Amid Sex Abuse Allegations, Service for Murdered Journalist Josh Kruger Canceled

Plus, noted Philly-area antisemite and gym freak joins Trump family rally tour.

josh kruger, the murdered philadelphia journalist who has been accused of sexually abusing the suspect in his death

Josh Kruger, the murdered Philadelphia journalist. He’s been accused of sexually abusing the suspect in his murder (photo via Facebook/Josh Kruger)

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Amid Sex Abuse Allegations, Josh Kruger Celebration-of-Life Service Canceled

Yesterday, I told you about some troubling allegations that have arisen about murdered Philadelphia journalist and activist Josh Kruger. Since then, the October 29th celebration-of-life service for Kruger has been canceled.

The service was being spearheaded by the William Way Community Center and City Hall. (Kruger once worked for the city and did advocacy work.)

Here’s a statement from the William Way Community Center:

The William Way Community Center has decided to cancel the Celebration of Life for Josh Kruger scheduled for October 29th, 2023, at the Center. With the allegations that have recently surfaced about Josh’s murder and the complexities involved, we don’t believe that we can create a safe space, either for Josh’s friends and family, or for those who have rightful anger and concerns over allegations of child sexual abuse. As more is revealed about the facts of the case, we hope that together we can figure out the right next steps to acknowledge and remember the many victims in this case—individuals, families and communities.

Noted Philly-Area Antisemite and Gym Freak Ian Smith Joins Donald Trump Family Rally Tour

What’s an anti-government COVID denier to do once COVID mania is over? If you’re South Jersey resident Ian Smith, you become a full-blown Hitler-defending, Holocaust-denying antisemite which, naturally, qualifies you to stump for Donald Trump.

Smith originally shot to, uh, fame in mid-May 2020. You remember May 2020. Full-blown COVID panic. You couldn’t eat inside a single restaurant in the entirety of Pennsylvania. Nor could you find a gym to work out in anywhere in or near Philadelphia. Well, unless you wanted to take the 10-minute trip over the Ben Franklin Bridge to Bellmawr. That was the home of Smith’s Atilis Gym.

Ian Smith, the Philly-area antisemite joining the Donald Trump family rally tour

Ian Smith, the Philly-area antisemite joining the Donald Trump family rally tour (photo courtesy of Matt Johnson/Right Cheer)

Two months into New Jersey’s gym-shutdown order, Smith said enough is enough and declared he was going to reopen. Fox 29 sensationalist extraordinaire Steve Keeley breathlessly reported from the scene as Smith did just that. Shortly thereafter, government officials showed up at Atilis Gym and shut it down, levying all kind of fines and court costs against the gym. So, because the gym bore no responsibility in any of this, it launched a “legal defense” GoFundMe that at its peak was raking in $1,000 per hour. Eventually, donations topped $500,000.

It’s not exactly clear what happened to all that cash or in Smith’s brain after the controversy died down. But he somehow went from anti-lockdown symbol to a Jews Control the World conspiracy guy who makes appearances at events around the country with names like Freedom Fest and winds up on questionable podcasts. I’m not going to poison your mind with too much of what Smith’s rhetoric is like these days, but suffice to say the guy has basically come out saying, c’mon, was Hitler really that evil?

I’m not sure if some of Smith’s more lunatic-fringe rantings led to him losing his 2022 bid for one of New Jersey’s congressional seats, but one thing’s for sure: None of that matters to the MAGA hardliners. Smith is one of the featured guests this weekend at Trump National Doral Miami, which is hosting the Donald Trump-promoting ReAwaken America tour, also featuring Lara Trump and Eric Trump. As if I needed another reason to avoid Florida.

Cop Killed at Philadelphia International Airport

Two Philadelphia police officers showed up for work at Philadelphia International Airport late on Thursday night, parking in one of the garages there. Once they parked, say police, they saw people they believed to be trying to break into cars in the parking garage. They intervened, shots were fired, and the suspects shot both cops, one of whom died from his injuries. Police haven’t released many details about the suspects, but one person on the scene was transported to the hospital. It’s unclear if that person was a suspect or just a bystander. This is the second police shooting in as many weeks.

