PHILADELPHIA – A Philadelphia journalist who was also a former Democrat communications director for the city was shot and killed in his home earlier this month. The murder victim was in a years-long sexual relationship with the teenager accused of killing him, according to the teen’s family.
Leftist journalist Josh Kruger, 39, was shot seven times on Oct. 2, around 1:30 a.m. at his home in the Point Breeze neighborhood of the city. He was transported to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center where he died less than an hour later. Police said they believe someone entered Kruger’s home and shot him at the base of his stairs before fleeing the scene.
Robert Davis, 19, is accused of murdering the journalist but remains at large. Now the teen’s family says that Kruger began a relationship with Davis when Davis was just 15 years old, reported The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Moreover, the relationship between Kruger and Davis centered on sex and drugs, according to Davis’ family. They also said Kruger threatened to post sexually explicit photos and videos of the teen.
Davis’ mother and brother allege the teen was involved in an ongoing relationship with Kruger as a minor. The journalist tried to keep the relationship, and his drug addiction, a secret, the family said.
Davis quickly became the primary suspect based on security video from the area in addition to tips passed along to investigators. Soon after, police obtained a warrant for his arrest, although he has not yet been taken into custody.
BREAKING: Josh Kruger, the left-wing Philly journalist who was murdered in his home last week by 19-year-old Robert Davis, had been in a sexually relationship with him starting when Davis was 15 and had threatened to post sexually explicit photos of him online, per the family.… pic.twitter.com/6V8M3KdoPS
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) October 11, 2023
Kruger wrote for multiple newspapers and digital publications, and was previously employed in city government, handling Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney’s social media. He also worked as the communications director for the Office of Homeless Services.
Kruger was open about being HIV positive and was an an activist for LGBTQ issues, the Daily Wire reported.
Hello Ben! Josh Kruger was a pedophile knowingly giving HIV to underage boys. Did he ever talk to you about this? https://t.co/U7a6wO2qTF
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) October 11, 2023
During the course of the homicide investigation, detectives believed the shooting originated from either a drug-related or domestic dispute since they found methamphetamine in Kruger’s bedroom and recovered “troubling” text messages between the journalist and a “former partner.”
Law enforcement sources told The Philadelphia Inquirer that detectives found “disturbing” images on Kruger’s phone. However, they did not say if the pics were connected to Davis.
Deputy Police Commissioner Frank Vanore confirmed that police are investigating the contents of Kruger’s phone and believes Davis — who has not been arrested — can help solve the crime.
“I think he could answer a lot of questions if he comes into custody and surrenders,” Vanore said. “It might help us put all this together.”
Hours after police came to the Davis family home with a warrant for the teen, Damica Davis, the accused killer’s mother, received a call from her son trying to explain what was happening.
“He was scared,” she noted. “He (Kruger) said ‘… He wanted me to do some stuff I didn’t want to do and if I didn’t do it, he said he was going to blackmail me.’”
If he murdered Kruger, Damica Davis said her son should be held accountable, but she also believes he was victimized, the Daily Wire reported.
“It’s tragic what happened,” she said. “But I feel like my son is a victim in this, as well.”