Death Warrant Signed for Rapper Who Killed Philadelphia Police Officer

Christopher Roney — aka Philadelphia rapper Cool C — is scheduled to be executed January 8th. He killed Lauretha Vaird in 1996. Two others are serving life.

Office Lauretha Vaird's funeral, January 11, 1996. AP file photo/Nanine Hartzenbusch

Officer Lauretha Vaird’s funeral, January 11, 1996. AP file photo/Nanine Hartzenbusch

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has signed an execution warrant for the man convicted of Philadelphia police officer Lauretha Vaird’s murder.

Christopher Roney, who was convicted of killing Vaird during a January 1996 bank robbery in Feltonville on Rising Sun Avenue, is scheduled to be executed on January 8th of next year. Vaird, who was wearing a bulletproof vest without its protective panels, was killed by a single shot to the abdomen; she was the first female officer killed in the line of duty.

Vaird was a popular officer on the police force. She constantly carried around giant black bags, and two officers called her “The Bag Lady.”

“Back on June 20, 1986, I had the opportunity to meet Laurie,” officer Richard Safford eulogized at Vaird’s funeral. “She sat in the midst of us in class. There were more men than women there. She gained our respect immediately. And when she came to the 25th [Police District], it did not change. She gained respect there immediately, too.”

Before he was convicted of the killing, Roney was known as Cool C and released five albums on Ruffhouse Records. An accomplice in the robbery, Warren McGlone — better known as Steady B — was sentenced to life in prison without parole. His uncle said after Vaird’s murder that the duo rapped with Will Smith when they were all kids.

A third accomplice, Mark Canty, was also sentenced to life in prison without parole. Cool C has maintained his innocence — he and his mother both said he was home cooking breakfast at the time — but a mountain of evidence convinced jurors to convict and seek the death penalty.

A Boys and Girls Club is Feltonville is named in Lauretha Vaird’s memory.


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    If he were caught on film or red handed I would agree with the penalty but eye witness testimony should never be enough for death. Too many witness have been wrong in the past.

    • in the know

      Shooting at the cop on the way out of the bank and bank-tellers and witnesses outside ID’d him. Not a perfect world that you are used to with everyone having cell phones and recording everything now. He was a broken down rapper on his way out and implicated by his friends/co-defendants . His mom “Conveniently” never mentioned he was home with her when she was first interviewed.

      • Farrah Wells

        I heard she did say it early on.
        Therefore if that is true ,as i heard this years ago late 90s,
        i couldn’t give him a guilty verdict,and or death…
        I am not a person who can just say ok i believe all the eyewitnesses,need more proof than that. I am sure hence he will be appealing this and will take even longer to implement the execution,as it is his right to appeal,as much as feasible… RIP to the victim.

    • Morgan Farantino-Clark

      ICAM with this post. i couldn’t agree more

  • Fix the photo caption. It says “Office Lauretha Vaird’s funeral…”

  • Jerry Daley

    Overdue. But, given the unending number of appeals available, it will never be carried out.

    • Morgan Farantino-Clark

      please expound on this:
      isn’t it immediate if a person was”prior given a death sentence,i.e. he was given it way back in mid upper 1990s’,then overturned/issued a stay mid 2000s so are they done with appeals,or no? I also hear mom said he was home with her. i can’t grant a death sentence after decades 20 yrs he already serve,for this”crime”of a officer.Not if a mother is saying he was home with me. eyewitness testimony is not always correct.

      • Farrah Wells

        I’ve sat on jury few times. i gotta be honest. i would not say guilty let alone”death row”if a cop was involve,or regular person who was killed by some one. I have to be so sure about it.100000% not just partial sure. Mom said,he was home.That is relevant to me.

        I am sure hence he will be appealing this and will take even longer to implement the execution,as it is his right to appeal,as much as feasible… RIP to the victim.

    • Wale Akinsefunmi

      I think all his appeals are exhausted. The appeal process takes quite some time, an average of ten years that’s why it takes a while to carry out the execution. This guy is well over ten years. Thats why he’s been given a D.O.E.
      All that’s left is either a pardon or they find new evidence for a new trial, which are less likely to happen…..

  • SteveJacksonRealMan

    E.W.T. is not reliable/best testimony imo… “eye witness testimony” if i was a juror.sorry i can’t just premise one’s guilt on that,when we are talkin’about D.R. here.(death row.) His mother said,”my son was home with me,eating/cooking breakfast.”i would believe that,before anything else.RIP to the lady officer. i rememer first hearing as a teen,about this in ma philly area. sad story all around. But i m not for death row. Not in this specified case. 1

    • Morgan Farantino-Clark

      great post.icam steve. good point.

    • Farrah Wells

      I’ve been a juror steve.and i agree on that.i am not a person who can just say ok i believe all the eyewitnesses,need more proof than that. I am sure hence he will be appealing this and will take even longer to implement the execution,as it is his right to appeal,as much as feasible… RIP to the victim.

    • Guest

      Fun facts: Besides not wearing masks or anything covering their faces, they dropped a gun on the way out that was registered to Steady B’s wife …… She testified against all of them!

  • bdj1

    Until all the police that continue to murder innocent Americans get the death penalty for their murders, I don’t care if he did it or not, he doesn’t deserve to die. And no sane person can automatically believe a cop. Seems like 99% of all police cases end up with “they went for my gun, so I had to kill them…. yeah, I know their hands were handcuffed behind their backs, still had to shoot them”

    • Steve

      That is the most illogical thing I’ve read all day.

    • TexasLovie

      You are desperately ignorant. I am a survivor of an Officer killed in the line of duty and the shooter was in the passenger seat when my father in law was shot three times in the head. So take your “statistic” and shove it. And if he did do it, they should have electrocuted him right after the sentence and saved tax payer’s money.

      • bdj1

        Fine, if you think he should be executed for commuting a murder if you think he is guilty. I’m saying you can’t really get your panties in a was unless you agree that the crooked cops that murder, rape, torture should be executed as well for their crimes against humanity.

        If you think only people that kill cops should pay and not corrupt cops, then you would be the one ignorant.

        All I’m saying is fair and equal. And fair and equal is not ignorant. Now granted police don’t like that concept beacuse they tend to feel high and mighty carrying a gun and c

        • murdog

          you are not only ignorant but also a A******HOLE

          • bdj1

            Funny. We disagree so you call names…. Men in blue May shoot me dead, but your names will never hurt me.