Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Harrison Graham: The Corpse Collector

Investigation

The building on North 19th Street was officially condemned for several code violations and those few tenants who were still there were ordered to leave.  They were given temporary shelter by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Thanks to the picture in the newspapers and to neighbors who knew that the police were searching for Graham, numerous sightings were reported.  On August 11, he'd been seen on Broad Street, on a SEPTA bus, at a soup kitchen, and at a car wash.  The police arrived too late in each instance to arrest him.  One person who saw him getting a meal at the Cathedral of Deliverance Evangelistic Church described him as having a "glassy-eyed stare."  He was carrying a bucket full of rags, and was dressed in white pants, a striped jacket, and a black cap.  The police came in only moments later, showing his picture, but were still unable to catch him.

In the meantime, the crime scene team going through the waist-high debris in the apartment had found items that they believed might assist in victim identification.  Three earrings and a ring were retrieved.  Two earrings one heart-shaped had been next to mummified remains of the third victim, and the ring and third earring had come off another set of remains.  The ring was crudely made and the earring had a grid design.  The newspapers printed this information to get relatives to identify the victims.  Two women, reported missing, had been found alive, so they were removed from the list of potential victims and onto the list of potential witnesses.   One of them had lived with Graham, without mishap.

 

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