“Pass me the frozen peas from the freezer, honey, they’re right next to grandma!” is something that you can only hear in a particular set of circumstances.

Until May of 2020, one of those circumstances was living in a specific house in the small town of York Haven, Pennsylvania, home to sixty-one-year-old Cynthia Carolyn Black and her family.

Less than a year ago, the York County police raided the house on account of an anonymous tip that they had received over a year prior, in 2019, and found the mortal remains of Glenora Reckford Delahay, who was ninety-seven at the moment of her death, wholly frozen inside the freezer.

Hop along as we review ten facts about this crazy story, who hasn’t yet gone cold since the press began reporting it last year, and who will keep interesting crime and refrigeration enthusiasts alike for many years to come.

York County Sheriffs Office

10 /10 Dead At 97

Little is known of Glenora Reckford Delahay, except that she lived in the tiny town of Ardmore, Pennsylvania, where her children and grandchildren lived.

One of those was Cynthia Carolyn Black, who was taking care of her and living in her home with her husband, and who found her dead inside her home at some point in the year 2004.

According to her explanations to the police, Cynthia Black did not like taking care of old Glenora.

So, after her death, she saw a golden opportunity to have her payback for all that Cynthia felt she was owed.


9 /10 Financial Troubles

At that time and afterward, Cynthia Black and her husband Glenn Black were having severe economic troubles, especially after Glenn had to remain more or less confined to the first floor of the house on account of what he would later describe as ‘medical issues.’

This meant that he also had difficulty working (there is no evidence that Cynthia was working at the time either).

So the couple was seriously in danger of being reduced to poverty without the economic support of Cynthia’s grandmother.



8 /10 The Ardmore House

An excellent example of this is what happened after they left the Ardmore house, where they had theoretically been living with Cynthia’s grandmother Glenora until 2007, before moving to the small town of Dillsburg, their last stop before York Haven.

When they left the dilapidated house (according to neighbors, they didn’t take care of it or the front lawn), they took the copper pipes, the toilets, sinks, and even the chain-link fence that stood around the yard, probably to sell it all and get some extra income. That is, apart from their primary income.

7 /10 Buried In Trash Bags

Pressed by economic insecurity and by the ever-present menace of poverty, by the time they left the Ardmore house, the Black couple had taken a disturbing decision three years ago: to wrap grandma’s body in trash bags, tie it firmly with plastic tape and cover it with blankets, and then to place it in the bottom of a chest freezer.

Glenora Reckford’s body would spend sixteen years in that icy grave, sitting (or rather, laying) among the frozen beef and popsicles.

6 /10 Sixteen Years Of Checks

But those sixteen years of keeping grandma in the freezer were also, for Cynthia and Glenn Black, sixteen years in which Glenora’s Social Security monthly checks kept coming, and which Cynthia kept cashing in without missing even one.

By April of 2020, Social Security was still theoretically sending checks to Glenora Reckford Delahay, Ardmore, Pennsylvania, and aged 113.

This would have effectively made her the second or third oldest supercentenarian still alive in the US by that date.

5 /10 The Bank Forecloses

But not even the monthly checks, courtesy of Glenora’s secret remains and unreported death, could keep Cynthia and Glenn afloat.

According to court records, they received a total of $186,143 between 2001 and 2010 alone; by 2019, the bank foreclosed their current home after they were unable to keep paying the mortgage.

Not even Glenn’s attempt to start his own business (called “Blacks Furniture Refinishing” and existed until 2018) could save them from having their little secret discovered.

4 /10 Two Surprised Women

The discoverers were two shocked women looking at the house after the bank offered it for sale.

That is, they were shocked after they came out of it, informing that, when they opened a freezer, they had found the decomposing remains of a human being.

They immediately alerted the police, who confirmed that the body belonged to a person who died of natural causes.

Through a DNA test, the security forces determined the body’s identity as that of Glenora Reckford, who supposedly was still sitting in a chair at her home, very much alive and well, and with $1,786 coming to her from Social Security that month.

3 /10 The Investigation Begins

In these circumstances, the police began an investigation that lasted fifteen months and was based on finding the deceased’s relatives.

fter they found Cynthia, around finding bank records that could demonstrate that she was still taking money in the name of a supposedly alive grandmother.

This resulted in her being finally arrested in 2020 after Glenn had already been arrested in 2018 for a different crime: indecent assault of a substantially impaired person.

2 /10 Very Unfriendly

According to the neighbors of several of the residences that the Black couple held over the years, “they were very unfriendly” and “did not want any conversation.”

Though being reserved doesn’t make them criminals, it does fit very well with a possible explanation for their permanent lack of money: drug addiction.

When searching their York Haven home, the police is reported to have found “marijuana, drug paraphernalia, nunchucks and a large box containing various financial documents.”

At the same time, in their foreclosed house, a thorough search found an even weirder list of objects: “sword, two machetes, a multi-tool pocket knife, a silver-and-black knife, credit cards, a Florida license plate and an animal bone.”

1 /10 The Upcoming Trial

Today, Cynthia Carolyn Black faces theft charges by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, and abuse of a corpse, and her unsecured bail has been set at $50,000.

Because it is an unsecured bail, she is currently free and will only have to pay that money if she does not attend the correspondent court proceedings.

According to several news sources, it is still unclear if she already has an attorney and how long her sentence could be when she is found guilty of the charges.

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