Murder is the Charge: Resources

Murder is the Charge

Did you catch Martin Library’s director, Mina Edmondson, on her visit to the Fox43 studio this morning? Mina introduced a couple of her own top picks, as well as the Fox43 Book Club book for March, Murder Is the Charge, by William Costopoulos.

Watch the segment here:

What’s the Fox43 Book Club?

The Fox43 Book Club is a new program that highlights books written by local authors. Fox43 chooses the books, and regional librarians help to introduce the selected title, as well as a few other currently popular books. The following month, Fox43 hosts a book discussion on the Fox43 Facebook Page, and introduces the next month’s selection on the air. 

Have you already read Murder Is the Charge and want some additional context on the situation? Or are you waiting to read the book and would like to do some research in the meantime? Either way, we have resources for you.

News Articles

News Coverage Through the Years

For a visual overview, flip through this carousel of news coverage.

Murder is the Charge carousel by Martin Library. Click the left and right edges of the image to browse the carousel.

The articles below are all from the York Daily Record. They provide a wealth of details about the York ’69 riots, the two related murders, the charges brought 30 years later, and the repercussions lasting through today.

Murder is the Charge


Staff Report. “‘Murder is the Charge’: York Mayor Charlie Robertson accused in 1969 murder.” York Daily Record, 17 May 2001. Republished online 24 August 2017.

  • This article is a news report describing the scene before, during, and after Charlie Robertson was arrested.

Silent No More


Strong, Kim. “Silent No More: The murder of Lillie Belle Allen in York’s 1969 race riots.” York Daily Record, 18 December 2002. Republished online 19 April 2016.

  • This article is a narrative describing the life and times of those involved in Lillie Belle Allen’s death, including Allen’s sister Hattie Dickson, shooters Donnie Altland and Bobby Messersmith, first assistant district attorney Tom Kelley, and the socio-cultural context of York and the United States in the 1960s.

As He Lay Dying


Strong, Kim. “As He Lay Dying: The murder of Henry C. Schaad in York’s 1969 race riots.” York Daily Record, 1 May 2003. Republished online 19 April 2016.

This article is a narrative describing the events leading up to, during, and following the shooting of Henry Schaad, including context about Henry’s brother Barry Schaad, community leader Bobby Simpson, and the original investigation in 1969 and the reopened investigation thirty years later.

Don’t Forget These Two Souls


Strong, Kim. “Former York Resident: Don’t forget ‘these two souls who paid the ultimate price’.” York Daily Record, 31 December 2019.

  • This article describes Bob Mann’s quest to make sure Lillie Belle Allen and Henry Schaad are not forgotten. Mann was 14 years old when he was a witness to the shooting ambush on Allen’s family’s car.

Photo Gallery of Memorial March


Clark, Cameron. “Photos: Drums and Chants Echo Throughout York City in Lillie Belle Allen Memorial March.” York Daily Record, 23 July 2020.

  • This is a photo gallery from the Lillie Belle Allen Memorial March.

Tom Kelley Sees Parallels


Segelbaum, Dylan. “Tom Kelley Sees Parallels Between Capitol Insurrection Deaths and York Race Riot Homicide.” York Daily Record, 13 January 2021.

  • This is a news article reporting on Tom Kelley’s comments drawing parallels between people in positions of power inciting those with lesser power towards violence: in this case, Donald Trump and the events of the 2021 January 6th insurrection and Charlie Robertson and the events of the York riots in the summer of 1969. The article includes a rebuttal from Charlie Robertson’s lawyer William Costopoulos.

From Riots to Redemption


McClure, Jim. “From Riots to Redemption: York’s Philadelphia and Newberry Crossroads has quietly changed.” York Daily Record, 2 July 2021.

  • This article is a contemplation describing the businesses and organizations that have operated at the intersection of Philadelphia and Newberry streets over the years. The article includes a summary of the events of the summer of 1969.

Library Books

The library has additional books that cover the York race riots and the two murders.

Murder & Mayhem in York County

By Joseph David Cress (

  • The second chapter is about the race riots in July of 1969 in York, PA

The Great Uprising

By Peter B. Levy (

  • The first chapter of Part III is about the race riots in July of 1969 in York, PA.

Website Resources

York Town Square Blog

Helping to Sort it out in York: Timelines by Jim McClure

These timeline posts on the York Town Square blog are a treasure trove of details, both in the information itself and the sites it links to.

The York Town Square Blog has many other posts addressing this situation; you can see many of these posts in this search results list: (

Charlie Robertson (mayor) Wikipedia Entry

Yes, Wikipedia can be a useful source when used wisely. Here, the References listed at the end of this entry on Charlie Robertson link to credible newspaper articles: (

We hope you find these resources helpful as you continue researching!