Marine Veteran Joseph Kerekes & Navy Veteran Harlow Cuadra Murdered Bryan Kocis in Pennsylvania Home; Sentenced to Life in Prison (2007)

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Bryan Kocis, Pennsylvania

Marine veteran Joseph Kerekes and Navy veteran Harlow Cuadra murdered Porn Producer Bryan Kocis and set his home on fire in Pennsylvania on January 23, 2007. They drove from their Virginia Beach, Virginia home to Pennsylvania to commit the homicide of Kocis which automatically made the crime an across state line matter that involved law enforcement agencies from three states and the federal authorities. Eventually investigators gathered enough evidence to arrest Kerekes and Cuadra and charge them with first degree murder and other charges. Joseph Kerekes pleaded guilty to second degree murder and is serving a life sentence without parole; he cannot appeal his sentencing. Harlow Cuadra was convicted of first degree murder in 2008 and was sentenced to life in prison; he’s appealing his case. The case garnered some attention from Hollywood and was the inspiration for a film called King Cobra featuring Christian Slater.

“Law enforcement officials from three states and at least three federal agencies aggressively investigated the crimes, and in May police arrested Harlow Cuadra, 26, a former Navy enlisted man, and Joseph Kerekes, 33, a one-time youth pastor who was briefly in the Marines. From their home in Virginia Beach, Va., the couple who, like Lockhart and Kocis, also met on the Internetran a gay escort service, which they say employed active-duty servicemen from military bases in the area, and they produced and starred in bareback porn on their military-themed Web site, Boybatter.com.” –Out Magazine

Related Links:
Death of a Porn King
Update: The Case of the Cobra Killer
Affidavit lays out details in porn producer’s slaying
Gay porn murder trial underway; Brent Corrigan expected to testify
Porn Star Testifies in Murder Trial
The Fate of Harlow Cuadra: Will There Be Justice for Bryan Kocis?
Cuadra Found Guilty of Murder of Kocis
Cuadra to Serve Life in Prison
Cuadra sentenced to life for Kocis murder
Brent Corrigan Turned Down Role in James Franco’s Gay Murder Movie ‘King Cobra’
James Franco porn murder film King Cobra finishes shoot
‘King Cobra’: Trailer For Dramatized Version Of Murder Of Adult Filmmaker Bryan Kocis Released
“Cobra Killer” reveals how a real-life, gay-porn murder mystery unraveled on Black’s Beach
‘King Cobra’: The Debauched True Story Of Brent Corrigan, Corruption And Murder
What James Franco’s Movie ‘King Cobra’ Gets Wrong About One of Gay Porn’s Wildest Stories
Brent Corrigan Opens Up On Murder Scandal
King Cobra: Christian Slater on relating to his role, examining Keegan Allie’s skivvies
Cobra killer: “We were blurred and blinded by greed, and we thought that we were Gods.”
The real ‘King Cobra’ killer speaks out from prison, shares his thoughts on James Franco’s film
Real-Life “King Cobra” Killer Joseph Kerekes On James Franco’s Adaptation
Family of Bryan Kocis Not Looking Forward to Film Movie Details Kocis’ Murder
Harlow Cuadra & Joe Kerekes | Snapped: Killer Couples
Snapped: Killer Couples (Harlow Cuadra & Joe Kerekes)
“Snapped: Killer Couples” episode retraces murder of Dallas Township’s Bryan Kocis
Crime Watch Daily investigates the true story behind ‘King Cobra’ film
Crime Watch Daily investigates true story behind ‘King Cobra’ film (Pt. 1)
Crime Watch Daily investigates true story behind ‘King Cobra’ film (Pt. 2)
Crime Watch Daily investigates true story behind ‘King Cobra’ film (Pt. 3)


Harlow Cuadra & Joe Kerekes: A Virginia couple’s desperation leaves their gay porn empire in ashes. -Snapped: Killer Couples

