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"I was all by myself in my apartment and my world was crumbling that summer," he recalled."I would get the newspapers and read them to learn things." Circle of Friends Valaitis was keenly aware of last week's anniversary.Vincent Valaitis was then "a young 27 or 28," he recalled, when he was caught up in the scandal. I'd never known any bad people," he told me last week, in the first detailed media interview he has given about the case.We talked for two hours, and could easily have talked longer.
He'd been a guest in her home and had bought Michael a baseball shirt.He was especially close to fellow English teacher William Sidney Bradfield Jr., who was eventually convicted of the Reinert murders even though the children's bodies were never found. Valaitis said he agonized over inconsistencies in his friend Bradfield's story and tried to get him to talk to police.The Main Line Murders, as they became known, were the first homicides I covered. I was naïve and trusting, but the all-consuming police investigation during the summer of 1979 would tarnish my rosy world view and launch my life as a crime reporter.It also changed the sheltered life of one of Reinert's fellow English teachers.
"I don't think a day has gone by when I don't think about Susan Reinert and her children," he said.
"They are frozen in time." Valaitis was friendly with Reinert and the circle of high school English teachers at the center of the case.