The slayings broke hearts in a city famous for its toughness: Police say that a hulking 6-foot-tall man and his wiry buddy beat a 90-year-old Port Richmond woman in a purse-snatching, and that a gun-toting teen ended an argument with a soldier home on leave by blasting him in the back.
But Philadelphia police yesterday announced that they have arrested suspects in the two unrelated killings.
Charles Warenecki, 31, and Daniel T. Hart, 23, were charged with murder and related offenses in the Sept. 20, 2007, attack on Alice Thurnau, 90, on Thompson Street near Ontario.
Thurnau, who walked with a cane and was hard of hearing, had just left her home, where she was proud to live alone. The bespectacled, white-haired woman died a month later of injuries that included a broken hip, fractured jaw and broken ribs.
Warenecki, a 230-pound man from Gaul Street near Cambria, already was in prison on unrelated charges when police arrested him yesterday in Thurnau's death. Hart, of Bowman Street near Vaux, was arrested without incident, Clark said.
"It's an unconscionable act that you would have two men knock down, rob, kick and beat a 90-year-old woman," Clark said.
In the other case, police on Thursday night arrested Antionne Russell, 16, at his mother's home on Webster Street near 55th.
Russell is accused of shooting Terrence Davis, 18, to death and critically wounding Ronald Morman, 19, after an argument Oct. 17 at 40th and Ludlow streets in University City. Davis was a soldier from Mantua who was on leave from military training.
Detectives had been hunting for Russell for several weeks. A tipster advised them that he was at his mother's home, Clark said.
"He should have never had a gun," Clark said. "Now you have an innocent kid dead and another who may spend the bulk of his life behind bars over a meaningless argument." *