Richmond serial slayers arrested in Philadelphia

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Monday, January 9, 2006

Today's Wikinews
December 5


Two suspects, believed to be responsible for a killing spree that started on New Year's day in the Richmond, Virginia area, were apprehended in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Saturday where they were held on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and auto theft. The two declined to fight extradition to Virginia and were flown into the Richmond International Airport Monday afternoon.

Police believe the total of seven victims from two different crime scenes were linked, as both groups were bound with duct tape prior to their being brutally murdered. The suspects, both 28-year-olds, are Ray Joseph Dandridge and Ricky Gevon "Cooley" Gray.

The initial incident took place on New Year's day when all four members of the Harvey family were discovered in their basement bound by tape and with their throats slit. Johnny Hott, a family friend, had discovered a fire at the Harvey's home as he arrived for a 2pm family and friends chili party gathering to ring in the new year that Sunday. Emergency crews responded to a 911 call and put out the fire, which at that point had only caused moderate damage, and then discovered Bryan Harvey, 49, his wife Kathryn, 39, and their two children Stella, 9, and Ruby, 4. Harvey was a musician who achieved some airplay while in the 1980s duo House of Freaks, and his wife was a well-known Richmond toy store owner who also happened to be the half sister of Steven Culp who played Rex Van De Kamp on Desperate Housewives.

Police initially believed the Harvey family murders were committed by someone close to the family. But as later events unfolded in nearby Chesterfield County, a more random picture emerged.

A witness reported that a white van was parked outside the Harvey residence where a woman identified as 21-year-old Ashley Baskerville was said to be inside it at the time of the murders.

Then two days later, on Tuesday at the Goolsby residence, a relative speaking for the shaken victims of a separate home-invasion robbery said that the Baskerville woman was with two men who forced their way into the home and robbed them of a computer, television, DVD player and money.

Ultimately, Ashley Baskerville was found dead on Friday, bound with duct tape and murdered at her parent’s residence along with her mother Mary Tucker, 47 and step-father Percyell Tucker, 55. That residence is located no more than 3 miles from the Harvey residence.

The white van believed to have been the one spotted in front of the Harvey residence was recovered at the Tucker home. A green Chevrolet Blazer was taken by Dandridge and Gray to travel to west Philadelphia where they arrived some time on Friday afternoon at the home of Dandridge's father. The two were arrested there by a SWAT team.

Police are also interested in any possible connection the two might have with the murder of Gray’s wife. The body of Treva Gray was found on November 5 southwest of Pittsburgh, in the town of Washington, Pennsylvania. Her murder occurred less than two weeks after Dandridge's release of from prison.

Dandridge was released from James River Correctional Center November 2005 after serving a ten year prison sentence for robbery. Gray is Dandridge's uncle, and believed to be from Arlington, in Northern Virginia.