Philadelphia officer killed after bank robbery | MassCops

Philadelphia officer killed after bank robbery

Discussion in 'Line of Duty Death News' started by Big.G, May 3, 2008.

  1. Big.G

    Big.G In Tactical Mode....

    40-year-old sergeant dies at hospital; 1 suspect killed, 1 hunted from heist

    MSNBC News Services
    updated 15 minutes ago

    PHILADELPHIA - A veteran police officer was shot and killed with an assault weapon after a bank robbery in Northeast Philadelphia.

    Steven Liczbinski, 40, a 12-year veteran who had just been promoted to sergeant, was shot by at least two men shortly before 11:30 a.m. Saturday, authorities said.

    He was responding to a robbery at a Bank of America branch inside the ShopRite at Castor and Aramingo, police said.

    The men fled, and Liczbinski confronted them at Almond and Schiller streets about 15 minutes later. He was shot three times with an AK-47, police said.

    Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said the officer was either in the car or had just gotten out when he was hit in the torso.

    Liczbinski was taken to Temple University Hospital in critical condition, where he died later in the afternoon.

    The suspects fled that scene but were later spotted by a canine officer, who shot and killed one of the suspects.

    Liczbinski was married with two sons and a daughter.

    Mayor Michael Nutter asked Philadelphia residents to "rally around his family and wrap our arms around them."

    The shooting follows the death of Officer Chuck Cassidy, who was killed during the botched robbery of a doughnut shop on Oct. 31. He was also a father of three.
  2. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Sgt. Steven Liczbinski

    Steven Liczbinski, 40, a 12-year veteran who had just been promoted to sergeant, was shot and killed on Saturday, authorities said.

    Officer Shot, Killed After Bank Robbery

    POSTED: 2:38 pm EDT May 3, 2008
    UPDATED: 4:49 pm EDT May 3, 2008

    PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia police said a veteran police officer was shot and killed in the Port Richmond section of the city on Saturday.
    Steven Liczbinski, 40, a 12-year veteran who had just been promoted to sergeant, was shot by at least two men shortly before 11:30 a.m. Saturday, authorities said.
    He was responding to a robbery at a Bank of America branch inside the ShopRite at Castor and Aramingo.
    The men fled, and Liczbinski confronted them at Almond and Schiller streets about 15 minutes later. He was shot three times with an AK-47, police said.

    "It is my understanding that he was either in the car or had just gotten out of the car at the time he was struck," Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said.

    Liczbinski was taken to Temple University Hospital in critical condition, where he died on Saturday afternoon.

    The men fled the area and were later spotted by a canine officer responding to the robbery and the report of an officer down. That officer shot and killed one of the men at D and Loudon, police said. The suspect died at the hospital, police said.

    Authorities said Liczbinski was married with two sons and a daughter.

    "I ask that we rally around his family and wrap our arms around them," Mayor Michael Nutter said. "He has obviously paid the ultimate sacrifice in serving his fellow Philadelphians."

    "When you first get the page, your heart just sinks," Ramsey said. "This is hard on all of us."

    Police were searching a wooded area of the Juniata section of the city for another man and a woman. A state police helicopter was helping with the search, and federal authorities were investigating the bank robbery.

    Police originally described a man and a woman in Muslim-type garb and a man wearing a white hospital mask. The masked man had shoulder-length dreadlocks, but Officer Tanya Little said that could be wig. Ramsey said one of those suspects had been killed, but he did not know which one.

    About a dozen blue-shirted officers, some wearing white motorcycle helmets, lined both sides of a black hearse and saluted as the slain officer's body was put inside. The police motorcycles, some bearing black- and blue-striped flags, then escorted the hearse from the hospital.

    The shooting came about six months after the last death of an officer in the line of duty. Officer Chuck Cassidy, 54, also a father of three, was killed during the botched robbery of a doughnut shop on Oct. 31.

