Top 10 Most Dangerous Criminals In Philadelphia City

Today we look at the Top 10 Most Dangerous Criminals In Philadelphia including the notorious Ernest Pressley and Harrison Graham.

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10 – Ernest Pressley

Considered to be one of the most dangerous hit-men in Philadelphia, Pressley was captured on video surveillance footage near the scene of a brutal murder.

Investigations revealed that Pressley was responsible for other murders in Philadelphia, including the killings of two tow truck drivers for A. Bob’s Towing company.

Pressley made great attempts to distract law enforcement from his true motivations and tried to make the killing look as though it was connected to a feud between rival tow truck companies.

Pressley was caught, thanks mainly in-part to the CCTV evidence and the pawning of a rolex watch after the attempted murder of one victim, only for his true reign of terror to become known to police.

He was later revealed to have murdered five people and was deemed a true menace to society, being handed five consecutive life sentences after trial.

9 – Frankford Slasher

Another, as-yet, unsolved case, The Frankford Slasher refers to a series of murders that occurred in the Frankford neighborhood of Philadelphia, in the early 20th century.

The murders took place between 1985 and 1990, and they were characterized by a similar modus operandi with the victims, mostly women, attacked and placed in various locations.

The case garnered significant media attention and struck fear into the community due to the apparent randomness and brutality of the killings.

Despite extensive investigations by law enforcement, the identity of the perpetrator remained elusive for years.

One of the key suspects in the case was a man named Leonard Christopher and he was arrested and charged with several of the murders in 1990, following an investigation that involved DNA evidence.

However, Christopher maintained his innocence and claimed that he was coerced into confessing by the police. In 1991, he was acquitted of all charges.

The Frankford Slasher case remains unsolved to this day, and it is one of the most notorious unsolved murder cases in Philadelphia’s history.

8 – Willie Sutton

Willie Sutton was a notorious American bank robber who gained infamy during the early to mid-20th century becoming one of the most prolific and celebrated criminals of his time.

Sutton’s criminal career began in his teenage years when he started committing petty thefts.

Over time, he escalated to more serious crimes, eventually specializing in bank robberies.

Sutton was known for his meticulous planning, smooth execution, and ability to elude capture for extended periods.

One of the hallmarks of Sutton’s notoriety was his charm and wit, and he became a folk hero of sorts, known for his quips and clever responses when dealing with the media and law enforcement.

When asked why he robbed banks, Sutton supposedly replied, “Because that’s where the money is,” although there is some debate about whether he actually said those exact words.

Sutton’s criminal career spanned several decades, during which he was arrested numerous times and spent a significant portion of his life behind bars.

He became a master of disguise and was known for using various aliases to evade capture.

Despite his criminal exploits, Sutton was also regarded as a gentleman bandit by some and, while he reportedly never harmed anyone during his robberies, he gained a degree of sympathy from the public for his daring escapades.

Sutton’s criminal career came to an end in 1952 when he was finally apprehended after a string of bank robberies.

He was sentenced to multiple years in prison but eventually gained parole in 1969.

After his release, Sutton became somewhat of a celebrity, publishing an autobiography titled “Where the Money Was.”

He also made public appearances and gave interviews, discussing his life of crime and reflecting on his experiences.

Willie Sutton died on November 2, 1980, at the age of 79 and, despite his criminal past, he remains a fascinating figure in American history.

7 – Carl Gugasian

Carl Gugasian, also known as the “Friday Night Bank Robber,” gained notoriety for his string of bank robberies committed primarily on Friday evenings.

Having earned a degree in physics from Carnegie Mellon University, Gugasian, despite his academic achievements, he turned to a life of crime.

Gugasian’s method of operation was meticulous and calculated and he would meticulously plan his heists, often targeting banks in affluent areas.

His robberies were marked by precision, speed, and a remarkable ability to evade capture with Gugasian’s cunning strategies including wearing disguises, utilizing stolen vehicles, and employing various diversionary tactics to confuse law enforcement.

Over the course of his criminal career, which spanned from 2001 to 2002, Gugasian is estimated to have robbed approximately 50 banks across multiple states, amassing a considerable sum of money.

Despite the efforts of law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, Gugasian managed to evade capture for over a year.

However, in September 2002, Gugasian’s luck ran out when he was finally apprehended by authorities following a bank robbery in Erie, Pennsylvania.

In 2003, he was sentenced to 17 years and 8 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to multiple charges related to his bank robberies.

6 – Joseph Kallinger

Kallinger’s criminal activities began in the late 1950’s when he started engaging in various forms of fraud and petty crimes.

However, his criminal behavior escalated in the 1970’s when he teamed up with his teenage son, Michael Kallinger, to commit a series of violent crimes.

Suffering from mental illness and having a history of psychiatric hospitalizations, Joseph and Michael embarked on a spree of robberies, rapes, and murders in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

They targeted individuals at random, often breaking into homes and assaulting their victims before robbing them with their crimes marked by extreme brutality.

