The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 21, 1983 · Page 2
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page 2

Publication:
Location:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Friday, October 21, 1983
Page:
Page 2
Start Free Trial
Cancel

2-A Friday, Oct, 21. 1983 Philadelphia Inquirer Bradfield obsessed with alibi for killing, teachers say BRADFIELD, from 1-A David Bradfield, a son of the defen-, dant. Valaitis told the jury that Bradfield tad insisted that Valaitis accompany him, Ms. Myers and fellow Upper Merion High teacher Christopher Pappas to Cape May because Bradfield believed that it would be the weekend when Mrs. Reinert would be slain "and he Bradfield needed an alibi." ' In addition, Valaitis said Bradfield, Upon learning that Valaitis had talked to police after Mrs. Reinert's body was found, grew angry and told him: " 'Don't talk to the police. If you do, you'll put me in the electric c.hair.'" ' Bradfield, SO, has been charged with murder in connection with the slayings of Mrs. Reinert and her children, Karen, 11, and Michael, 10. Mrs. Reinert's body was found about 5 a.m. June 25, 1979, stuffed in the rear of her hatchback automobile in a motel parking lot near here. Police said she had died of an overdose of morphine. . State trooper Victor Dove testified earlier that fabric marks, which looked as if they might have been caused by gloves, were found on the roof of Mrs. Reinert's car. He also said police could identify no fingerprints from the car other than Mrs Reinert's. Her children were last seen leaving their home in Ardmore, Delaware County, with their mother about 9:30 p.m. June 22, 1979. Their bodies have not been found, but the state grand jury that recommended the arrest of Bradfield concluded that the children, too, had been slain. Valaitis told the nine-man, three-woman jury that he, Bradfield and the other two teachers left for Cape May about 11:30 p.m. Friday, June 22, 1979, and remained there until the early afternoon of June 25. Valaitis' testified that Bradfield had not been out of the group's company during that weekend. Sometime before the trip, Valaitis testified, "I called Bill and told him 1 couldn't go because I had to work that Monday, and he got very upset. "Bill told me the plans have all been made, this was the weekend Uay C.I Smith would do harm to Susan Reinert, and he IBradfieldl needed an alibi." ; . Smith, a former principal at Upper i Merion High, had been arrested in August 1978 on the first in a series of charges that included theft, attempted theft, drug possession and weapons offenses. 'Smith is incarcerated at Dallas State Prison near Wilkes-Barre in connection with those charges. He has not been charged in connection with the Reinert slayings, but Brad- field's defense attorney, "Joshua -p."' ?v ';'"' ST - Lock, has suggested to the jury that Smith, not Bradfield, should be' on 1 trial for the slayings. On the day that Bradfield and his three friends left for Cape May, Valaitis testified, Bradfield had left his home in Phoenixville, Chester County, early in the morning and did not return until about 11 p.m. Valaitis lived in the same apartment building as Bradfield at the time . During the drive to Cape May, Valaitis testified, "Bill looked very tired, exhausted; and, at one point, he banged his hand against the front seat and said, 'I'm afraid this is it; this is the weekend Smith will kill Mrs. Reinert."' Ms. Myers, in her testimony, said she heard no conversation between Valaitis and Bradfield on the way to the shore. , ' When the group returned to their homes June 25, Valaitis testified, and learned that Smith had reported to the Dallas State Prison after a hearing that day, Bradfield broke down in tears and expressed his relief. "Thank God," Valaitis quoted Bradfield as saying. "1 saved that . . . woman's life." t Hours later, Valaitis said, he learned that Mrs. Reinert's nude body had been found, with marks indicating she had been bound, beaten and injected with an overdose of morphine. Bradfield, Valaitis testified, had left about 5:30 or 6 p.m. on that day for summer classes at St. John's College in Sante Fe, N.M. When Valaitis talked to Bradfield by telephone and told him of Mrs. Reinert's death, Valaitis said, Bradfield advised him not to talk to the police and to get himself a lawyer. Valaitis testified that when he told Bradfield that he already had talked to police, Bradfield became upset and angry. " 'Don't talk to the police. If you do, you'll put me in the electric chair,' " Valaitis quoted Bradfield as saying. Valaitis testified that there was "no doubt in my mind" that he clearly remembered Bradfield saying those words. The state grand jury that recommended Bradfield's arrest in April alleged that