Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2011

The Philadelphia Basement Kidnappings

The odor coming out of the basement of the seven-story apartment building was unbelievably fetid. And it emanated from a barbaric scene: four mentally disabled adults locked in a boiler room, prisoners of what investigators believe was a Social Security fraud scheme. In the days since the mid-October discovery, more alleged victims have emerged, including the 19-year-old niece of the alleged ringleader, a girl who had been reported missing 10 years ago. When she was found, her body showed evidence of what seems to have been torture. Linda Weston, 52, the reported leader of a gang of three other suspects, already had several run-ins with the law, including serving four years for the 1983 murder of her sister's boyfriend, whom she locked in a closet and starved to death. In mid-November, Weston was found mentally fit to stand trial.