Pearl Harbor survivor Shot to death, Fire started to conceal killing

January 9th, 2007  

Topic: Pearl Harbor survivor Shot to death, Fire started to conceal killing

Police say fire set to conceal killing
Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Bennie J. Angelo, 87, who was found shot dead in his Canton home, which had been set on fire, late Sunday night


The number of Pearl Harbor survivors dwindles every month. Down to about 6,000 nationwide at last count. Men in their 80s, who once escaped explosions, machine-gun bullets and fire, finally breaking down.

Victims of disease and old age, mostly peaceful endings.

Nothing like the way Bennie Angelo died early Monday. Found by firefighters on a first-floor bed in his Endrow Avenue NE home. His body filled with several gunshots. And his house on fire.

"Definitely a homicide," said Canton police detective Dan McCartney.

Angelo was 87.

Those who know Angelo don't have a clue why anyone would want to hurt him. Results of an autopsy and blood tests Monday afternoon indicate he died before the fire started, according to the Stark County coroner's office. Canton police believe the fire was set to conceal the homicide, according to a press release.

Police said they are following leads, but had little to report by Monday evening. They are aware of a break-in reported at Angelo's house overnight Dec. 20. Angelo wasn't home at the time, but the intruder stole as much as $1,100 in quarters from a jar in the house.

"We're not sure if it's connected," McCartney said.

A passer-by saw smoke coming from Angelo's home at about 11:50 p.m. Sunday and phoned 911. Firefighters forced their way inside where flames burned in the kitchen and dining area - finding Angelo in a bedroom. He was taken to Mercy Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 12:20 a.m. Monday.

Fire Battalion Chief Ray Harple estimated damage at $30,000 to the structure and $15,000 to contents.

Neighbor Richard Burkey said he talked to Angelo every morning when he brought Angelo a newspaper. Angelo, who became a member of the Canton Ex-Newsboys Association and sold its fundraising charity edition every year, lived in the neighborhood for about 50 years, Burkey said.

Burkey described Angelo as "a football nut" who heavily supported his alma mater's football team at McKinley High School.

Modest but proud, Angelo enjoyed the attention during annual Memorial Day parades downtown.

A retired Steelworker from the former Republic Steel, a husband, father, and Army veteran, Angelo was perhaps most famous for being a survivor. He lived to tell about a day that lives in infamy. Angelo accepted and relished his role as a living symbol of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

"I made sure I slowed down so the young kids could get a good look," said Audrey Kartler, who for the past 10 years drove the convertible that carried Angelo during the parades. Her husband, John, also is a Pearl Harbor survivor.

Many times over the years, Angelo recalled that day. He told the story to newspaper reporters. To friends and other veterans. To fellow Pearl Harbor survivors. How he was standing in line for breakfast when a bullet knocked a mess kit right out of a hand of a nearby soldier. How he could see faces of low-flying Japanese pilots. How he thought he might die.

Angelo was believed to be one of four Pearl Harbor survivors in Stark County, said Mel Schlabach, president of the Greater Canton Veterans Council. "A great family man," said Schlabach.

Angelo was a widower. His second wife, Sari Ann, died in 1996. They had four children. Angelo was married once before while still in the Army to Josephine Altieri. They divorced in 1959. They had two children.

In November, Angelo was honored as Veteran of the Year in a Veterans Day ceremony at the Westbrook Veterans Memorial on 13th Street NW. A member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans, he was nominated by American Legion Post 44.

Angelo served his entire tour in the Pearl Harbor area, returning to Stark County after the war. Angelo was a member of the McKinley Booster Club since 1938 and sponsored a player every year.

John Kartler, a local Pearl Harbor survivor, said he became friends with Angelo over the years. They regularly attended bimonthly meetings of the local Pearl Harbor Survivors Association.

"He called to wish me a happy New Year," Kartler said.

Audrey Kartler said she'd just bought a birthday card for Angelo, who would have turned 88 on Jan. 30.
May the SOB that did this burn in HELL!
January 9th, 2007  
Team Infidel
that's messed up
January 9th, 2007  
Originally Posted by 5.56X45mm
May the SOB that did this burn in HELL!

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