'Madness' is cited as 3 are buried Woman, 2 sons were slain in home BALTIMORE COUNTY

August 05, 1993|By Ed Brandt and Dana Hedgpeth | Ed Brandt and Dana Hedgpeth,Staff Writers

Rhonda Lynn Reese was buried next to her two children on a mellow summer's afternoon yesterday, victim of what her pastor called "a madness that plunges us headlong down a path that leads to destruction."

Mrs. Reese, 24, and her sons, Michael A. Reese Jr., 7, and Kenneth Reese, 3, were stabbed to death in their Essex townhouse Friday. Kenneth would have been 4 on Aug. 14. Friends and family said all he wanted for his birthday was a pancake.

Michael attended Deep Creek Elementary School. Kenneth was in the Back River Headstart program.

Since the slayings, police have been seeking Mrs. Reese's husband, Michael Antonio Reese Sr., a 26-year-old employee of the state Division of Correction, for questioning.

"I'm tired of standing over the bodies of our children," the Rev. Douglas I. Miles told more than 500 relatives, friends, neighbors and co-workers of the slain family at Koinonia Baptist Church, Greenmount Avenue and 25th Street.

"It's the same kind of madness that has its basis in the sin that has disturbed God's creation, and that brings us to this place, at this time, under these circumstances."

"Don't blame God," he said. "It is the madness that is in this world, this society, this age, that breaks the heart."

Members of the standing-room-only crowd responded to the sermon with shouts of "Hallelujah" and "Preach on, brother."

Before Mr. Miles lay the three caskets, that of Mrs. Reese flanked by those of her two children. Twenty-four arrangements of red roses, pink and white carnations, daisies and plants wrapped in blue and white ribbons were in front.

Mrs. Reese, a graduate of Dunbar High School and a salesperson at J. C. Penney in Eastpoint, was remembered by her friends and family as a talkative, friendly person who tried to help people.

"She was very good with her children," her father, Michael Pollock, said before the funeral. He was to see her on the day of her death.

"Of, course, that didn't happen," he said.

"She didn't talk much to me about her problems with Michael," Mr. Pollock said. "Her husband was always cordial. I liked him. I still find it hard to picture him being involved.

"Rhonda and I had a little fallout a few years ago, when I told her she was too young to get married. She said she was in love."

The family returned to Baltimore about 1 1/2 years ago from California, where Michael Reese was stationed while in the Navy.

Robert Lovejoy, a friend of Mr. Pollock, said, "You don't find too many young girls who reach out and touch their family the way she did. How could anyone hurt her and her children?"

Mr. Miles was stunned at the death of his church members.

"This is shattering," he said. "She was a decent young lady, but I had an inkling that there were problems."

Mrs. Reese and her two sons were buried in the Maryland Veterans Cemetery on Garrison Forest Road in Owings Mills, in an open field near a grove of oak trees.

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