Killer Kids

An epidemic of payback murder is wiping out a generation of inner-city youth

My dad's name is Rod Robinson. He's 46. My mom, Geraldine Williams,would have been 46. She died on Mother's Day when I was seven. AIDS, they said, but I didn't really understand at the time. Anyway, Hatchet and Winnie (that's my mom's nickname) met when they were younger than me, at Dunbar Elementary in Overtown.

When my parents finally got together, they were living in some projects in Brownsville. Dad and mom never got married and my dad isn't on my birth certificate, but we were pretty much a family from what I can remember. We never really got settled anywhere, though. We had to move a lot, from Brownsville to Overtown to the Edison Courts in Little Haiti.

I guess my dad couldn't really take care of us after mom passed. He has gout and his knees are kind of in rough shape after all those years working in a warehouse and doing landscape work for the county. He's on disability now. So me, Monica, and Latoya went to live with Auntie Jean, my mother's big sister. Her place was at 77th Street and NW Third Avenue. She was like my mom.

Aspen Thermilus
Aspen Thermilus
Rod had his first brush with the law this past January when undercover detectives arrested him for dealing crack and marijuana behind this Little Haiti House
Rod had his first brush with the law this past January when undercover detectives arrested him for dealing crack and marijuana behind this Little Haiti House


Irma Williams, Rod's "Auntie Jean," is only 47 but her hollowed eyes are those of a worried grandmother. She wears her hair in dreadlocks up in a leopard-skin wrap, a stray braid or two hanging over her pierced eyebrow. Recently, sitting on a plastic-covered sofa at a friend's place in the Little River Terrace projects — she spends the days there, the nights at a shelter downtown — Williams dragged on a Bronco Menthol and held her chin in her bony hand. Black window blinds were drawn tight against the sun. Outside the cinder-block house, concrete steps lead to a concrete path which leads down to a concrete sidewalk. Across the street, a massive concrete wall — a sound barrier for I-95 — is the only view.

"He was the baby," Williams recalled of her years raising Rod. As a little boy, he would run to his aunt whenever his sisters were out to beat on him. He liked to curl up in bed with Williams. He cried easily. "He was spoiled," Williams said. "You couldn't beat him."

Williams worked hard during those years. Rod's father had given her custody but no child support. Her $450 weekly salary as a dialysis technician at Joe DiMaggio Memorial Hospital in Hollywood was too high to qualify for food stamps or federal housing aid. So she worked thirteen-hour days. "I was scratching by," she remembered. She took pride in being able to give Rod and his sisters relatively lavish gifts — like bicycles — for Christmas and birthdays.

Williams's old place — a two-bedroom apartment at NE Third Avenue and 77th Street — has metal bars over the windows; the front door and air conditioner hang out of the front wall. When Rod wasn't running around in the back yard, he was at Johnny Randle's house just around the corner. The walk there took him past rundown houses with cracked windows, cars parked on front lawns, and a rusty, disused swing set in someone's yard. The boys would play in Randle's yard, or sometimes, when more friends came, take their tackle football games to the lawn outside the Cathedral of St. Mary a few blocks west.

Rod's friend Javon Carter remembers those "street football" games. Carter lived across the street from Rod. The two met at Little River Elementary School when they were both six years old. They often sat around dreaming of the future, Carter said. "We gonna have a job, we gonna go to each others' houses, we gonna have fun," Carter recalled Rod saying. They'd live in big houses. Rod would drive a Chevy Impala or maybe a Camaro. Rod was smart; he'd be fine, Carter remembered thinking. "His report cards would always be better than mine."

Before he quit playing football about two years ago, Rod used to tell his aunt he would go pro someday and buy her a new Lexus. "I would just say to him, 'Just buy me a Toyota'," Williams said, smiling faintly.

Because Williams worked such long hours, Rod's sister Latoya often took on the role of mother. She watched as her baby brother came to know the drug- and violence-ridden reality of the streets around him. "He got more mature, like he really understood what was happening," she said. By the time he was done with elementary school, Rod realized it was every man for himself.

On a recent weekday afternoon in Rod's old neighborhood, several people shrugged when asked if they had known the boy. Some said they were new to the area, or that they had only heard of Rod in the news. They didn't know what he looked like, where he had lived, what kind of kid he was. One teenage girl who declined to give her name said she had known Rod, but could say only, "He was a good kid." When a heavily tattooed teenage boy pulled up in a SUV with tinted windows, he ignored questions about Rod, turning up the volume on his stereo instead.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
18 comments
Toneyfred58
Toneyfred58

We catch u we gon kill u quinton believe dat chump

Briancartwright1
Briancartwright1

my name is preal branel am from the Bahamas am looking for the family of Luckson Branel can someone help me find them please

Drecarter239
Drecarter239

are you serious..if so ..let me know...

