Thursday, March 22, 2007

Just Plain Weird

STEWARTSTOWN, Pa. (AP) - February 5, 2007 - A Ronald McDonald statue taken from a family's York County home last month was found beheaded in a wooded area over the weekend.

The statue owned by the Grieger family disappeared January 15th.

On Thursday, Joy Grieger found its severed head returned to her family's Stewartstown property, complete with X's drawn over its eyes. Police say the rest of the 300-pound statue turned up in Hopewell Township on Saturday.

Grieger used to work at a McDonald's, and her family adopted the statue decades ago.

Police say the family did not know anything about its whereabouts until its cement head showed up on their lawn last week. The Griegers say they plan to offer a 500 dollar reward for information leading police to the culprits.

I'm not which is weirder - the idea of collecting a Ronald McDonald statue or decapitating one... Come to think of it, my father-in-law lives in Stewartstown....

The Cult House

I came across the reference to this place while searching for something else, so of course I had to learn more about it. Isn't that the way it always is? The Cult House sits back on top of a hillside off of Cossart Road near Chadds Ford and has been known for years as a spooky place. At one point , the property belonged to the DuPont family, not really a big surprise since they owned an enormous amount of property int his area at one point. There have been tales of trucks chasing people down the road, which is barely wide enough for two cars to pass and graffiti adorns many of the trees and signs along the way. A few years ago, the area served as the backdrop for the Movie The Village, but it also has a bit more of a bizarre history.

On December 30, 1978, police uncovered the bodies of three boys, Jimmy Johnston, Duane Lincoln and Wayne Sampson, who had been part of a very active crime ring that has threatened the Chester County areas for years, operated by the Johnston brothers, a trio originally from Tennessee. A fourth young man, Jimmy Sampson, was also killed by the gang, but his body was never found. The Johnston brothers, Bruce, Sr., David and Norman, were responsible for the deaths of 4 young men and a 15-year old female and had eluded police for months. Finally, Ricky Mitchell, another young man who had been involved in the crime gang, led police to the bizarre mass grave where the three bodies were found, no doubt fearing that he would be the next victim of the Johnston brothers. More details of the crime and its effects can be read in this article from 1999.