Topic: Fred Benonis

E-mail Messages and Responses:

Has anyone else noticed that the man who initially reported the body (Fred Benonis) had the same high forehead as the little boy? Are there any baby photos or early childhood pictures of this gentleman? Check out photographs of his ears, high forehead, and left eye. I think you'll find that there was a very close facial resemblance. Perhaps Fred Benonis was, in fact, the boy's father. Maybe the "stepdaughter" in that foster family was the boy's mother, Benonis was the father, and the "stepfather" was so enraged by the fact that she became pregnant by someone else that he hated the boy and eventually killed him. Fred Benonis would've been approximately 20-22 years old at the boy's birth, and close in age to the "stepdaughter." If he was a peeping tom, what's to say he wouldn't seduce (or even rape) a young retarded woman?

Fred Benonis did not know any members of the foster family, either in the biblical sense or otherwise. Neither is there any evidence to support your speculation that he may have fathered the unknown boy.


Unlikely as it may sound, we can't discount Fred Benonis' story of chasing rabbits. Why would anyone want to suddenly stop their car and chase a rabbit? That doesn't make sense unless he was covering for the fact that he was, as some accounts suggest, spying on 'wayward' girls, or even having a secret tryst with one of them (my idea).... or was extremely hungry. Did Fred later recant his account and plead guilty to peeping tom charges? I say we cannot disbelieve him because from the map shown on Archives text page 1 - we see the body is in the complete opposite direction of the 'Good Shepherd School'... if his intent was spying there would be no way for him to discover the box, unless he was returning to his car and the box was in plain sight...which it apparently wasn't, as outlined by the Discovery Site Photos page.

Fred Benonis was cleared of any involvement in this crime. He was not charged with committing any crime. There is some truth to both discovery accounts (i.e., chasing a rabbit and spying on girls at the Good Shepherd school.) No evidence or testimony gathered in the course of this investigation has ever indicated the existence of a personal relationship of any kind between Fred Benonis and students or staff members at the Good Shepherd school.


Fred Benonis lied to the police and got away with it. His account about "discovering" the unknown boy's body on Susquehanna Road while he was driving from his home to LaSalle College is one of the most absurd stories I've ever heard. I'm astonished that the police and the newspapers never challenged such a blatant lie. Anyone who has resided in north Philadelphia for any length of time knows that only a complete idiot (or perhaps someone with an ulterior motive) would drive from East Lansing Street to LaSalle College by way of Susquehanna Road. That route made no sense - it would have taken him miles out of his way. It's clear to me that Fred Benonis was trying to hide something from the police. Chasing a rabbit? ... Give me a break! Spying on the girls at the Good Shepherd School? ... Possibly. Or, could he have been up to something far more sinister? I suppose we'll never know. Anyway, Fred Benonis had no legitimate reason for being on Susquehanna Road. I think the cops "dropped the ball" on this one.

We are aware that Susquehanna Road isn't close to the most direct route between East Lansing Street and LaSalle College. In fact, it lies in a different direction altogether. However, your assumption that the Philadelphia police department never challenged Fred Benonis' discovery story is incorrect. The investigators immediately recognized the apparent discrepancies in his original account. Mr. Benonis was interrogated extensively on several occasions and he voluntarily submitted to a lie detector examination. The investigators ultimately determined that Fred Benonis had no knowledge of, or involvement in, the unknown boy's death.