Philadelphia State Hospital

Patient Necrology

The Story Part 1: 1906-1937
The Story Part 2: 1938-1959
The Story Part 3: 1960-1999
The Story Part 4: 2000-2006
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Patient Necrology
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The By-Line Newsletter
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Below is a list of patients that died from neglect at Byberry. Handpicked for their gruesome nature to raise public awareness in the early 1970's Philadelphia Inquirer article "The Shame That Is Byberry".

3/23/29- John P. Dougherty, 73, dies in his Philadelphia home 5 days after being released from Byberry; relatives tell the coroner that he had been beaten badly, but attendants testify that his injuries are from a fall.                                                                                                                                          

11/15/30- Anna Alter, 23, commits suicide by jumping from a bridge linking two hospital buildings.                                                                                                                                                                        

12/14/30- Mary Matysik, 13, strangles herself with a nightgown that the attendant used to tie her to a chair                                                                                                                                                                 

2/8/32- Mary Pugh, 41, dies after being beaten on the head with an iron bar by another patient.                                                                                                          

5/12/36- John Price, 17, a paralytic, is bitten by a 14 year old inmate and dies of blood poisoning, coroner blames death on lack of supervision.                                                                                

7/24/36- Stephen Szarzynski, 38, dies of internal injuries suffered at Byberry, his sister said that he told her just before he died that he was beaten by attendants, but hospital authorites say a bed fell on him.                 

11/25/36- George Baker, 58, dies after being beaten by another patient.           

7/23/37- James Godfrey, 37, dies of a ruptured intestine; circumsatnces are investigated but results are inconclusive.                                                              

4/28/38- Reynold Rosenblatt, drowns in a bathtub during hydrotherapy.                                                 

2/2/40- Alexander Allbritton, 42, is fatally beaten after attacking an attendant.  

2/19/40- Amos Holt, 53, hangs himself from bedsheets tied to a pipe.                                                      

9/5/40- Peter Pondolph, 71, is beaten to death by another patient.                                                           

10/18/40- William J. Willamson, 59, was beaten to death. Two attendants, one a dishonorably charged sailor, the other a former middleweight boxer known to patients as "the Slugger of Byberry" - were charged with involuntary manslaughter and convicted.                                                 

12/30/40- David Chodnowsky, 64, dies from injuries suffered in what official reports call a fall.                                                                                                 

2/8/41- John Corrigan, 50, dies after a fight with another patient.                                                                     

3/7/41- John Smith, 32, is fatally beaten by an attendant.                                                                               

8/6/41- Harry Burnett, 14, commits suicide by taking an overdose of sedatives.                                                                                                                            

10/15/41- Frank Perri, 81, a senile psychotic, dies after being beaten by two other patients.                                                                                                                    

10/29/41- Catherine Lindenenmuth, 31, commits suicide in a bathroom in Building 12.                                                                                                              

3/30/42- Louis Petrone, 34, dies of injuries suffered while being restrained by attendants.                                                                                                                    

4/18/42- Elias Bogden, 42, hangs himself from a rafter.                                        

11/27/42- The body of Evelyn Griffith is discoverd in a tunnel beneath Byberry. She had been missing for a month.                                                                                                                                            

7/17/43- Henry Reynolds, 69, dies after a fight with another patient.                  

2/20/44- Coleman Patterson, 27, is beaten to death with a broomstick by another patient.                                                                                                                

7/12/44- Michael Kirkpatrick, 19, leaps to his death from a 25-foot wall.                                                

10/9/45- Andrew Mullin, 93, dies in a fight with another patient.                                                                  

4/9/46- Laura Bienasz, 54, is beaten to death with a brick by another patient.                              

10/11/46- August Denaple, bleeds to death after his throat is slashed by another patient.                    

