Baltimore County police pressed their search early today for a man wanted in four killings and a kidnapping as fearful east-side residents locked their doors, kept their children home from school and flooded investigators with reported sightings of the fugitive.
More than 48 hours after police say Joseph C. Palczynski began his bloody
rampage, a search helicopter buzzed over his Chase neighborhood near Seneca
Dozens of police cruisers patrolled roads and guarded schools in the area.
Teams of search dogs scoured woods in Rosedale, Essex and Middle River.
In a personal plea to her son, Patricia Long begged Palczynski to
"Joseph, this is Mom. Please don't do anything wrong anymore, please," Long
said. "I want you to go back and talk to these people. Turn yourself in.
Please, Joseph, please. This is hurting all of us.
"I don't want you killed. I don't want to see you die. And I know you said
you'd kill yourself before you get back."
The message was left on Long's telephone answering machine.
The search for Palczynski began Tuesday night, when he is accused of
shooting and killing George Shenk, 49; his wife, Gloria Jean Shenk, 50; and
neighbor David Meyers, 42, at an apartment complex in Bowleys Quarters.
His estranged girlfriend, Tracy Whitehead, had moved in with the Shenks two
days earlier after filing assault charges against Palczynski. Police said
Palczynski dragged her from the Shenks' apartment and killed Meyers when he
tried to intervene.
Palczynski -- a convicted felon with a history of mental illness and
domestic violence -- surfaced again about 7: 40 p.m. Wednesday, when police
say he went on a shooting spree while trying to steal a car.
When the owner of the targeted car ran across Ebenezer Road, 36-year-old
Jennifer L. McDonel, who was driving by with her husband, was killed by
gunfire, police said.
Police said the gunman also shot at Lisa Marie Sims and her son, Gregory,
2, who were traveling on the same road. The boy was seriously injured when a
bullet grazed the left side of his face.
The gunman ran after the owner of the car, got the keys and drove away,
Minutes later, the same man walked into the home of 81-year-old Anna M.
Etter, handcuffed her to an upstairs bed and stole her car, police said.
The suspect and Whitehead arrived two hours later at the El-Rich Motel in
Rosedale, according to police.
The man did not have identification and offered a Social Security number.
He signed for Room 25 under the name of John Silver as Whitehead stood by
silently, said motel manager Harry Patel.
Richard Dawson, 34, of Baltimore, who was staying at the motel, said, "They
looked like the happiest couple in the world," when they arrived. Minutes
later, Dawson said, he saw them return from a nearby grocery store carrying
bags of food.
"She came running and saying, `Help me. Help me. He's got a gun,' " Dawson
Whitehead ran to a police cruiser parked near the motel, where a
hit-and-run accident had occurred. The man ran off and has not been seen