ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — An Altoona man who allegedly killed his neighbor and stabbed two inmates at the Blair County Prison has reportedly claimed he killed other people in the past.
According to Blair County District Attorney Pete Weeks, 51-year-old Raymond Oechsle Jr. said he committed other murders. Weeks explained the claims involve multiple places and said his office has worked with a detective from the Philadelphia Police Department who came to Blair County.
“We are aware that he has made claims to being involved or committing additional murders in the past,” Weeks said. “We have consulted with the appropriate jurisdictions relative to his claims and have passed the information on to them and are working with those jurisdictions.”
A source provided a letter to WTAJ claiming it was written by Oechsle while in prison. In the letter, it alleges that Oechsle admits to being the Frankford Slasher, the suspect in serial killings that occurred in a Frankford neighborhood in Philadelphia during the 1980s.
Oechsle’s alleged letter describes a homicide case in which he’s charged with killing Christopher Helsel, 42, in April and living with his body for three days. Oechsle was arrested after Altoona police discovered Helsel’s body inside Oechsle’s apartment, according to a criminal complaint.
Oechsle is being held in prison without bail for his charges. On Thursday, Oct. 19, Weeks said Oechsle stabbed two fellow inmates. Authorities have not shared the identities of the victims or how they are doing at this time.
Oechsle’s Attorney Robert Donaldson said Oechsle has been in isolation since he was arrested in April and was recently released to one of the blocks at the prison.
“Recently and unbeknownst to me, he’s been released to some sort of block in the prison. So he’s been released from isolation into this block, which is where the alleged charges emanated from,” Donaldson said.
The attorney added he has not spoken with his client since the alleged stabbing but was surprised to learn that he was released from isolation.
“He was uncomfortable in that situation. It’s not a good place to be, but he’s doing the best he could under the circumstances,” Donaldson said.
No charges have been filed at this time but the stabbing is raising a few questions about security at the prison for both employees and inmates. Weeks said there are a number of concerns regarding security and the recent stabbing incident.
“I think it’s incumbent upon everybody on the prison board, for all of us to look at this incident and determine how we can move forward providing better security,” Weeks said.
The district attorney said he’s working with Hollidaysburg Borough police on an investigation into the incident. Blair County Prison Warden Abbie Tate did not provide a comment on the situation.