PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The sub basement in Tacony barely gave four mentally challenged captives enough room to move. It was a prison, much like the one Linda Ann Weston kept Bernardo Ramos in 30 years ago. Her younger brother, eleven years old at the time, remembers it well. He says he was a prisoner too.
“We never spoke,” said the brother, who did not want to identify himself. “We were both bound and gagged.”
On the third floor of a row home near 33rd and Berks in 1981, Weston’s brother says Linda Ann beat Ramos the first time he came in to the apartment. Ramos was dating Linda’s sister, Venus, and she was pregnant with his child. STORY: Police Commissioner Creating Task Force To Probe Philadelphia Captivity Case
“She went up behind him and hit him, struck him from behind with a hammer.”
Linda Ann Weston was convicted of locking Ramos in a closet until he died of starvation two months later because he would not pay child support. Her brother was still alive. And still a captive in the same closet, locked in for days at a time.
“The violence escalated and escalated and I knew I wasn’t leaving there, and I knew he wasn’t leaving there.”
He distinctly remembers the day Ramos died, because Linda Ann let him out with Venus to dispose of the body. The two left, but not before Linda Ann threatened him.
“She put [a knife] up to my throat and said to me ‘I told Venus to kill you if you try to run from her, and this rope is going to make sure you don’t run.'”
Linda Ann tied a rope around him, securing him to Venus so he could not escape. He says the two walked along Ridge Avenue, Ramos’s emaciated body tucked into a baby stroller late at night. He saw a chance for rescue when a police car approached the two.
“Before he pulled up she said to me, ‘You say one word, I’m going to stab you. I have the knife in your back.’I stayed focused on his eyes, and I thought he could read my mind at the time. He pulled off and, God, I wish I was in that car with him there when he pulled off and I could say something.”
Venus dumped Ramos’s body in a parking lot along Spring Garden Street. But Linda Ann Weston’s younger brother says his suffering got worse.
“She hit me a few times and slammed the door in my face and said, ‘If you make any noise, I will finish the job.'”
Months later when Linda Ann left the house, he worked his way out of the extension cords tied around his hands and tried the door to the closet.
“I opened the door and it opened. I didn’t believe it opened, and it was like, wow,
the door was open. It looked like it was a mile away to a window. It looked like a mile away to a window. In reality, it was across the floor. It didn’t take a second to get to. I ran as soon as I hit the ground. I didn’t care what I stepped on. Rocks. Grass. I jumped over a fence.”
In Linda Ann’s murder trial, he testified against his older sister. She served eight years in prison, and he says he never wanted to hear her name again.
“I don’t want my family to ever meet her.”
But her arrest has brought everything back.
“All the feelings and memories came back of her being malicious towards me and evil to me.”
Weston’s younger brother has only told three of four people what he went through, but now, thirty years after the ordeal he suffered, there is one last message he has for the family of Bernardo Ramos.
“I wanted to say to his family that I’m sorry that I couldn’t save both of us.”
Reported by Oren Liebermann, CBS 3