Helen K. Adair, Mercer
Daughter, Pamela Adair-West, 38, was shot in her apartment that she shared with her 15 year-old daughter, February 15, 1994. Her killer fired several shots; the fatal bullet entered Pamela's head, traveled through her bladder and lodged in her spine. Pamela's daughter was on the phone at the time and when she heard shots, she asked her friend to call 911. Pamela was air-lifted to a hospital where she died several hours later. The perpetrator was a minister, Rev. Clyde G. Cooks, known to Pamela and her family. It is believed that he had been stalking Pamela and went into hiding after her murder. Cooks telephoned friends to obtain money and when he drove to pick up the money, he was met by two police cars that drove up next to him. Cooks swerved off the road, ran into a pole and shot himself, committing suicide.
Judi Baglier, Renfrew
Son, John, 18, abducted at gunpoint from a local mall, November 9, 1996. John was shot three times and then his body was dumped in a storm culvert near the killer's home. John's body was discovered seven weeks later. Richard Gamble, 23, was never arrested or convicted for John's murder. He used John's credit card for purchases shortly after murdering him and stole John's vehicle. Gamble killed himself three days later in a standoff with the Arizona police.
Genell and Pete Cozart, Farrell
Son, Darryl, 33, murdered as he arrived home from work, March 1, 1997. Darryl had left work late and outside his home was confronted by two strangers, who were waiting for him. They tied a rope around Darryl's neck, dragged his body over and put him in his own van. They took Darryl to one of their homes, down in the basement and shot Darryl six times in the back, destroying the right side of his head and face. It was a suspect's wife who set up Darryl's murder as he had rejected her. His body was discovered ten days later in Ohio. The shooter was arrested before Darryl's funeral. He was convicted of first degree pre-meditated murder and sentenced June 29, 1998 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Barbara and Paul DiMario, Aston
Her daughter, Hope Popoleo, 26, and Hope’s friend,
Rick Pepe, 35, were both shot
and killed as they sat in a sports bar, April 21, 1993. Hope was shot in
the back three times and Rick was shot in the neck and died as he attempted to
shield Hope from their killer, Teryl Wyrick. Wyrick was an acquaintance of
Hope's who said he had fallen in love with her and if he couldn't have her, no
one else could! Wyrick was arrested, convicted and sentenced April
Theresa Grgurich, Hermitage & Robert Whorten, Sharon
Son & Grandson, Brian Daniel Grgurich, 17, attended a party, January 18, 2003 and where alcohol and methadone were furnished by adults. After he passed out, the party continued, despite the fact Brian was having trouble breathing and soon died. After the party-goers had cleaned up they decided to call an ambulance. They had waited too long. Three juveniles and one adult suspect, Dominick R. Yeropoli, 23 were arrested. December 2003: Two juveniles went to two separate facilities while the third juvenile went to a Juvenile Detention Center. Yeropoli was sentenced to 30 days in jail, ordered to pay court costs and a fine of $1000. In addition Yeropoli had to perform 200 hours of community service!
Melissa Hottenstein, Center Valley
Nephew, James Brennan, Jr., 20, was attacked outside a bar by five men October 2, 1998. James was horribly beaten, including four skull fractures and succumbed four days later, October 6, 1998. The five suspects were all under 21 years of age and had been drinking at the bar. The case went to a grand jury. It is believed that possible key information was not released nor were key witnesses allowed to testify. No one was held or convicted of James' murder.
Margaret J. Hughes, Farrell
Daughter, Tonya Adaire Wilson, 25, was fatally shot after her estranged husband, Robert E. Wilson, rammed her car, July 21, 1992. Tonya's 6-1/2 year-old daughter witnessed her mother's murder. Tonya had been separated from her estranged husband because of domestic violence. Robert E. Wilson was arrested, convicted and sentenced to twenty-four years to life, with firearm specifications, unlawful possession of a danger ordnance illegal gun possession and drug abuse. Tonya's mother Margaret has raised two of Tonya's children. In 2008, Wilson wanted an appellate court to reverse his conviction of killing his wife, Tonya.
Kathleen Kennedy, Boothwyn*
Her son, Michael J. Montgomery, Jr., 33, was stabbed multiple times on June 29, 2007. Michael fought for his life for nine days before succumbing to his wounds, July 8, 2007. Michael had been talking to a girl when her boyfriend got angry and stabbed him. The perpetrator was arrested, convicted of 3rd Degree Murder with a manslaughter sentence of 8-16 years, five years probation.
Roger & Jan McQuaid, Pittsburgh*
Their son, Tod Edwin McQuaid, 35, was executed by three of his employees, a female and two males, who drugged him with Valium, then shot and killed him, October 6, 1990. As part of this pre-meditated murder, Tod's body was taken to Ohio and dumped in a ravine, never to be found. Tammy Wilson was the instigator who planned Tod's murder and who convinced the two male employees, Roger E. Cline and Harry Joe Johnson to take part as she wanted to take over Tod's two businesses. The three were eventually arrested, convicted and sentenced. Tammy Wilson received First Degree Murder without mercy, never to be paroled. However, she got a plea bargain retrial due to Writ of Habeas Corpus in 2000 and her sentence was reduced. She was up for her third parole in 2010! Harry Joe Johnson plea bargained and received 5-18 years and was released in 9 years. Roger E. Cline, the shooter, received First Degree Murder with mercy which was 10 years to life. He has been denied parole three times.
Carole Sarrafian, Malvern*
Her Mother, Helen Hutchinson, 50, was strangled in her home, February 25, 1994. Originally, it was not investigated as a murder for several weeks until the medical examiner's autopsy photos were released. Helen's death was then considered a homicide but it is still unsolved. No arrest(s).
Beth Smith, Farrell
Her Father, Harold Root, 70, beaten with a crowbar and stabbed to death
in his living room during a home burglary, February 14, 1998. There were two suspects: Mr. Roots' distant relative and the relative's girlfriend, both known drug users. The relative had come to Mr. Root's home the night before demanding money so when Mr. Root was murdered, the two became immediate suspects. The girlfriend was given immunity and set free. The perpetrator was convicted and sentenced May 1999 to life without parole.
Dorothy and Frank Thoma, Springdale
Their daughter, Melissa, 27, was shot to death in her own home, August 28, 1998. Her former boyfriend came into her home, shot Melissa three times in the chest and then he committed suicide.
Lin and Sol Toder, Pittsburgh
Their daughter, Nan Toder, 33, was bludgeoned to death with a machete and strangled while she was sleeping in a hotel room, December 13, 1996. Nan, who lived in Florida, had been in Illinois for a week of training through her company. Christopher Richee, the hotel's handyman gained access through an adjoining hotel room. It was later learned that Richee had a record that included arrests for theft and illegal use of weapons and had been investigated for burglary, arson and stalking! Richee never confessed to killing Nan; it took an informant to tell Cook County Il. Cold Case detectives about Richee. Richee was convicted of first-degree murder, which in Illinois, carries an automatic life sentence without parole. However the conviction was overturned on a technicality and a plea deal for 40 years was accepted. NOTE: Nan's parents have been working on "Nan's Law" which would require greater security measures by the hotel and motel industry.
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