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I might add, Senator, that Straughter was killed-it was what we would term as a single killing. It may be confusing, but the man who was shot with the two men was Leo McClure. This was not Straughter, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. All right. Mr. SPELLAR. Boeger asked him if he referred to the Leo McClure murder and he said, "Yes." (Eugene Hairston, president of the Blackstone Rangers, was convicted on May 29, 1968, of soliciting Ranger members (ages 13 to 15) to kill Leo McClure.)
He went on to say that Leo McClure was not the intended victim in that case, but Watts wanted Duke Berrian killed because he was supposed to be a Government informer. The CHAIRMAN. Was McClure the victim of mistaken identity? Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, sir. Duke Berrain expressed that opinion to me personally.
The CHAIRMAN. I understood Hairston gave the command, from the testimony before us, to these boys to kill him. Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Did he think at the time it was Straughter he was having killed?
Mr. SPELLAR. No, sir. Straughter had no part in this particular killing, Senator.
The CHAIRMAN. But McClure was not the man that Hairston thought he was!
Mr. SPELLAR. McClure was present with Duke Berrian. Duke Berrian told me that at the time the shooting occurred, he was of the assumption that it was he who was marked rather than McClure, although he was also shot, and a Theodore Newsome, the third man in the car, was also shot.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well. The Straughter murder, I understand, occurred some 2 or 3 months after the McClure murder.
Mr. SPELLAR. The McClure murder was September 12 and the Straughter murder was November 4.
The CHAIRMAN. Go ahead. Mr. SPELLAR. I would like also to mention that as part of this report, and I am referring to the Straughter investigation, sir, Harris and Williams said that LaFayette Watts substance supply of narcotics is never-ending and, upon asking if they know who was supplying Watts, they both said that they did not.
However, they did say that it seemed strange that three of the leaders of the Blackstone Rangers are making a number of trips to
When asked who these men are, they replied that Bey, Troop, and Lee Jackson just came back from New York. When questioned further on that point, they said they were not sure what the nature of their trip to New York was for, just that they had heard it was a business trip.
During the course of the homicide investigation, Detective Boeger interviewed the mother of the victim, Mrs. Straughter. She gave them a slip of paper found in her son's room that bore the name of Eugene Johnson and a phone number of DOrchester 3–8000, apartment D-3 or D4. This report indicates that the reporting officers, Boeger
. liam Boreczky, knew, through personal knowledge, that this is the
phone number and apartment number of a known gang leader of the Blackstone Rangers by the name of Eugene B. Hairston.
Jimmie Lee Straughter met his death as the result of being shot five times in the head with a .38-caliber gun. This case is unsolved.
I might add, sir, that as part of this report, there was a Willie Evans also interviewed by Boeger and Boreczky, and at that time Willie Evans identified by photo and also the fact that he knew Lamar Bell, who was also a member of the Main 21 of the Blackstone Rangers, that Lamar Bell and Jimmie Lee Straughter were seen in company of each other quite a few times, indicating the fact that they were knowledgeable of each other.
The CHAIRMAN. All right.
Mr. SPELLAR. In regard to what I have just cited, Senator, I do have a complete file, homicide file, of the investigation of the Jimmie Lee Straughter case. If the committee desires, I would surrender it to them as part of their record.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that a copy of it? Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. A copy of it will be received and marked exhibit 201.
(Document referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 201" for reference, and may be found in the files of the subcommittee.)
Mr. SPELLAR. On April 28, 1968, Paul Martin, the spiritual leader of the Blackstone Rangers, was arrested for possession of marihuana at 1470 East 67th Street, Chicago. According to this police report, of which I have no personal knowledge, Paul Martin was charged with possession of marihuana, contributing to the delinquency of minors, and keeper of a disorderly house.
Among others also arrested at this time, with Paul Martin, were Bernard Green, Melvin Bailey, Edwin Codwell, Fletcher Pugh, and William Troop, who are known to me as members in standing of the Blackstone Rangers.
I would prefer not to testify as to the particulars in this case due to the fact it is a pending case.
The CHAIRMAN. This case has not been disposed of!
Mr. SPELLAR. That is the Paul Martin arrested conjunctively with other members.
The CHAIRMAN. Paul Martin is supposed to be, according to the testimony, the spiritual leader of the Blackstone Rangers.
Do you know him in that capactiy ? Mr. SPELLAR. In this respect, Senator. I was at the third police district in the year of 1967, the early part of the year, as best my memory recalls, and at that time Paul Martin was present in the third district police station.
