The Paramount+ series ’72 Seconds in Rittenhouse Square’ delves into the intricate sequence of events surrounding the tragic passing of Sean Schellenger, a 37-year-old real estate developer in Philadelphia. This incident occurred in an affluent part of the city in mid-July 2018. The show actually features an extensive interview with the victim’s mother, Linda Schellenger, too, as she recounted her life after losing her son and her struggle to get justice for him. So, if you wish to learn more about her, here’s what we know.
Who is Linda Schellenger?
Linda Schellenger remembers her son, Sean Schellenger, as “gregarious, right from the moment he was born.” She recounted his kindness and smiled while recalling how he “stopped for every homeless person on the way, chatting with them and handing them money.” She expressed Sean sympathized with the less fortunate and told them they could do “whatever they wanted with the money as long as they did not harm anyone else.” She believes his compassion was reflected by the nearly 1,200 people who attended his funeral.
Nevertheless, throughout the case against her son’s killer, Michael White, Linda has always sympathized with his family. Even before the August 2018 preliminary hearing, she deemed the whole ordeal a “tragedy for two families.” She actually once stated, “Two sons were lost. It’s a tragedy. I mean, I am a mother who lost her son. I will never see him again. Another mother has also unfortunately lost her son in this situation.” However, she denied what Michael’s defense and his supporters alleged — she didn’t believe Sean could’ve made a racist comment toward him.
Linda eventually expressed her concerns and publicly commented, “I’ve heard some people making inappropriate racial associations about that night, and I cannot condone that. If you want to discuss what transpired that evening, let’s focus on factors like excessive drinking, poor timing, or the insufficient police presence in our area, which has been a longstanding issue. But let’s avoid turning it into a racial matter. My heart aches for that young man because, in reality, two lives were lost – not just Sean’s but Michael White will never get back his life again.”
Despite her compassion, Linda was obviously dismayed when District Attorney Larry Krasner’s office decided to drop the severity of the charges against Michael after initially charging him with first-degree murder and possession of an instrument of crime. A week later, she claimed Larry met with her and other family members to inform them the DA’s office had evaluated the evidence and decided to pursue third-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter charges instead. Eventually, the prosecution settled for voluntary manslaughter charges only, enraging Linda.
Where is Linda Schellenger Now?
Issuing a media statement in August 2018, Linda expressed, “I thought it outrageous. Larry Krasner manipulated me. He was intellectually dishonest. He overruled his own prosecutors. They have clear video footage that would have allowed them to hold on to first-degree murder and no bail. Larry showed up at a preliminary hearing, which is rare, to grandstand for political purposes. My son has become his political pawn. I wanted to trust him. He breached and abused that trust.” The DA’s office has since dismissed her claims while sympathizing with her grief.
Linda was admittedly crestfallen when the jury found Michael not guilty of voluntary manslaughter on October 17, 2019. Right after the verdict was delivered, she addressed the Common Pleas Court Judge to voice her belief that Larry should be apprehended for obstructing justice, stating, “He bears responsibility for this,” about his last-minute choice to downgrade the charges and proceed with voluntary manslaughter rather than third-degree murder. The White and the Schellenger families claimed they received numerous death threats after the verdict.
Linda said, “My son and his family are staying with us because of the threats. Larry Krasner and his team have engaged in creating racial tensions, resulting in an unsafe situation for both families. It’s a disgrace.” Three months after Michael was acquitted, the White family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Michael and Uber Eats in January 2020, seeking more than $50,000 in compensatory and punitive damages, but it doesn’t seem to have moved forward until now. Coming to Linda’s current standing, from what we can tell, she continues to reside in the Greater Philadelphia area and has retired from her job as