Man With a Thousand Faces: What the Cops Will Do to Catch the Strangler

By Tara Murtha
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 21 | Posted Jan. 12, 2011

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Search and seizure affects more than the young men whose cheeks have been scrubbed with plastic sticks. Both psychology experts and police believe the Strangler lives in Kensington, so the push is to get residents to speak up. At the mayor’s press conference, D.A. Seth Williams implored, “We’re here to reach out to the community, to get information, uh, we need your help.”

Aggressively swabbing random men on the street isn’t exactly greasing the wheels of communication between residents and police.

The deep mistrust between Kensington residents and police is partly why a perpetrator like the Strangler—who may be known in the neighborhood—can vanish for almost three months in plain sight.

Perhaps Bucceroni expressed the point of view of embittered residents best while his rage was fresh. Hours after Sanchez told him about the incident, Bucceroni appeared on an episode of The Richie Antipuna Show, a local cable access show produced in Kensington.

“This is why the young black males in Kensington, and the young Latinos, aren’t forthcoming … the police department talks about ‘Don’t use vigilante justice,’ but they’re quick to violate a young brother of color’s rights, and threaten him with jail and incarceration and have their hands on their guns, for doin’ nothing but being law-abiding citizens. This fuckin’ shit can’t be going on.”

“This is how the Philadelphia Police Department treats its people who volunteer to be helpful to the police,” he says, fingers jabbing at the camera. “That was some punk-ass fucking shit.”

“If this was some black minister group, and not young Latino males, this shit—you’d have Al Sharpton down here fuckin’ protestin’. If this was white America—upper-class white America—you’d have … some cracker-fabulous motherfucker down here protesting. But it’s OK to violate young Latino males in Kensington.”

At the end of his rant, Bucceroni promised to reach out “to you motherfuckers.” And reach out he did. In addition to calling Ramsey, Bucceroni contacted or communicated with the offices of Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Everett Gillison, Deputy Commissioner Stephen Johnson, the D.A.’s Office and Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez, and filed a second formal complaint with the Police Advisory Commission (the city-run office for civilian oversight of the Police Department).

To Catch A Killer

As police head into the third month of hunting the Strangler, the search is getting more high-tech as it climbs up the chain.

The FBI lent the PPD an analyst for a week to teach officers how to load all case-related activities into a “virtual command center” and the Department’s implementing systems necessary to generate a complete psychological profile of the Strangler. Just this week, Denver’s District Attorney Mitch Morrissey publicly offered to help Philadelphia police with familial DNA sequencing to help them catch the Kensington Strangler.

Sanchez is cool with that—anything to catch the killer—within reason. He says he would have gladly given up his DNA under different circumstances. “If [they] would have asked me nicely … if someone approached me and said, ‘A couple of people think you fit the description, we want you to take the swab,’ well, I would have agreed to it. You know?” he shrugs. “But the way you all approached me, I was like, ‘Damn, you’re making me feel like a criminal.’”

Additional reporting by Aaron Kase.

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Comments 1 - 21 of 21
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1. c r said... on Jan 12, 2011 at 10:56AM

“if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck...”

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2. Mike said... on Jan 12, 2011 at 01:32PM

“"If this was white America—upper-class white America—you’d have … some cracker-fabulous motherfucker down here protesting. But it’s OK to violate young Latino males in Kensington.”

Wow man. Way to take a good point, and make it sound ignorant by filling it with race-baiting and ethnic slurs.

This is why good people, smart people, never make it out of places like Kensington. Because they refuse to communicate above a 9th grade level, and the world will never take them seriously.

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3. Anonymous said... on Jan 12, 2011 at 03:53PM

“So....It sounds like you're not too concerned with the cops catching this dude but that some Latino who fits the descriptions rights are violated. Just amazing, nothing like helping the police. All these guys that fit the description should voluntarily have their DNA checked, or are they afraid of being guilty of something. Man up!!”

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4. Charles Denson said... on Jan 12, 2011 at 04:14PM

“Why would anybody be against this?! If the killer was in Ireland, do you think all the Irishmen would be crying foul if the cops were stopping them?
Save your neighborhood and stop hating on the cops and stop dressing like slobs who just got let out of prison and don't fit their clothes and maybe you won't be stopped alot.”

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5. Jeff said... on Jan 12, 2011 at 05:00PM

“I don't care what race he is and what he dresses like, the point is his rights were violated and the cop was a jerk. The "stop and frisk law" is a violation of our Constitutional 4th amendment rights and Nutter is a jerk for putting this in place. Learn your history people and remember exactly WHY the American Revolution was fought.”

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6. Anonymous said... on Jan 12, 2011 at 07:53PM

“It would be prudent if this person shaved the goatee and got a haircut just to avoid resembling the suspect and getting tapped.

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7. Anonymous said... on Jan 13, 2011 at 06:55AM

“Wow....5 page article and no tipline#?”

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8. Ray said... on Jan 13, 2011 at 01:20PM

“The police will can never do the right thing when their methods are forever criticized. Sorry Chino, if you know that by dressing the way you do resmebles the sketch of the person of interest, then you should expect to be stopped by the police. Stop bitchin'!”

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9. Mike said... on Jan 13, 2011 at 02:40PM

“I can pretty much guarantee that if the people saying "who cares, swab everyone" lived in a neighborhood like ours (kensington) they'd change their tune real quick. The police feel they can and literally do anything they want. I'm a white law abiding male, and if the police did this to me I would be filing legal actions in a heartbeat, I was sitting by my work waiting for my girlfriend to pick me up and was questioned by police. For waiting to get a ride, they didn't believe me and even went as far as making me go get my boss to prove I worked there. Why? No clue, they never said why they wanted to know what I was doing. You CANNOT stop and frisk anyone for no reason at all and the taking of DNA by threats of forced confinement is completely ILLEGAL. The police are doing a great injustice to actually trying to catch him, if and when they do, if it is because of a stop and frisk the man will walk free out of court. Will you be happy then? Do it the right way and put him away.”

