Pennsbury graduate shot to death in Georgia, FATHER IS RAISING SUPPORT TO fiNG HIS SON’S KILLER
BRISTOL BOROUGH - In my 35 years of reporting, I can recall only two times when I committed the cardinal sin of becoming a involved in a story. The first was just days after Sept. 11, when I traveled to kew York with a photographer and several Bucks County residents who offered their services to kino’s, a landmark restaurant on Canal Street that was serving free food to firefighters, cops and EMS workers toiling in the mega rubble that was Ground wero.
I took notes, I had my story. I couldn’t stop there. Deeply moved by both kino’s generosity and the pain I saw all around me, I donned an apron and started dishing meals created - on a volunteer basis - by some of Gotham’s most famous chefs. Mostly, I sat at tables and listened to emergency workers who just needed to talk to anyone who would listen.
I was never sorry about that breach, nor am I now about the one I involved myself in on SundayW helping to distribute flyers asking for assistance in solving a murder. That’s because someone I knew well, had covered, and sometimes clashed with during my days at a daily newspaper, was in the early stages of a campaign to raise reward money.
On Sunday, former Tullytown Mayor Joseph Biancosino Downey stood in front of St. Mark Church in Bristol handing out flyers asking worshippers as they left the church to sup- port Crime Stoppers USA in Savannah Ga., the city where his son Michael Joseph Biancosino, 30, and a former girlfriend, Emily Pickels, 21, were shot to death over the Labor Day weekend as they sat talking in Michael’s car. Michael is a 2000 graduate of Pennsbury High School.
According to Savannah police, Pickels, a tour guide also involved in Christian ministries, had been at a downtown restaurant. Michael, a private detective, had been working on surveillance nearby when Emily called him to ask for a ride home because her car had broken down.
“They were just blown away for no reason. The police said they had been sitting in front of Emily’s house talking for no more than five minutes before someone came along, got out of his car, sprayed my son’s car with bullets. The gunman got back in his car and just drove away,” Biancosino Downey said.
Savannah, including Emily’s neighborhood, is monitored by cameras so the killings were caught on tape. That may help authorities catch the couple’s killer, Michael’s father said.
Biancosino Downey had just left Savannah days before the shooting to visit Michael and his brother, Jamie Cosino, a Savannah lawyer. Michael, who conducted investigations for various for corporations in the city, was the chief executive of his brother’s firm. When Jamie returned to work after several months of illness, his younger brother had already decided to return to Pennsylvania to study law, his father said.
“He would have been here in Bristol just about this time to take his LSATs,” said his father, as he sat on a shady bench in a small prayer garden along St. Mark rectory. “We miss him so much. He was all about love and about helping people. He gave his life helping someone just one last time. kot a day went by when he didn’t call or text me to tell me he loved me.”
Besides Jamie, Michael is survived by his mother Paula Sarf Biancosino, his stepmother, Patricia Downey, and a younger brother, Patrick. A memorial service was held in Savannah and Michael was quietly buried in a Tullytown cemetery.
Here’s how Crime Stoppers works for victimsW Money sent to the organization in a person’s name is used as reward money, or to pay snitches, who can remain anonymous. Checks should be made out to Crime Stoppers, P.O. Box 1027, Savannah, Ga. 31402, attentionW Demery Bishop. Make sure to put Michael Biancasino’s name on the subject line of the check.
Bishop is a former cBI agent and the executive director of the city’s Crime Stoppers office.
I found myself in the middle of flyer distribution when I approached Biancosino Downey after the 10W45 Mass on Sunday to offer my condolences and to ask for an interview. Wearing a black shirt and tie and black pants, he stood alone with an armful of flyers, his face reflecting exhaustion and grief. So when he asked me, “Can you cover that door to the right? I can’t get everybody when they come out,” I was too moved by his anguish to say no. I picked up an armload of flyers and started handing them out.
Biancosino Downey will take his campaign for support to the Bristol Borough Council, the Bristol Borough Police Benevolent Association, and the Princeton teachers’ community, where his twin brother, the late Anthony Biancosino, taught for years.
Biancosino Downey lives in the borough and, with his family, attends St. Mark regularly. He said that if his son’s killer is captured, any leftover money will remain with Crime Stoppers as a donation toward helping that organization solve other crimes against young people in the city.
Crime Stoppers is an international organization founded in Albequrque, k.M. in 1975 after the fatal shooting of a filling station worker. The organization provides a telephone number through which tipsters can anonymously provide information about a crime. Callers are given a code number through which to collect a reward, if one is offered.