Metro Unsolved Tributes: Friends and family remember lost loved ones in their own words

Gary McClain, 27, was shot and killed on July 19, 2011.

Last week’s Metro Unsolved series, a three-day look at five years of homicides in Philadelphia, struck a chord with many of our readers. Here’s a compilation of memories and tributes sent by victims’ loved ones, who continue to work to make sure that those they lost are remembered as people, not merely statistics.

Rhashe Allen was gunned down near 7th Street and Girard Avenue on the edge of Northern Liberties just after midnight on Nov. 11, 2007. He was 23 years old. The gunman escaped and has never been brought to justice. Allen’s death marked the city’s 350th homicide that year. R.I.P. Rhashe Allen.

Rhashe was my baby sisters boyfriend. He was one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. [Last] Sunday marked the 5th anniversary. When u look into his fathers eyes or my sisters eyes the pain is so evident. No one deserves what he got.

– Love_t_4_t, via Twitter

David Kelly, 49, was shot and killed around on the 1600 block of North 57th Street in Carroll Park at 2 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2009. R.I.P. David Kelly.

I’ve read your piece, and I still find no closure. I lost my children’s
father to the violent streets of Philadelphia and yes we often [wonder]
when will his killer or killers be brought justice. His daughters have
gone to college, whom now are a sophomore, and a junior but on September
11, 2009 their [lives] changed drastically. No one can imagine the
journey we have embarked on to complete a wholeness in our lives. Let’s
just say every day is a stepping stone.We will mourn for him until
justice is served. Thank You……(simply tears)……

– Denise Williams

Anthony Khalil Patterson was shot and killed inside a car on the 800 block of Unruh Avenue in Lawndale around 6 a.m. on July 18, 2011. He was 20 years old. Police never disclosed a motive or made any arrests in his slaying. R.I.P. Anthony Khalil Patterson.

Anthony Khalil Patterson
We miss him dearly please help

– Latoya Patterson

Gary McClain, 27, was killed after a gunman opened fire on the 1900 block of 32nd Street in Strawberry Mansion shortly after 9 p.m. on July 19, 2011, injuring two others. There is an open reward of $5,000 from the Citizen’s Crime Commission of Delaware Valley for information leading to the person responsible for McClain’s death, in addition to the city’s standard $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of any homicide suspect. R.I.P. Gary McClain.

Our son and brother Gary McClain was gunned down on July 19th, 2011 on the 1900 block of 32nd St. He was 27 years old. A college student, Gary was due to graduate in May of 2012.  Gary worked as a special education teacher in two locations: Wordsworth Academy and Dr. Gertrude A. Barber Center.  As we were reading today’s Metro about the unsolved but not uncounted murders in Philadelphia, seeing our son’s name listed as one of the victims has reopened the wounds that his father and I carry. 

We are pleading with the community to help bring our son and brothers’ murderers to justice. A $25,000 reward has been offered to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of these people. Anyone with information is being asked to call the tip line at 215-686-8477 or Det. Nate Williams at 215-686-3334.

– Donna Nelson-McClain

R.I.P. to all those who have gone uncounted.

I was reading the names of the homicide victims in the November 12, 2012 issue. My son was murdered in 2011 at the age of 29, and his name isn’t even listed as a victim.  He death was declared a homicide by the Medical Examiner’s office. The Police Records are inaccurate. There have been more homicides than indicated, and his case is also unsolved. … I just want closure, like every other parent of a homicide victim. I hope one day there is justice done.

– Julie E. Ottinger

We want to hear from you

If you have any thoughts on Metro’s Unsolved series, or any memories, photos or thoughts you’d like to share in a tribute on our website, please contact us at letters@metro.us.

In case you missed it

Here are the articles comprising Metro’s Unsolved series, a look back at unsolved city slayings between 2007 and 2011 and profiling people who are working to solve them – and to prevent similar crimes in the future.

Top cop talks murder – and stopping it
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey knows the city’s homicide rate is on a pace to top last year’s total of 324 murders.

Ericka Brair: Five years later, scars of 2007 murder still remain
When Janice Collins found her daughter’s bed empty on the morning of March 16, 2007, she immediately sensed something was wrong.

Outreach program is slowly breaking down barriers
When PhillyRising first ventured into the Hartranft neighborhood in early 2010, residents were “unbelievably suspicious.”

Behind most murders is the petty argument
Philly’s murder epidemic involves tragically large numbers of victims.

Groups give life to ‘Live and Let Live’ campaign
Can a simple string of words change attitudes and curb violence in the city?

’08 victim Zabel’s dad scarred by earphones
Near the intersection of Eighth and Ellsworth streets, Zabel was found dead from a single gunshot wound to the neck.

Young black men: The carnage just gets worse
­­In any given year, Philadelphia tallies between 300 and 400 homicides. And without fail, about 60 percent of those victims are black men younger than 40.

Mamadou Makadji came to study but never had the chance
Makadji, 22, came from his home country of Mali to study English at Temple University.

New approach to hunting suspects
After triple murder at grocery, PPD’s homicide chief’s all-out effort to find alleged killers.

More than police tape, teddy bears left behind
A first-person account from Metro city editor Brian X. McCrone.

Mother turns pain into help for others
On August 1, 2007, Eric Woods was shot and killed after a basketball game in Southwest Philadelphia.

Opinion: Where’s the outrage?
The question has been asked many times and I will ask it again: Where is the outrage?

Urban motto may be gone, but ‘stop snitching’ lives on
Philadelphia gained national notoriety seven years ago when ‘stop snitching’ tee shirts circulated inner city neighborhoods.

Family of murder victim seeks legacy for lost son
On the night of February 7, 2011, Shawn Anderson could hear gunshots from inside his home.

Metro Unsolved Tribute Page: R.I.P. Melanie Colon
Ralphiee Colon, brother of 22-year-old Melanie, in his own words discusses the murder of his sister in May, which has never been solved.


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