10/22/46- James O'Toole, 40, is killed in a fight with another patient over a pack of cigarettes. The fight occured in the recreaction room of building C, there were 300 inmates and 2 attendants there at the time.                                                                                                                                              

11/1/46- The body of Sophie Bardynski, 50, is found by hunters near hospital grounds. Missing for 3 weeks.                                                                                                                                                 

6/24/47- The badly decomposed body of Raymond McDonald is found in high bushes at the rear of a Byberry building. Missing for 2 weeks.                                                                                            

6/28/47- Emma Simms, 59, is beaten to death with a wrench by another patient.                                 

1/24/49- Laure Rudy, 59, is found dead on the front porch of a house in Philadelphia. Byberry authorites say she wandered away three days before.                                                                                                                                

3/13/49- Stanley Klusek, 20, is burned fataly after setting his clothes on fire.                                          

5/8/49- Ralph Wilder, 64, is killed in a fight with another patient.                                                                    

4/12/50- The body of Daniel Heins, 71, is found on hospital grounds. Suffered a fall, Missing for 2 days.                                                                                                                                                                

7/26/50- Joesph Daniels, 57, dies of injuries suffered when thrown to the floor by another patient.                                                                                                                                                                  

2/10/51- Mary Lee, 37, Anges Knight, 32, and Florence Hayes, 48, are killed in a fire in Buliding C-6. The city fire marshal says "precious minutes were lost" because the hospital has only one switchboard room, which is about 150 yards from C-6. The fire marshal had recommended improvements for more than a year before the blaze.                                                       

6/25/53- Charles McGinnis, 48, is beaten to death by another patient in the washroom.                                                                                                                          

1/8/54- Matilda Erro, 64, is killed when she is kicked in the head by another patient in a 10-by-30 foot room with 89 other patients.                                                                                                  

11/7/54- Robert Palmer, 83, is found dead in a wooded area near the men's dormitories.                                                                                                                           

4/12/55- The body of Margaret Mangelli, 27, is found stuffed into a locker in the laundry room. Death by suffocation, apparent suicicide.                                                                                        

12/15/55- Leo Zerbe, 44, is fatally beaten by two patients. No attendants on duty.                                                                                                                                

10/27/56- The skeleton of Helene Permaneska, 67, is found by hunters in a Bucks county woods 3 miles from the hospital. Missing for 4 months.                                                                                              

4/25/57- The body of William Friedrich, 40, is found floating in Poquessing creek.                                                                                                                                    

8/27/60- The body of George Barney, 37, is found on the hospital grounds near the creek. Missing for 3 days.                                                                                                                                                                   

3/10/63- James Guiles, 63, is killed when hit on the head with a chair by another patient. No attendants were in the day room at the time.                                                                                                    

10/16/65- The body of James Downie, 77, is found a mile from the hospital. Missing for several days.                                                                                                                                                                      

11/9/65- The body of Thomas Hanstein, 37, is found along railroad tracks near Byberry. Wandered off grounds and struck by a freight train.                                                                                   

12/26/67- The body of John Burke, 66, is found by hunters. Missing for 3 days. Died of exposure.                                                                                                                                                                 

2/17/68- The partially burned body of Theresa M. Macutkiewicz, 38, is found in the restroom of a Bensalem Township gas station. Missing for 2 days. Matches found on floor.                                                                                                                                                  

4/27/68- Joeseph Bergin, 57, is killed when struck on the head by another patient.                                                                                                                                  

7/6/68- The body of Joseph Wilderman, 27, is found in the lavatory closet with puncture wounds in his chest. Two patients stabbed him with a ballpoint pen.                                                                                                                                     

8/22/68- James Hardy, 40, is beaten to death by another patient on hospital grounds.                                                                                                                  

2/14/69- Richard Chambers, 32, a patient since he was 16, is beaten to death with a shoe by another patient.                                                                                                                                                      

7/18/70- The skeleton of a man is found in tall weeds on hospital grounds. Positive   identification cannot be made. The grass hadn't been mowed in 3 years.                                                                                                            

7/25/70- The decomposed body of Thomas Mulligan, 67, is found in a field of blackberries behind the hospital.


(Donated by Mark Werner)