(This is the first article in the Lancaster Newspapers.It was published on May 1, 1981.It began on the front page with a one-by-two inch photo of Henderson.It continued to an inside page with a 5-by-6-1/2 inch photograph.The photograph is of the Miller Junk Yard and shows the crane hook over a large pile of trash and tires.This was a full size crane with a very large hook.The caption under the photograph reads:Detective Ralph B. McComsey Jr., right, examines the site where an attempt was made early today to impale a 37-year-old county man on a crane hook, shown in photo.The victim, Leslie L. Henderson, Quarryville R3, was found critically hurt, impaled on a length of pipe projecting from a fuel oil tank, less than a block away on Mill Street.)
Claims Three Men Attacked Him
Man Assaulted in City,
Impaled on Oil Drum Pipe
By JIM G. BALDWIN
New Era Staff Writer
A 37-year-old man with a lengthy criminal record, including bank robbery, was found calling for help early this morning, his partially clad body impaled on the vent pipe of a fuel oil tank.
The man, who gave the name of Leslie L. Henderson to police, was reported in critical condition at St. JosephHospital this morning, an apparent victim of attempted murder.
Police have since identified the victim, however, as Robert Leslie Henderson, a man listed in their files.
According to Officer James R. Zahm, the battered man was found around today in the unpaved lot at the north side of the H. E. Martin & Son auto body paint shop, on Mill Street, between Hazel and Conestoga Streets.
When he arrived, Zahm said, the victim still was atop the 100 gallon oil drum, his body impaled on a seven-inch length of three-inch-round pipe.
The man was rushed to St. JosephHospital, where he was taken into emergency surgery in critical condition.
Late this morning a hospital spokesperson said attempts were being made to locate members of the mans family, and that he still was in surgery.
Capt. Luther Henry, detective division commander, and several detectives were summoned to investigate what Henry said appears to have been an attempted murder.
Henderson, he said, gave an account of what happened.Some aspects of the account itself, however, are being investigated.Police do not as yet have independent confirmation of the full account.
The victim told police he was walking on S. Prince Street toward the Wonder Bar, which closes at He did not say what time the incident occurred.
According to Hendersons account, a van, thought to have Maryland plates, pulled up beside him, and he was forced to enter the van at pistol point, Henry said.
The victim said the van was occupied by three males, all armed.
The victim said he was driven to the Miller Junk Yard, on the south side of Conestoga Street, just east of Mill Street.
There he said his clothes were partially removed.An attempt was made to impale and hang him on the greased hook of a crane in the junkyard.
The victim said he struggled and escaped.When he was caught, he was taken to the location near the paint shop, about a half-block away, where he was impaled.
Evidence found at the two locations junkyard and paint shop lot - confirm part of what happened.Police are also looking into others items of evidence they said was found at the scenes.
Newspaper files show that Robert Henderson, in March, 1967, was sentenced to a state prison term of 5 to 10 years after his conviction on two counts of burglary and three of theft committed about three months earlier.
In 1971, he pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of bank robbery in connection with the June 1970 holdup in which only a bag of worthless food stamps were taken from the Fulton Bank at Duke and Chesapeake Streets.
He last was arrested locally in August, 1978 for forgery in an attempt to pass a stolen check and for possession of stolen money orders according to newspaper files.