Homicide City is investigating another murder from the city of brotherly love; this time, it’s single mother of two children Mena Myers, who was shot dead after a party by drug dealer Francisco Algarin.
On October 30, 1992, Mena and her best friend, Lynn, went on a night out. They met up with two men called Jose and Enrico, who took them to a party.
The party was in north Philadelphia, which had become known as the Badlands due to its rough reputation. Lynn had a bad feeling about the party and left with Enrico after a few hours, but the 23-year-old Mena decided to stay.
After several noise complaints, the police shut down the party at about 2 am.
It was after 3 am when a neighborhood resident reported hearing a woman scream, “please don’t hurt me,” followed by two gunshots. When the cops arrived at the scene, they found Mena had been killed with two shots fired at close range to her head.
She had multiple lacerations to the back of her head and contusions on her wrists, all of which pointed to a particularly violent struggle.
The police could not find any evidence of sexual assault and the victim’s purse lay untouched, which ruled out robbery as a motive. They at first concluded that Mena must have known her attacker and that he may have been a spurned lover or something like that. However, after questioning her boyfriend, they found he had a rock-solid alibi.
When the police learned that Mena and her friend Lynn had attended a party, they tried to identity everybody who had been at the party. Unfortunately, in a neighborhood where people don’t talk to the police, investigators really struggled to find information.
Francisco Algarin became a suspect in Mena Myers murder
Eventually, there was a breakthrough when Enrico contacted the cops to say lots of the guys were saying Mena had left the party with Francisco Algarin.
Police learned that Algarin was considered a neighborhood tough guy who had a history of violence, sexual assault, and drug dealing. He became an instant suspect until two women claimed that Algarin had been with them all night.
The police had a bad feeling about Algarin, but without the necessary evidence, they were forced to let him go. And the case begins to go cold.
But then, six months later, Enrico came back to the police with more info. He told the investigators that a month after Mena’s murder, Algarin had told him that he had killed her after she’d refused to get high and have sex with him.
Since then, Algarin had continuously threatened and beaten Enrico, which led him to believe he had to tell the police as his life was in danger.
The police decided to re-interview the two women who had provided Algarin with an alibi, and they eventually confessed to lying on his behalf.
On June 9, 1994, a jury convicted Algarin of first-degree murder, criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, intimidation of a witness, and firearms violations. And five months later, he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison.
More from Homicide City
Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on Homicide City.
Rachel Siani was working at a strip club in Philadelphia to pay her college tuition when John Denofra threw her off a highway overpass in New Jersey. The police believe they had a violent altercation after Denofra invited her back to his hotel room.
John Eichinger was a sick serial killer who murdered women when they rejected his sexual advances. When Heather Greaves spurned his attentions, he killed her and her sister, and her 3-year-old daughter.
Homicide City airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.