blood. One the right wrist was an incised wound two inches in length. There were spots of blood on the floor of the cell. In the opinion of Dr. Lee death in both instances had been caused by suffocation.

The case was then given to the jury, who rendered a verdict that McBride came to his death by suffocation at the hands of Pfeifer and that he latter came to his death from suffocation at his own hands.

McBride’s body was yesterday taken charge of and buried by his wife, with whom he has not lived for over fifteen years. Unless Pfeifer’s body is claimed by today it will be buried in Potter’s Field.

Source: Charlie Crowell. Capital Punishment Scrapbook, Philadelphia Newspaper Article, about March, 1881.

Dead in a Prison Cell March, 1881

The End of Two of the Eastern Penitentiary Inmates

One Murdered, the Other Hanging from a Gas-Bracket--The Coroner's Investigation--Where the Men Came From.

"Great God!" exclaimed Thomas McGuigan, overseer at the Eastern Penitentiary, yesterday morning as he opened the iron door of a cell on the second block preparatory to furnishing the two inmates with their morning meal. There was just cause to provoke such a startling and irreverent exclamation, for by the dim light that filtered through the only window in the narrow apartment McGuigan saw the dead bodies of the two convicts, Frank Pfeifer and John McBride--one lying outstretched upon the floor and the other hanging by the neck against the stone wall of the cell. McBride lay upon the floor, with his face upturned, cold and distorted, near the grating of the cell door. There was an abrasion on this left forehead as if made by some blunt instrument, and around his neck was a piece of sheeting from the cell bed, which was drawn so tightly as to cause the tongue to protrude, indicationg that he had died of strangulation. His clothing was not materially disarranged, but the front of the convict garb was sprinkled with blood.

A Case of Determined Self-murder. The cold and inanimate body of Pfeifer was suspended by a piece of sheeting and twine from a gas bracket which projected from the wall, and which was so low as to render it neccessary for the suicide to draw up his feet in order to carry out his horrible design. When discovered, therefore, the body was in a kneeling position, with the face against the wall. The suicide was terribly in earnest when he began his work of death, for to make sure of having a strong rope he ingeniously twisted the heavy twine and sheeting together before attaching them to his neck. His death must have been a horrible one, for there was no fall and the neck was not broken, consequently it was a clear case of determined self-murder by strangulation.

Upon making the ghastly discovery McGuigan quickly notified Warden Edward Townsend, and the resident physician, Dr. Comegys Paul, was summoned. In the interim, however, Pfeifer's body, which was yet quite warm, was cut down, but upon the arrival of the physician an examination revealed the fact that life was extinct. By this time the excitement consequent upon the discovery of the terrible tragedy had somewhat subsided, and various conjectures were offered as to the probable cause that led to the death of the two convicts. It was known that Pfeifer was not of sound mind, which fact was seemingly a tangible thread upon which to weave a network of plausible circumstantial evidence of murder and suicide. This theory of the tragedy, however, was reject by many because it was known that Pfeifer's mental derangement had never manifested itself in any thing more serious than sensless prattle, and that for a certainty the two convicts were on good terms up to the time they retired on the night of the tragedy.

The surrounding circumstances, however, point with unerring accuracy to Pfeifer as the murderer and suicide. If such be the case, the only reason that can be assigned for the terrible double crime is insanity and during his frenzy, overpowered and strangled McBride and then hung himself. The condition of both men and the disarranged condition of the cell seemingly corroborated this theory, although no ample evidences of a terrible struggle within exist. Pfeifer's right arm is severely bruised above the elbow, as if it had been clutched in a vice-like grasp or struck with some blunt weapon, to prevent its use and there is a deep lacerated wound on the left wrist. McBride's body is covered with bruises evidently received while struggling for his life with his maniacal murderer.

The Third Victim. To further suppoort the theory of murder and suicide the slate in the cell used by the deceased cconvicts to communicate with the prison officials was found to bear the startling confession, "This is the third man I have killed," written in a nervous hand. This seems to corroborate the belief that Pfeifer committed the murder while laboring under a sudden attack of insanity. No credit, however, is given to the voluntary confession of his being a triple murderer, the impression being that while gloating over McBride's corpse his insane frenzy dictated the ghastly works on the slate. The fact of the two prisoners being in one cell is easily accounted for from the fact that there are on 731 cells for over 1,000 convicts; hence it is that many of the cells contain two inmates. Pfeifer and McBride were employed as tobacco-strippers and without exception, were always occupied with this work in their own cells which is at the eastern extremity of the building.

