Chilling Article on Forgotten Serial Killer in Park View

Here’s the article mentioned in this morning’s rant/revel – D.C.’s last serial killer: The Princeton Place murders, 20 years later:

“D.C. was a different place then, particularly on the rougher edges of town, and the brutality of the Princeton Place murders seemed to catch the zeitgeist. D.C. was Murder Capital, U.S.A. Gentrification was a rumor. Drug markets were open-air and in your face. Police were overwhelmed. The coroner’s office was a mess . . . and, lost in the shuffle, black women caught up in drugs, sometimes in prostitution, started to disappear.”

Read the full story here.

9 Comment

  • I’d love to see Park View pics from around that time.

  • Maybe my memory is inflating the number but I seem to recall several unsolved murders of gay men in DC in the 1990’s–I definitely remember one of them because I used to see the guy at the Pop Stop. I don’t believe anybody ever connected them, but I always wondered if that may have been the work of a serial killer.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      I think one of Pellecanos’ novels was based on these – In the Night Garden iirc.

      • I think that might have been based on the Freeway Phantom – unsolved killings in the 1970s. Its an excellent novel in any event.

    • There was also the Chandra Levy case–I’ve read reports that her killer was also linked to Joyce Chiang’s disappearance, as well as two similar murders in Colorado.

  • VarnumGuy

    I read this article this morning. It was fascinating. Enjoyed reading a bit about the history of Park View and Petworth. And the added bonus of seeing you quoted!

  • This kinda puts things in perspective as some newcomers are panicking about “rapidly rising” crime rates.

    • Agree. Another huge difference between now and twenty or even ten years ago is access to internet. Yes, we had internet access ten years ago, but it is much more prolific now with smart phones and widely available wifi. Information travels much faster to a much wider audience. It’s a good thing, but it also might make it seem like crime is “rising” when in fact it’s just being more widely reported.

  • Holy sh*t, this is the first time I’ve heard of these murders, though it doesn’t surprise me. Park View (and Petworth, and much of the city between Dupont Circle and Union Station) was was equally forgotten.
    I do remember the killing of gay and transexual men that DC Trropic talks about up thread. There was a sense in the 90s that all the “unsavories” in the city would kill each other off and articles about murders of drug dealers, addicts, prostitutes, and homeless people were about as frequent as items about new restaurants and bars today.
    They got about as much attention as news that a Chipotle or Potbelly is closing. Which is to say, no big deal. At its worst, DC was about as bad as Baltimore is depicted in “The Wire.” Downright tragic sh*t happening on a daily basis.

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