Crack Kills

A man on the streets experiences the death of his life in a pipe, on a bike, in a lot

An hour later a prostitute sporting a set of gold caps on her front teeth wanders into Santa's compound. Lucy Anne, as she calls herself, is a lithe, disheveled mess in a black miniskirt, black blouse, and worn black flip-flops. Despite her haggard look, Lucy Anne retains some of her natural attractiveness. The day before, Santa had taken Lucy Anne to meet up with Kenny, a crack user who allegedly is making money from the sale of several properties he inherited from his deceased mother. "Kenny is a real scruffy-looking dude," Santa says. "He has a raggedy-ass ponytail and walks like a duck. But the dude has got some money and he likes to mess with black girls. I told Lucy Anne that I would take her down there so she could make some money and then we'd have a nice time when she got back."

Lucy Anne, however, has no money upon her return. She looks irate. Apparently, Lucy Anne and Kenny partied and had sex until the wee hours after Santa took her to meet him. Around 9:00 a.m., she says, Kenny called a cab and they went to the Bank of America branch on NE Second Avenue and 79th Street, where Kenny withdrew close to two thousand dollars. "The cab waited for us and then drove us to the dope hole," Lucy Anne hollers, flailing her arms as she tells her tale. "When we get there, Kenny get out, and get his ass whupped by one of the look-out boys there who take his money."

Turns out Kenny told the cab driver to go back to the bank's drive-up teller, where he tried to withdraw another four thousand dollars, Lucy Anne claims. "Well, fifteen minutes go by and they're making Kenny sign all these papers and shit," Lucy Anne rambles on. "The cops show up and tell Kenny to get out the car. After they run his name, they find out he got a bench warrant and took his dumb ass to jail."

Sgt. Paul Marcus
Jonathan Postal
Sgt. Paul Marcus
Jonathan Postal

Lucy Anne asks Santa for a cigarette. He tells her he doesn't have any. She tries to sit down on the lounge chair, but he blocks her path. "Come on Santa, I'm tired," she begs.

Santa won't budge. "Bitch, you need to go wait for Kenny to make bail because you get nothing here," he growls. "You were supposed to get paid for whatever you did when that motherfucker first went to the bank and he had all that withdrawal money. Then you were supposed to get the fuck out of Dodge and come back here. Not ride with Tommy Trick to the dope hole waiting to get paid. Now you got nothing. And you call yourself a whore? Get the fuck out of here!"

Lucy Anne gives Santa the middle finger as she skulks away.

After a few minutes, Santa hops on his bike and heads to one of the dope holes. He runs into Cindy, who is sitting on a bus bench. "You got anything?" she asks Santa. "I ain't got a motherfucking thing," he responds angrily. "You're the one out here selling pussy. What the fuck is wrong with you?"

By May of 2000 Santa was entrenched in the homeless population of Miami Beach under the alias Dominic Perrone. On the evening of May 3 he ran into fellow drifter Phillip "Phil the Jew" Waterman on Seventeenth Street and Washington Avenue. At the time, Phil was dating a 28-year-old homeless woman known among her peers as Jolene (real name: Jan Becerra). Phil rented an apartment at 1055 Pennsylvania Ave. Near the end of each month, Waterman would receive a government check in the mail. "He'd go find Jolene, who would be all filthy and dirty, bring her back to his place, and hose her down," Santa says. "Then they would party and have sex until he would run out of money."

Santa says Phil invited him to his pad for some beers that night. "He told me he needed a favor from someone he could trust," Santa recollects. When they arrived at the apartment, his host began acting strangely. "It was real cold in his crib and he asks me: öDoes it stink in here?' I told him I didn't smell anything and asked him what was up. However, there was some funky ass odor in the joint. Then he tells me: öYou would never know how many times it takes to hit a bitch in the head with a hammer to kill her.' For a second, I couldn't believe what he said."

Inside the apartment, Santa says, Phil apparently had bludgeoned Jolene, then covered her body in a plastic tarp and a blanket. He says he saw Jolene poking out of Waterman's closet. "Phil tells me, öI shut the door, but it keeps fucking opening. I don't think the bitch is dead,'" he says. "I guess she had started to bloat, and that caused the door to become ajar. That's when he asked me to help him dispose of her body in a Dumpster later that night. I said okay, but that I wanted to make a beer run before we did anything. He told me to come back at two in the morning."

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