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Fatal Soap Opera
April 22, 2009 permalink
Investigation by the press following a murder-suicide in Philadelphia reveals the soap-opera lives of professional child protectors. Angela, who worked for the Department of Human Services (DHS) was a single mother of three children. When her daughter Callie was four years old, Angela fell in love with a DHS supervisor, Aleem. While they were conducting their secret affair, Aleem married the Director of Performance Management for DHS, Kimberly, who was aware of Aleem's love for Angela. Angela left DHS to go to work for a judge, but continued to see Aleem. Aleem fathered a baby with Kimberly, who hoped that their marriage would work out in spite of Aleem's love for Angela. A rendezvous between Angela and Aleem went bad and police were called, but by the time they arrived at Angela's, Aleem was gone. Angela did not ask for a restraining order, though in her days at DHS she surely would have made her clients do so. Yesterday Aleem killed Angela, then killed himself as well. They sure set a good example for the rest of us.
Posted on Wed, Apr. 22, 2009
Woman slain in front of daughter, shattering lives, 2 families
By CHRISTINE OLLEY & DAVID GAMBACORTA, Philadelphia Daily News, firstname.lastname@example.org 215-854-5184
THERE WAS nothing that Callie Jefferys could do but howl in horror yesterday morning when her mother fell bullet-riddled and lifeless in the front of their Chevy Impala.
Moments later, Aleem Ali — Angela Jefferys' killer and longtime lover — fatally shot himself next to the blood-stained car on Sterling Street near Andrews Avenue, in West Oak Lane, police said.
The gruesome scene served as the tragic end to an affair that Ali and Jefferys maintained even after Ali married another woman, investigators said.
All three members of the tragic love triangle are city employees who worked, at one time or another, for the Department of Human Services.
"All of these families need our prayers and support," Mayor Nutter said at a news conference where he called on reporters to be mindful of Jefferys' traumatized 11-year-old daughter.
Homicide Capt. James Clark said that the carnage unfolded at about 7:30 a.m., when Jefferys and her daughter left their home on Sterling Street and got into the Impala.
Jefferys, who had worked as a court clerk in Courtroom 1103 at the Criminal Justice Center after she transferred from DHS in 2006, was about to take her daughter to school.
She hadn't even started her car when Ali, a DHS supervisor, approached the car and started blasting away, Clark said.
Though Jefferys, 34, was struck several times by the torrent of bullets, her daughter was not injured, Clark said. Jefferys and Ali were both pronounced dead at the scene.
Clark said that Jefferys and Ali had a "domestic relationship" that was apparently troubled.
Police were called to Jefferys' home last week because of some sort of dispute between her and Ali. By the time cops arrived, Ali was gone, Clark said.
"She didn't take out a restraining order or anything like that," Clark said. He added that it was unclear what had triggered the murder-suicide.
A DHS co-worker who knew both Jefferys and Ali said that they had been romantically involved for the last seven years and were often spotted by other co-workers while they dined at the Olive Garden or shopped at Wal-Mart.
"Even though people knew, they would deny it," said the co-worker, who asked to remain anonymous. "Nobody can really describe their relationship because it was a secret."
The relationship continued even after Ali married Kimberly Ali, who was recently promoted to the Director of Performance Management for DHS, investigators said. The couple have an 18-month-old baby.
Kimberly Ali was "well aware" of her husband's dalliances with Jefferys but refused to give up on her marriage, the co-worker said.
"She [Kimberly] is a nice person," the co-worker added. "I think he was a rotten apple who ruined these young ladies' young lives."
Relatives of Ali, of Ross Street near Washington Lane, declined to comment when reached by a reporter yesterday.
Friends and relatives of Jefferys, meanwhile, spoke extensively about her funny personality and her perseverance as a single mother of three.
Common Pleas Judge Rose Marie DeFino-Nastasi, who sits in Courtroom 1103, described Jefferys as "beautiful, happy and upbeat."
"Every single day, she would joke with [ME]," the judge said. "She really had a great sense of humor. We're all very sad."
Common Pleas President Judge Pamela Pryor Dembe, who previously had sat in that courtroom, said of Jefferys: "She was very sweet, very hard-working, rather a shy person, but she had a sunny personality. She was very devoted to her child."
Dembe said that as a court clerk in room 1103 — a pretrial room where motions are heard — Jefferys was the person who had "to keep track of all the things the judge orders," keeping on top of the paperwork and computer entries.
Neighbors and relatives in Jefferys' West Oak Lane neighborhood were burdened by their grief.
"I just had to keep hugging her daughter because she's traumatized and really in shock right now, losing her mother this way," said Gwen Jefferys, Angela's aunt.
"It's just sad," said Daneea Johnson, 27, who grew up across the street from Jeffreys but had recently moved. "I can't even really put it into words right now." *
Staff writers Julie Shaw and Regina Medina contributed to this report.
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer