One Of 'America's Most Wanted' Was Aberdeen Bar Regular

December 09, 1990|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff writer

Connie J. Murdorf, owner of the Eagle's Nest in Aberdeen, is a fan of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s "America's Most Wanted," but she never expected to see one of her regular customers sought for attempted murder on the television show.

Murdorf was watching the show on Nov. 30 while working at her bar and restaurant as a segment on William J. Moore was featured, revealing that he was wanted for a 1985 attack on a Illinois woman.

As the show's host John Walsh told Moore's story, Murdorf said she realized that Moore was one of her customers, whom she knew as Joseph DeBartolo.

Moore, 51, visited the establishment almost daily, buying lottery tickets, playing darts and socializing with the other patrons, Murdorf said. Moore was last year's champion on the bar's dart team.

Moore left the bar about two hours before the "America's Most Wanted" segment about him was broadcast, Murdorf recalled.

"I went to go see if he was still at the bar," said Murdorf, who was working at the establishment's liquor shop. "But he was gone."

Murdorf described Moore as a friendly and kind man. "He was always willing to do anything for you," Murdorf said. "The man they described on the show wasn't the man we knew."

The show revealed that Moore was convicted in absentia for attacking a Naperville, Ill., woman, who was beaten, choked and left for dead. After Moore and two accomplices were arrested, Moore jumped bail, faked his suicide and disappeared, an Illinois prosecutor said.

Investigators are not sure when Moore came to Harford County.

Moore was hired as a butcher at Michael's Food Rite, a grocery store in the 100 block of North Parke Street in Aberdeen, in August 1989. He was living in an Edgewood mobile home park with his girlfriend, Patricia Brown.

Brown refused comment.

Moore is being held at the county Detention Center without bail, pending extradition to Illinois.

Murdorf said many of her establishment's patrons were shocked when they learned Moore was wanted by police.

"A lot of them don't think he did it," Murdorf said. "They think it was a mistake. They don't want to believe he would do anything like that."

Murdorf, other acquaintances and Moore's co-workers said Moore seldom talked about his past or his family.

"I saw him almost every day," said Elizabeth Griffen, a manager at the Eagle's Nest. "But did I know him on a personal level? No."

Griffen said she believes Moore stayed in contact with his family. His father died several months ago and Moore attended the services, Griffen said. She did not remember where the services were held.

Although most people knew Moore as DeBartolo, Griffen said some of the bar's patrons knew his real name. She said some customers knew Moore because they attended Aberdeen High School together.

William Seifert, manager at Michael's Food Rite, said Moore never mentioned living in Illinois in the 17 months that he worked at the grocery store, although he used references from Chicago businesses on his application when he applied for the butcher's job. Those references checked out, Seifert said.

Moore was a good worker who knew how to do his job and got along with his co-workers as well as customers, Seifert said.

"He's just an average, everyday guy," Seifert said. "He was a very nice person, the kind of guy who'd give you the shirt off his back."

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