Pennsylvania Man Arrested For Five Cold Case Murders Dating Back To 2011

All of Michael Blackston's alleged victims were shot to death, but no details have been provided about what the motive in the slayings may have been.

By Jill Sederstrom
Digital Original
5 Infamous Cold Cases of Murder

A Pennsylvania man has been charged with five cold case murders.

Philadelphia Police arrested 29-year-old Michael Blackston Saturday night and charged him with gunning down three people in 2011 and another two people in 2017, according to local station KYW-TV.

Blackston is accused of fatally shooting 26-year-old Saleem Garland inside a car in Nicetown on June, 28, 2011, WTXF-TV reports. A few days later on July 1, 2011 police said Blackston shot another man, 22-year-old Gary Wilson.

Later that same month, on July 30, police said Blackston shot 22-year-old Kristin Freeman multiple times. He died the following day from the injuries, WCAU reports.

Blackston is also now linked to several murders committed less than two weeks apart in 2017. The first death was of 20-year-old Branden Vincent who was shot in East Germantown on Sept. 10, 2017. Blackston is also accused of killing 20-year-old Michael Cousette in North Philadelphia on Sept. 22, 2017.

Michael Blackston Pd

Investigators have not released any details about what links Blackston to the crimes or what the motive in the slayings may have been.

“My office has filed homicide and other charges against Michael Blackston for his role in the murders of five individuals from 2011 through 2017,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said after the charges were announced. “I thank the Philadelphia Police Department, especially Detective John Verrecchio, and ADA Matthew Krouse for their hard work to resolve these cases. The District Attorney’s Office looks forward to prosecuting all individuals who are responsible for these crimes.”

Blackston has been charged with five counts of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, possession of instruments of crime and the illegal ownership of a firearm.

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