Two men, so different on the surface - one young and poor, one old and rich - were arraigned for murder just minutes apart today.
One strangled on the streets and one cut in a clinic, investigators said, but both are already notorious figures in dark chapters of Philadelphia's history.
Kermit Gosnell, 69, the West Philly abortion doctor accused of killing one woman and seven infants, and Antonio Rodriguez, 22, the alleged “Kensington Strangler,” who police said raped and killed three women, sat in the same seat at police headquarters as they were arraigned via closed-circuit television by District Judge Jane Rice this afternoon. Both were denied bail.
Rodriguez said nothing. He was small, skinny even, and the white jump suit he wore seemed to float on his body. Aside from hanging his head throughout the proceedings, he showed no emotion.
Gosnell was calm and looked grandfatherly in a teal button-down shirt. He seemed surprised when the judge told him he was not eligible for bail.
“Is there some cause to believe I’m a risk or might flee?” he asked.
District Judge Jane Rice explained to Gosnell that that there is no bail for murder — and he was facing eight counts of it.
“Is it possible you could explain the seven counts?” he asked. “I understand the one count because of the patient who died but not the others.”
The others were for babies that were born alive and viable, well past the state law of 24 weeks, and whose spinal cords he allegedly cut with scissors.
Gosnell and Rodriguez will once again face the law together when they are scheduled to appear in the same courtroom at the same time on Feb. 9.