Police Seek Murder Warrant For Last Tennant Of Death Apartment
Aug. 13, 1987
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Police recommended Wednesday that prosecutors file murder charges against the missing occupant of a trash-filled apartment where the decomposed remains of seven people were found.
Harrison ''Marty'' Graham, 28, who rented the flea-infested third floor apartment in north Philadelphia, was last seen Sunday when his landlord's son, Greg Smalley, asked him to leave. A short time later, a rank smell led Smalley to look through the keyhole, and he called police.
Small bones in the necks of two of the victims had been crushed, indicating they were strangled by hand, according to the medical examiners office. Officials had not determined how the other five died. None had been identified.
The district attorney's office has issued a warrant for Graham's arrest on seven counts of abuse of a corpse.
Terry Williamson, spokesman for the district attorney's office, said murder charges probably would not be filed officially until Graham is found. ''All we know right now is he lived there. The evidence is somewhat circumstantial,'' he said.
Homicide Lt. James Hansen said Wednesday that police had stopped digging in a vacant lot across from the apartment building but were preparing to dig in the yard behind the building and four adjacent row houses. He said he didn't expect to find any more bodies in the yard.
The building was condemned Tuesday by the city department of licenses and inspections as unfit for human inhabitation, Hansen said.
The remains of six people were discovered Sunday in Graham's top-floor apartment and foot and leg bones of another person were found on the building's roof.
At least four women were known to have lived with Graham at the apartment, a suspected ''shooting gallery'' where addicts would go to inject themselves with drugs. Syringes, needles and other drug paraphernalia were found in the apartment, but no drugs were discovered, police said.
Graham's mother, Lilliam Graham, told police her son was placed in a Philadelphia hospital for two years when he was 12 with unspecified mental problems. She said her son's mental problems made him uncontrollable, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Wednesday.
Graham frequently made sketches of nude women on notebooks or the walls of his apartment, police said.
Neighbors described him as an amiable man who often made money performing odd jobs, but turned to drink and drugs when his $300 Social Security check arrived at the first of each month.
''He'd go out and bring in women, usually one or two. He'd have a bag of bottles, booze of various kinds,'' said Nathaniel Choice, Graham's next-door neighbor and landlord.
Choice said Graham moved into the two-room, $90-a-month apartment about six years ago and always paid his rent on time.
Patricia White, 43, who lives near the building, told police she once heard screams coming from the apartment and looked up to see Graham dangling a woman out of the window, according to police. Ms. White said he pulled the woman in, but she never saw the woman again, according to police.