Linda Ann Weston
Days before a trial was set to begin in a Philadelphia court, a 196 count federal indictment has come down against those accused of holding mentally disabled people in order to keep their benefit checks.
U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger says the indictment alleges that Linda Weston, her daughter and three others ran a criminal enterprise when they detained 10 mentally disabled adults while keeping more than $200,000 worth of their Social Security disability checks. continue reading »
A police car sat outside of the "Tacony dungeon" on the 4700 on Longshore Avenue. No members of student press were allowed on the premises. Photo by Pamela Seaton.
In a basement of a small apartment in Tacony, four mentally disabled adults were found chained to a boiler and locked behind a steel door on Saturday. Philadelphia police described the location as a “dungeon,” a “cellar” and of having a rotten smell.
The captors—alleged ringleader Linda Ann Weston, 51, Gregory Thomas, 47, and Eddie Wright, 50—are believed to have had held the victims for years, traveling from Texas to West Palm Beach, Fla., and finally to Philadelphia, stopping at many cities along the way.
Weston had more than 50 Social Security numbers on her person the day of the arrest, leading police to believe she tortured the captives into giving her their Social Security payments.
She was charged in 1985 for locking a man in a closet and starving him to death.
“These are…things that people have possibly never seen before,” Mayor Michael Nutter said in a press conference Wednesday. “This is quite possibly one of the most visible signs of man’s inhumanity to man.” continue reading »