More Than 100 Headstones Toppled at Historic Jewish Cemetery in Philadelphia - NBC 10 Philadelphia

More Than 100 Headstones Toppled at Historic Jewish Cemetery in Philadelphia

Vandal(s) Topples More Than 100 Tombstones at Historic Cemetery

Philadelphia Police are searching for the vandal or vandals who toppled more than 100 tombstones at a historic Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia. NBC10's George Spencer talks with the groundskeeper, and has the latest on the investigation. (Published Friday, July 31, 2015)

More than 100 headstones were toppled at a historic Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia.

The groundskeeper of Adath Jeshurun Cemetery arrived around 6 a.m. Thursday to the burial ground along Bridge Street in the city’s Frankford section to find dozens of grave markers knocked down.

"The thought went through my mind, 'this is a disgrace for somebody to do something like this,'" said groundskeeper Johnny Gibson, who has worked at the cemetery for 44 years.

The vandals knocked down 124 headstones, but didn't leave any marking or graffiti, said Gibson.

Some graves on the 12-acre property date back 160 years and there are only a few new burials each year now, said Gibson. On many days, neighbors use the cemetery as a shortcut.

Gibson said that he can’t recall anyone ever desecrating grave sites over the past decades.

“I don't know who would do it,” said Gibson. “Were the people on drugs? Were they drunk? I don't know. But you wouldn't be in your right mind, I don't think, to do something like this.”

Anyone with information on the vandalism is asked to contact Philadelphia Police.

  

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