Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Harrison Graham: The Corpse Collector

Search for More Bodies

Word spread quickly around the neighborhood as people asked about the crime scene tape: They'd found bodies in there, "eight or nine of them."  People came out of their houses, despite the light rain, to watch as more official vehicles pulled up, empty body bags went in and full ones were carried out by men in masks.

"The curious crowded into the narrow block of North 19th Street in the steaming August heat to watch the grim parade of body bags," wrote Joseph Grace and John Morrison for the Philadelphia Daily News.  "One after another, less than an hour apart, six bodies were removed from the debris-strewn apartment."  Off they went to the morgue for examination. There was little doubt that this was going to be yet one more case of serial murder.

Dusk was settling in, so the police used high-powered searchlights to go through the rest of the building, just in case there were more bodies strewn about in other abandoned rooms.  Eventually they called off the search but resumed again at dawn the next day.  On the roof, they discovered a moldering canvas bag under a dirty mattress that contained a leg and some foot bones.  Once again, the ME came to have a look. 

While one team made preparations to dig up the backyard (where Graham reportedly had been seen digging at various times) and the empty lot across the street, another went to locate the missing tenant.  What he'd have to say about all of this was anyone's guess.


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