ruderaiders
ruderaiders

email me and tell me what u no ruderaiders@hotmail.com

charlie
charlie

this man is sick he kiled everyone accept one girl i wish going over seeing how he fills if i gave him what he done im sorry but that is disgusting i am watching a programme about her she is brave and wish she had a family like us she coping really well she a very strong girl

robinson
robinson

wow ...man i cant believe this...? me and rod grew up in the sme neighborhodd..... we went to little river together and than we both went to horace mann middle school... where me and rod had world history class together and that same week on that wednesdays we both was in class to gether talking about ow the school got alot of hoes n i know quentin n all the others boyz bt i woulda neva tought they would do that but man ... rod man i love u dawg n i miss u man..i truly do man ..n only god knows where you are but for you niggas who did this ..ya gona pay big time

NIKKI
NIKKI

IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS STORY THEY TALK ABOUT MY BROTHER-IN-LAW GETTIN KILLED, EDWIN TERMA. THEY SAY IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST DRAMATIC SLAYINGS, AND IT WAS.....IT WAS COMPLETELY UNECESSARY WHAT HAPPENED....ALOT OF THESE GUYS ARE DYING OVER STUPID STUFF..LIKE FOR INSTANCE MY BROTHER IN LAW GOT KILLED FOR SOME STUPID STUFF THATS BEEN GOIN ON SINCE SCHOOL HOUSE DAYS...WHY WOULD YOU KILL SOMEONE FOR SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED WHEN YOU WERE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL? NOW EDWIN HAS 2 SONS THAT WILL NEVER KNOW HIM, WHAT ARE THEIR MOMS SUPPOSED TO TELL THEM? I JUST THINK THAT ALL OF THIS IS RIDICULOUS! PEOPLE JUST NEED TO THINK BEFORE THEY ACT, THEY GOTTA THINK, ITS NOT YOUR PLACE TO TAKE SOMEONE FROM THIS WORLD....ITS GOD'S PLACE...THESE PEOPLE HAVE FAMILES AND GIRLFRIENDS AND WIVES AND KIDS...BUT NOBODY EVER THINKS ABOUT THAT BEFORE THEY PULL THE TRIGGER....2006 WAS THE WORST YEAR FOR US...7 OF MY CLOSE FRIENDS GOT KILLED THAT YEAR, AND ALL OVER SOMETHING SO STUPID....I JUS WISH THAT THESE GUYS WOULDNT RESORT TO VIOLENCE SO MUCH, ESPICALLY FOR THE PETTY STUFF, ITS JUS NOT COOL TO KILL SOMEONE OVER SOMETHING SO PETTY, IF YOUR GONNA TAKE A MAN'S LIFE, AT LEAST MAKE IT SO IT'S WORTH DYING FOR, WHICH STILL SHOULDNT BE ANYONES DECISION BUT GOD'S....BUT YOU CANT TELL THESE YOUNG GUYS NOTHING, THEY ARE GONNA DO WHAT THEY DO REGARDLESS, I JUS WISH THAT THEY WOULD WAKE UP AND REALIZE THAT THEYRE RUINING THEIR LIVES...THINK ABOUT IT, EITHER THESE GUYS LOST THEIR LIVES AND WAS TAKEN FROM THIS EARTH, OR THEY LOST THEIR LIVES, CUZ THERYE GONNA BE SITTIN IN JAIL FOR THE REST OF IT....ITS NOT WORTH IT, ITS REALLY NOT...REST IN PEACE TO ALL THE FALLEN SOLGIERS AND REST IN PEACE TO ANYONE THATS LOST SOMEONE, CUZ I KNOW IVE LOST QUITE A FEW AND IT HURTS...REST IN PEACE EDWIN, YVON, PETER, COVINGSTON, LAMAR, LUCKSON, LEE, AND ENEL...YOU GUYS WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR HEARTS...WE MISS YOU....

