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Arrests made in 1978 slayings

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by TBO, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

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    Police in New Jersey make arrests in alleged 1978 slayings
    By Jean Shin, CNN
    March 23, 2010 5:55 p.m. EDT


    [​IMG]
    Lee Anthony Evans, left, and Philander Hampton have been charged with murder and arson.

    New York (CNN) -- Authorities have arrested two suspects in connection with the alleged murders of five teenagers who were reported missing in Newark, New Jersey, more than 30 years ago.

    Lee Anthony Evans, 56, and his cousin Philander Hampton, 53, were arrested Monday night and charged with five counts of murder witness testimony put the men under suspicion, the Essex County prosecutor's office said. They were also charged with arson. A third suspect, Maurice Woody-Olds, also a cousin, died in March 2008.

    In a news conference Tuesday, acting prosecutor Robert Laurino revealed that 18 months ago, a witness came to authorities and connected the 1978 arson of an abandoned building in Newark with the disappearance of the five boys. That set off an intense investigation aimed at corroborating the witness' account, culminating in Monday's arrests.

    The boys, who had become known as the "Clinton Avenue Five," were Randy Johnson, 16, Melvin Pittman,17, Ernest Taylor, 17, Alvin Turner, 16, all of Newark, and Michael McDowell, 16, of East Orange, New Jersey.

    Allegedly both Evans and Hampton, with the aid of Woody-Olds, lured the five boys at various times into Evans' pickup truck and held them at gunpoint in the abandoned building on Camden Street before setting it ablaze, officials said.



    Authorities believe the alleged killings were in retaliation for the victims' breaking into the home of one of the defendants to steal marijuana. The remains of the five never were found.

    "I've been in public life now in Newark for about 15 years," Mayor Cory Booker said at Tuesday's news conference, "and there hasn't been a year gone by when somebody hasn't pulled a flier out with the children's picture on them, looking for them ... [or] where I haven't been in a coffee klatch or in the community where somebody hasn't brought up to me the anguish and the pain of this unsolved murder. We in the city of Newark, though, have not only not forgotten, but we have not given up on the fight against [this] kind of unfinished business or undone justice."

    Evans was under suspicion when the investigation first started in 1978, but was released after passing a polygraph test. Laurino said the five boys had done odd jobs for Evans in the past.

    Evans and Hampton are being held at Essex County Correctional Facility on $5 million bail, and are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday morning at Veterans Court House in Newark, officials said.
     
  2. Critias

    Critias Freelancer CLM

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    Yeah, the dude on the left doesn't just scream "EEEEEEVIL" at all.
     

  3. mymini40

    mymini40

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    really???
     
  4. gwalchmai

    gwalchmai Lucky Member

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    They were framed, I'm sure.
     
  5. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    LOL...

    Bad pics aside... I hope if they did it, that they pay.

    IGF
     
  6. DScottHewitt

    DScottHewitt EMT-B

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    I think not really. I think he was being sarcastic. Evil is in the eyes. Look again.
     
  7. DR. HOUSE

    DR. HOUSE Everybody Lies

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  8. CitizenOfDreams

    CitizenOfDreams

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    We can only guess how many beautiful songs those boys would have created had they not been mercilessly slayed...

    Oh. Wait. "Clinton Avenue Five" was not a music band, was it?
     
  9. Peace Warrior

    Peace Warrior Am Yisrael Chai CLM

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    I'm sure neither one of these guys are not as crazy as danny glover.

    I'm glad they made an arrest. I hope they got the ones responsible.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2010
  10. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

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    'I burned 5 NJ kids alive in '78''

    By LEONARD GREENE
    Last Updated: 7:19 AM, March 24, 2010
    Posted: 4:13 AM, March 24, 2010



    Five boys who had been playing basketball in a Newark park mysteriously vanished one day in 1978, leaving in their wake one of the most sensational missing-persons cases in New Jersey history.

    Now the horrific truth about their fate has finally emerged.

    The boys were rounded up at gunpoint by two men over a minor marijuana theft -- then tied up, locked in an abandoned row house and burned alive as the building was set ablaze, authorities said yesterday.

    Floria McDowell, the mother of slain 16-year-old Alvin Turner, recalled that the last time she saw her son the night of Aug. 20, 1978, "he made dinner for me and then asked my husband if he could go out to play basketball.

    [​IMG]
    ap
    GRIM SOLUTION: Newark officials, including Mayor Cory Booker (front center) announce yesterday the arrests of Lee Evans and Philander Hampton in the once-mysterious murders of five teens, reported by The Post in the '70s.

    [​IMG]





    "Around midnight, I said to my husband, 'Alvin's not here,' " the mom said. "We went out to look for him. The streets were dark and still. There was no movement, and I said, 'Something's happened.' "

    Lee Evans, now 56, of Irvington, NJ, allegedly told cops that he and a cousin killed the boys because they suspected them of swiping a pound of pot.

    The bodies of the boys -- Turner, Randy Johnson and Michael McDowell, all 16, and Ernest Taylor and Melvin Pittman, both 17 -- have never been found.

    Cops had questioned Evans, a local carpenter, at the time of the kids' disappearance after learning he was the last one seen with any of them.
    But Evans took a lie-detector test, which he passed, and was let go.

    Then, 18 months ago, Evans contacted Rogers Taylor, 53, Ernest's brother.
    Taylor said Evans told him that he wanted to make a confession. Taylor contacted a Newark detective, and the pair allegedly listened as Evans admitted to the heinous crime.

    "He told me he did it. Lee Evans said those words to me," Taylor said.
    It's unclear why it took cops 18 months to arrest Evans and his cousin, Philander Hampton, 53, of Jersey City. A third cousin suspected of aiding in the murder, Maurice Woody-Olds, 48, of Newark, died in March 2008.

    Police said that as part of their investigation, they used radar imaging to look for the boys' bodies at the dilapidated housing site but to no avail.
    Michael McDowell, uncle of the slain boy with the same name, said: "I always knew that sooner or later somebody was going to say something, whether it be [Evans] or someone else."

    Newark Police Lt. Louis Carrega said the boys were always treated as missing-persons cases, never as homicides.

    "The kids were only reported missing after the fire, so they never put the two things together," he said.
     
  11. Burn

    Burn Taco Hack

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    if there is no bodies how do they know these boys even died and did not run away?

    yes it is a weak arguement but I am just saying