Gospel musician Kevin Pringle dedicated his life to lifting spirits. Three months ago he was found shot to death in his house.
"He had a God-given gift for music," says Louella Williams of United Baptist Church, where Pringle participated in the music ministry. "People say you go to college to get knowledge in a particular field. Well, music was his field, so people called him 'the Professor.'"
"Kevin was a good person to be around," says Pastor Michelle Johnson of Ford Memorial Temple. "A lot of young people became members here because of Kevin's influence. He had a way of uplifting them and giving them hope. He told them that even in bad times there was something to look forward to."
Pringle was also known as a guy who would tell it straight. "No one never wanted to play the dozens with him, because you'd lose," says Tony Jones, a longtime friend. "He'd say, 'Why is your hair like that? You need to put a mirror by your front door and you need to look at it before you come out. If you look at it and you don't see anything wrong, there is something wrong with you.'"
"Your hair was never done until Kevin did it," says Chandra. "He'd said, 'That's cute, but I need to fix it,' or 'It looks bad, you should let me do it.' He was good with makeup, too. He'd say, 'You don't have to look like a drag queen. Tone it down.'"
Aside from being a gospel musician, Pringle had stints working in customer service at an insurance company and for a local record store. To supplement his music income, he became a freelance photographer and hair stylist, encountering many people in the course of his day.
Chandra says that on a typical day, Pringle would get up, do somebody's hair, do a photo shoot, and somewhere along the line he'd end up in the Gallery Mall, where he would strike up conversations with people, offering his freelance services and finding people who wanted to sing.
"Kevin knew so many people," says Chandra. "As much as I dealt with him on a daily basis, I would not know where to start as far as who would want to hurt him, because he was such a people person and he interacted with so many different people. I just wouldn't know where to start."
Pringle and Stanley had been dead for several days when another roommate, Stanley's godson, who had been out of town, discovered their bodies. Both had been shot in the head.
From what police have gathered there were no signs of forced entry or robbery, suggesting that one of them knew the killer and let the killer into their home.
Some believe that Pringle, who was found in the dining room slumped in a chair in front of a computer, was the initial target. Stanley was found upstairs lying in bed.
Earlier in the year, because of landlord difficulties, Pringle was in the process of losing his apartment. Stanley, who suffered from diabetes, had been recently hospitalized with congestive heart failure.
Moving in together seemed like the perfect arrangement, but a longtime friend of Stanley's (who wants to remain anonymous) didn't think it was a good idea.
"I told Artie that the way Kevin lived his life would come back to hurt him," he says. "Kevin was extremely talented, but he used his talents ... he would do anything he could do to get next to a guy. I believe that the decisions and lifestyle choices he made got him killed."
"There was a side of Kevin that he kept to himself," says his friend Tony Jones, who later refused a follow-up interview with PW. "Kevin had a whole other life, so you have a double-edged sword. David was a trip, but he was still God's boy. Kevin did a lot of crazy things, but he also helped a lot of people."
Many say that Pringle had become an excellent photographer, and some believe that his newfound talent could be connected to the murders. A longtime friend of Stanley's says Pringle worked as a videographer and photographer for male strip clubs and that he took suggestive pictures of men that he would later show to his friends.
"Kevin was into a lot of photography, and he took all kinds of pictures," says Jones. "Including racy ones."
"I'd be over there and he'd just have [pictures] laying around," says Stanley's friend. "Some of the men would have their zippers open. Some would be nude."
The friend also alleges that Pringle and Stanley dated outwardly heterosexual men, including "a little thug boy" from Southwest Philly and a nephew of one of their choir members. The two had a code of "converting straight," believing that they could seduce straight guys with oral sex.
"I would ask Arthur about the decisions he was making, and he would say, 'The Bible says these are the last and evil days. Get it while you can,'" he recalls. "They were in the church, but they didn't make decisions around it."
The friend believes Pringle either photographed or videotaped someone in a comprising situation, possibly unknowingly, and that person found out and got angry enough to murder him and Stanley.
First Person Arts Podcast: Proud Mom