    Only a few days earlier, Ramsey had announced a major reorganization of the police department's command structure and the addition of nearly 250 officers on street patrols as part of a strategy to reduce crime.
  3. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    As police stand by a memorial for recently slain Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski new details are emerging about his murderer. Sgt. Liczbinski was fatally shot during a bank robbery. (AP Photo)

    Philly cop killer paroled after serving minimum sentence

    By Robert Moran
    The Philadelphia Inquirer

    PHILADELPHIA — The man who police said killed Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski was under parole supervision for a 1996 Philadelphia robbery after serving the minimum of a 9- to 18-year prison sentence, according to state officials.
    Howard Cain, 34, is alleged to have fired five shots from a high-powered Chinese SKS rifle at Liczbinski in a confrontation in Port Richmond after a bank robbery on Saturday.
    Liczbinski, 39, later died at Temple University Hospital from multiple gunshot wounds. Cain, whose last known residence was in North Philadelphia, was cornered by police in Feltonville and fatally shot.
    Police arrested Cain's alleged accomplice, Lavon T. Warner, 39, and are searching for a third man, Eric DeShann Floyd, 33, who is considered armed and dangerous.
    Cain entered the state prison system on Nov. 12, 1997 to serve a 9- to 18-year sentence for robbery, said Susan McNaughton, spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections.
    Just shy of nine years later - his minimum sentence - Cain was sent to Lycoming House, a halfway facility at 1712 Point Breeze Ave. in South Philadelphia, on Sept. 5, 2006, McNaughton said.
    That followed a decision by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole nine days earlier to grant Cain parole at his first hearing.
    On Dec. 12 of that year, Cain walked out of Lycoming House a free man.
    However, Cain was subject to parole supervision until the year 2015.
    Leo Dunn, a spokesman for the parole board, said Cain's release was based on five considerations.
    "First of all, his acceptance of responsibility for the offense committed," Dunn said. "His participation in and completion of prescribed institutional programs. The positive recommendation made by the Department of Corrections. His reported institutional behavior. And his placement in a community corrections residency."
    Dunn did not know how frequently Cain was required to meet his parole officer, but Cain had to follow a series of requirements to maintain his freedom, including drug tests and avoidance of alcohol.
    Overall, Dunn said, the board granted parole in 61 percent of its cases in March, the most recent month for which statistics were available.

    [​IMG]Wire Service
  4. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Police officers follow a bloodhound along Route 1 in Newark, N.J searching for suspect Eric Floyd. Floyd is wanted for killing Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Mike Derer)

    Manhunt for Philly cop killer expands

    By Barbara Boyer and Andrew Maykuth
    The Philadelphia Inquirer
    PHILADELPHIA — Authorities today intensified a manhunt for the third suspect wanted in the weekend slaying of Philadelphia police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski as the reward for the fugitive's arrest rapidly grew to $123,000.

