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Coming Up at the Historical Society of Frankford

Preserving and Presenting the History of Northeast Philadelphia since 1905




America’s Legendary Kensington & Allegheny (K&A) Second Story Men

 Allen M Hornblum


“Confessions of a Second Story Man – Junior Kripplebauer and the K & A Gang”

Tuesday, 10 April 2012; 7:30pm

Historical Society of Frankford

1507 Orthodox Street, Philadelphia, PA 19124   215-743-6030


Author Hornblum will not only present a fascinating insider’s look at the perils of writing a book about a culture of crime – but has invited several of the now retired K & A denizens featured in his book to participate in sharing their history-making exploits.    

“From the 1950’s to the 1970’s, throughout the United States, the ragtag crew known as the K & A Gang robbed wealthy suburban neighborhoods with assembly line skills.  It was hard to imagine a more unlikely crew of successful thieves, writes Allen Hornblum.  (They were) two-fisted, beer-guzzling, ear- and nose-biting hoodlums from a blue collar section of Philadelphia called Kensington. The gang infuriated homeowners and baffled police up and down the east coast.  Confessions of a Second Story Man follows the gang as they move in and out of homes, courtrooms, and prisons, and even go on the run.  Hornblum describes the transformation of the K & A Gang from a group of blue collar thieves to their work in conjunction with numerous organized crime families and their role in making Philadelphia the meth capitol of the nation.  This will be a compelling presentation about a fascinating bunch of hoodlums.”


The legendary Kensington & Allegheny “second story” men of the 1950-70’s were nationally known for their “art of burglary” – from Boca Raton to Bar Harbor.  Northeast Philadelphia’s Allen M Hornblum, Assistant Professor, Temple University Department of Geography/Urban Studies, reveals the challenges that come with writing about these notorious area denizens.

 The monthly public membership meetings of the Historical Society of Frankford, established in 1905, are held in its own Museum and Library, built in 1930.  Attendees have the opportunity to enjoy the Society’s collections and exhibitions and learn something new each month.  Following the program, light refreshments are served so participants and presenters can refresh and exchange ideas on the topic.