University of Penn. Student Shannon Schieber Found Raped & Murdered in Home; Air Force SrA Troy Graves Sentenced to Life in Prison (May 7, 1998)

Shannon Schiebercredit: Courtesy Schieber Family

Shannon Schieber, Pennsylvania (Photo: People Magazine Investigates)

Offender: Troy Graves, 29, US Air Force service member
Victims: Shannon Schieber, 23, University of Pennsylvania student (rape/homicide), multiple rape victims in Pennsylvania & Colorado

Circumstances: Shannon Schieber was enrolled as a Phd. student at the Wharton School of Business, on May 7, 1998, Shannon was studying for exams when a neighbor heard what sounded like cries for help, he called 911 to report that his neighbor was asking for help, the police arrived but no one answered the door and the neighbor backed off his statement, they searched the property and the neighbor said it could have been outside so they left, Shannon’s brother showed up the next day and Shannon didn’t answer the door, the neighbor told her brother what he heard the night before, they broke into the apartment and found Shannon naked on her bed, Shannon was strangled to death and it appeared she tried to fight off her attacker, police found DNA at the scene, DNA ruled out those close to Shannon, Shannon’s parents were outraged that the man who killed their daughter was in the apartment when the police knocked on her door, but the police did their job right and by the book, a few days before the murder, Shannon reported being followed home one night, she was scared, so police started investigating the stranger angle, perhaps this is a serial rapist, they look into sex crimes in the area, they want to match the DNA to other sex crimes in the area.

In February 1999, they got a DNA match, 2 other sexual assaults had occurred but they were coded as misdemeanors, the assaults occurred just a few blocks from Shannon’s apartment, in June and July 1997, two more sexual assaults were connected to the offender bringing the total to 5, the PPD coded these sexual assaults as misdemeanors as well, they downgraded the offenses because it lessoned the load for the police, and made the arrest rate look better than it was, Shannon’s case helped enact change in Philadelphia, if they had investigated these cases, everyone would have known there was a serial rapist, Shannon would not be dead if she knew what was going on, the DNA still didn’t have a match to the offender, in 1997, a sketch was drawn from the recollections of the first victim, they got a new composite, this offender would enter the home, hold the victim down on the bed, rape them or make them perform oral sex, it was about control and domination for this guy and he was also somewhat of a romantic, once they acquiesced, he would treat them like a date, he would get comfortable with the victims, they determined he was a light skinned black male based on information he shared with one victim about his life growing up with bi-racial parents.

He was dubbed the Center City rapist, in August 1999, no other cases were reported since Shannon’s murder, the case went cold, the police got a bulletin in 2001 from Fort Collins, Colorado, the offenders modus operandi sounded familiar to the Philadelphia PD, on June 13, 2001, one victim was home when she was attacked from behind and raped, after she acquiesced, the rapist became gentle as if he was a boyfriend, after he left, she called 911, she was his third victim in Fort Collins, they were all blitz attacked, FC police were investigating a serial rapist, a fourth & fifth rapes were reported, he made a mistake and left behind a ball cap at the fifth victims home, Fort Collins DNA was matched to the rapes in Philadelphia, PPD gave FCPD the composite drawing, police received a letter in the mail from the suspect, he was taunting them, in the fall of 2001, the attacks in Fort Collins stopped, meanwhile the PPD started focusing on cross referencing names of suspects with the two geographic locations, they got a match for Air Force service member Troy Graves, he was in Philadelphia, Fort Collins, and now at Warren AFB in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 2002, the police had the new suspect in their sites.

The police learned that Troy was also investigated by the Office of Special Investigations, it was over charges of harassing a female colleague, the charges were dropped but there was still something suspicious there, Graves has a clean criminal record and no finger prints on file, the case was circumstantial, they reached out to Graves to come to the police department and do an interview, Troy Graves and his wife showed up to the Fort Collins PD, the police immediately separated the couple, his wife admitted that he had insomnia and went for walks and drives at night and that honestly she thought he was having an affair, meanwhile Troy denied knowing anything about the crimes, the police confronted him about the rapes in Fort Collins, he denied being arrested for any sex crimes, he denied being investigated by the Air Force, he did not want to provide his fingerprints but a warrant was issued to compel him, the fingerprints were a match, Troy Graves was arrested and booked into custody on April 23, 2002, this case changed the PPD policies on sexual assault to include how evidence is handled and how the victims are treated and interviewed.

