PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – What appeared to be a holdup gone horribly wrong turned out to be one of Philadelphia’s most notorious crimes.
The murder and armed robbery in 1971 at the landmark Dubrow Furniture Store on South Street introduced the region to a new organized crime brand and raised the level for sheer brutality during a robbery.
One employee was shot to death, another was set on fire and others were beaten as eight masked men rifled the sprawling store.
KYW reporters having only a few blocks to travel to the crime scene later learned of the danger of being first to arrive. The killers were still nearby.
The gang was caught and identified as part of the “Black Mafia” — a new addition to the mobster lore of Philadelphia.
Trial appeals lasted over 25 years and were among the first here to question the racial composition of Philadelphia juries.