    At a 3:30 p.m. news conference in City Hall, Mayor Nutter and Fraternal Order of Police president John McNesby said that $123,000 had been raised in the last four hours for anyone with information leading to the capture of Eric DeShann Floyd. Among the donors were the Bank of America, electricians' union Local 98, lawyer Jimmy Binns, car dealership owners Gary Barbera and F.C. Kerbeck, and the Finnegan's Wake bar in Northern Liberties.
    "Somebody has to give up this thug and this killer," McNesby said. Additional donations can be sent to the police union. The headquarters phone number is (215) 629-3600.
    Speaking sternly, and slowly, Nutter made his own plea. "Eric Floyd — turn yourself in," the mayor said, looking into several TV news cameras. "Face up to what you have done. We can do this the easy way or the hard way."
    Nutter, who was also joined by District Attorney Lynn Abraham, said, "Anyone who aids or abets this particular individual will be prosecuted as well."
    Earlier in the day, the search spread to Elizabeth, N.J., where the daughter of a police officer spotted a man on a New Jersey Transit train who matched the description of 33-year-old Eric DeShann Floyd, 33, who also goes by the name, "Hasim."
    Police stopped the train as it approached Newark and the man shed the wig and fled, leading to a widespread hunt in Essex County.
    But some Philadelphia investigators believe there is no evidence that Floyd has left the city and police continue to search for him, especially in North Philadelphia, Ramsey said.
    They believe Floyd has little money and few associates to help him escape. One police source said that the that more than $40,000 stolen from the Bank of America branch in the ShopRite supermarket on Aramingo Avenue in Port Richmond had been recovered.
    Liczbinski, 39, a married father of three, was fatally shot Saturday while chasing a trio of bank robbers in Port Richmond.
    Floyd, an escapee from from a court-ordered drug treatment facility in Lancaster County, escaped during the Saturday's chaos when two other allgeged accomplices were caught.
    Police shot and killed Howard Cain, 33, minutes after they say he gunned down Liczbinski. They also apprehended Levon T. Warner, 39, a local boxer whose van was used as a getaway vehicle.
    Floyd is armed and dangerous, Ramsey said. "Someone that would intentionally fire upon and kill a police officer throws away all regard for life at any level at all...," Ramsey said. "If they kill a cop, imagine what they would do to you. And, that's exactly why we've got to get a person with that kind of mentality off the streets."
    The Fraternal Order of Police and the Citizens Crime Commission said they have received pledges of more than $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Liczbinski's killer.
    Ramsey and John J. McNesby, president of the FOP's local lodge, said investigators urged the public to report information even if it appears insignificant.
    "We're calling on the public today to root out and find out where this person is," McNesby said during the press conference.
    "We will find him," Ramsey said.
    The commissioner said Liczbinski's death — he was the third officer lost in the line of duty in two years — has taken a heavy toll on the department because May is a national month of mourning of officers killed on the job.
    The FOP, which is managing the reward fund, put up $10,000 from its own coffers. Bank of America put up $25,000 of the reward money and $10,000 was contributed by Gary Barbera, the car dealer who employs the slain sergeant's son, Matthew.
    The search on the New Jersey Transit train began after a Philadelphia police officer received a call from her daughter on the train about the man who matched the description. The mother e-mailed a picture of Floyd to her daughter while she was on the train. Authorities decided there was good reason to question the man.
    The man fled after the train came to a halt. Service on Amtrak's Northeast corridor was shut down for an hour while police conducted the hunt.
    Hours later, police said, they still wanted to question the man to rule him out. Police did recover the wig he left behind and hoped to find DNA that they could compare with evidence at the scene.
    Anyone with information to call the City hotline at 215-686-8477 or the Citizens Crime Commission hotline at 215-546-8477.

    [​IMG]Wire Servioe
  5. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member


    Details emerge about Philly cop killers

    PHILADELPHIA — Police charged a journeyman boxer with murder and issued a warrant yesterday for an accomplice in connection with the "assassination" of Philadelphia Police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski on Saturday after a bank heist by three ex-cons.

    "I'm going to let him have it," said one of the criminals as he turned his high-powered rifle on Liczbinski Saturday afternoon. Police shot Cain dead minutes later.

