Robbery may have been motive in slaying Home of judge's widowed mother was ransacked

November 30, 1995|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Joan Jacobson contributed to this article.

A District Court judge's 80-year-old mother who was stabbed fatally Tuesday in her Northwest Baltimore apartment may have been killed during a robbery, though investigators have not determined if anything was taken, city police said yesterday.

Detectives say Beatrice Lippman Manck was killed between noon, when she was seen arriving home, and 1:45 p.m., when two maintenance men found her body while checking on her partly open door.

Agent Robert W. Weinhold, a police spokesman, said the hour and 45 minutes provided "a window of opportunity for the murderer." Mrs. Manck's second-floor apartment in the 7100 block of Park Heights Ave. was ransacked.

Detectives say they believe "that robbery may have been the motive," the spokesman said. "Detectives will have to rely on their investigation and cooperation with family members to determine if anything was missing."

Police said last night that they have not identified any suspects, but have found what they believe to be the weapon. Agent Weinhold would not elaborate. He did say that the front door did not appear to be forced open.

Meanwhile, relatives and friends of Mrs. Manck, a longtime Annapolis resident and shoe store owner who moved to Baltimore five months ago to be closer to her sisters, tried to comprehend the slaying.

"The entire Annapolis community is mourning today," said Esther Rosenblatt, a friend who lives in the state capital. "Everyone's spirits are just down."

Family members, who had gathered yesterday at a relative's home in Baltimore, did not want to be interviewed. Mrs. Manck's son, Annapolis District Judge Joseph P. Manck, could not be reached for comment.

Although community leaders in Northwest Baltimore were surprised about the stabbing, which occurred in a quiet neighborhood just inside the city line, they said they had heard no immediate public outcry for better security.

"This is one of those horrible episodes," said Kenneth Gelula, executive director of Comprehensive Housing Assistance Inc. "Whoever was let in was allowed to enter. It seems to be an isolated episode that has nothing in common with the devastating street crime we see."

Born in Baltimore, Mrs. Manck moved to Annapolis from Baltimore in 1959 with her husband, Charles. They bought Stadigers shoe store, catering to women, on Main Street. Mrs. Manck owned the store until recently.

Mrs. Manck lived in the Ingram Manor apartment complex, which some residents described as safe. Visitors have to be buzzed in. But some residents complained that outsiders could enter without anyone knowing. Representatives from David S. Brown Enterprises, which owns the building, refused to comment yesterday.

Police released a photo of Mrs. Manck and requested that people call them if they saw her the day of the killing, especially if she was with another person.

Metro Crime Stoppers offered a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect, and an anonymous donor added $5,000 for a total reward of $7,000.

Mrs. Manck's funeral has been scheduled for 1 p.m. today at Sol Levinson & Brothers funeral home at 6010 Reisterstown Road, in Baltimore.

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