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The notorious ‘Christmas killings’ of 1992: Map and timeline

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 12:01 AM

Dayton's infamous "Christmas killings" happened 25 years ago this month.

From Dec. 24-26, 1992, six people were killed and two were injured in one of the bloodiest killing sprees in Dayton’s history, which has become known as the “Christmas killings.”

‘They were like a shark’
25 years after Christmas murder spree: ‘It will never be forgotten’

Four people were convicted of the killings:

• Marvallous Keene, 19 (at the time), who was later executed

• Heather Nicole Matthews, 20

• DeMarcus Maurice Smith, 19, Matthews’ boyfriend

• Laura Taylor, 16, Keene’s girlfriend

Here’s a look at where the events occurred and what happened during that infamous three-day span:

1. First victim killed then found later 

Thursday, Dec. 24 | Joseph Wilkerson, the first victim, is shot to death Dec. 24 inside his home at 3321 Prescott Ave. He wasn’t found until Saturday, Dec. 26.

2. Shooting at pay phone 

Thursday, Dec. 24 | Danita Gullette, 18, of 709 Five Oaks Ave., Apt. 6, is shot numerous times while standing at a pay phone at 517 Neal Ave.

3. Non-fatal shooting 

Thursday, Dec. 24 | Jeffrey Wright, 28, of 1114 Akron Place, is shot four times outside 157 Yuma Place. He survived.

4. Shooting in a car 

Friday, Dec. 25 | Richmond Maddox, 19, of 3938 Larkspur Drive, is shot once in the head while driving his car on Benton Avenue. He dies from the gunshot.

5. Shooting at mini market 

Saturday, Dec. 26 | Three people enter the Short-Stop Mini Market, 1201 W. Fifth St., and shoot clerk Sarah Abraham and customer Jones Pettus during a robbery. Abraham dies five days later and Pettus survives.

6. Suspects arrested 

Saturday, Dec. 26 | A Dayton police sergeant spots a black Dodge Shadow used by some of the assailants at 725 Kumler Ave. Police arrest four people in the car and confiscate several weapons.

7. Final victims found 

Sunday, Dec. 27 | Police receive a tip and soon find a 16-year-old girl and 18-year-old man shot to death at a city-owned gravel dump at 1654 Richley Drive.

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Man arrested on murder charge after fatal double shooting in Dayton

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 1:19 AM
Updated: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 8:17 AM

Shooting on Norman Avenue in Dayton

UPDATE @ 8:10 a.m.:

A man arrested at the same address of a fatal double shooting in Dayton has been booked into jail on a preliminary charge of murder, jail records indicate. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Stabbing victim, 79, still recovering, no suspect in custody

Willie James Henry Jr., 43, was arrested at the same address on East Norman Avenue in Dayton around 5:30 a.m., according to jail records. He is facing preliminary charges of murder and felonious assault. 

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Police said a woman was pronounced dead at the scene while a man was transported to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries. 

We’ll update this page as new details become available. 

Willie James Henry Jr. (Contributed Photo/Montgomery County Jail)


One person has died and another is at an area hospital with life-threatening injuries after a shooting on Norman Avenue early Thursday morning.

Officials say the two victims, only described as a male and female in their 40s, were found with gunshot wounds in the 30 block of Norman Avenue around 1:15 a.m.

The female victim was pronounced dead on scene, while the male was transported to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries.

There is a suspect in custody that detectives are questioning, according to police. 

A neighbor who called 911 reported the male victim was shot first. The female victim went inside, and the neighbor heard an additional shot.

The neighbor said the suspect was sitting on the porch with a gun. Police confirmed the suspect had been walking around the area with a gun. The suspect, who has not been identified, was taken into custody without incident.

The incident remains under investigation. 

