Crime Scene

Link considered in Reed, Jones murders

Two weeks ago, I recounted the brutality of Selonia Reed’s unsolved murder. Several readers responded, asking about a connection between Selonia Reed and Willie A. Jones—a man found murdered one week after the Reed slaying.

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Coffee and Murder

A monster’s victims converse over coffee

The staff and customers at Joe Muggs Coffee Shop in Hammond Square Mall likely wondered what I kept saying to these ladies to bring them to tears, again and again, the four hours we sat there, but I merely arranged the reunion, drank my coffee and listened—and at times, my stomach turned.

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Selonia's Grave

Selonia Reed case active, Reginald Reed indicted

This month, Hammond Mayor Pete Panepinto dismissed Chief Stewart, and last Friday, Assistant Chief Thomas Corkern informed me that the Selonia Reed case is now active with both the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Louisiana State Police involved in the investigation.

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Nofio Pecora

Panama Bandit Killer Collector for the mob

Last week, we retraced the footsteps of Sergeant Walter Holmes, a New Orleans Police Detective on the trail of a hold-up man wanted for the murder of Bar-owner Thomas Gagliano in 1958. His search took him into Kentucky, then North Carolina, and finally, the Tangipahoa Parish Jail in Amite. In each location, he compared traits of truck-driving hold-up men. None of the three proved to be the killer. Disappointed, Holmes loaded his car in Amite, preparing to leave, when Tickfaw Police Officer Louis Pigno approached him. Pigno recognized a police sketch of the bandit as a man called ...

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Thomas Gagliano

Panama Bandit, killer sought since 1958

At noon, June 24, 1958, Detective Walter Holmes, a sergeant with the New Orleans Police Department, walked into the Amite jail, anxious to interview the suspect Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Deputies had called him about that morning. He had spent the last month exhausting leads in a multi-state search for a murderer—the killer newspapers had begun to call the Panama Bandit. The manhunt began six weeks earlier when a man in a Panama hat shot a 36-year-old bartender named Thomas Gagliano. An article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune on May 14, 1958, reported that someone shot and ...

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