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Chaining Disabled Adults in PA Basement was 'Pure Evil'

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on October 18, 2011 6:43 AM

Four disabled adults were found chained in a basement in Philadelphia, malnourished. The horrific crime was part of a fraudulent scheme to collect their disability checks.

A Philadelaphia police spokesman described the crimes as "pure evil."

Three suspects, Linda Ann Weston, Gregory Thomas, and Eddie Wright were arrested and charged with multiple counts of criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, kidnapping, criminal trespass, unlawful restraint and false imprisonment.

The adults that they locked in the basement have the mental capacities of 10-year-olds, though they range in age between 29 and 41.

It's still unclear how long the victims were held captive. But it seems the culprits were moving them around. Authorities say that the disabled adults were only in Philadelphia for 10 days before they were found. It seems they were previously held in Florida and Texas.

And this isn't Weston's first brush with the law. She served 8 years in jail for the starvation death of 25-year-old Bernardo Ramos in 1981. She held him captive until his death inside her closet after he refused to support her sister's unborn child, reports MSNBC.

How is it that Weston ended up committing such a gruesome - yet similar - crime?

Under the legal system, criminal defendants released from prison on parole are usually subject to supervision. They are typically required to check in with parole officers, who might also conduct visits to their home. Weston started to serve her 8-year sentence in 1983. It's probably been around two decades since she was released.

Most likely, Weston was no longer under parole supervision by the time this crime was committed. Authorities are still investigating the scope of the fraud. And they say that evidence found with the disabled adults who were chained in the basement point to a wider scheme, according to the AP.

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