The 2002 strangling and rape of a woman in East Norriton Township will be the focus Wednesday of an episode of Investigation Discovery’s The Killer Beside Me.
Alice Hufnagle Lauman, 67, was found dead in her home a few days before Thanksgiving in 2002. The following May, her family offered a $15,000 reward for information leading to her killer.
“We did not get any leads from the reward, unfortunately,” says Susan Benatti, one of the victim’s daughters, in Wednesday’s episode.
After an investigation that included interviews with several potential suspects but that ultimately turned on crime-scene evidence, Jeffrey Ivan Vample was charged. He had worked as a clerk at the Giant supermarket where Huffnagle Lauman had been a pharmacy technician. He pleaded guilty in a deal to avoid the death penalty and in 2004 was sentenced to life in prison for her murder.
According to The Inquirer’s report at the time of Vample’s sentencing, he “admitted that he broke into Hufnagle Lauman’s home on North Whitehall Road via the bathroom window early Nov. 23, 2002. Wearing a black cape and a mask, like one worn in the Scream horror movies, Vample put duct tape over the grandmother’s mouth and used the weight of his body to push her down on the bed.”
Wednesday’s episode of The Killer Beside Me includes some graphic re-enactments, and some of the names, it’s noted, have been changed.
Crimes in Philadelphia and its suburbs have been featured before on ID, whose show, Homicide City, has for two seasons focused on cases here. In April, the network announced it planned a two-hour special for next year about Cosmo DiNardo’s murders of four young men in Bucks County -- Jimi Patrick, 19, of Newtown Township; Dean Finocchiaro, 19, of Middletown Township; Thomas Meo, 21, of Plumstead Township; and Mark Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg -- in July 2017.