Not finding grandson, intruders kill woman Grandmother tried to keep them out BALTIMORE CITY

September 15, 1993|By Michael James | Michael James,Staff Writer

A 59-year-old woman was beaten and shot to death in her Northwest Baltimore home yesterday afternoon after a group of men forced their way inside looking for one of her grandsons, city police said.

Helen M. Whitehead, a house cleaner who had lived for more than 25 years at her house in the 5200 block of Wilton Heights Ave. in Pimlico, was pronounced dead shortly after the 12:40 p.m. attack, police said.

Mrs. Whitehead had confronted at least two men, who came to the door and asked to see her grandson, police said. When Mrs. Whitehead refused to let them in, the men forced their way in, beat her and shot her, police said.

The intruders did not find the teen-age grandson in the house. Police refused to say whether he was home or not at the time of the attack.

Police said they believe that the men went to the house intending to harm the grandson as part of a feud over drugs and became irate at Mrs. Whitehead for attempting to block their entry. Three men were being questioned at the homicide unit late last night in connection with the attack, investigators said.

Mrs. Whitehead was the mother of six children, all of whom are now adults. Her eldest son, Undray Whitehead, 39, of Lutherville, said that his mother moved to Baltimore from Boykins, Va., about years ago. Soon thereafter, she moved to the Wilton Heights home with her late husband.

"She always liked it in Pimlico. We all did, back then," Undray Whitehead said. "Now the crime has made it horrible."

Mrs. Whitehead had worked for about 10 years as a self-employed house cleaner around Baltimore, her son said. Fond of traveling, Mrs. Whitehead flew to Hawaii every year for vacation, he said.

The homicide is Baltimore's 249th of the year, compared with 230 at this time last year, when the city set its record for homicides.

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