NIKKI
NIKKI

IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS STORY THEY TALK ABOUT MY BROTHER-IN-LAW GETTIN KILLED, EDWIN TERMA. THEY SAY IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST DRAMATIC SLAYINGS, AND IT WAS.....IT WAS COMPLETELY UNECESSARY WHAT HAPPENED....ALOT OF THESE GUYS ARE DYING OVER STUPID STUFF..LIKE FOR INSTANCE MY BROTHER IN LAW GOT KILLED FOR SOME STUPID STUFF THATS BEEN GOIN ON SINCE SCHOOL HOUSE DAYS...WHY WOULD YOU KILL SOMEONE FOR SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED WHEN YOU WERE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL? NOW EDWIN HAS 2 SONS THAT WILL NEVER KNOW HIM, WHAT ARE THEIR MOMS SUPPOSED TO TELL THEM? I JUST THINK THAT ALL OF THIS IS RIDICULOUS! PEOPLE JUST NEED TO THINK BEFORE THEY ACT, THEY GOTTA THINK, ITS NOT YOUR PLACE TO TAKE SOMEONE FROM THIS WORLD....ITS GOD'S PLACE...THESE PEOPLE HAVE FAMILES AND GIRLFRIENDS AND WIVES AND KIDS...BUT NOBODY EVER THINKS ABOUT THAT BEFORE THEY PULL THE TRIGGER....2006 WAS THE WORST YEAR FOR US...7 OF MY CLOSE FRIENDS GOT KILLED THAT YEAR, AND ALL OVER SOMETHING SO STUPID....I JUS WISH THAT THESE GUYS WOULDNT RESORT TO VIOLENCE SO MUCH, ESPICALLY FOR THE PETTY STUFF, ITS JUS NOT COOL TO KILL SOMEONE OVER SOMETHING SO PETTY, IF YOUR GONNA TAKE A MAN'S LIFE, AT LEAST MAKE IT SO IT'S WORTH DYING FOR, WHICH STILL SHOULDNT BE ANYONES DECISION BUT GOD'S....BUT YOU CANT TELL THESE YOUNG GUYS NOTHING, THEY ARE GONNA DO WHAT THEY DO REGARDLESS, I JUS WISH THAT THEY WOULD WAKE UP AND REALIZE THAT THEYRE RUINING THEIR LIVES...THINK ABOUT IT, EITHER THESE GUYS LOST THEIR LIVES AND WAS TAKEN FROM THIS EARTH, OR THEY LOST THEIR LIVES, CUZ THERYE GONNA BE SITTIN IN JAIL FOR THE REST OF IT....ITS NOT WORTH IT, ITS REALLY NOT...REST IN PEACE TO ALL THE FALLEN SOLGIERS AND REST IN PEACE TO ANYONE THATS LOST SOMEONE, CUZ I KNOW IVE LOST QUITE A FEW AND IT HURTS...REST IN PEACE EDWIN, YVON, PETER, COVINGSTON, LAMAR, LUCKSON, LEE, AND ENEL...YOU GUYS WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR HEARTS...WE MISS YOU....

RUDERAIDERS
RUDERAIDERS

hi Nikki it seems like you know Luckson Branel my real name is Pearl Branel and my adopted name is Melden Reckley i think we can be family i was looking for my family for a long time and i really need some help finding them am from the Bahamas and i was watching a&e tv and i saw the name Luckson Branel and i said this got to be a link so if u get this can u you please text me back i know you might be bizzy doing other things but if you can help me locate them i will be more than greatful thank you very much looking forward too here from you from Pearl Branel

Briancartwright1
Briancartwright1

this is luckson brother from the Bahamas am trying to find the family can you help me please

Yaya
Yaya

well if your brother in law's gang didn't shoot an 18month old baby, maybe his death (as well as others) couldve been preventable. If you have a problem with someone, okay. But taking a life of an innocent child is unacceptable. Imagine if your child was shoot in front of you with an AK. That baby head blew off of its body. You live by the gun, so guess what? you die by it. No on is to blame but themselves. RIP to all.

RUDERAIDERS
RUDERAIDERS

MY NAME IS MELDEN RECKLEY AM 32 YEARS OLD AM FROM THE BAHAMAS I WAS ADOPTED FROM A BABY I FIRST LEARNED MY REAL NAME WHEN I WAS ABOUT 16 YEARS OLD ITS PEARL BRANEL FROM THEN I WAS TRYING TO LOCATE MY REAL FAMILY I ASK AROUND BUT NO ONE KNEW BUT WHEN I WAS WATCHING A&E AND SAW LUCKSON BRANEL WITH THE SEEM LAST NAME I FIGURED THAT HE COULD BE MY FAMILY SO IF ANY ONE OUT THERE IS READING THIS AM ASKING YOU TOO PLEASE HELP ME TO LOCATE THE FAMILY THEY COULD BE MY FAMILY I REALLY WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MYREAL MOM PLEASE

Drecarter239
Drecarter239

email me drecarter239@gmail.com...i can help

Morrisminor
Morrisminor

Most of the victims are black, big deal, almost all the killers are black too. If you expect sympathy from most people about black on black crime, you are mistaken. Blacks reap what they sow, when most of the heroes and role models are criminals. Better black on black crime than black on white crime.

Samantha
Samantha

I Knew Rod From Little River Elementary and Horace Mann Middle. I Had A big Crush On Him...He Was Real Good At football.Man I Moved To Georgia Our Eighth Grade Year When He Went to brownsville Middle.When My Friend Retravia Called Me And Told Me Rod Had Died..I Burst Out Into Tears...Man i Miss Rod..I Tried To Keep In Contact With Him When i moved But Nobody Knew His Number...I Feel Sorry For His Family!

cadillac jack
cadillac jack

hey this story right here is real sad. His own homeboyz that he grew up with. what type of shit is that! Young kids that ain't even have to end their lives. Their lives are basically over......they are in the system now which will make it that much harder for the young african americans. oh but they sure as hell deserve the maximum punishment and then some.

lilliana
lilliana

it is really sad how teens today are losing tjeir lives. if they are not killed by police, they are killing each other. it is terrifying because now we all fear for aour lives as we walk we are constatly looking back and hoping that were are the next.as a teen i must say tthe year 2006 was the most bloodies year i lost alot of people, but i have come to realized i can't longer cry for their soulos are in a better place. may their memories be forever cherished.

 
Loading...