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The Killing Ground: A Month’s Worth of Philadelphia Murders [Philadelphia magazine]

by Hope Katz
Philadelphia magazine
April 1986

ACCORDING TO THE HOMICIDE DIVISION of the Philadelphia Police Department, 25 murders were committed in Philadelphia during the month of January 1986. Of the 25 victims, 20 were males, 18 were black, four were white and three were Hispanic. Nineteen of the 25 were 40 years old or younger.

Suspects were arrested in 12 of the 25 cases. Of those suspects, 11 are males, nine are black, two are white and one is Hispanic.

Twenty-five murders are about average for the past few Januarys, but the total number of murders in 1985—274 of them—is far fewer than the 435 slayings in 1975. Police officials say the number of murders is decreasing, in part, because the number of 15-to-35-year-olds—the main age group of both killers and victims—is also dropping as a percentage of Philadelphia’s population.

Here’s a look inside the crimes:

JANUARY 1—Rosebud Mayo, 40, stabbed and beaten on New Year’s Eve inside her house on N. Hutchinson Street. Died a day later. Former boyfriend, Ronald Waumber, 25, of N. Robinson Street, was arrested and charged.

JANUARY 2—Anna Canto, 68, stabbed inside her house on Ritner Street. No suspects.
Harold Par, 31, shot at intersection of Marshall and Tioga Streets. No arrest.

JANUARY 3—Gladys Dirikson, 62, robbed and stabbed while waiting for bus at 17th and York. In February, Timothy Lume, 24, of Ewing, New Jersey, was charged.

JANUARY 4—Iris Negron, 23, shot in her home on N. 7th Street. Warren Cho, 34, of N. Hancock Street, charged with her murder. Clement Daley, 31, stabbed inside his home on S. Cecil Street. Carl Brown, 27, of N. 33rd Street, charged with the murder.

JANUARY 6—David Schick, 58, of 3913 Bennington Street, shot in the chest after answering killer’s knock at the door. Schick, talking on the phone, lived long enough to name his alleged assailant Harry Buzby, 55, of Lardners Cove to person on other end of fine.

JANUARY 7—Damien Drake, 1, allegedly thrown against a TV set by babysitter Eddie Malone, 25, while inside her residence at 1912 N. Patton Street. Drake died of head injuries.

JANUARY 8—Janet Tennessee, 23, found nude and strangled in a vacant lot on Florence Street. Police have no leads. Micky Johnson, 20, stabbed inside his home on Tackawanna Place. No arrests. Steven Waters, 23, shot in the head on December 24th, on the sidewalk on N. 38th Street. He died January 8th. George Lewis, 26, of Folsom Street, arrested and charged.

JANUARY 9—Mm Harris, 2, beaten to death inside his house on W. Venango Street. His mother’s boyfriend, Gregory Dozier, 34, of W. Jefferson Street, arrested and charged with murder.

JANUARY 10—Michael Deinamwicz, 22, stabbed inside his father’s house on S. Franklin Street. Body found frozen in a ditch on Route 295. Joseph Deinarowicz, his 44-year-old father, arrested and charged with murder.

JANUARY 12—Robert Nunnally, 31, a sailor on leave from Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, stabbed in the chest at Ns Albans Street apartment. His car was also stolen. No suspects.

JANUARY 13—Michael RWM 24, killed inside Flanigan’s nightclub at 2nd and South Streets. Shot in the head at close range by unknown man during a quarrel. No arrests.

JANUARY 14—Stan Redfeam, 32, shot on the 400 block of N. Bustin Street. No suspects.

JANUARY 15—Barry Adams, 27, stabbed inside a house on Reed Street. No suspects.

JANUARY 17—Tom Moreno, 47, stabbed inside a vacant house on N. Ofianna Street. No suspects.

JANUARY 22—Raymond Cinbw, 26, shot in house on N. Orkey Street by unknown man. No arrests. Matthew Sharp, 24, stabbed to death on Germantown Avenue. Brent Bow. , 29, of Morton Street arrested and charged.

JANUARY 23—Russel Barnes, 37, shot to death in a vacant lot on S. Hanson Street. No suspects.

JANUARY 24—Aubrey Alan Gravatk 40 shot to death on sidewalk on W. Cheltenham Avenue. The high-powered rifle shot came from outside Climax Lounge, where Gravatt had been thrown out after allegedly quarreling with customers. No arrests. Arnold Pickney, 39, shot to death inside the Princess Lounge at 5337 Chestnut Street. No arrests.

JANUARY 26—James Willerspoon, 51, stabbed to death on Belmar Terrace. Liward Muldor, 51, also of Belmar Terrace, arrested and charged.

JANUARY 31—John Jones Jr., 42, shot to death in his alleged killer’s home on E. Wister Street. Fred Freeman, 39, arrested and charged.

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"I get by with a little help from my friends," says Hope, who gives special thanks to:

• MICHAEL GIBBS, website illustration and design: www.michaelgibbs.com
• MAX KUKOY, website development: www.maxwebworks.com
• STEVE BARRETT, portrait of Hope on Bio page: www.stevebarrettphotography.com

Contact HOPE KATZ GIBBS by phone [703-346-6975] or email.

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