Deputy Coroner Thomas J Poweres and Dr. J. G. Lee, Coroner's physician, visited the Penitentiary in the afternoon and after viewing the remains ordered their removal to the Morgue. Later in the day, Dr. Leo made a post-mortem examination of both bodies, the result of will be submitted at the Coroner's inquest at noon today. Pfeifer was 23 years old and was known as convict No. 728. He was sentenced at Wilkesbarre in February last to three years and a half for burglary and arrived at Cherry Hill on the 18th of last month. He was a well-known New York thief, having served three terms in Sing Sing Prison and one on Blackwell's Island. McBride was 49 years of age and was known in the prison as No. 525. He was admitted on September 30, 1880, for two years for aggravated assault and battery and indecent exposure in this city. He was a married man and has a sister living at Twentieth and Pine Streeets. Neither of the men had been to the Eastern Penitentiary before.

McBride was a man of low instincts, and got himself into trouble some ten years ago for the same offense. Little Mary Colligan, the child whom he attempted to assault in the early part of last September, was begging from door to door in the neighborhood of Twenty-first and Green. A passer-by saw McBride approach her and he called Officer Foster of the Ninth Police District, who, after a sharp chase, captured McBride. Although he stoutly asserted his innocence, he was fully identified by the little girl and committed for trial. When Mary's father heard of the attempted out-rage he was with difficulty restrained from entering the Court-house and shooting McBride as he stood in the dock. Mr. Colligan said last night that he was glad to hear of McBride's death. "It don't make any difference," said he, "whether he was killed or killed himself. He was a villainous scoundrel, and the grave is the best place for him."

Source: Charlie Crowell. Capital Punishment Scrapbook, Philadelphia Newspaper Article, about March, 1881.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Eastern Penitentiary*, Philadelphia

Right: EASTERN Penitentiary
*a.k.a. Cherry Hill Prison.

Philadelphia Inquirer, Monday, May 9, 1881

Cherry Hill Prison, 1881
An English Gentleman’s Impressions of that Famous Prison.
The Gloomy Penitentiary of Charles Dickens’ American Notes Viewed in Another Light—How the Prisoners are Treated.

Mr. Frederick Fullerton Armstrong who recently arrived in this country and who intends to proceed to Rugby Tennessee the colony planted by Thomas Hughes where he will edit the Rugbeian furnishes the following sketch descriptive of a visit to the Eastern Penitentiary.

It will be interesting to the reader to compare it with the account another Englishman Charles Dickens wrote of the same prison nearly forty years ago:

The sunshine was streaming fiercely down on the dusty pavement and the double line of bright red houses filled the air with a lurid glow; making one almost pant with heat. Hailing a street-car I placed myself on the shady side and asked the conductor to let me know when we arrived at the Eastern Penitentiary. After some twenty minutes’ drive I was duly notified of my arrival, and jumping from the side of the car I found myself gazing upon a huge gray stone building that looked strangely cool and quiet in the blinding sunshine.

Crossing the roadway, I advanced up a short court-yard and found myself opposite a formidable iron gateway. On the left-hand side a small doorway was standing open and on peering through this I saw the gate porter reclining in a comfortable, tipped-up chair evidently enjoying the comparative coolness engendered by the massive thickness of the walls and the utter impossibility of the sun’s forcing an entrance.
As my eyes got used to the gloom, I proceeded to take stock of my surroundings. I found myself in a kind of covered archway of considerable length and shut off from the prison proper by a second iron gate of enormous size and massive proportions. On either side were staircases leading up, as I afterward learned, to the warden’s and doctors’ quarters. After waiting a while, Mr. Cassidy, the warden, came down from his midday meal and I handed him my letter. He was a tall, fine-looking man, with a grave, reflective looking face and wonderfully keen eye. He stared solemnly at the missive I presented to him, and then read it over with the very greatest deliberation.

“Hmm! Want to see the prison? Very little to see. Come along.” With these words he led the way towards the second gate, and passing through this I found myself within the precincts of the prison. A flagged pathway flanked on either side with bright green lawns, led across the entrance hall on the main prison building.

The first thing that struck my eye were two magnificent mirrors placed on opposite sides of the hallway, and I felt naturally surprised at such a very unexpected sight, but after we had passed them, Mr. Cassidy turned round and showed me that by these means the entrance and exit of every person was reflected to the keeper. Everything was scrupulously clean from the gray marble flooring to the white washed ceiling.

On arriving at the end of the entrance passage I found myself in a large circular hall, brilliantly lighted and perfectly ventilated. Taking up a position in the centre of this hall, Mr. Cassidy pointed out to me the plan of the arrangement. This was decidedly good. The circular hall formed, as it were, the axle-box, and the various corridors all radiated off this, forming the spokes of the wheel. By this means a keeper standing in the middle of the hall controlled every one of the corridors.
Each corridor had an upper and lower tier of cells, with a railed iron pathway running round the upper tier, to which the cell doors opened. Handling me over to the care of the schoolmaster, Mr. Cassidy told him to show me what I wished to see. On my saying I would like to look over the cells the schoolmaster led the way to the upper tier of one of the corridors, and on reaching the top of the staircase conducted me through a narrow doorway and ushered me into a fair-sized room, small, of course, but still with ample accommodation. “What a very pretty room,” I remarked. “I suppose this is yours?” “Oh, no; this is one of the cells,” he replied. “What!” I said, “Do you mean to tell me this on one of the cells?” “Certainly,” said he; “and this cell belongs to the man Charles Dickens interviewed when he was examining our prisons.

