The haunted J&L Mill shop 2# on Pittsburgh's South Side no steel worker ever went back there by them selves unless they where looking for trouble.

I will never forget the one afternoon  in late 60's my mom and brothers and I went to pick up my dad from the mill and he was over an hour late getting out the mill gate . When he did finally come out to the van he had a very worried look on his face one of the workers he knew was missing in the Jones & Laughlin Massive  mill Complex he never checked out and my dad spent time looking for him.
 The worker would be found by a rescue crew later that evening  he had fallen and broke his leg and could not get help getting out  and his banging brought the crew to him but not with out its harrowing moments because he had fallen back in the old Mill shop 1 # and  2 #  area which was haunted by 40 dead steel workers souls who perished  after falling into a vat of steel  or other accident and noises he made trying to get attention caused just that much more tension going back to explore and find him. There was a bronze marker to all those who died in the mill on end of the old shop 2#  that was visible to public but I  do not know what happened to it after they tore down the old mill in 80's

My dad will tell you story's of when he had to go back into the old Shop 1# and  2# one time looking for possible parts to use to repair an old crane. 
he heard the wind blowing and banging and flapping of steel siding like there was a storm outside yet it was a perfectly calm summer day.
Old shop 1# and 2# in South side - thank you John Cross for photo image. 

Now how all this haunting started I have heard several stories
Including after a worker fell into vat and vaporized they would pour off a small amount and let it cool an give it to the family as a memorial and the tainted steel was then pored in a hole at the plant and discarded
and when renovations at the plant disturbed these old tainted pour offs which had workers who fell into them that's when the haunting's started.
The above article link also mentions Slag Pile Annie and I have never heard that story and know plenty of old steel workers who worked the south side works including several uncles none of them mentioned it  so this story appears to be just made up. Women did work the mill during WWII but never heard of any dying and they never would have been allowed do do any extremely dangerous jobs around the furnaces.
However one of my dads friends tells the time a worker was killed in the slag pits when water jet was turned on at wrong time . They used the jet on hot slag which granulated it to make it easier to handle and sell for use in driveways.

The mill has been replaced by a shopping complex and cinema and I have not heard of any further haunting's where the theater now sits on the old mill site.
So its either a bunch of old retired steel workers like my dad telling tales or there was something to it.
Of course now that the mill is long gone we will never be able to do further investigation of it.

Update on Young woman found in waste transfer facility in Grove City

Unfortunately a family s worse fears have been realized the body of young woman found earlier this week in a waste transfer plant .
Has been identified as 16 year old Gina Burger of Austintown Ohio

She went missing Monday evening as an endangered Runaway which means she was running with a known rough crowd of individuals .possibly one of them is the one who stabbed her and dumped her into a dumpster to be discovered in Pa.

Police now have the who and the how , they need to fill  in what happened and where  and who is responsible .

UPDATE : 18 year old male has been arrested in case further news to follow

A new mystery a young womans body found at a Mercer Waste Transfer Facilty What it takes to solve a case like this.

Just imagine you have been working all day in 80 degree heat in waste transfer facility  the stench so bad you have to take breaks your day is just about over when you come across something odd .
At first it looks like foot but then to your horror its a woman's mangled body. You shut down the line and call the foreman and he calls 911 soon police and coroner are on scene.
Well this is exactly what played out last evening Wednesday June 25th 2014 at a waste transfer facility in  Grove City Mercer County.

As Sherlock Holmes would say the game is a foot

But this is no game as investigators start putting the pieces together .

First the crime scene meticulously recorded in every detail. Next coroner removes the young girls body for examination .

As autopsy results are being prepared investigators are determining a time line for where possibly the body came from and what truck brought it and at what time it was brought to facility.  Its a very big area 2 states and multiple county's. My bet is it came from Youngstown area very rough crowd over there last couple times I worked  in the area. 

Who is she?  detectives are  working on description of victim and notifying other agency's in attempt to find out who she is. Possibly they will get a DNA  or finger print hit from evidence collected during autopsy  if she has a criminal record or some one will  call saying they know some one fitting description is missing. 

Is it a tragic accident or a homicide?
That's just one of the questions the autopsy will try and answer .
Was she homeless sleeping in dumpster or drunk from a party and fell in and unfortunately crushed or is this a body dump or was she stabbed strangled etc. 

