PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ The stabbing death of a 30-year-old woman has renewed concern about eight other deaths police have said may be the work of a serial killer.
A man has been jailed without bond since May in one of the previous deaths, which date back five years. All the previous victims were women who had been repeatedly stabbed or bludgeoned. Several had been sexually assaulted.
The woman’s partially clad body was found about 1 p.m. Saturday in her apartment in the city’s Frankford section, police said. She had been stabbed numerous times in the stomach and chest. No weapon was found and there was no sign of forced entry.
Detective Warren Rosen declined to comment Sunday on whether police believe the woman’s death was related to the others or whether she had been sexually assaulted. The investigation continued, he said.
He would not identify the woman, pending notification of relatives.
Five of the previous victims were killed in Frankford and the others were killed nearby or frequented bars in Frankford.
Leonard Christopher, 38, of the Frankford section, has been ordered to stand trial on charges of murder, robbery, possession of an instrument of crime and abuse of corpse.
He is charged in the death of Carol Dowd, 46, whose body was found April 28 behind a fish market three blocks from the scene of the latest killing. She had been stabbed 36 times and mutilated.
Christopher has been accused only in that case, police stressed.
Five of the previous victims had been patrons of the Golden Bar in Frankford:
- Helen Patent, 52, of Middletown, Bucks County, whose body was found Aug. 26, 1985, in a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority maintenance yard in Frankford. She had been stabbed 47 times and sexually assaulted.
- Anna Carroll, 68, of South Philadelphia, who was found in her home Jan. 2, 1986, with a kitchen knife embedded in her body.
- Susan Olszef, 64, of the city’s Bridesburg section, who was found dead of stab wounds in her home Dec. 25, 1986.
- Jeanne Durkin, 28, a homeless woman found dead Jan. 8, 1987. She had been stabbed 74 times and sexually assaulted.
- Catherine M. Jones, 29, found bludgeoned Jan. 29, 1987, in the city’s Northern Liberties section.
Another victim, Theresa Sciortino, 30, of Frankford, was last seen alive at the Jolly Post Tavern in Frankford. She was found dead Jan. 18, 1989. She was stabbed 25 times and had been sexually assaulted.
Marge Vaughan, 66, was found stabbed Nov. 11, 1988, in the foyer of a Frankford apartment building from which she had recently been evicted.