Could there be a serial killer on the loose in Philadelphia? That’s what some people are wondering after a woman’s remains were found inside a suitcase left on a sidewalk in the Kensington area of Philly on Thursday of last week. Authorities made the grisly discovery around 9:50 a.m. near the intersection of Kensington and Allegheny avenues. The body has yet to be identified.
If that area rings a bell, you may be familiar with the Kensington Strangler cases which occured over a two month period back in the winter of 2010. Dubbed a “sexual serial killer” Antonio Rodriguez raped and killed three women in just two months: Elaine Goldberg, Nicole Piacentini and Casey Mahoney. He was later sentenced to three consecutive life terms in prison.
After hearing about the body discovered last week, I had to take a look into unsolved murders around the Philadelphia area, and while there are many, I found that as recently as 2018 there were a series of bodies found over the course of just two days that have some distinct similarities to the case last week.
Those cases include:
On the afternoon of Tuesday, July 17, 2018 the body of an unidentified woman was found partially decomposed inside a suitcase in 2700 block of Ruby Terrace at the Bartram Village housing development in Philadelphia. A manager and housing police noticed a strong odor and saw maggots coming from a suitcase that was found near a dumpster on the premises.
On July 18, 2018 at 9:40 a.m. a man was found wrapped in a plastic tarp in the Spring Garden section of Philadelphia. The decedent was found inside the bedroom area of an unoccupied apartment that was undergoing renovation along the 1900 block of Mount Vernon Street.
Later that same day, a body was found near the northbound off-ramp of I-95 to Allegheny Avenue around 11:30am after authorities recieved a report of a suspicious person. When troopers arrived, they found the body of a deceased man near the exit ramp that was later identified as 48-year-old John Di Zio.
After the discovery of those bodies in 2018, area authorities downplayed the notion that there was any serial killer involvement. Even releasing a statement saying there was “no evidence that the bodies discovered on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week are connected.”
I have scoured multiple resources and have not seen any indication the deaths above have been solved. So while we don’t know if these cases are the work of a serial killer I will most certainly be keeping a watchful eye on this area and see how these cases develop.