    Cain’s words were recalled in a confession by Levon T. Warner, 39, the local boxer and the only one of the three suspects in custody, according to a police source.
    Warner, of the 5400 block of Westminster Street in West Philadelphia, was arraigned last night on charges of murder, robbery and conspiracy. He provided a detailed account of his part in Liczbinski’s death, according to the source.
    Police and the FBI expanded their search yesterday for the fugitive suspect, Eric DeShann Floyd, 33, from Philadelphia to Lancaster, Pa., where Floyd once lived. Floyd should be considered armed and extremely dangerous, police said.
    Floyd escaped from a Reading halfway house recently, police said. He knew Cain from prison, and the two shared a rundown, corner apartment in Fairhill that neighbors described as a haven for transients.
    Court records show that all three men have been convicted of robbery, and Cain and Warner were friends, according to the police source. The three allegedly devised an elaborate plan, complete with disguises and military-style weaponry, to rob the Bank of America branch in the ShopRite supermarket on Aramingo Avenue in Port Richmond on Saturday.
    The three fled the robbery in a Jeep Liberty that had been carjacked in North Philadelphia on Friday and were quickly tailed by Liczbinski. At Almond and Schiller Streets, just blocks from the bank, Cain got out of the Jeep and fired five shots from a Chinese SKS assault rifle, according to the official police account and details from Warner’s confession provided by the source.
    Liczbinski, of the 24th District, was shot multiple times and died at Temple University Hospital. Liczbinski, 39, a 12-year-veteran and recently promoted sergeant, would have turned 40 tomorrow. He had a wife and three children.
    “That officer was assassinated on the streets of Philadelphia,” Mayor Nutter said in an interview yesterday. “There was nothing that could have protected him – that weapon penetrates vehicles.”
    Deputy Police Commissioner William Blackburn said Liczbinski’s patrol car was found with a single bullet hole in the door. It was unclear yesterday exactly where Liczbinski was when he was struck, though he appeared to have been getting out of the car at the time.
    The three suspects ditched the Jeep in the 3400 block of North Miller Street, four blocks from where the officer lay dying. Cain hopped into Warner’s Chrysler Town and Country minivan but was cornered by police in the 500 block of East Louden Street, near Roosevelt Boulevard.
    Cain got out of the van with the SKS rifle and police shot him dead. His gun apparently jammed with 25 of 30 rounds unspent. Five spent shell casings were found at the scene of the officer’s slaying.
    Police recovered the rifle outside the van. Inside was a .44-caliber revolver loaded with five rounds, two sets of Muslim clothing, $38,000 in cash taken from the bank, and two GPS “bloodhound” units, used by banks to track stolen cash. Blackburn said police used the GPS signal to track the suspects.
    In a nearby alley, police found a loaded .22-caliber revolver and other clothing. Also recovered during the investigation were another set of Muslim clothing, a dreadlocks wig, and a dust mask, all believed worn as disguises.
    Blackburn said police were looking at other robberies in the city that were committed by people in Muslim garb.
    Warner was questioned by police and he told them his van had been carjacked, but Blackburn said he was quickly connected to the other men.
    Warner, a sometimes-professional boxer who had been recently looking for a fight, was ordered held without bail pending a preliminary hearing May 14. He most recently fought Joey Abell at the Legendary Blue Horizon in September, where he was knocked out in the first round. Warner won $4,000 for that fight, said Don Elbaum, who matched the two fighters for the event.
    In 1997, Warner was sentenced to 7½ years to 15 years in prison on a robbery charge, according to court records.
    In 1996, Cain pleaded guilty to four counts of robbery, carrying firearms without a license, and criminal conspiracy in Philadelphia. He was sentenced to five to 10 years on each robbery charge, two to four on the other charges.
    Floyd was convicted by a jury in 2001 in connection with two robberies of convenience stores in Lancaster. It was unclear yesterday whether his sentence at the halfway house in Reading was connected to that crime. Floyd was also sentenced to five to 10 years in prison on a 1995 guilty plea to robbery in Philadelphia.
    Last night, casually dressed neighbors and police officers in uniform prayed outside a makeshift memorial at the site of Liczbinski’s shooting. A small tent was filled with flowers and candles. One of Liczbinski’s shirts hung in back. A Flyers flag, signed by fellow officers and neighbors, hung along one side.
    Two priests and a Police Department minister called for love in the face of violence and for support for the slain officer’s family and coworkers.
    People from the neighborhood applauded the officers who came to the memorial service. At the end, the officers stood at attention in recognition of two crying men who tried to help Liczbinski after the shooting and felt they had let him down.
    The slaying also is likely to become Exhibit No. 1 in the city’s effort to adopt stricter gun laws. One of several laws that Nutter signed last month in defiance of the state legislature bans the kind of weapon used to kill Liczbinski. The city’s ability to enact its own gun laws is the subject of a lawsuit against the state.
    “People need to look in their hearts and minds about what happened,” the mayor said. “That’s the kind of firepower our officers are up against.”

    [​IMG]Wire Service
  6. rg1283

    rg1283 MassCops Member

    Nutter sounded pretty good, until he said cut down on guns (stricter gun laws). What does that prevent?

    Another good thing is this Cain got out of the van with the SKS rifle and police shot him dead. They saved the state a lot of money by doing this and prevented Cain from living for free for the next 20 years while they wait to execute him.

    Hopefully Eric Floyd hits a third rail and fries his scumbad ass
  7. Inspector

    Inspector Subscribing Member

    PHILADELPHIA (CBS 3) ― After days of intense searching, a tip call led police to the third suspect in the fatal shooting of a police officer during a weekend bank robbery.

