THIS JUST IN: Kenzo Strangler Strikes Again*450/SKETCHkensington.jpg?w=790

NBC PHILADELPHIA: It happened around 2 a.m.. as the woman was walking on the 2600 block of Kensington Ave. Police say a man approached the woman from behind, grabbed her hair and pulled her into an alley where he strangled her, punched her and hit her in the head with a brick. He is described as a black male in his 20s, 5’7 to 5’11, 160 to 170-pounds with facial hair (sideburns). He was wearing a dark, puffy coat and faded black jeans. He was listening to his iPod at the time of the attack and allegedly told the woman his name is Anthony. MORE

PREVIOIUSLY: The rusting, blue steel frame of the El, the elevated portion of Philadelphia’s subway, looms over dilapidated Kensington Avenue like a giant centipede’s decaying exoskeleton. Known as “the stroll,” Kensington Avenue is the hub of Philly’s street prostitution scene, where young, drug-addicted women turn tricks for dope money—and where lately, a serial killer stalks them in the sickly orange glow of the streetlamps under the El. […] The two murdered women are alleged by the prostitutes on the stroll who knew them to have met the same fate in similar ways, by having gone on what the girls call “walking dates.” In such a transaction, a John approaches on foot instead of in a car and asks the girl to walk with him to a nearby lot to set a price and have sex. The expansive lot where Elaine Goldberg was strangled is comprised of waist-high weeds with a path cut through them. Following the path into the weeds from the sidewalk feels like disappearing into a Dantean wilderness of addiction-driven depravity. The path is strewn with discarded women’s clothes, a toilet turned on its side, and ultimately, a clearing where the muddy ground is coated with empty 1CC syringe wrappers, dirty needles, empty dope bags, used condoms, and a filthy mattress in the dirt where the women turn tricks. The nearby lot where Nicole Piacentini was strangled is smaller but similarly nightmarish. Set across from a warehouse loading dock, yellow crime tape was still tangled in the weeds where a second path opened immediately into yet another clearing strewn with drug detritus. As I approached the scene, a police officer who was sitting in a cruiser still parked by the crime scene rolled down his window. “There’s a lot of human shit back there so watch where you step,” he deadpanned. “It ain’t mud.” MORE

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