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Biker magazine ‘fiction’ helps police solve 1972 fatal shooting of Long Island man in Pennsylvania


Larry Via, already serving life in prison, has been charged with another murder. (AP)

Authorities say biker magazine "fiction" has helped solve the 1972 shooting death of a Long Island man found along the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Convicted murderer Larry Via, already serving life in prison, was charged with criminal homicide and robbery in connection with the slaying of Bay Shore resident Morgan Peters, cops said Friday.


A woman who was with Via at the time told investigators two years ago that he told her to pull her vehicle over while they were driving on the turnpike toward Cleveland. Charmaine Phillips said Via got out after a vehicle stopped behind them, according to a police affidavit obtained by The Associated Press.

“She said that Via was gone for a few minutes and that when he came back to her vehicle, he said, ‘We gotta go!’” cops wrote. “When asked if she heard a gunshot, Phillips said that she did not.”

Phillips had previously told police that they had a “ruse” they would use to get people to pull over. She said the tactic had been used more than once.

Investigators believe he wrote short stories and poems for Easy Rider and Outlaw Biker magazines using the pseudonym “Jody Via” going back to the 1980s. “Dangerous Dave,” published in Outlaw Biker in 1985, was about a hitchhiking woman who tricked a man into stopping before he is surprised by a gunman.

“As the driver approached on foot, a ‘cold’ voice from behind a tree told the man to stop and not ‘move a muscle,’” a court affidavit said. “'Dangerous Dave’ then describes the shooter approaching the man and ‘ready to shoot.’”

The story “Payback in Full” included details similar to the shooting of gas station owner Harvey Hoffman in Ohio, while “Moonlit Ride” parallels the murder of Jane Maguire in Ohio, according to police. Via, now 75, was arrested in 1972 for those two deaths and is serving a life term in the Marion Correctional Institute in Ohio for killing Maguire.

Peters was 29. The married dad had been in Pennsylvania on a work trip.

With News Wire Services