Who, What ,Where Why  these are the questions that need asked and suspects and persons of interest will need to answer depending if its an accident or a homicide. 
 A jealous boyfriend, a rapist killer?
The way she is dressed in jogging work out clothing was she kidnapped from a trail  or gym then killed.

Developing a suspect and then a case  prosecutor can pursue after a suspect is linked.

This is what can take the longest time once suspects are identified being able to link them to the crime.
sometimes thou there are no answers Who or why?

In all over 20,000 man hours will be spent on this case and hopefully with results. 

Famous Pittsburgh Area resident John M. Phillips Ceremonial Chiefs Outfit has gone missing and no ones talking

One of the Honor Organizations with in  Boy Scouting is  "The Order of The Arrow  "also known as OA  it has 3 ranks  Ordeal, Brotherhood and Vigil  I made it to brotherhood in the Kiasutha Lodge which no longer exists and was renamed and merged over the years.

By time I was fully able to participate my work schedule often had me working weekends which kept me from attending  the weekend events ,and a certain family resented my belonging in the first place due to the fact on my mothers side of family they where deeply involved  with native Americans in the late 1700's . My 7th great uncle John Heckewelder  was a missionary who worked with Native American Tribes  right here in Western Pa. and wrote a book about them  and there customs and brought many to Christianity . He is one of our nations forgotten historical figures.
 Instead of welcoming me and my contributions I was often shunned by some because I had real Indian connections and they did not. The link below is a short bio on my uncle
Too bad for them and there ignorance and pettiness  no in fact Shame On Them for acting the way they did..

But I also suspect they are behind the disappearance of John M. Phillips   Ceremonial Chiefs Outfit.
He also worked with Indians  in the late 1800's and  early 1900's  and was known by them as Chief Silver Tip  the honorary name they gave him after rescuing a bear with silver tip  of fur on its head in one of his many western adventures. A boyscout district where I grew up  was named silver tip in his honor since he helped to start the scouting program but the name has since been changed.
The last time I saw his outfit was in 1977 while at Camp Guyasuta in Sharpsburg  helping out during a camporee and members of the Kiasuta Lodge  mostly who where with silver Tip district
 found it in storage  above the little store  called the outpost where scouts could buy refreshments and get swimming pool passes ,for the pool. It was in a large silver colored tin box about 4 ft long and 2 foot wide. It was supposed to be restored and displayed and never was.  It has never been seen  from again no one knows what happened to it and people who where  around with me when it was taken down have all scattered  or left scouting and everyone denies or can not remember  the meeting ever took place or has no idea what I am talking about  because it has been 35 years since it was last seen . I personally believe it was sold off to a private collector , for a huge sum.
Thats what The former Allegheny Trails now Laurel Highlands  council does sell things donated to them then take the money and waste it.  They operate like the big money no name no conscious museums and corporations do around here .  Whats that again in the Scout Oath about Honest, Trustworthy  and Truthful or is that only when you where a scout growing up and now it no longer counts .
the OA and Scout Council  executive could not even bother to show up at his John M. Phillips  State Marker dedication why should I be surprised about this.

Picture of Mr. Phillips with outfit he was given
I helped  with others to get Mr. Phillips his State Marker at his former homestead in Carrick I would really like to find his outfit have it restored and properly displayed as would his relatives.
But with so many selective memory's of people I once called friends who do not have the balls to stand up admit they where there and say what happened the outfit it is lost to history and another insult to John M. Phillips and Native Americans who gave the outfit to him.

Harry " Pittsburgh " Phil Strauss an unusual name for a Mobster who was never in Pittsburgh

Jewish born Harry Strauss  who became known as " Pittsburgh Phil Strauss"  was one of the most prolific contract killers of the mafias  Murder Inc hit squad said to have killed at least 100 individuals and as high as 500 people he was found guilty of murder in  1940 and electrocuted in the electric chair "old sparky " at Sing Sing Prison in New York.

Records show he was never ever in Pittsburgh at any time in his life time but possibly got the Moniker
Pittsburgh  by saying to an early criminal associate he was like a Minor League
Ball Player  practicing his skills and waiting to be noticed by the big guys one day.

