Evelyn Henderson spent several years trying to win elected office in Dauphin County, including as recently as 2017. On Thursday, police charged the 66-year-old woman in the death of her 84-year-old husband.
Details of the homicide were not released, including the cause of death or any evidence against her.
Police put out a news release Thursday that said officers were called to the couple’s home in the 300 block of Stuart Place at 5 a.m. for a death investigation. The ensuing investigation revealed “that foul play was apparent,” police said, and the county’s arson investigation and forensic teams were called to assist.
On Thursday night, police booked Evelyn Henderson into the county jail under charges of criminal homicide and arson in the death of Carmen Q. Henderson, who retired as Dauphin County’s chief deputy sheriff in 1995 under Sheriff Will Livingston.
The couple had been married about 30 years.
She got her start in politics in Beaver County as the court clerk in 1983, as a 27-year-old with a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice from the University of Pittsburgh.
“Zigerelli is a powerful political name in western Pennsylvania,” she told PennLive in 2011. “Everybody knows me in Beaver County.”
She left her Beaver County job in 1988 to work for the state auditor general’s office, but soon left that post and was selling cars when she met her husband.
She said wasn’t thinking of a political future when she took his name.
“Twenty years ago, not a lot of married women kept their maiden names. I figured I wasn’t going to run for office again,” Henderson said.
In 2011, however, she decided to run for the Democratic nomination for clerk of courts in Dauphin County. But first, she petitioned the court and paid an attorney $800 to legally change her name to include her maiden name.
Part of her reasoning, she told PennLive, was that she won the same office in Beaver County with the name Zigerelli and wanted voters to be able to make that connection, despite how long ago she held the office.
She also told The Patriot-News that Zigerelli was an Italian name, and she believed that would appeal to Italian-American voters. She didn’t win the office.
In 2014, Henderson used the name Evelyn Zigerelli-Henderson as one of nine candidates to fill a vacancy on the Susquehanna Township School Board. She lost the spot to Shannon Billante.
The next year, she switched parties to run for Sheriff as a Republican. She eventually pulled out of the race. She had been registered as a Democrat when she ran for Clerk of Courts and at one time was the co-finance chairwoman for the Dauphin County Democratic Committee.
During the 2016 Harrisburg mayoral race, Henderson backed former Harrisburg Council President Gloria Martin-Roberts. She was listed among the “host team” for a fundraiser early in her campaign.
The following year, she ran for the Republican nomination for prothonotary but lost to Matthew Krupp.
The couple owned Henderson Limousine Service in Harrisburg.
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