Police: Friendship Turned to Murder
SOUTH PHILADELPHIA - August 24, 2006 (WPVI) -- A South Philadelphia man is in custody in connection with a grisly murder.
Police were called to 2424 South Fourth Street after neighbors reported a horrible smell coming out of the rowhome. Inside, they found a chopped up body in the basement. The owner of that home, Robert Fowler, was arrested.
Pain was evident on the faces of the family and friends of victim John Thistlewood, and also on the faces of the family of his friend and now apparent killer.
"I don't think I can believe he did anything like that," said Fowler's mother, Theresa. "My Bobby's not like that. He's a good guy"
"I apologize to the family," said Anthony Fowler, his brother. "I don't know what was going through his head. I don't."
Police think the 40-year-old Fowler murdered the younger Thistlewood, then cut up his body stuffing it in plastic bags. He tried to explain away the stench to neighbors, including Thistlewood's aunt as coming from dead stray cats.
"Bobby came to my house, asked for trash bags, said he had five dead cats in the house and wanted to get rid of them," said Lynn Thistlewood.
She says the friendship between Fowler and her nephew revolved around drugs. She believes the falling out had to do with drugs or money.
Sometime before police entered the picture, Theresa Fowler said she got a pecular phone call from robert.
"I spoke with him the night before, because I have clothes in there, and he said 'mom come and get your clothes because i am going away for a long time' and then hung up," explained Fowler.
Thistlewood's father, John Thistlewood Senior, vanished on September 11, 1992 and remains missing.
Dana Thistlewood/sister: "He was a good kid, he didn't deserve what happened to him. He loved us very, very, very much. He did whatever he could for anybody. He would do a lot of friends." Police also recovered the case of a saw across the street from the home.
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