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Koko the gorilla who could sign, owned kitten, dies 

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 7:52 AM

FILE PHOTO:  Koko (left) indicates
FILE PHOTO: Koko (left) indicates "eat" with bunched fingertips to her lips and gets her prize (right). The experiment began in a mobile home at San Francisco Zoo. Koko died this week at the age of 46.(Bettmann/Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

Koko the gorilla, the simian who showed the world that they could communicate has died. 

The Gorilla Foundation made the announcement

Koko was born 46 years ago at the San Francisco Zoo. She was taught sign language by Dr. Francine Patterson starting in 1974, The Associated Press reported.

She had a vocabulary of about 1,000 words of American Sign Language, National Geographic reported.

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Koko’s ability to communicate and the empathy she showed made the gorilla a national treasure. She was featured on National Geographic’s cover twice, including one from 1978 that featured a photo that the animal took of herself in a mirror.

She had learned how to use a camera after watching a photographer and imitating him. At the end of the National Geographic photoshoot, she signed “love camera,” according to National Geographic.

The second cover, from 1985, showed the large western lowland gorilla cradling a kitten. Koko had asked for a kitten for Christmas in 1984. Her caretakers gave her a stuffed animal, but that didn’t work for the gorilla who told her human family that she was sad that she didn’t get a real cat, The Los Angeles Times reported in 1985. So on her birthday, she was allowed to chose one and became famous being a gorilla who had a kitten as a pet. Researchers said that Koko would cradle and pet the small cat, while the feline would treat Koko like a human. Like any cat, she was independent, and would bite, or get loose when she had had enough love from her gorilla caretaker. When that happened, Koko would sign “obnoxious cat.” But when the kitten, whom Koko named All Ball, wanted affection, Koko would sign,“soft, good cat.”  Koko and All Ball’s family came to an end, though, when the cat wandered into a road and was hit by a car. Koko signed about death after the kitten was killed and cried, mourning her pet, the Times reported.

That wasn’t the only time that Koko showed that she understood death and would mourn the passing of a friend, the “Today” show reported. When she was told of Robin Williams’s death in 2014, she became sad, Patterson wrote on Koko.org. Williams and Koko became friends after they met in 2001.

The Gorilla Foundation said it will keep Koko’s memory alive by continuing its conservation efforts in Africa, operating a great ape sanctuary on Maui and developing a sign language app that features Koko that will help gorillas and children learning to sign.

Koko died in her sleep at the age of 46, the AP reported.


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Man arrested after trying to pay waitress with her own stolen credit card, police say

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 2:26 AM

Police: Man Arrested After Trying to pay Waitress with Her Own Stolen Credit Card

A suspected thief is behind bars after police say he handed an Arkansas waitress her own stolen card while paying his bill at a Pine Bluff restaurant.

According to The Associated Press, Shamon West, 21, was arrested Tuesday after Shannon's Restaurant waitress Flora Lunsford went to swipe the credit card and noticed her own name on it. She called police, who searched West and found Lunsford's Social Security card and driver's license, as well, the AP reported.

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The arrest came two days after someone took Lunsford's purse from her car, which was parked outside a gas station two blocks from the restaurant, KATV reported.

West now faces charges of theft by receiving and forgery.

Read more here or here

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Downtown Springfield pizzeria closing

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 5:47 PM

Bada Bing Pizzeria owner Jason Hague serves the staff of The Salvation Army a Red Kettle pizza.  The Red Kettle pizza is a special pizza that will be available during National Salvation Army week.  JEFF GUERINI/STAFF
Jeff Guerini
Bada Bing Pizzeria owner Jason Hague serves the staff of The Salvation Army a Red Kettle pizza. The Red Kettle pizza is a special pizza that will be available during National Salvation Army week. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF(Jeff Guerini)

Bada Bing Pizzeria in Springfield will close on Sunday, according to a post on the business’ Facebook page. 

PHOTOS: Last days of Bada Bing Pizzeria

The post reads in part, “Thank you all for your support over the last few years. We have been blessed beyond measure. What’s next? Stay tuned.”

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The restaurant is located at 40 N. Fountain Ave.

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