The Kill for thrill Murders 35 + years of Justice Denied

 It happened only a couple of miles down the road where I take care of WAVL 910 AM transmitter site.
I remember that winter in 1979 in SW PA  as a young man who was out trying to get his business going  and working as a guard all over the place and worried about what was going on as you can see  from one of the many reports at the time .

It was on December 29, 1979, the body of 49-year-old Peter Levato was found near the Loyalhanna Dam and reservoir near Saltsburg, PA. Convicted Killer s John Travaglia and Steven Lesko forced Peter Levato to drive them out of Pittsburgh. When the got to Loyalhanna they then bound his hands and feet, hit him in the head, and pushed him over a bridge into the lake . Travaglia shot him once in the chest and twice in the head after discovering Peter was still alive.
Then on January 2, 1980, 26-year-old Marlene Sue Newcomer’s body was found in her vehicle in a Pittsburgh parking garage. She was likely killed the day before. Marlene had offered Travaglia and Lesko a ride in her vehicle, where she was shot several times before being robbed.
It was then that Thirty-two-year-old William Nichol's was abducted on January 3, 1980, by Travaglia and Lesko. The three drove in William’s car to Blue Spruce Park, where Travaglia and Lesko bound and gagged William and filled his jacket with rocks before pushing him through a hole in the ice of Blue Spruce Lake, where William drowned.
The final victim was a 21-year-old rookie police officer Leonard Miller. January 3, 1980, was Leonard’s third day of work. He made what he thought was a routine traffic stop. A car had repeatedly sped past Leonard’s police cruiser. In that car were Travaglia, Lesko, and a juvenile male, who were attempting to lead Leonard away from a convenience store they wished to rob. Leonard was killed as he approached the car. There crime spree came to an end several days later.
  When officer Millers Body was discovered this was one of the first calls to go out over the then newly formed Rainbow Control in Westmoreland county which was the forerunner to nationwide  911 service.
Thou Travaglia and Lesko where both convicted of murder in Officer Millers case  all those years ago 
 they still sit on death row  claiming they are changed men and should be given life instead of death sentences and since that time its been one appeal after another the latest death warrant signed last month by Governor Corbett  has been held up by a judge to allow all appeals to be heard . Truth is these 2 will never be executed they will die old men in prison just another mockery of the criminal system and the citizens of PA.  to make matters worse many of these killers have groups of people trying to get them freed for what they did saying they where wrongly convicted and do not deserve death.
Stretch of road where Officer Miller was killed 

Store Lesko and Travaglio planned to rob

Memorial to officer Miller

There's a new book on the murders by a former Apollo cop the you tube trailer for it is below 

Of course these where not the only spree killers around this area there have been several including Stanly Hoss who just had a book released on his life  called " Born to lose  "

Unfortunately we seem to breed  major spree killers around here   there  was  also  2 spree killers who went on rampages in 90's Ronald Taylor and Richard Baumhammers  as well  as 80's  Kevin Cooper who escaped from Mayview State Hospital  and killed a family in California and the notorious  Edward Surratt . Leaving behind many unanswered questions for victims family's  some of whom like in the case of Stanley B. Hoss have never been found
 Also believe it or not  Serial Killer Jeffery Daumier spent part of his young life right here in Penn Hills  his father a scientist worked for PPG Industries .

Some people say its something in the water around here and some times you wish it was that easy and answer but some times there are no answers as to why these men have killed .

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