Friday, July 31, 2015

Helping Tacony Victims

This is the body copy

Helping Tacony Victims

Jodi Mallon, outside the Tacony home where four people were locked up in a basement, is on a mission to bake a birthday cake for victim Derwin McLemire. (Yong Kim/Staff)
Jodi Mallon, outside the Tacony home where four people were locked up in a basement, is on a mission to bake a birthday cake for victim Derwin McLemire. (Yong Kim/Staff)

Seems like Jodi Mallon, profiled in my column today, isn't the only one who wants to sing Happy Birthday to  Derwin McLemire, one of the mentally challenged adults abused in Tacony.

(To watch the CBS-3 an interview with McLemire, click here)

Tasha Jamerson, spokesman for District Attorney Seth Williams, says the office has been getting calls locally and from all over the country  – Manhattan, Georgia and beyond – from Good Samaritans wanting to help the Tacony basement victims celebrate the umpteen birthdays they missed while held captive by a team of monsters led by Linda Weston. Jamerson said the office is accepting all cards, gifts and donations on the victims' behalf and will be sure to get them to the men and women who were caught in Weston’s terrible web.

If you’d care to donate, send your cards or gifts to the following address: 

District Attorney’s Office

Attn: Tacony Basement Victims

3 South Penn Square

Phila., PA 19107

Daily News Columnist
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About this blog

When my phone rings here at the Daily News, nine times out of ten the caller begins the conversation with, “Yeah, so what happened was…”.

Because this is Philly, the caller doesn’t say, “My name is Bob” – or Mary – “and I wonder if I could have a moment of your time?” Philadelphians are too direct for that. They just say, “Yeah, so what happened was…”, and then tumble into a tale they think oughta be shared with a wider audience. I love getting these calls (even the ones where it becomes clear, after 30 seconds, where the caller sowed the seeds of his own misery), because they give me chance to connect with fellow citizens in a way that no other job allows. Well, okay, no other job for which I’m remotely qualified.

That’s why my blog is titled “So What Happened Was…”. To me, it’s the quintessentially Philly way of saying, “Once upon a time.” When I hear it, I know a good story is coming. And I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Ronnie Polaneczky has been an award-winning columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News since 1999, offering a front-steps perspective on every aspect of city life, from the sublime to the stupid. In her past life, she was the editor-in-chief of Atlantic City Magazine, associate editor at Philadelphia Magazine and a fulltime freelancer published in Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MarieClaire and others. She lives with her husband, daughter and various pets in the city's Fairmount section, where she dreams of one day singing The National Anthem at an Eagles game. In addition to her column and blog, you can enjoy Ronnie's musings in podcast form here.

Read more from Ronnie Polaneczky at Earth to Philly, the Daily News blog on anything and everything "Green Reach Ronnie at

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
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