William Bender is an investigative reporter who has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He also contributes to Clout, a column chronicling the underbelly of Philly's political scene.

Latest Stories

Johnny Doc allegedly bought some pretty mundane stuff with IBEW Local 98′s credit cards

The best part about using other people’s money is never having to buy your own Q-Tips. The lowlights of the Local 98 indictment.

‘Let’s just take a pause’: Philadelphia postpones land sales amid reports of misconduct

The move is designed to prevent land flippers and developers from continuing to exploit loopholes in the system at taxpayers’ expense.

A Christmas caper: In shadow of Rizzo mural, thief pillages South Philly Nativity scene

South Philadelphia detectives were chasing a blasphemous thief over the weekend after pieces of the Nativity scene — reportedly Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ― went missing from Ninth and Montrose streets Saturday morning. Police later recovered the pieces, but the suspect is not in custody.

Police: Driver of stolen U-Haul injures officer in North Philadelphia

Police apprehended a man they say struck and injured an officer with a stolen U-Haul truck in North Philadelphia Saturday night. The intense manhunt included the use of heat-detecting technology.

Following a $165K windfall, Kenney cracks down on public land flipping

Mayor Kenney on Monday issued a directive to crack down on land speculators and unscrupulous developers following news reports about no-bid sales and profitable land flips aided by the city’s disjointed process for selling its vacant lots.

Council president proposes land sales reforms, defends panel's unwritten rules

City Council President Darrell Clarke says he wants to close loopholes in Philadelphia’s disjointed land disposition process following news reports of no-bid sales that enabled developers to buy public lots cheaply then build expensive homes there – or re-sell them for large profits.

Reports of flawed records and improper sales trigger call for investigation of city land deals

The Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities is calling on City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart to investigate public land sales, following Inquirer and Daily News reports about flaws in the system.

More ‘errors’ found in records of city land sales to Point Breeze developer

City officials recently blamed a clerical error, in part, for allowing a friend of Councilman Kenyatta Johnson to secure two city-owned lots this summer without bidding and then flip them for a cool $165,000 profit. But records show that city officials also mischaracterized a previous sale to...

Philadelphia Councilman Kenyatta Johnson helped friend make $165,000 flipping city-owned lots

A childhood friend of Councilman Kenyatta Johnson managed to leapfrog other developers — again — and make a quick $165,000 by flipping two city-owned lots in Point Breeze. City regulations are supposed to prohibit precisely those types of transactions.

2 killed in hit-and-run collisions in N. Philly, Rhawnhurst

Two pedestrians were killed in separate hit-and-run collisions in Philadelphia early Sunday morning, police said.