Pulse: Chatter: Philadelphia Magazine: 100 Years: Murky Waters

In honor of our centennial, we look back at some of the stories that shaped Philly Mag

One of the most notable stories of the 1990s was Andrew Corsello’s Murky Waters (June 1995), about the mysterious drowning of four West Philly boys in the Schuylkill River. In the weeks following the deaths, the entire community tried to piece together the youths’ last hours in their notoriously crime-ridden neighborhood, based on limited evidence. The victims’ families suspected foul play, while police deemed the deaths a tragic accident — but, Corsello, now a writer at GQ, recalls, “The irresolution haunted everybody.” His account of the uncertainties and frustrations both sides encountered as they sought answers didn’t solve the riddle of the boys’ demise — the mystery remains — but brought to light for the whole city one of its neighborhoods’ darkest moments.