Former E. Vare principal slain

By Amanda L. Snyder

Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 5 | Posted Jul. 14, 2011

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An Elkins Park man who was a local educator was killed earlier this month. His alleged killer was apprehended last week. 

David Lawrence, 39, of the unit block of North 50th Street in West Philly, allegedly killed Ennis Manns, 58, with a stick at 6:25 p.m. July 1 on the same block where he resides, according to the Police Public Affairs Unit. Manns died at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania 44 minutes after the attack due to head trauma. Police arrested Lawrence at 12:55 p.m. July 7 on the 4700 block of Walnut Street.

The motive of the attack was unknown at press time. 

Lawrence was charged with murder, robbery, theft, receiving stolen property, possession of an instrument of a crime and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, according to court records. He previously pled guilty to a 1991 robbery and served five years probation.

Manns served as the principal at Edwin H. Vare School, 2100 S. 24th Street, between 2006 and ’08 before moving to a North Philly high school where he was assistant principal up until his ’10 retirement at which time he became an education consultant for curriculum and staff development at Universal Companies, 800 S. 15th St.

Universal employees were in disbelief about his death, Dr. Janis Butler, Universal’s executive vice president for education, said in a statement.

“Many on our education team are having difficulty coming to terms with this kind of senseless violence against a gentle man,” Butler said. “... He had been in our office just two days before his death. Ennis had an extremely positive way about him and a great sense of humor. He was a total team player and is already tremendously missed by the Universal family.”

To report information, call Homicide Division at 215-686-3334 or visit

Contact Managing Editor Amanda L. Snyder at or ext. 117.

Also in this week's Police Report:
Steak profits snatched
Mugging turned burglary
Grazed anatomy
Pharmacist sent to jail
Car riddled with bullets
Police meetings 07-14-11

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Comments 1 - 5 of 5
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1. joeydog said... on Jul 14, 2011 at 06:48PM

“Brutal, That's why people don't like the city.”

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2. Russell M. Spring said... on Jul 14, 2011 at 07:31PM

“I like the city”

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3. Mr. Mandingo said... on Jul 17, 2011 at 09:48AM

“People!! This is a good reason for the death penalty. Have a back bone, philly. D. Lawrence murdered this man. Enough, PUNISH him, God gave us brains to figure right and wrong. Citizens we have the right to prosecute, judge and execute this type of person.”

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4. marc henderson said... on Jul 17, 2011 at 08:19PM

“this man is a murderer. why cant juries stomach to give someone the death penalty. I was always told Philadelphia was a tough city. Seems that way. "Rocky" is total fiction!!!

Dammit get tough!!!! Some guy guns down a cop as he enters a Dunkin Donuts and people cant stomach giving him the needle. What is wrong with juries.. Get Tough!!”

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5. marc henderson said... on Jul 19, 2011 at 05:19PM

“Lindsay OBrien would beat that black bastard down!!!”


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