Crime Life

Harrison Graham

Harrison "Marty" Graham was a mildly retarded black man from Philadelphia who was regarded as a strange but harmless sort. He always carried a Cookie Monster puppet with him, amusing people by talking for the toy in his best Cookie Monster voice. He had little problem making friends, but his neighbors were not so fond of Graham, constantly complaining of the horrid smells coming from his aprtment. After a quarrell with the landlord, Graham was evicted, though he nailed a bedroom door shut before leaving, claiming to have valuables in the room that he would come back for later.

On August 9, 1987, the landlord had tired of waiting and summoned police, who broke down the bedroom door and made a hideous find. A total of seven bodies were present in the room including three laying under heaps of trash and one tied up in a closet. Some were so decomposed that it was difficult to determine the sex by sight, though they later all proved to be the corpses of women. Graham was apprehended but denied the killings, ridiculously claiming the bodies had been in the room when he moved in and he had been aftaid to tell anyone about them. He soon abandoned the transparent claim.

Finally admitting that he had killed the women, all by manual strangulation, Graham went to trial for seven murders. He plead not guilty by reason of insanity and chose a bench instead of jury trial. He was subsequently found guilty of seven counts each of murder and abusing a corpse. The ghoulish murderer was sentenced in May of 1988 to one life sentence and six electrocutions. It was an odd sentence that ordered that he not be electrocuted until his life sentence is served, but one that effectively took Graham off the streets forever.