Geekadelphia points to an online and soon to be in print graphic novel by New York resident (and native Philadelphian) Kevin Clouden, which tells of the vicious riverside murder of 16-year old Jason Sweeney at the hands of his ‘girlfriend’ Justina Morley and his ‘friends’ in 2003. From the City Paper in 2007:
“The irony of this story taking place in the City of Brotherly Love was powerful, says comics writer/artist Kevin Colden. His new work Fishtown is loosely based on the true story of a particularly brutal murder in the Philly neighborhood.
Fishtown is a dark psychological tale that reads like a fresh version of an old true crime pulp novel. It tells the story of the 2003 murder of 16-year-old Jason Sweeney by a group of his friends. Justina Morley, Sweeney’s first-ever girlfriend, is a worthy femme fatale (or, as the attorney for one of the other defendants called her, a “queen of evil ). With the promise of sex, she lured Jason into the bushes where three boys ambushed him. They beat him to death and then engaged in a group hug. They then stole Sweeney’s paycheck and used it to buy alcohol, drugs and deodorant.
Karl at Phillyfuture tells a personal story and links to the coverage (no longer available online) of the trial from the Philadelphia Daily News :
Justina Morley has left the building – and multitudes have breathed a sigh of relief.
After three days on the stand as the prosecution’s star witness in the horrifying Fishtown murder trial, the teenage femme fatale became a star attraction inside the Criminal Justice Center.
Attorneys, court employees, professional “jurors,” reporters, relatives and friends filled all available seats to see the teen vixen involved in the slaying of 16-year-old Jason Sweeney.
Hour upon hour of testimony wore the courtroom down to a frazzled, dispirited nub by late yesterday afternoon. Jurors seemed listless, lawyers were frazzled, the judge appeared drained.
Even defendant Nicky Coia sported a bruised and busted lip – the result of a beating he received yesterday morning at the hands of an offended fellow inmate.
Spectators were stunned.
…Was it her upbringing? Drug addiction? Parental neglect? DNA? Satan? Did this girl with the tiny shoulders really manipulate these three boys to do her vile bidding, as defense attorneys said, or was she just a sad, attention-starved shill?
There was no alternative but to rely on Morley’s own words, read yesterday from a letter she wrote from prison to Domenic Coia:
“I’m a cold-blooded f—— death-worshipping bitch who survives by feeding off the weak and lonely. I lure them and then I crush them. It’s what I’ve done to every boy I was with.”
I don’t know these kids. None of my friends when down that path. It’s somewhat theatrical to say, but all of us know kids like them.