One of the most notorious incidents associated with Joseph Kallinger is the murder of Maria Fasching, a nurse in New Jersey, in 1974.

The father-son duo’s crime spree came to an end in 1975 when they were apprehended by authorities. Joseph Kallinger was found guilty of multiple charges, including murder, and was sentenced to life in prison.

Michael Kallinger, who was a minor at the time of the crimes, was sentenced to a juvenile facility.

5 – Ira Einhorn

Gaining notoriety for his involvement in the death of his girlfriend, Holly Maddux, in 1977, Einhorn was an American counterculture activist and environmentalist.

Maddux’s remains were discovered in a trunk in Einhorn’s Philadelphia apartment nearly 18 months later, in March 1979.

Following the discovery of Maddux’s body, Einhorn was arrested and charged with her murder, however, he was released on bail and subsequently fled the United States.

Evading capture for over 16 years, Einhorn traveled extensively and assumed various identities before finally being apprehended in France in 1997.

Einhorn’s extradition to the United States was a lengthy process, involving legal battles that spanned several years.

In 2002, he was extradited from France to the United States to stand trial for Maddux’s murder.

In 2002, Einhorn was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

4 – Troy Graves

Gaining notoriety for a series of murders he committed, Graves worked as a pizza delivery driver at the time of his crimes.

Graves’ killing spree began in 1999 when he murdered two women in separate incidents.

Both victims were shot and Graves’ modus operandi involved targeting young women who were alone at night.

The area was gripped with fear as more murders occurred over the following years, all bearing similarities to Graves’ earlier crimes.

However, it wasn’t until 2001 that Graves was apprehended. He was arrested in the state of Illinois after being linked to DNA evidence found at the crime scenes.

In 2002, Troy Graves pleaded guilty to the murders of Cunningham and DeWitt, as well as attacks on two other women and he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

3 – Keith Gibson

Very little is known about Gibson’s early life other than he was born in 1982 in Philadelphia and was the only son of 15-year-old Christine Gibson.

Kieth dropped out of school early, spending most of his time on the streets and was prosecuted nine times for various charges and arrested more than 12 times for parole violations.

In the early morning hours of July 6, 2008, Gibson was omitting a robbery when things went wrong, resulting in the shooting of 36-year-old Stanley Savon Jones.

Convicted of the murder charge and unlawful possession of a weapon, Gibson was given a 20-year sentence, of which he served only 12-years.

Violating the conditions of his parole after leaving prison, Gibson entered a Traders store in the German-town neighborhood and shot two people.

He went to his mother Christine’s workplace and opened fire on her, killing her instantly before he was picked up and returned to prison for the parole violations.

On May 15th, 2021, Gibson entered a Metro by T-Mobile store in Elsmere, Delaware, where he had just left prison and attacked the clerk, fatally injuring her.

Next, he returned to Philadelphia and robbed a Dunkin’ Donuts store, executing store clerk Christine Lugo and failing to conceal his identity.

While police hunted Gibson, who was now the prime suspect, he killed again, this time shooting 42-year-old drug dealer Ronald Wright in Wilmington, Delaware during a street robbery.

Gibson was arrested by police officers in Wilmington shortly after robbing a local Rite Aid at gunpoint and it was revealed that three other people had survived his actions earlier that day.

At the time of his arrest, he was armed with a revolver and was wearing body armor, but offered no resistance.’

He received two whole life-terms for the crimes in Delaware and Gibson is now awaiting extradition to Philadelphia, where he is expected to stand trial for the remaining four murders.

2 – Gary M. Heidnik

Diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder and schizophrenia, Heidnik was raised in Ohio and had a troubled childhood.

Heidnik’s criminal activities came to light in the 1980s when he abducted several women in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In November 1986, Heidnik was arrested after one of his victims managed to escape and alert authorities.

During his trial, gruesome details emerged about Heidnik’s crimes including information on a makeshift dungeon in his basement where he kept his victims captive.

Dubbed the “House of Horrors” killer by the media, In July 1988, he was convicted of two counts of murder and sentenced to death.

Heidnik was executed by lethal injection on July 6, 1999, at the State Correctional Institution in Rockview, Pennsylvania.

1 – Harrison Graham

Born in 1965, Graham had a troubled upbringing and was known to have a history of mental illness with his criminal activities coming to light in the late 1980s.

Graham’s modus operandi involved luring his victims to his apartment, where he would attack them and disposed of the remains in trash bags on Philadelphia’s streets.

Graham was arrested and subsequently confessed to the murders of seven women between 1986 and 1987, many of whom were street workers.

In 1988, Harrison Graham was convicted of multiple counts of murder and initially sentenced to death, later commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The case of Harrison Graham remains one of the most notorious instances of serial murder in Philadelphia’s history, yet he never earned one thing he desired the most, a coveted nickname for his crimes.

He is currently held at the State Correctional Institution, Coal Township

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