Party girl, friend slain at Northern Liberties' Schmidts complex
Rian Thal, 34, was a party girl. Known as "the white girl," the 5-foot-4 blonde threw parties in Society Hill and Northern Liberties which drew aspiring hip-hop rappers, pro athletes and the city's top drug dealers, according to law enforcement sources.
Rian Thal, 34, was a party girl.
Known as "the white girl," the 5-foot-4 blonde threw parties in Society Hill and Northern Liberties which drew aspiring hip-hop rappers, pro athletes and the city's top drug dealers, according to law enforcement sources.
Even star rapper Beanie Sigel showed up sometimes at parties around 2nd and Market streets, the sources said.
"She was not unfamiliar with drugs, money and rappers," one investigator said. "She might have been questioned a lot of times."
On Saturday, her lifestyle apparently caught up with her.
Thal and a male friend were shot several times and killed inside the Navona apartment building in the trendy Piazza at Schmidts complex, where she lived, in Northern Liberties
Investigators said they found four kilos of cocaine and more than $100,000 in her seventh-floor apartment.
"Obviously, she was targeted for what she was involved in and not where she lived," a police source said.
At 5:44 p.m. Saturday, at least three armed men, possibly more, entered the secured apartment building through doors left open as people were moving in, police said.
The male victim was identified as Timothy Gilmore, a firefighter from Detroit, according to WPVI-Channel 6 news.
He and Thal had left the elevator on the seventh floor and were walking together when they were ambushed by at least three men, police said.
Thal was shot multiple times and collapsed in the hallway. Gilmore was shot but able to run a short distance before he was "ultimately shot again right by the elevator," the police source said.
Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
The shooters, who were all wearing baseball caps, escaped through the stairwell and remain on the lam.
But the police source said that the men were captured on surveillance footage from "dozens of camera angles."
Thal's relatives in Plymouth Meeting, Montgomery County, declined to comment.
The Piazza at Schmidts complex, at Second and Hancock streets, is on the site of the former Schmidt's brewery.
Opened last month, the $100 million apartment complex is nestled amidst an 80,000-square foot plaza that's home to boutiques, restaurants, art studios, a stage and even a hi-def 26-by-16-foot LED screen high on a wall overlooking those dining outside and others on their balconies.
The new, hip digs were the perfect setting for Thal, a stylish party planner.
Thal first came to the attention of authorities while working as a barmaid at Bluzette, on Market Street near 3rd, in 2004, an investigator said.
"She was down with all different rappers and dope on the edge of the music scene," another investigator said. "The question is who was she down with recently?"
Her MySpace page is a panoply of party pictures and photos with everyone from Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook to Carmen Electra, Mayor Michael Nutter and stars of the HBO series "The Wire."
Fliers on her site advertised a dual birthday party in April for her and James "Kamal" Gray, of The Roots, at Plush nightclub, at 8th and Callowhill streets.
The dual birthday celebration appears to have been an annual event, as a flyer from 2008 notes that the celebration that year was hosted by Rasheed Wallace, of the Pistons, and rapper Lil' Troy.
Thal's profanity-laced blog postings offer a stark contrast to her smiling photos. The postings range from anger to resentment, with statements like, "Why does it feel like you do everything for everybody, but when you need something NOBODY IS THERE."
Her favorite quote was: "At the end of the day, it is what it is." *