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Two Men Arrested in Jogger Rape, Murder in Well-to-Do Philly Neighborhood

November 29, 1995

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Two men were charged Wednesday with raping and murdering a young woman during her morning jog in a crime that shattered people’s peace of mind in one of the city’s wealthiest, safest neighborhoods.

Herbert Haak, 25, and Richard Wise, 19, were arrested in the Nov. 2 slaying of Kimberly Ernest, a 26-year-old paralegal who was beaten and strangled near Rittenhouse Square Park.

``For some reason, Philadelphia embraced this girl,″ said Homicide Sgt. Paul Musi. ``This (arrest) was the answer to a lot of people’s prayers. The case is solved.″

The murder scene became a shrine, where friends and strangers alike left flowers, candles and notes. Hundreds of people turned out for the victim’s memorial service two weeks ago.

Haak and Wise, who lived blocks from the murder scene, accosted Ernest sometime after she left her apartment around 6 a.m., police said. Her partially clothed body was found 1 1/2 hours later in a stairwell on a leafy street of expensive row homes, small businesses and young professionals.

Many residents of the well-to-do neighborhood said the murder gave them their first real concern for their safety.

``It freaked me out real bad,″ said Joyce Gosciniak, a nursing student. ``Now I carry pepper Mace and always try to find someone to walk with.″

Kane said investigators believe it was a random attack. ``These two birds are out there and they happen to confront her and she ends up dead,″ said Homicide Chief Inspector Jerry Kane.

Kane refused to say what led police to the two men but said police knew of the men the first week after the murder and had questioned them repeatedly.

Haak was already in jail, on unrelated charges of violating parole. Wise was arrested late Tuesday.

Haak has a record of at least five arrests on stolen property charges, Kane said.

In 1989 he was charged with stealing a police officer’s gun and badge. Former neighbors said he told them he was once a police officer.

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