Harvey Miguel Robinson

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Harvey Miguel Robinson
Born December 6, 1974
Criminal penalty
Capital punishment
Victims 3
Span of killings
Country USA
State(s) Pennsylvania
Date apprehended

Harvey M. Robinson (born December 6, 1974) is an American serial killer who is a prisoner on death row in Pennsylvania. He is one of the youngest serial killers in American history. He was 18 years old when he was apprehended for his crimes. He is also the first serial killer in the history of Allentown, Pennsylvania.[1]


Over a period of two to three years, Robinson raped and killed three women in or near Allentown, Pennsylvania. Police suspect his involvement in several other attacks, possibly totaling 6 victims. He was linked to the three murders by DNA evidence and convicted in November 1994. Initially sentenced to death in all three murder cases, upon review, the death sentence in his first killing was later amended to life in prison due to his age at the time of the crime.

The murdered victims were:[2]

  • Joan Burghardt, a 29-year-old nurse's aide (August 1992)
  • Charlotte Schmoyer, a 15-year-old newspaper carrier (June 1993)
  • Jessica Jean Fortney, a 47-year-old grandmother (July 1993)

He raped and brutalized a fourth victim, Denise Sam-Cali, but she escaped. Robinson returned to her home several nights later and attempted to break in. A police officer was posted at the home, and when Robinson attempted to break in again the officer called out for him to halt. Robinson and the police officer exchanged gunfire and Robinson was injured by the glass of a window he smashed through while escaping the scene. He was then tracked to a local hospital, and was arrested.

Robinson also had a fifth victim, who was only 5 years old when Robinson broke into her house. He intended to rape (and possibly kill) the child's mother, but changed his mind when he saw her in bed with a boyfriend. Instead, Harvey crept into a room shared by the 5 year old and her younger sister. There, he raped the 5 year old, choked her, and left her for dead. It is believed[by whom?] that Harvey had stalked the mother for several days beforehand, as he did his other victims. The fifth victim was not in the room with a younger sister. She was sleeping alone.

Harvey was suspected[by whom?] of attempting to kill yet another girl, Leslie Gerhart, in 1990. She was 13 and had a friend staying over for the evening when an intruder removed the screen from the bedroom window and began beating her with a brick. He was scared off when the friend began screaming. Leslie escaped with a fractured skull and shattered hand. He was suspected of stalking via telephone and in person for weeks prior to the attack. The two attended elementary school together and Leslie is believed to have been Harvey's first victim, although Harvey has never been charged with the attempted murder.


Robinson was sentenced to death for his crimes. As of April 2006, his execution had been stayed. He was later resentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Joan Burghardt because he was 17 when the crime was committed.[3] As of 2010 Robinson was to face another jury to decide the penalty for Charlotte Schmoyer.[2] Since his incarceration, Robinson has converted to Islam.[4]

In the media[edit]

The story of Robinson's crime spree was depicted in the 1996 film titled No One Could Protect Her, with Joanna Kerns playing the part of victim Denise Sam-Cali.[5]


  1. ^ Sheehan, Daniel Patrick (15 February 2006). "Victim, kin of dead keep killer in past". The Morning Call(Allentown, Pennsylvania). 
  2. ^ a b Warner, Frank (6 April 2010). "Convicted killer granted delay in retrial". The Morning Call(Allentown, Pennsylvania). 
  3. ^ Garlicki, Debbie (26 April 2006). "Robinson resentenced for murder". The Morning Call(Allentown, Pennsylvania). 
  4. ^ http://murderpedia.org/male.R/r/robinson-harvey-photos.htm
  5. ^ Internet Movie Database listing for No One Could Protect Her

Further reading[edit]

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