    Eric Floyd, 33, and a female said to be his girlfriend were found inside the second floor of an abandoned home in the Southwest Philadelphia section late Wednesday evening, police said.

    Sources said a retired FBI agent reportedly received a call from a former informant who notified hime of Floyd's location. The agent contacted police, who rushed to a home in the 5400 block on Windsor Avenue.
    Floyd was taken into custody without incident at about 11 p.m. and arrived at Police Headquarters in a 24th Police District wagon at about 12:18 a.m.

    "We should all breathe a huge sigh of relief that this person is off the streets, he will be brought to justice," Mayor Michael Nutter said. "He will face prosecution and of course, he will have to pay a price for what he did."

    Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said Floyd was locked in the handcuffs of 39-year-old Sergeant Stephen Liczbinski, who was killed after a shootout in the Port Richmond section of the city on May 3.

    Arresting officer Captain Daniel Castro said Floyd showed no emotion as he was taken into custody.
    "He was like a rat in a hole and we found him. There was nowhere on this great Earth that he was going to hide. We found him, he's arrested, he's ours now," Castro said.

    Nutter said he was two feet away as Floyd was taken from the van. "I had to look in the face of a guy who would do something like that, and quite frankly as one African-American male to another, just tell him how disappointed I was in what he had done," he said.

    "I looked him dead in his eye and said, 'I'm disappointed in you.' And then I asked the officers to take him away," Nutter said. "He had no reaction. He was caught."
    Sources said Floyd has confessed to his involvement, but he said he did not fire the deadly shot.
  8. Big.G

    Big.G In Tactical Mode....

    Thank god they got him off the streets. But as Ted Nugent says, "I don't like repeat offenders. I like dead offenders." You know he'll get out after doing some time and maybe do it again.
  9. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Hundreds mourn slain Philly officer

    By Robert Moran and Sam Wood
    The Philadelphia Inquirer

    Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and other officers salute the casket of Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski, a 12-year veteran of the police force who was fatally shot on Saturday. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    PHILADELPHIA — Mourners braved drenching rain and darkened skies as they filed into the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul this morning to honor a fallen Philadelphia police officer.
    A steady stream of law enforcement officers entered the Roman Catholic Cathedral to pay their last respects to their brother in blue, Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski.
    Liczbinksi was shot dead in the line of duty Saturday as he pursued a trio of armed bankrobbers.
    What began as a trickle of police in their dress blues at 7 a.m. swelled to a huge crowd by 9 a.m. as tour buses dropped off hundreds of officers at the steps of the Cathedral at 18th Street and the Parkway.
    Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said events today would make for "a long day, a sad day" for police, but added he wanted to insure a "proper tribute" for Sgt. Liczbinski.
    A black caisson, drawn by two white horses, carried Liczbinki's casket from the Police Headquarters at 8th and Race Streets early this morning to the Cathedral.
    Police bore the casket inside and placed it on a funeral bier near the altar.
    By 10:15, a line of uniformed officers and civilians wrapped around the block and trailed down Vine Street.
    Once inside, officers solemnly approached the casket, stood at attention, briskly saluted, and moved on.
    Outside the Cathedral, Wanda Barwick of Center City stood in line as the rain continued to fall.
    "I want to pay my respects and say a prayer," Barwick said. "He never had a chance."
    A jumbo video screen, parked on 18th Street, showed images of Sgt. Liczbinki with his family, friends and fellow police officers.
    Over a set of loudspeakers, Elvis Presley crooned "I Can't Help Falling in Love with You."
    David Guzman, of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, said he was attending with fellow Customs officers to show solidarity with the Philadelphia police.
    "We're all law enforcement brothers, whether we're local, state or federal," Guzman said. "We're here for support and camaraderie."
    The funeral Mass for Sgt. Liczbinski is scheduled to begin at noon. At 11:50, Commissioner Ramsey will offer words of remembrance.
    The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is providing live streaming video of the viewing and funeral mass at
    Police advise drivers to avoid streets near the Cathedral until 1 p.m.
    The public is welcome to attend the funeral, but will be seated only after family and police are accommodated in the 1,500 seat Cathedral, said an Archdiocese spokeswoman.
    Burial will be in Resurrection Cemetery, 5201 Hulmeville Rd., Bensalem.
    The funeral cortege will depart the Cathedral for the cemetary at 1:30. Traffic on several major arteries will be closed as the procession makes it way to Bensalem. Those routes include 1-676 eastbound; Vine Street from Logan Circle to I-95; I-676 westbound exit at 16th Street; and I-95 north from I-676 to Bensalem.

