This email in:
I have been reading and commenting here and there on your site. My question is what is your relationship with the Woomers and why not write for the Weavers. Your site is on the justice for joy site and is mentioned on her son’s site.
I just don’t understand why you write about Woomer’s side and not Weavers. I’m sure there are stories from their side and I’m sure they feel some sort of pain as well.
Also, where did you get your information about the detective? I read the news article and really am not convinced he did anything. If you had an interview with someone, who was it (no need to name, just how you found this person).
I am going to answer the question about the detective – specifically Lancaster County Detective Joseph Geesey – today and the other questions tomorrow.
I moved to Philadelphia in the very early ‘80’s after being the editor of the paper edition of the Lancaster Independent Press. I was freelancing as a reporter for the Philadelphia Tribune, America’s oldest Black newspaper and a twice weekly.
In May of 1981, I went to a newsstand to buy the latest edition and saw a headline, “Man critical after Lancaster lynching try.”
I thought it had to be a mistake of some kind – there could not be a lynching in my Lancaster! I didn’t own a car so I took a train the same day. I went straight to the crime scenes and realized immediately that at least one of the three men who committed this horrendous crime had to be familiar with the area and thus had to live or work nearby.
To make a very long story short, I became very suspicious of one man who worked very close to the crime scenes. The vehicle used to abduct Robert Henderson was also parked right in the lot.
On May 21, I took a train to Lancaster. I walked to the Coe Camera Shop and purchased a Polaroid Instamatic camera. I walked to Hazel Street and the crime scene. I said to a neighbor I had spoken to several times before, “I’m going in there to take a picture. If I’m not out in five minutes, please call the police.”
I walked into Brookshire Printing and saw the man I wanted sitting around a table with two other men. I raised the camera and took a picture of all three. The one who recognized me is on the right and he put his head down. The other two had no idea who I was and almost smiled for me.
The next day the Lancaster Newspapers ran police sketches of the three assailants. I had taken a picture of all three of them, sitting around a table at Brookshire Printing, less than half a block from where the two assaults occurred.
The police never “solved” this attempted murder or one five months later committed by the same men. There will be much more this weekend.