A career criminal is wanted for murdering a Pennsylvania police chief.
Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, is a community in the truest sense of the word. Everyone knows everyone else and crime is virtually non-existent. But on December 4, 1980, 16-year-old Tiger Freehling heard gunshots and the sounds of a fierce struggle outside. Midge Freehling recalled how her panicked son ran down from his bedroom:
Midge was horrified to discover her friend, Saxonburg police Chief Greg Adams, covered in blood:
Within three minutes, paramedics arrived. Adams was rushed to the hospital. He had been shot twice and beaten severely. 31-year-old Greg Adams left behind a wife, two young children, and a grieving community. Within hours, the State Police had arrived at the murder site and soon made an important discovery. Greg appeared to have been shot in the middle of a routine traffic stop. According to Corporal Danny McKnight of the Pennsylvania State Police, a driver’s license had been left at the scene:
Police immediately traced Portas’ whereabouts to a cemetery in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. According to Corporal Danny McKnight, he had been dead for 32 years:
Donald Eugene Webb was already a familiar name to law enforcement. He was a member of the “Fall River Gang,” a group that robbed stores and homes up and down the Eastern seaboard. Police believe that the day before the shooting, Donald Webb and an accomplice had visited a Saxonburg jewelry store. According to Corporal McKnight, Webb asked to see some rings:
The next day, Greg Adams was working his final shift before taking his annual vacation. At approximately 1:45 PM, he left the station. For Gordon Meinhardt and the rest of the Saxonburg Police Department, it would be their colleague’s final patrol:
Most police officers are trained to approach a traffic stop from the rear. However, due to the positioning of the cars, Greg Adams could not make that type of stop. Adams had to approach that vehicle from the front. According to Corporal McKnight, Adams was in a bad position:
On December 8, 1980, Greg Adams was laid to rest in a funeral attended by fellow officers from all over the state. The town of Saxonburg has erected a monument to commemorate Greg’s life. On this monument, a grateful town has inscribed a “thank you” to a man who gave his life protecting their community.
UPDATE: The remains of Donald Eugene Webb have been found on the property of Webb’s ex-wife, Lillian Webb. Investigators believe he died approximately 17 years ago. We will bring you more information at a later date.