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10. Anonymous said... on Jan 13, 2011 at 09:29PM

“The cops were wrong for breaking the law while investigating this case! The law is the law and no one is above the law! It is easy for certain people on this post to make rude comments regarding Manuel Chino Sanchez and his hip hop culture dress appearence and image. He was not breaking the law and in fact was assisting the cops at a press conference! It is easy for those posting negative comments when thier civil rights were not violated. This kind of stuff happens every day in Philly which truly hurts the good hard working honest men & women in blue reputations.”

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11. Anonymous said... on Jan 13, 2011 at 09:50PM

“Sounds like there are a few racisr on this post that have a problem with the hip hop culture of young black & hispanic males. Why dont you certain posters just put on your white sheets or your uncle tom smiling faces and say yes sir master, you right master, the police can break the law any way they want master as long as aint towards fellow well to do white folk master. Sh"""""""t F"""""""" that dumb racial stuff. Dont talk crap if you guys werent there. Certain cops do this dumb stuff everyday in da hood to residenta of color for no good reason other than cause they have a badge and a negative attitude in life. Im glad that a young spanish brother is standing up and telling the truth against a few bad cops.”

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12. Anonymous said... on Jan 13, 2011 at 10:18PM

“Hey Look it's a bird, it's a plane... it's a person so wronged... suck it up Buttercup. Your'e not the only one who's been through stuff like this....try having people try killing you or setting you up in crimes that you haven't commited or getting involved with underground drug organization and having to play along just to keep yourself alive and the police think you're one of the bad people.”

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13. Jase said... on Jan 14, 2011 at 04:27PM

“Lets say a cop who goes to stop chino takes a "nice" approach, and asks chino politely for a swab. Chino would have still complained.

Lets say chino pulled out a gun on the "nice" cop and shot him. Now the cop is at fault for letting his guard down.

Everyone is a dam judge, however nobody will ever know theyre role until they step in the shoes and paths of those who try to uphold the law.”

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14. Ray said... on Jan 14, 2011 at 05:24PM

“@Anonymous: Racist? Are you kidding me? Chino in this picture is dressed in a way that anywhere outside the city would get him noticed and not in a good way. That's not racist saying so, that's called not being a dumbass. And it makes me wonder if Chino wants to keep looking the same way as the suspect so he will get stopped and then he can complain. Wise up. The cops are doing what they have to do and we should be glad they are, otherwise they would be accused of not doing enough.”

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15. Anonymous said... on Jan 14, 2011 at 08:26PM

“Been a cop and know a little about police procedures & protocall & if Chino committed a crime fine police should be carefull,. but if Chino is walking down the street not committing a crime then there should be rule of engagement for police & citizens.”

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16. Anonymous said... on Jan 14, 2011 at 08:29PM

“Chino doesnt live outside of the city and was walking in hi neighborhood where it is very common for young Latino males in dressing like that. I myself dont dress or look like that but I try not to be opinionated regarding others and thier cultures.”

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17. Anonymous said... on Jan 14, 2011 at 10:25PM

“Bucceroni is a "local legend"??


That "local" is only a legend in his own mind.

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18. Louis said... on Jan 15, 2011 at 09:44AM

“Bucceroni, whether you like him or not? Has at least been active over the years doing something in the neighnorhoods. I have spoken with a few people since the article posted on the streets whom said good things although a few said he was a pain in the butt?????? I dont know if that was good or bad????? but at least the guy is out there doing something, which is more than the average person can say that lives in Kensington.”

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19. Anonymous said... on Jan 25, 2011 at 08:26AM

“The knuckledraggers need to follow the law and obtain a warrant, period. This power will be abused, as always, by the single digit IQ, badge wearing apeman. Cops are just criminals with badges, drunk on power. The media needs to stop apologizing for them.”

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20. Anonymous said... on Jan 25, 2011 at 10:42AM

“It's terrible that this happened, but seriously, Buccerroni, this is no time to make racial slurs and race bait. Citizens of all races should stand up against this clear abuse of power and work to see to it that the cops involved never work the streets again and work to make sure that less affluent citizens, who are frequently targeted this way know their rights. Seriously, the thing to do is to say, "Am I under arrest?" if the cop says, "No." you ask him, "Am I free to go?" If he says no to that, then you should involve your lawyer.

The cops wonder why cops get shot in Philly and no one says anything, this is exactly why. When you violate someone's civil rights, when you use your badge to intimidate people in these neighborhoods, they aren't going to be too sympathetic when your friends get shot. The Philadelphia police department has a serious problem with abusing citizens and until they learn not to take such a heavy handed approach, don't snitch is just gonna continue.”

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21. tom said... on May 29, 2012 at 04:25PM

“if you post things to scare readers look me up without any cops around,let me know,ill meet,all you scums who write things like that need to be spit on,and whatever else.your ignorant mom told you to say those talk race shit,when your the fool,who the hell are you anyway besides a scum,the stranglers a fag who kills sissys,then you cheer him on,i love to blind side you----ended life.he should of got the comment about unfairness to blacks and latins,go to hell,id never hang or like your scumness.he killed with no warning,FEMALES,be a queer and do it up front to me,,ill use my wrists,like he did.your expressions are worthless,degrading comes from fagness in your soul,and i hope god takes itall your cops a busing comes from people like you who start it,i hope when you,your relative---.nobody snitches so i could laugh and crack one.good thing for you there are cops.”


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