Was he possibly referring to the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team and Honus Wagner who became famous in early days by  starting at the bottom and working his way up?
Did Harry ever get that right becoming the mobs number 1# killer .
 I am sure most people who live in Pittsburgh area like me wished he never adopted our city's name for a moniker.
of course there was never any effort to officially denounce it by proclamation or editorial in local papers  either after his death. But then again Mobsters in Pittsburgh have always been secretly admired even thou they where criminals.

30+ years and still no answers in death of Tillie Shilling in Bethel Park and or why recently a man tried to kill but was shot dead by a shop owner

Bethel Park is a middle class white collar community along the  T- trolley line   with fine shopping and dining  Big Vol. Fire dept excellent schools and a great Big south park next door.
Not the kid of place you expect to hear about serious  crime but recently a  Young man was shot dead by a music shop owner  after he attacked the owner and his wife with a baseball bat  for no known reason.

But with this attack brings for some community members it has brought bad memories of the Killing of 
Tillie Shilling in  August 15,1983

This is also the sale year 3 young girls went missing and 2 never found  The Girl from Peters Twp right next door to Bethel Park had been beaten and viciously murdered  when found a coincidence I think not.

3 different county's right next to each other and no one looking at any possible connection scary

 1983 was an extremely dangerous year to be a a woman young or old. Period in this corner of the state.
it was all over the news all these murders and no answers in any of them all cold.  
A real tragedy.

Mud Slip a very strange geological condition in W. Pa when ignored by designers Kills like it did along Sawmill Run blvd.

There was an ambitious plan by developers along Pa.65 in Kilbuck  to turn the old Dixmont State Hospital Property into a Walmart Plaza.They started filling in the property and raising its level when all of a sudden there was a collapse and millions of tons of dirt went sliding out on to Pa. 65 and Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks completely blocking traffic and luckily no one was hurt. It has cost the developer$ 65 Million Dollars so far and the hill is still not stable.

The developer and his Engineers have been ruined financially and  failed to recognize and respect a more deadly accident in the  City of Pittsburgh's West End section decades earlier.

As you approach the intersection of  Sawmill Run Blvd. and Woodruff Street just before you go under the old Concrete Railroad Trestle for the abandoned Wabash Railroad you will see a very large rock sitting there on the corner behind a wooden spoke fence.
Not much more than a rock sitting there but a very significant one which taught The state of Pa. the City of Pittsburgh and its contractors and engineers not to mess with mother nature.
For this rock is one of the many which killed a bulldozer operator and 2 motorists  when Blasting was being done on the hill side to remove rock and stabilize the hill.
Engineers and blasters assured everyone they could safely blast rock. Have a 15 minute waiting period then allow traffic to flow thru. They where very wrong after one of the blasts  and things went very wrong.
I was in the North Side that day working on a job when a Got a call from a used car dealer customer on  W. Liberty Ave. who needed service I finished up the North Side work and started heading into the South Hills When I hit a high amount of traffic on the Liberty Bridge  and then it came over the radio.
There was a terrible accident where they where blasting to clear rock along and the hill had come down and crushed vehicles. I was able to slowly get over the bridge and thru the Liberty Tunnels and up W. Liberty to customer by then it was all over the TV as he had a small set on in the sales office.
After stopping all traffic blasting then waiting 15 minutes to be sure it was safe they let traffic thru the area when the hill side gave way. Trapping and Killing a Bulldozer operator a motorist and tractor trailer driver.

Why did it happen it was because of a very well known dangerous geological condition around Western Pa. called " Mud Slip "
Do not show it respect and it will kill you when building known all the way back to even the days when
Native Americans roamed the area.The Monongahela river is an Indian term loosely translated stands for river bank of sliding rocks.  But warnings in both cases where ignored when previous slides where ignored.

It is caused by the way the sediments and  soft rock layers came together to form the geology of the region.

It is also described on page 37 in Pa geology guide link below

The soft porous rock allows for water penetration and dirt  and with the freeze thaw action  allows layers of rock to break off after a hillside is dug into. You have to allow for a gradual slope and cut in steps  or benches as they are called when you cut into a hill not a steep 90 degree angle unless you properly reinforce it.  Which was not done in both cases years of exposed outcropping allowed the stone to blow outward and give way.  There was  a prior slide in both cases and this area in particular is none for the extreme dangers it poses and likely hood of it happening . Its like a house of cards and must be properly managed to prevent problems. As you can see in case below before the sawmill run accident no bench cut in but afterwards  there where and there has been no further incidents.