On Language


And the Mental Floss website — one of our faves — very kindly provided this comprehensive study of the origin of the exclamation “Yo!” and who knew, yo? It’s way older than you think.

By the Numbers

6-to-1: Student-to-faculty ratio reported by the University of Pennsylvania to the college rankers at U.S. News & World Report from 2006 through 2021.

8-to-1: Since-revised student-to-faculty ratio at Penn for most of those years.

4-to-1: Student-to-faculty ratio listed on the Penn website’s “Facts and Stats” page this year, due, the admissions office has explained, to a typo that’s since been corrected. If accurate, that ratio would have put Penn with the third best faculty-to-student number in the nation. Penn, proud alma mater of noted fabulists Stephen Glass, Elon Musk and Donald Trump!

And from the OMG OMG Sports Desk …

Ranger Suárez started things off right in last night’s Game 4 of the Phillies/Braves NLDS, with three straight outs. Braves starter Spencer Strider looked good striking out Kyle Schwarber, but Trea Turner doubled off the third pitch he saw. Strider walked Bryce Harper sort of on purpose, but that was all we wrote. Ranger got three up, three down in the second, too, while in our half, Castellanos walked with one out, and Brandon Marsh singled. Did I mention that the Bank was really, really, really loud? But Michael Harris II made a spectacular centerfield catch for a double play. Kevin Pillar almost sent one yard in the third, but Marsh made the catch. Austin Riley got a solo homer off Ranger in the fourth, but Castellanos matched it in our half. And Turner did the same — his third hit of the game! — in the fifth.

Harper followed that with a walk, but Bohm hit into a double play and tossed his helmet in disgust again.

Seranthony Dominguez pitched the sixth, and Riley got a single with two outs, which impelled Rob Thomson to bring in José Alvarado, who delivered the final fly-out. Strider stayed in and struck out Stott; J.T. took him long, though not quite long enough, but holy damn, Castellanos did! First MLB player ever to score back-to-back multi-homer games in the post-season.

In came A.J. Minter, who allowed a Marsh single but got Rojas on a pop-up for the last out. The seventh was a barn-burner for Phils fans, as Alvarado notched two outs but then gave up two walks. Craig Kimbrel came in for him and — gulp — walked them full, but a great Rojas catch at the wall averted catastrophe.

In our half, Turner singled, and with two outs, Pierce Johnson replaced Minter and walked Bohm but got Stott swinging. For the eighth, Kimbrel stayed in and got Albies to fly out and Riley to strike out before coming out for Gregory Soto. He got Olson on a grounder, but Harper came up grabbing his elbow after Olson clipped it coming past him, and the crowd let out a collective gasp.

In the bottom half, with one out, Castellanos singled, Marsh struck out, and that was it for Johnson, as Raisel Iglesias came on and struck Rojas out. On to the ninth! Harper stayed in, thank God. So did Soto, and he walked Marcell Ozuna, who got to third on a single by Sean Murphy. Hearts were pounding in the stands. That brought on Matt Strahm to face Pillar, who popped up; Eddie Rosario, who flew out; and pinch-hitter Vaughn Grissom, who … struck out! Back we go to the Championship Series, this time vs. the Diamondbacks, with the first game on Monday. Go, Phillies! Go, fans!

On This Weekend’s Slate

The Eagles — remember the 5-0 Eagles? — visit the Jets on Sunday at 4:25.

And in College Football?

On Saturday’s slate, we’ve got the Temple Owls at North Texas at noon; Elon visiting Villanova at 1 p.m.; Ursinus hosting William Paterson at 1 p.m.; the Penn Quakers vs. the Columbia Lions at 1:30; and the UMass Minutemen paying a call on Penn State at 3:30.

Oh yeah: On Saturday, the Flyers also play.

All Philly Today sports coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.