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18-Year-Old Man Charged in Slayings of Girls on Lookout; Drug Use Alleged

December 7, 1995

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) _ An 18-year-old murdered two ``All-American″ teen-age girls at a popular lookout five months ago because one victim _ who told a friend she feared for her life _ owed him $400 for cocaine, police said.

Christopher Bissey of Salisbury Township was charged early this morning with the two murders, which sent a chill through this small town north of Philadelphia.

According to the arrest affidavit, the elder victim, 17-year-old Jennifer Grider, told a friend she was meeting Bissey at ``The Lookout″ the night of June 29. She said she feared he would kill her over the debt, the affidavit said.

Grider and her best friend, Mary Orlando, 15, were shot at a 50-foot stretch of stone ledge overlooking the Lehigh University campus as they apparently prepared to eat food they had just bought at a nearby stand.

Many in the community had described the two as clean-cut, well-behaved, All-American girls.

``I don’t want to comment on that development,″ Grider’s mother, Joan said. ``As far as I knew, Jennifer wasn’t into any of that.″ Earlier, she had said, ``My first reaction was I felt sick.″

Northampton District Attorney John Morganelli said Bissey drove to the lookout with two other males, fired several shots from a vehicle, got out, fired several more, then left. He said no charges are pending against the other two.

Capt. Herbert Goldfeder said the arrest followed an anonymous telephone tip about five days ago. Police said last month they had no suspects.

Grider said police told her Bissey and the girls were acquainted, although she and her husband, Carl, do not know Bissey.

Their daughter was a high school senior, trying to earn money for Penn State University, where she planned to major in occupational therapy. Orlando, a high school junior, was an assistant dance instructor who dreamed of fame in New York.

A $63,000 reward was offered for information leading to an arrest in the case, in large part by neighbors who sold powder-pink ribbons. The bows have been tied to porch railings and mailboxes in the neighborhood.

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