he and at least one unidentified accomplice had plotted the killing of Mrs. Reinert for large economic gain. The panel noted that Mrs. Reinert had named Bradfield . beneficiary of about $900,000 in lire insurance and estate benefits shortly before she died. Under direct questioning by state Deputy Attorney General Richard L Guida, Valaitis, testified that Bradfield had talked on "a number of occasions, from around Thanksgiving 1978 until her murder," about his fear that Smith would harm Mrs. Reinert. llillllli'ilr fill ty " ' ' ' ' Amfi it Wlf J t" '.SiS- -,, x A K ? I Philadelphia Inquirar CHUCK ISAACS Ms. Myers leaves Dauphin County Courthouse after testifying Valaitis said that at Christmas time 1978, when he and Ms. Myers traveled to Florida with Bradfield for a vacation, Bradfield told him that he thought Mrs. Reinert might be killed. "He mentioned to me that he was upset, frightened, that someone might do Susan Reinert some harm," Valaitis said. . Valaitis testified that during the trip, Bradfield twice shopped for a gun but did not buy one. "He said he may have to use it against Dr. Smith to prevent him from harming people" Ms. Myers later testified that Bradfield did buy a pair of black gloves on that trip. She also said Bradfield had not mentioned Smith during the vacation. SEPTA to boost rail service 13 ' SEPTA, from 1 A evening and weekend runs, the transit agency plans to to offer the fastest commuter trains ever run between Paoll and Center City, officials said. Seven trains each weekday will make the trip in 31 minutes, stopping only at 30th Street Station, Berwyn, Devon and Strafford. The line, which connects Philadelphia's western suburbs with Center City, carries more riders than any of the others. On the Paoli line, the new schedules will improve rush-hour service, provide service every half-hour during midday and hourly service at night. On Saturdays, half-hour daytime service and more frequent service at night will be operated. ' The Lansdale Doylestown Line also is scheduled for a dramatic increase in service. Currently, Doylestown is served by only 14 trains meandering lazily Into Center City each weekday; that number will increase to 36 per day, with some making express runs between Ambler and Center City to shorten the ride. With the new schedules, Doylestown riders will be offered half-hour train service during rush hours and hourly service during off-peak periods. On the Fox Chase-Newtown Line, SEPTA plans to increase service between Center City and Fox Chase. But bus service will still be substituted for trains between Fox Chase and Newtown, Bucks County. SEPTA discontinued train service to Newtown on Jan. 18 after repeated failures of dicsel locomotives. The service improvements are designed to lure back rail riders who abandoned the system in droves after the strike, which ended June 30. But the new train schedules will not be accompanied by fare breaks, as the SEPTA staff had originally envi- GNP grew at 7.9 rate in 3d quarter, report says GNP, from 1A huge federal budget deficits. Last month, before the quarter ended, the department predicted in its unofficial "flash" estimate that there would be 7 percent growth as measured by the inflation-adjusted gross national product. ' Baldrige said yesterday's prelimi- ti:irt rnvicinn nn In 7 0 narnnt , brought the third-quarter GNP to an all-time hieh. 1.9 percent above the previous peak reached two years aao. ; '' Real, or inflation-adjusted, GNP increased by $29.3 billion to an annual rule of $1,554 trillion during the third quarter, from $1,525 trillion in the spring quarter. ; Meanwhile, there were reports that the GNP figures had been tn.illll, tr Fdllnrnl Ira.l.iiv nf nntm ment securities up to 30 minutes before the 10 a.m. release time. Such advance notice could give some trading advantage to those who received it although there was no suggestion yesterday that that had happened. A Commerce Department spokeswoman said she received a telephone call shortly before 10 a.m. from a New York investment house, saying that the GNP estimates had been "in the market" since 9:40 a.m. Baldrige called the leaks "unconscionable" and said the Commerce Department was continuing to work with the Justice Department to prevent future premature disclosures. He said he "tends to think" that the news was spread early by a news reporter, some of whom are given the information by Commerce about 20 minutes before the release time. sioned. The staff's effort to drop sutn urban fares significantly and to maintain fares for commuter train riders in the cfly ran aground last month when city representatives on the SEPTA board argued that it was discriminatory. Since then, a committee of city and suburban officials has been considering alternatives, but