Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Sunday, December 27, 2015


"The honor bestowed by Pope Benedict XVI on Sister Sara Salkahazi for risking and eventually giving her life to save Jews in peril is an important statement by the church. It is unfortunate that there were not more individuals like Sister Sara, but her example must be held up to demonstrate how lives can be saved when good people take action to confront evil."
- Abraham Foxman

Unit 1012 will honor and always remember Sister Sára Salkaházi, every year on December 27, as she was executed on that date in 1944. We do not remember her only on her feast day but also on her beatification day on September 17, 2006. We will remember and honor her for saving the lives of approximately 100 Jews during World War II and she rightfully deserves to be recognized by the State of Israel as Righteous among the Nations

Sister Sara Salkahazi, beatified for sheltering Jews during the holocaust. Caught and shot on December 27, 1944 by the Fascist Arrow Cross Party members.


Family finds no justice in death penalty moratorium

Pull quote: "...my sister and niece didn't get an appeal. They didn't have their choice to live or die."

By Becky Metrick
bmetrick@publicopinionnews.com @BeckyMetrickPO on Twitter

Dixie Fredrick, left, holds a photo of her sister, Carla Reid, while her mother Barbara Gardner holds a school photo of Diedra Moore. Ried and Moore were fatally shot Dec. 27, 1996 while sleeping in their Sollenberger Road home. Albert Reid was convicted and sentenced to death for the murders in 1998. (Becky Metrick — Public Opinion)
CHAMBERSBURG >> A little girl sleeping next to her older sister woke up the morning of Dec. 27, 1996, with blood covering her dress. She went to the living room to tell her three older brothers that she couldn't wake up their sister, and they sought out their mom. When they could not wake up their mother and discovered the phones would not work, a high school age boy walked to his neighbor's house asking to call 911.

This is how Dixie Fredrick describes the discovery of her sister and her niece's bodies in their Sollenberger Road home. Fredrick said the two had been shot "execution style" in their sleep.

Albert Reid, 66, formerly of Waynesburg, was convicted two years later for murdering his estranged wife, Carla Reid, and step-daughter Diedra Moore. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection in 1998, and has been undergoing the appeal process every since.
These are photos family members keep of Carla Reid and Diedra Moore, who were both murdered in 1996. The school photo of Moore was taken a few years prior to her murder. (Becky Metrick — Public Opinion)

"He did it in front of the other children, and they had to wake up to that," Fredrick said. "And that is something they will never forget."

When Governor Tom Wolf announced his moratorium on Feb. 14, Fredrick's frustration hit a new high. Eight years after her sister's murder, Fredrick's family has not had the justice they feel they were promised by a death penalty conviction.

"It's hard, we still miss them. We miss them a lot," Fredrick said. Fredrick described years of abuse between Reid and Carla Reid during their six-seven year old relationship. Reid had protection from abuse orders filed against him, but Fredrick said he would find ways to get to her. 

Those methods would include sugar in the gas tank, finding her in public places and attacking her. Fredrick said Reid made her sister live in fear.

Reid was also accused of molesting Moore and was scheduled to have a hearing on the child molestation charges weeks after Carla Reid and Moore were killed.

Fredrick struggled to understand why someone like Reid should be allowed to live, even if it is in a maximum prison jail cell 23 out of 24 hours a day.

"While he's in there, he has access to take law books in there, he can do what he wants to do, and that's what kinda upsets me," Fredrick said. Fredrick said she's upset that she sees veterans and other people losing their homes, when Reid can have "Free medical, free housing, free food, access to whatever they have."

Fredrick said she understands the purpose of the moratorium. She said she understands that there is new technology that may be able to exonerate people on death row.

"But at the same point, my sister and niece didn't get an appeal," Fredrick said. "They didn't have their choice to live or die. And it was very heartbreaking."

Fredrick has thought about ways to streamline the death row process to make it more efficient. She knows she doesn't understand the process fully, but she did get an associate's degree in law to help her understand what was going on with her sister's killer.

Fredrick said she felt Franklin County did a really good job of prosecuting Reid and getting the conviction.

"Now it's just the state, they need to step up and do what they need to do," Fredrick said. "Because there's so many people that are still grieving this, because we don't have closure."
Franklin County District Attorney Matthew Fogal also believes the death penalty law isn't being used.

"I understand the frustration of people on the timeliness of the death penalty and the lack of follow through," Fogal said.

For him, the biggest issue with Wolf's moratorium is on a technical level. He said the term "moratorium" has no legal relevance, which makes the whole issue confusing. He said Wolf could do a reprieve on a case by case basis.

"But I don't believe the idea of a broad moratorium is appropriate," Fogal said. "Certainly if the people want (the death penalty law) to change, then that's the job of the general assembly to change or amend it. Until then, we obviously need to follow the law."

Fredrick questioned why they would use a death penalty sentence if they weren't going to follow through.

"They've got this in the law, death penalty by lethal injection, and they need to do it," Fredrick said. When questioned about the ideas that the death penalty is inhuman, Fredrick said she believes these people caused inhuman suffering with their actions. Fredrick firmly believes she will not feel justice is served until Reid is dead.

"You never get over it, but I think, and I know for a fact that my sister would have never ever forgave him," Fredrick said.

'That's what bothers us the most, that we actually have to look at him getting away with whatever he thinks he's getting away with, "Fredrick said, believing that as long as he is alive in jail he is getting away with her sister's murder. "He could spend 24 hours a day in his little cell instead of 23, and it would still, to me, not be enough. It would not be enough."

Carla Reid's step-mother, Fredrick's mother Barbara Gardner, said she hopes to be alive to see Reid die. She said at 79-years-old, she's beginning to worry it might not happen.

Fredrick said "I don't know what I might sound like, but I want to see him. I want to sit behind that window and see him actually..."

"Take his last breath," Gardner finished for her. 

"Then I will have closure that he has been taken care of," Fredrick said. "And I know he's not going to be in the same place my sister is."

So far, Gov. Wolf has not given a timetable for how long the moratorium will stay in place. Until then, and until Reid's appeals come to an end, Fredrick and her family will live in fear that they'll never have justice.

"I understand giving people an appeal, maybe even two. Things can happen in the courtroom," Fredrick said. "We had a pretty strong case or he wouldn't be where he is... But this has been years and how long are the taxpayers going waste their money when they could just get it over with and be done and all the friends and family could have closure."

Staff writer Becky Metrick can be reached at (717) 262-4762