Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Harrison Graham: The Corpse Collector


Harrison Graham
Harrison Graham

Graham's photo, a fuzzy rendition, was circulated citywide to police districts, to the highway patrol, and to special units.  It was also placed in the next day's newspaper in the hope that someone would spot him and alert them. But patrol officers began making rounds and asking questions.

His name was Harrison Graham, but people knew him as Marty.  He'd lived in the building for more than four years.  Born on October 9, 1958, the eldest of five children, he was nearing 29.  He was about six feet tall with a medium brown complexion and average build, but large brawny shoulders and big hands.  Lots of people knew him because he worked as a handyman around the neighborhood, and they considered him quiet and friendly.  A high school dropout, he was known as a drug user and dealer, offering R&Ts and providing a "shooting gallery" in his apartment for people who wanted to inject the combination drug to get high.

Detectives were told about Marty's composition notebooks, which a neighbor had seen in the apartment, that allegedly featured crude sketches of naked women and dismembered body parts, including breasts, feet, heads, and male genitalia.  This same acquaintance had seen Marty dangle a woman named Renee out his window.  Renee had screamed and he'd pulled her back in.  An arrest warrant was issued, charging him, at the very least, with several counts of abuse of a corpse.

He was known to frequent three general areas: his building, 8th Street by Erie Avenue, and 56th and Spruce.  Here, he had either friends or family.  People who knew him offered police tips on where he'd been seen since his eviction, but those who followed up these leads were unable to apprehend him. 


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