This is a follow-up page to one that I wrote on November 6 in which I describe the murder of a cat-loving man whose name is Albert Chernoff. At the time it had been thought that he’d been killed by an escort. Police have now arrested a 14-year-old female who allegedly killed him with a nail-studded two-by-four piece of wood. The murder was brutal. It happened in the middle of the night.
The girl has been charged because her exploits inside Chernoff’s home were recorded on his security camera. She gave herself up it appears on the advice of her family and lawyer. She turned herself into police accompanied by her mother on November 8 after family members saw the security camera video as reported by CNN.
Apparently, she is clearly the person in the video. The girl is seen wearing red sweatpants, a black jacket and a pink top walking through the living room and into the kitchen. She washed her hands and looked inside the fridge and freezer before leaving the home.
Police were called to Chernoff’s home by a neighbour who asked for them to check because he “heard a racket”. He heard noises in the middle of the night as if Chernoff was building something. The neighbour went outside and saw Chernoff’s car which was parked in an unusual spot in the driveway. On looking inside he saw that it had been ransacked.
The girl’s name has been withheld because of her age. The authorities are unsure about her status as a defendant. They are not sure whether to treat her as an adult or a child.
Chernoff was a war veteran and apparently he was well liked in the neighbourhood perhaps partly because he was an animal lover (with 11 cats in his home). The cats were seen in the video as the girl wandered through his home. Chernoff was employed as a building maintenance supervisor at the Philadelphia International Airport. He appeared not to have had a criminal record.
Animal welfare advocates in Philadelphia are stunned by his death. As mentioned, he was well known amongst animal welfare advocates. Blake Martin of Philadelphia’s animal care and control team said, “If you help animals in Philadelphia, you’ve met Al”.
The victim was known for building shelters for feral and stray cats in the city. He founded a one-man rescue group, Alleycat Animal Rescue. He was a very generous person we are told. The Facebook page of “The Cat Rescuers,” a documentary about cat rescue in New York City, described Chernoff as “one of many amazing rescuers” filmmakers encountered during filming.
We have learned today of the tragic and untimely passing of Al Chernoff, one of many amazing rescuers we met during the course of filming. He wasn't one of the main four we were following, but we were so taken by his warmth and affability when we encountered him at a TNR workshop that we just knew we had to put him in our film.We wanted to share with you the very short scene of our film in which he appears. In every single screening, without fail, audiences have positively delighted when he graced the screen. We could feel the energy change in the room to one of lightness and wonder, and for that, as well as his unwavering commitment to saving cats, we thank him.Al got back in touch with us during the theatrical release of the film and was so generous with his time, eager to support the film in whatever way he could, clearly thrilled he made the final cut.The world is just a little bit colder today without this wonderful human being. Please take a moment to tell the cat rescuers in your life what they mean to you. We will never forget you, Al.We lost a gracious soul. To anyone reading this who knew Al, we express our sincerest condolences.
Posted by The Cat Rescuers on Tuesday, 5 November 2019
Chernoff said that he was always into cats and he liked Harley-Davidson bikes as well. He had cat tattoos on his arms (see video). A fundraising webpage has raised more than $18,000. It was set up by David Levin to help pay for Chernoff’s funeral fees and to provide for the cats he left behind and to help more rescue cats. David Levin is the son of Beverley who is Chernoff’s cousin.
There is talk that the girl might have been a victim herself. This is being investigated. Also, a Twitter post states that Chernoff got what he deserved if he was having sex with a 14-year-old.