City Offering $20K Reward in Downtown Slaying

Center City killing suspect

Image via Philadelphia Police Department

During the World Meeting of Families conference in September, a man was fatally stabbed at Broad and Arch streets. The killing happened on 6:40 a.m. on September 24th, just two days before Pope Francis’ visit to Philly began.

But with papal preparations in full swing and the pope’s arrival two days later, the incident outside JFK Behavioral Health Center disappeared from the news almost immediately. The stabbing was not connected to the World Meeting or the pope’s visit.

Cops have now released video of a suspect in the killing, and are asking the public’s help in identifying him. The City of Philadelphia is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of this suspect. Read more »

WXPN Volunteer Photographer Charged With Child Pornography

WXPN volunteer photographer Mark Wilkens.

WXPN volunteer photographer Mark Wilkens.

A 57-year-old Philadelphia man, Mark Wilkens, has been charged with manufacturing and possessing child pornography. According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia, he captured sexually explicit images of prepubescent children at WXPN events where he was a volunteer photographer. Read more »

Tracking Devices Alone Can’t Fix Philly’s Prison Problem


Our new Mayor, Jim Kenney, has already joined a chorus of voices taking on Philadelphia’s crowded prisons. But one solution the city’s looking toward — electronic monitoring devices — should sound some alarms.

An electronic monitor (EM) is usually an ankle bracelet connected to an electronic box that tracks the wearer’s location, at different levels of detail depending on the technology. As Philadelphia and other big incarceration centers look to reduce the huge costs and inhumane practices linked to mass imprisonment, EMs have gotten good press as a prison alternative. Last year, NewsWorks reported Judge Kevin Dougherty — one of two Philadelphia-area judges elected this week to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court — praising electronic monitoring of juveniles on house arrest. Just this week, a spokesman for the city’s judicial district told the Daily News that the district will add 1,200 more EMs to cut the jail population.

There are two frequently cited advantages of EMs as a prison alternative. First, and most obvious, they’re supposed to keep people out of prison for minor offenses and so allow more humane policing of offenders, while reducing strain on overstuffed prisons. Second, they’re supposed to be far cheaper than incarceration, which nationally costs taxpayers an average of over $30,000 a year per inmate.

Before getting to the holes in those two claims, it’s important to note that EMs only address one level of many factors behind mass incarceration in the U.S. They don’t speak to elements of the justice system that play a role before conviction and after incarceration, from problematic stop-and-frisk practices to inadequate societal reentry programs. So even at best, EMs can’t be viewed as a “key” to fixing a broken prison system. They’d be a practical, quick-to-implement means of cutting numbers and costs in prisons. Read more »

Chaka Fattah Jr. Guilty On 22 Counts

FILE - In this Aug. 14, 2014 file photo Chaka Fattah Jr., walks from the U.S. Courthouse in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

FILE – In this Aug. 14, 2014 file photo Chaka Fattah Jr., walks from the U.S. Courthouse in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Chaka Fattah Jr., the 32-year-old son of powerful Congressman Chaka Fattah and stepson of on-leave NBC10 anchor Renee Chenault-Fattah, has been found guilty of 22 of 23 counts against him in Philadelphia’s federal courthouse on Thursday. Read more »

Man Wanted for Two Robberies on Halloween Night in West Philly

Philadelphia Police are on the lookout for a man who they say committed multiple robberies in West Philadelphia over the last few days.

Cops say the same man committed crimes on Halloween and the following morning. In the first, on October 31st at 8:19 p.m., he struck a man in the face with a handgun on the 300 block of North 52nd Street. The 26-year-old victim, who had just left a Chinese food restaurant, had his wallet taken from him; it contained $400 and his most recent paycheck. The suspect fled south.

In the second robbery that night, at around 2 a.m. on November 1st, a second victim was buying cigarettes at the Sunoco mini-mart at 46th and Walnut streets. Police say the same suspect approached him and asked for a cigarette. He was about to hand one over when the man put a gun in his face and said, “Give me everything in your pockets before I shoot you.” He gave him $80, then the suspect demanded his cell phone and cigarettes. Read more »

WATCH: South Street Scammers Get Away with iPhones, Cash

Police have released a video of two scammers on South Street who supposedly sold a man multiple iPhones — only to have performed a swap, leaving the man without his money and without the phones.

The police didn’t call it as such like they did in the spring, but this is most definitely a flim flam scam. Be alert, marks!

Here’s what happened, according to police: The first suspect walked into the L&M Market at 1208 South Street and told an employee he was selling iPhones. The victim, a 34-year-old male employee, talked with the first suspect about buying the phones. He declined, but the man wasn’t taking no for an answer. He enlisted a second suspect and chatted with the victim for an hour. To talk about buying some iPhones. This deal seems on the up and up already! Read more »

Dear Philadelphia: Where Are My Freaking Pumpkins!?

I’m only going to ask this once: Where are my pumpkins, Philadelphia?

I know where they used to be. At one point, they were lined up neatly on my steps, smallest to plumpest, as if ready to march off to their first day of pumpkin school. Others were nestled safe and sound in my window box, which as of October became a shrine to Decorative Gourd Season.

When the first one went missing, I brushed it off. It’s my first fall in South Philly proper — where the Halloween decorations went up in September and the Christmas lights are already twinkling — and I admittedly went a little overboard while trying to fit in with my neighbors. I could have easily miscounted my many pumpkins.

When the second one disappeared, I stayed positive. Maybe someone walking by recognized my pumpkin’s potential and brought it home to help it live out its wildest pumpkin dreams. Perhaps my pumpkin was in a better place, living a life I couldn’t provide. If he was transformed into an award-winning pie or a first-prize jack-o’-lantern, I could have moved on in the name of “If you love something, let it go.”

But when I woke up one morning to a mere three surviving pumpkins, rage set in.

Maybe I’ll ask again: Where in unholy hell are my pumpkins, Philadelphia? Read more »

Woman Abducted In West Philadelphia On Halloween [UPDATED]


UPDATE 11/1/2015 6:10 p.m.: Good news comes from the Philadelphia Police Department. The woman has been identified and located, and it turns out that the incident was far less serious than it could have been. Here is the statement released by police:

Good evening, thanks to the quick response from our media affiliates in releasing the provided information, the female in the attached photos has been identified and located.

The female was upset due to recent personal matters and she had fled from another vehicle while driving with a family member. The video that was released to the media depicts the female’s family members grabbing her to take her home where she would receive the full support of her family.


On Halloween night in West Philadelphia, the woman seen in these photos was forced into a minivan at a West Philadelphia gas station, and now police are asking for the public’s help. Read more »

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