    Memorial donations may be sent to the Stephen Liczbinski Family Memorial Trust Fund, 901 Arch St., Philadelphia, 19107.

    [​IMG]Wire Service
  10. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

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    Re: Sergeant Stephen Liczbinski

    Michael Smerconish:

    By Michael Smerconish
    Philadelphia Daily News


    Daily News Opinion Columnist

    AS FAR AS I'm concerned, there's a mystery hero in town: The Philadelphia police officer who did society a favor by putting down Howard Cain on Saturday, minutes after Cain executed Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski. In the process, that cop brought about a just ending for Cain, something the criminal-justice system would never have done. Don't believe me? Just ask Maureen Faulkner. Over 26 years, she hasn't received anything near that level of closure.
    How could she? Since Pennsylvania restored the death penalty in 1978, only three people have been executed. And they all asked for it.
    By now we're all acquainted with the basic facts: Cain, Levon Warner and Eric DeShawn Floyd held up the Bank of America branch inside the ShopRite at Castor and Aramingo on Saturday morning. Fifteen minutes later, Cain is believed to have shot Liczbinski five times with a Chinese SKS rifle. The three perps fled, but a canine officer responding confronted the men, then shot and killed Cain.
    That cop is the mystery hero.
    Good thing that confrontation played out the way it did. Otherwise, I suspect I know how things would have played out. Liczbinski's family would have been subjected to a tortuous murder trial, maybe an attempt at an insanity defense and, finally, a verdict of guilty.
    In the sentencing phase, a jury would decide that death was the suitable punishment, and would adjourn its arduous task believing that someday the cop-killer would receive the prescribed fate. I can picture the Liczbinski family walking out of the Criminal Justice Center believing they'd gotten some measure of justice.
    But the appellate clock would only then begin to tick. There would be motions filed and 'new evidence' raised. Probably a cry or two about discrimination. Then a post-conviction relief-act hearing. The case would take on a life of its own, meandering through the court system. Always seeming close to an ending, never quite getting there.
    Over the years, the spotlight would dim and, receding along with it, would be the politicians who clamor for the death penalty to be on the books but never do anything when judges fail to allow it to be carried out.
    And those judges would now play games with the law, ensuring that Cain was never subjected to his sentence, regardless of what any legislature or jury had to say. We know this not only because of historical precedent, but also because of the way the system gave Cain himself so many second chances.
    Cain was reportedly arrested at least 16 times before Liczbin-ski was killed. In fact, he was on parole at that moment, having served just nine years of his nine-to-18-year sentence for robbery. He was granted parole at his first opportunity, and spent a couple of months at a South Philly halfway house before being freed under 'parole supervision' in December 2006.
    'Mr. Cain has what the police would call an all-star rap sheet,' CBS3's Walt Hunter told me. The same could be said for Messrs. Warner and Floyd. In fact, there's nothing unique about the three of them, other than the tragic fact that their criminal ways took down a member of the thin blue line.
    And isn't it remarkable that in a society where there is always someone willing to make a case for the unjust nature of the death penalty, in the immediate aftermath of a circumstance in which the thug gets street justice, there is only silence.
    How telling.
    Thank God that Cain's Chinese SKS semiautomatic rifle jammed after the five shots with which he hit Liczbinski. We know that Cain wouldn't have hesitated to use the 25 others.
    And thanks to the mystery cop who subsequently took Cain down, Liczbinski's loved ones have the solace of knowing that Cain is in Hell right now, instead of getting there only after dying of natural causes at the end of a lengthy prison stay. *
    Listen to Michael Smerconish weekdays 5-9 a.m. on the Big Talker, 1210/AM. Read him Sundays in the Inquirer.
    Contact him via the Web at

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