Feb. 11, 1933 Downingtown Chester County Pennsylvania, USA
Jan. 16, 1998 Graterford Montgomery County Pennsylvania, USA
William S. Bradfield, a former Upper Merion high school school teacher, was a convicted murderer of his fellow school teacher Susan Reinert and her children Karen, 11 and Michael 10 in 1979.
Bradfield was serving a life term in prison, six on death row for the murder of Mrs. Reinert and her children at Graterford State Prison in Collegeville, a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Bradfield's lifeless body was discovered by two officers at 4 p.m. during a routine inmate count. His body was taken to Suburban General Hospital in Norristown after attempts to resuscitate him in his cell and later at the prison infirmary. He was pronounced dead of cardiac arrest at 5:05 p.m.
Mrs. Reinert's body was found in the trunk of a car in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Her children's bodies were never found.
The highly publicized murders made national headlines and sparked a best-selling novel by Joe McGinness and a television movie, and also a book by Joseph Wambaugh called "Echoes in the Darkness" published in 1987.
Jay C. Smith, the principal of the Upper Merion school, was also convicted of conspiring with Bradfield to kill Mrs. Reinert and her children to collect $750,00 in life insurance proceeds.