The Story Behind Philadelphia Murder Victim No. 142


The news media often are accused of ignoring homicide victims who had not achieve some notoriety before their deaths. The Philadelphia Inquirer tries to fill that gap with a profile of Anthony Edwards, who is being buried today. He was homicide victim number 142 of 2007. The Inquirer says it is easy to forget that he, like other victims of the city’s murder epidemic, was more than a statistic; that his life, even in its ordinariness, had an impact. Edwards, 49, was shot dead at lunchtime May 10 for the $60 he had in his pocket. Relatives – “who do not want his life reduced to the hyphen between 1958 and 2007” – say he would have handed over the money without a fight.

Edwards’ death merited only a few lines in the Inquirer. All that story said about him – and few stories are ever complete – was that he once was on probation for a drug possession. Family members said he had his own demons, but never inflicted them on anyone else and had regained his footing in life. “There was nothing special about him to outsiders, but to us he was a great man,” his brother, Solomon, said. “He saved my life.”With a cousin, Anthony Edwards helped guide Solomon to become the person he is today: a Marine Corps vet, a transit police officer of 17 years, and a father of a 14-year-old boy.


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