has been unable to reach a consensus, SEPTA Board Chairman Lewis F. Gould Jr. said during a board meeting yesterday at the agency's headquarters in .Center City. Until the committee finds a solution, the fares will stay as they are, Gould said. In other action at the board meeting yesterday, SEPTA Treasurer George Miller warned of serious impending fiscal difficulties. He predicted a potential deficit of between $9 million and $44 million by the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 1984. Miller told the board that the transit agency "will not be able to pay for operations the whole year" unless the financial situation is resolved. The xpectcd deficits resulted from several developments unforeseen when the budget was adopted during the summer. Miller said. Most of the potential deficit stems from a dispute between SEPTA and the state over how much subsidy the transit agency is entitled to receive under a funding law enacted by the legislature, Miller said. The board approved Miller's proposal to issue $46 million worth of financial notes to carry the transit agency over rough spots until its state and federal subsidy money arrives. But Miller said the money generated by the notes was to be used only for current operating expenses, would have to be repaid and could not be applied to the deficit. ' Lotteries t I ' rrmisviYHiiiii DAILY Qct. 20,1983 960 LOTTO Oct. 18,1983 02 11 12 25 28 30 Alternate: 07 Delaware DAILY Oct. 20, 1983 009 LOTTO Oct. 20, 1983 01 131516 2122 Alternate: 14 BIG 4 Oct. 19, 1983 6006 New Jersey PICK it . Oct. 20, 1983 298 Straight: $307.50 Box: $51 Pairs: $30.50 PLAY 4 Oct. 19, 1983 5976 PICK 6 Oct. 20, 1983 07 10 22 28 3035 Bonus: 26 84 7 PICK 4 Oct. 20, 1983 2879 Straight: $2,435 Box: $101 , For lottery information; Pennsylvania ' 215-271-1600 New Jersey 609-976-2020 Delaware 302-7365291 Zht ytrilabelptria Inqtrirrr . USPS 430000 PuMKtwdtvwyMomngtntfSjmdtybv , PMadtWii Ntwiptcwi.W. ' . ', 400 N fcdSl..0 lei 1261 . PhdMrfphnj. ft. 1110) Mvmtw of Hi AMacit4 Pimi. Th Auocutad Prtu w Mrtld icliamly to Hw uw for reproduction of 0 local now prmtad m tw rwmpopor u won M A nowt rttplchf MAlSUSSCNIPTKm NATtS ZONCS 1-2 I r lmr. Jme. lira. rMvlSundn........ SIM M tlOJ 7 153 M til SO (mom torw mm net ioso timbrOnrf 17 75 4t 23 W 120 f O ImtOSM? 'HIlAOtlPMIA. PA. 19177 Piytolt in toVmct. For dl other rite oply Ml Subecriplioft Department Second data Posiege paid at Phil.. Pa POSTMASTER: and iMm Chang 10: The PMKoMini tnejumir I 400 NorlhSroed Street. POio.1263 Philadelphia. PA 1(101 ClainhedAd lOJ-SOOO Report Ntwa (2 It) 864-2500 Other Department 2 161 164-2000 far Ouerentee Hem Oetwarv. ar le raoort a datwery problem, can to km In Philadelphia , 665-1234 In Pannaylvama 16001 222-2765 InNearJeraer... (600) 523-6066 mOelawere 666-1112 During Smith's May 1979 trial on charges of stealing $53,000 from a Sears, Roebuck & Co. store in Radnor, Delaware County, Bradfield tes-, tified as an alibi witness, saying he was with Smith elsewhere at the time that the theft occurred. But in the fall of that year, Valaitis testified, Bradfield continued to cast suspicion on Smith. "He told me Dr. Smith was a hit man for the Mafia and had threatened Mrs. Reinert" and others at the school, Valaitis testified. "He told me that Dr. Smith had told him Susan Reinert 'knew too much' about Dr. Smith and his trash." Valaitis explained that "trash" referred to Bradfield's assertions that Smith had taken "dead bodies, chopped them up and put them in the trash." Valaitis, in his testimony, said that on numerous - occasions Bradfield had told him that.Mrs. Reinert was in danger, threatened by an association with Smith, or with "kinky" men who Bradfield said Mrs. Reinert "liked to date." Valaitis said he had been "shocked" by Bradfield's assertions but had taken no action because "I thought that Mr. Bradfield might be making them up." , During an interview after his testimony to the Jury. Valaitis said he did not go to the police or tell Mrs. Reinert about his conversations with Bradfield because he thought the accusations were too bizarre. - "I thought it highly improbable that anything would happen," he said. "Why would someone tell someone else their plans to murder someone?" - Valaitis said he had discussed the threats with his parents and a few friends. His father, Valaitis said, told - him "it sounded crazy and I should stay out of it." He said his conversations with Bradfield had become so incredible over the months that he began to dismiss the Idea that anything might ; happen to Mrs. Reinert. ; "Bill had said so many bizarre things that a lot of what he said was , becoming meaningless," he said. In cross-examination by defense attorney Joshua D. Lock, Valaitis did not contradict his account of