It is not the same cell, but it is the identical man; he is back here how on his eighth sentence; he never likes to stay away long from us.” I gazed around me in silent amazement. The place looked more like the officers’ quarters of some crack cavalry corps than a prison cell. The walls of the cell were exceedingly cleverly decorated in distemper the colors artistically blended, and the tout ensemble exceedingly effective.

The pictures were suspended on the walls and on each side of the mirror were some portraits in oil, family portraits—I should imagine—ancestors probably of the occupant—whom it doubtless pleased him to have about him. In the left-hand corner, near the door, was a most comfortable bed with a tasteful quilt, evidently designed to harmonize with the carpeting and rest of the furniture. In the opposite corner was a book-shelf with a good assortment of books and a neat collection of pipes were suspended below.

On a ledge between the bed and the book-shelf were the various toilet requisites, scented soap, brushes, scissors,, pomade, etc.; on the right-hand side was fixed the table with its pretty coverlet arranged with photographs in neat frames and some books and knickknacks. An open card board box lying on the table was the owner’s cash box—he evidently had a high opinion of the honesty of his neighbors—and in it was a $2.50 gold piece and a quantity of small money, some seventeen or eighteen shillings altogether, I should think. An arm chair, rocking chair, stool and cabinet completed the internal arrangements of this cell.

When I had a little got over my astonishment I inquired whether this was a fair sample of an ordinary cell, and was told this one was fitted up at the prisoner’s own expense. On further inquiry I was informed that a prisoner could provide himself, or be provided by his friends, with pretty much whatever he pleased, with the exception of food and clothing. “Now, look here,” I said to my conductor, “I should very much like to see an ordinary prison cell-I mean a cell with simply the regulation articles provided by the State.”

Passing round to the other side of the corridor, he conducted me into one of the cells there. I now had an opportunity of seeing what an American cell was really like. There was a pallet bed with a coarse rug and some not over-clean sheeting; a wooden table and stool,, a couple of buckets, a small looking-glass, a knife, fork and spoon and metal plate, a kind of small wooden cupboard, and a shell containing books and other articles.

The floor was boarded and very far from clean, and the whole cell and its contents had a dirty, untidy appearance. Another cell that I afterward entered to see a man making stockings was also dirty and untidy, but the corridors, staircase, etc., were as clean as possible. As I passed along I noticed another cell got up in the most gorgeous style, the walls hung with crewel work and sporting prints (rather an odd combination) and the carpeting and upholstering gaudy and extensive in the extreme. From the cells I was conducted over the library and kitchens. The former I found well stocked with books of every description and most admirably arranged to meet all possible requirements.

The kitchen and bakehouse were beautifully clean, and the food and supplies appeared to be of the best quality. From the inquiries I made it seemed to me that the prisoners had just as much food as they wanted and this was borne out by my own observations, for I remarked that in the cells I entered there was meat and bread in the cupboards, which proved to me that there could not be any actual hunger existing. At the expiration of some tow hours stay in the Penitentiary I came to the conclusion that a man could be very comfortable there and under any circumstances, even if he were guilty of the hideous crime of being poor, would not be half so badly off as an ordinary English laborer.

Now comes the difficult question to decide: Is this the best way to treat criminals? And does the practical working of it prove that the great end and aim of a prison system is arrived at namely, the reformation of the criminal and the decrease of crime? If this question can be satisfactorily proved, then the problem is solved and the whole present European system of prison discipline mush be abandoned and the old country must once more own that our young cousins are just right ahead of us.” The two systems are so entirely different that it is a most difficult question to analyze, and practical results alone must decide the question.

The English system is to make a man as uncomfortable as possible and so deter, or rather frighten him from further crime. The American system, on the contrary, tries by kindness, by precept by example, to lead a man to higher, better life; strives to show him what industry will do for him and to inculcate a taste and habitude for persistent, steady work.

This at least appears to me to be the case and aim of the Eastern Penitentiary, and although the almighty dollar evidently goes a long way, a great and good work is still being done, and statistics prove that it is so. Crime in America is on the decrease and the percentage of criminals less than in Europe.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

'Stacy' email origin to Drew's house

Distance 17 miles from
Drew's house to origin of
the "Stacy" email to Ric
Mims web-site.