Harvey Miguel Robinson

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Harvey Miguel Robinson
Harvey Miguel Robinson

(1974-12-06) December 6, 1974 (age 46)
Criminal statusOn Death Row
Criminal penaltyDeath plus 2 life sentences
Span of crimes
CountryUnited States
Date apprehended
December 6, 1993

Harvey Miguel Robinson (born December 6, 1974) is an American serial killer currently imprisoned on death row in Pennsylvania. Only 18 years old when apprehended for the crimes, he is one of the youngest serial killers in American history.


Robinson's father was an alcoholic who physically and emotionally abused Robinson's mother, and eventually left the family. His father was later incarcerated for beating his mistress to death.[1]


The rape/murder victims were:

  • Joan Burghardt, a 29-year-old nurse's aide (August 1992).
  • Charlotte Schmoyer, a 15-year-old newspaper carrier for The Morning Call (June 1993). Schmoyer was a student at Louis E. Dieruff High School.
  • Jessica Jean Fortney, a 47-year-old grandmother (July 1993).[2]

Between the murders of Burghardt and Schmoyer, Robinson was arrested for burglary and served eight months in prison. After the murder of Schmoyer, he was almost apprehended when he was pulled over for a speeding violation, but Robinson received his speeding ticket and left.


Denise Sam-Cali was one of two of Robinson's victims who survived. The other was a five-year-old girl Robinson stalked for days; Robinson then broke in to her home and raped and choked her, then left her for dead. Sam-Cali managed to break free of Robinson's grip and run outside. Robinson attempted to attack her again, but fled. Eventually, the police used Sam-Cali as bait to lure Robinson in to capture him. A shootout erupted between Robinson and a police officer, Brian Lewis. Robinson fled, but he was wounded. He went to the hospital, where he was arrested.[3]


Robinson was sentenced to death for his crimes. As of April 2006, Robinson's execution had been stayed. He was later resentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Joan Burghardt because he was 17 when the crime was committed.[4] On December 14, 2012, Robinson agreed to waive his appeal rights in the Schmoyer case in exchange for a life sentence.[5] In December 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld Robinson's death penalty in the Fortney murder.[6] In October 2019, a Pennsylvania judge urged Robinson to consider donating his brain to science, calling it 'the one gift you can give'. [7]

In the media[edit]

The story of Robinson's crime spree was depicted in the 1996 film titled No One Could Protect Her, with Joanna Kerns playing the part of surviving victim Denise Sam-Cali.[8]

Part of the story of Robinson's crime spree had also been told in the Investigation Discovery series Your Worst Nightmare.[1]

He was also depicted on A&E's Killer Kids[2] and Investigation Discovery's Most Evil[3] and Investigation Discovery's Dead of Night.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ writer, Charles Montaldo Charles Montaldo is a; Enforcement, Former Licensed Private Detective Who Worked with Law; Crime, Insurance Firms Investigating; fraud. "Harvey M. Robinson: Lifelong Criminal Turned Serial Rapist and Killer". ThoughtCo. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  2. ^ "America's Youngest Death Row Serial Killer May Not Be There Much Longer". All That's Interesting. 2017-03-14. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  3. ^ "America's Youngest Death Row Serial Killer May Not Be There Much Longer". All That's Interesting. 2017-03-14. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  4. ^ Garlicki, Debbie (26 April 2006). "Robinson resentenced for murder". The Morning Call(Allentown, Pennsylvania).
  5. ^ McEvoy, Colin (December 14, 2012). "Allentown serial killer spared death penalty after waiving appeal rights". The Express-Times. Easton, Pennsylvania: Advance Publications. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  6. ^ McEvoy, Colin (December 31, 2013). "Allentown serial killer's death penalty verdict upheld". The Express-Times. Easton, Pennsylvania: Advance Publications. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  7. ^ "Judge Urges Serial Killer To Donate His Brain, Calling It 'The One Gift You Can Give'". Oxygen Official Site. 2019-10-16. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  8. ^ Internet Movie Database listing for No One Could Protect Her

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]