Bradfield's obsession with the possibility of Mrs. Reinert's death. But Lock's questions appeared to have been designed to draw out testimony that would make the defendant appear to have been genuinely concerned about Mrs. Reinert's welfare. In his questioning. Lock brought out testimony from Valaitis describing Bradfield as "concerned, anxious and agitated" about the dangers that he said Mrs. Reinert faced. Valaitis said Bradfield's physical health appeared to deteriorate for several months during the fall of 1978 until June 1979, as he became more and more involved in efforts that he said had been intended to save Mrs. Reinert. Valaitis also testified that on several occasions, Bradfield complained that Mrs. Reinert had been "throwing herself at him" and that although she wanted to marry him, he was not interested. Ms. Myers began her testimony at about 4:30 p.m. yesterday, telling the court she had received promises of immunity from prosecution. Her testimony was scheduled to continue at 9 a.m. today. While she was on the stand, prosecutor Guida introduced Into evidence a book called The Works of Confucius, which Ms. Myers testified had belonged to Bradfield. She identified the handwriting in the book as Bradfield's, and Guida asked her to describe how the lines were numbered on Pages 12, 13, and 14. She said they were numbered by fives, up to 100. . ' ;L ' Ms. Myers testified that she had given the book to FBI agents. In earlier testimony, Valaitis said he, , Bradfield and others had used the book in a code system. " Under cross-examination, Ms. Myers described for Lock the circumstances of Bradfield's increasing involvement with Smith. It began, she said, after Bradfield had met with Smith several times after the principal's arrest. Ms. Myers, who said she began living with Bradfield in 1973, testified that in October 1978, Bradfield had been absent from their apartment for four or five nights a week and had told her that he had been meeting with Smith to help plan the former principal's defense on the criminal charges that he faced. ' Ms. Myers recalled that Bradfield became increasingly fibsessed ;with Smith. "He would become very, very upset when he wasiKorrte and 'he would cry and whimpeTin his sleep.'' She agreed with Loci's contention that in the months from fall 1978 to June 1979, Bradfield appeared "ptiys-ically exhausted by the actions he was taking to control Dr. Smith." Ms. Myers also testifed that during the spring of 1979 Bradfield asked her, but she declined to sign a cohabitation agreement in which he listed as his assets $20,000 in a savings account at Downingtown National Bank, and two life-insurance contracts naming him as a beneficiary. One was a $250,000 policy from his mother, Ms. Myers said, and the other was a $500,000 policy from an unnamed owner. The grand jury that indicted Bradfield contended that $500,000 is the exact amount of insurance for which Mrs. Reinert initially applied in Feb-ruary 1979 with USAA Insurance Co. Also in the spring of that year, Ms. Myers testified, she took Bradfield's key and without his knowledge opened a locked filing cabinet in their apartment. She said she. found a two-inch stack of money inside, with a $100 bill on top. She said the money remained there until she checked the drawer in the beginning of May 1979. She said that on May 7, 1979, Bradfield told her "Susan Reinert would be killed within that month." It was the last time before Mrs. Reinert's death in June that Bradfield ever spoke to her about his fears, Ms. - Myers said. Bradfield, 50, of Downingtown, Chester County, has been charged with three counts each of first-de- , gree murder and conspiracy with "a person or persons unknown" in planning the killings. Under state law, a person is guilty of murder if he commits murder or plans it with some- one else. The prosecution has said it will seek the death penalty against Bradfield if he is convicted. i -J w V, . VV--:....... J Si 1 i . ' I r E 3 xS? I 1 ;o 0 O O O O 5 Qnl 5. - mmmam "n 1 0 U. - - w r J IP: i l Y c l - . fc f I Ip I I ' c Flexnit body fashion 25 off Look smooth, stay comfortable in Lycra briefs You want control, but not too much. Flexnit briefs are for you. 8500 Stretch brief with cotton center, S-3X. Reg. $5, 3.75. 8600 Stretch brief with cotton center and lace inserts, S-XL Regularly, 7.50, now 5.62. 8601 Lycra brief with front panel for firmer control and lace inserts, S-XL, $9, 6.75. 8700 Firm control stretchy brief, ' S-3X, 6.50, 4.87. Above styles in white, : beige, taffy, black, rose, cherry, blue. (451) WamPMns rrn-ri ti

What members have found on this page

Get access to Newspapers.com

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 20,900+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

Try it free