Disposition: Troy Graves feared a trial would not go in his favor in Fort Collins, Colorado, he pleaded guilty in exchange for a life sentence without the possibility of parole; Pennsylvania wanted to seek the death penalty but Shannon’s family did not want that because Shannon wouldn’t have wanted that, Graves entered into a plea agreement and got life in prison plus sixty years

Notable Quotes: “We have to change the system but not put people to death.” -Vicki Schieber (Shannon’s mom)

Source: ‘Terror in Philadelphia’ People Magazine Investigates, Investigation Discovery

Investigation Discovery:

In 1998, a gifted Philadelphia graduate student is found murdered in her bed. The hunt for her killer forces police to reevaluate a series of unsolved crimes, turning the city upside down. Will her killer be caught or will he strike again? -Terror in Philadelphia, People Magazine Investigates (S3,E2)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
U. student killed in Center City
Family, friend mourn Schieber’s death
Grief, Questions After Student is Slain
DNA tests clear ex-boyfriend in Schieber murder
Airman arrested in sexual assaults
Center City rapist suspect arrested
Suspected Serial Rapist Arrested
Colo. airman arrested on sex charges suspected as Center City Rapist
Colorado Suspect Is Believed Tied to Other Attacks
Airman trained at VAFB arrested in Colorado sex assaults
Airman’s DNA Linked to Slain Md. Woman
Officials: DNA Evidence Links Colorado Man to Philly Rapes, Murder
Airman Awaits Hearing in Rape Case
Troy Graves: I did it… and ‘I’m sorry’
Serial rapist says he’s sorry
Remorseful airman admits murder, rapes
Admitted serial rapist now will face a charge of murder
USAF content with civilian prosecution of Graves
Serial rapist pleads guilty in Colorado
Graves Pleads Guilty In Philadelphia Rapes, Murder
Victims speak out; Graves gets life
Colorado: Life Sentence For Airman
Airman gets life sentence in string of sexual assaults
A baffling case: The women who loved Troy Graves
The story of Shannon Schieber
Why two mothers back death penalty repeal
A Place of Peace | Bethesda Magazine
Death Penalty Vs. Life: An Issue Of Closure Vs. Peace
Victim’s family moves “from pain to peace”
Investigating rape in Philadelphia: how one city’s crisis stands to help others
Woman advocates repeal of death penalty as part of unconditional pro-life policy
What are Fort Collins’ most infamous moments?
Rape is Rape, Isn’t It? | ProPublica
Rape is Rape, Isn’t It? | The Marshall Project
The Annual Ritual Shaping How the Philadelphia Police Department Handles Rape, Abuse Cases
How one woman changed the way Philly police handle rape
Why is the death penalty discussed in religious terms?
How do you fix a broken system? One U.S. city offers a model for handling sex-assault cases
How a Business Student’s Dying Cries of ‘Help Me’ Eventually Led to a Serial Rapist
Death penalty: Parents of murder victim oppose killer’s execution
Mom of Wharton Student Found Raped, Murdered in 1998 Still Wonders: ‘How Could Somebody Do That?’
Troy Graves | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers
People Magazine Investigates Premiered ‘Terror in Philadelphia’ on ID: University Student Shannon Schieber Found Raped & Murdered (November 12, 2018)
Terror in Philadelphia | People Magazine Investigates | Investigation Discovery (S3, E2)
Terror in Philadelphia | People Magazine Investigates | Investigation Discovery (website)
Terror in Philadelphia | People Magazine Investigates | Investigation Discovery (Prime Video)
All Charged Up | Forensic Files | FilmRise