St. Petersburg Times Online: World&Nation
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com
Print storySubscribe to the Times

Police hunt for answers among Pa. graves

Associated Press
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 15, 2003

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. - Pharmacist Michael Kerkowski's short run as one of northeastern Pennsylvania's biggest drug dealers ended in a shallow grave on a hillside littered with bodies.

The 37-year-old Kerkowski had been missing a year when his corpse was discovered June 5, buried along with the remains of his girlfriend behind the home of a one-time bank robber he had once called his best friend. The couple had been strangled.

Farther down the hill on the ex-convict's property, investigators also found the charred bones of at least three more people, whose identities are unknown.

The grisly discoveries surprised prosecutors, who had insisted for months that Kerkowski was on the lam to avoid being sentenced for selling hundreds of thousands of doses of the painkillers OxyContin, Vicodin and Lorcet to addicts who visited his shop north of Wilkes-Barre.

And after a week of digging, police are worried they have something bigger on their hands.

"Is this some sort of a dumping ground for bodies? We don't know," said state Trooper Martin Connors. "Will we find more? We don't know."

Authorities have refused to say why Kerkowski and girlfriend Tammy Fassett were killed.

Investigators have been trying to learn more about Kerkowski's entanglements in the months before his death, and his connection to Hugo Selenski, 29, who has been jailed since the corpses were discovered at his Kingston Township home.

Back to World & National news
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
 
Special Links
Susan Taylor Martin


From the Times wire desk
  • 9 die as fishing boat capsizes
  • Bush: U.S. flag 'inspires hope'
  • Democrat wants inquiry into Westar donations
  • CDC: Fix habits, or diabetes looms
  • Insignificant N.H. peak getting significant name: Mount Reagan
  • Obituaries of note
  • Agreements met with violence
  • Cuba takes over center at Spanish Embassy
  • Paris Air Show opens in an air of uneasiness

  • Canada report
  • Bad news haunts Canada's economy

  • Columbia
  • 20 years later, Ride still building her shuttle legacy

  • Iraq
  • Hussein adviser, No. 17 on most-wanted list, captured
  • U.S. launches massive raids

  • Nation in brief
  • Feuding Hatfields, McCoys sign truce

  • World in brief
  • By more than 3-to-1, Czech Republic votes to join EU
  • Police hunt for answers among Pa. graves

  • From the AP
    national wire
    From the AP
    world desk