Bowleys Quarters residents vent wrath over manhunt

Officials assailed on delay in finding Palczynski

May 02, 2000|By Nancy Youssef | Nancy Youssef,SUN STAFF

Nearly two months after Joseph C. Palczynski killed three people in the Bowleys Quarters community, residents expressed anger about the police search and how Baltimore County officials responded to their concerns during the two-week manhunt.

About 70 residents filled the Bowleys Quarters Volunteer Fire Station where representatives from the county executive's office and Police and Health departments met with them.

Anger flowed freely at the meeting, sometimes directed toward officials and other times between neighbors.

At the core of the complaints were residents' puzzlement as to why it took so long for police to locate Palczynski, who was killed by officers two weeks after the March 7 murders in Bowleys Quarters. In all, Palczynski killed four people before he was shot by police March 21 in a Dundalk home where he held three hostages.

Residents also wanted to know why they were never offered psychological help -- as were others -- in dealing with the crisis.

"I was scared to death. I didn't have Dave to protect me anymore," said Terry Conroy, whose fiance, David M. Meyers, 42, was one of the three people shot to death by Palczynski on March 7.

Said Capt. Joseph Burris, commander of the Essex Precinct: "This was as frustrating for us -- that we couldn't find Joseph Palczynski as it was for you.

"We were everywhere," Burris continued. "I don't say that we did everything right all the time."

The husband of one of Palczynski's victims -- Jennifer McDonel, who was shot as her car traveled Ebenezer Road in Chase on March 8 -- wanted to know why he hadn't been kept informed of the search for his wife's killer.

"Why wasn't I kept up to date?" said Thomas McDonel.

In the end, police and county officials said they were continuing to investigate various problems with the handling of the Palczynski case and would release more information later. They also promised to help with a June 18 fund- raiser for families of the killer's victims.

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