At the time that I saw him, he was carrying a black ebony staff. He was wearing a turban. He had a large, gold chain, with a large medallion. He was wearing a black turtleneck T-shirt, black trousers, and
black paratrooper type jump boots, along with a black robe, such as a judge or a reverend or something would wear.
The CHAIRMAN. Would that dress identify him as a spiritual adviser?
Mr. SPELLAR. No, sir, not really. I asked him what he was doing in that garb, and he told me that he was the spiritual adviser of the Blackstone Rangers.
The CHAIRMAN. He, himself, told you that?
The CHAIRMAN. All of these whose names you have mentioned here,
Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, sir; they are.
The CHAIRMAN. Were any of these or all of them on this Woodlawn project, this Federal project?
Mr. SPELLAR. The only familiarity that I have with the Woodlawn project would be the indication of the chart.
The CHAIRMAN. You don't know, of your personal knowledge ? Mr. SPELLAR. Not of my personal knowledge, Senator. The CHAIRMAN. All right, go ahead. Mr. SPELLAR. I would also like to bring to the attention of the committee that my office at this time has an indictment presently pending for trial in the criminal court of Cook County which alleges that Benny Fort, Willie Fort, and Larry Felder committed the offense of intimidation on Nevember 7, 1967, in that they, with intent to prevent Robert Earl Danse from testifying in the circuit court, Cook County, did communicate to the said Robert E. Danse a threat to inflict physical harm to Robert Earl Danse.
The second count, the second indictment charges the same defendants with the offense of communicating with the witness, Robert Earl Danse.
Inasmuch as this is a pending indictment, I respectfully request not to testify as to the case for fear of prejudicing the case when it appears for trial.
However, I should like to point out that Robert Danse was a State's witness in the McClure murder and that Benny Fort and Willie Fort are Jeff Fort's brothers, and that Larry Felder is a prominent member of the Blackstone Rangers.
The CHAIRMAN. The brothers of Jeff Fort, what are their ages?
Mr. SPELLAR. To the best of my recollection, I believe one is 18% I am not certain, but I think it is 18 and 19. It is within the latter teen-age bracket for both brothers.
The CHAIRMAN. They are charged with having threatened Danse. How old is Danse?
Mr. SPELLAR. Danse is 17, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. He was threatened with harm if he testified in the Hairston case?
Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, sir. And there was an overt move made indicating the threat which I would respect fully request to withhold at this time.
The CHAIRMAN. All right.
Mr. SPELLAR. The wording just previously read by me, sir, was the legal indictment that we have pending before the court. The CHAIRMAN. Very well.
Mr. SPELLAR. Larry Felder is a prominent member of the Blackstone Rangers.
Glen Stansberry, it should be Glenroy Stansberry, was murdered on October 20, 1967. Jeff Fort was indicted for the murder but the case was nolle prossed.
Concerning this murder, I had an occasion to try and contact a Robert Tubbs, age 19, who lives in the 6300 block of Maryland Avenue, seeking information possibly related to the murder. I had attempted several times to call his home. Each time I was informed by a female that she knew of no Robert Tubbs living at her home.
A few days later, I, Robert Pierson, and William Corbett of the State's attorney's office went to the home. This time Tubbs' mother met us at the door and it was obvious to us that she was badly shaken up.
When we inquired of her as to why she was so upset, she told us that Robert Tubbs was, in fact, her son and the reason for her being upset was that someone in the neighborhood may have seen us enter her home and would surmise that we were police officers and, further, that her son would furnish us information and, as a result of this, he would be killed when he went out into the street.
In our interview with Robert Tubbs, we found through our investigation that he had no personal knowledge of the Stansberry murder that we were investigating, but I mention this to the committee in an effort to indicate the tension in the Wodlawn area that prevails where policemen make an endeavor to gain information from witnesses and the obstacles they encounter by virtue of fear for their own safety.
In this same investigation of the Stansberry murder, an alleged witness to that murder, a youth by the name of Lerones Smith, a member of the East Side Disciples, was shot at on or about October 24, 1967, 4 days after the murder.
Lerones Smith was fired upon by members of the Rangers as well as being beaten by other members. He either could not, but I suspect he would not identify the Blackstone Rangers involved in the killing.
As a result of this incident, the State's attorney's office, through request of Lerones Smith's mother, had to relocate them from their home at, I am not sure whether it was 6157 or 6257 Kenwood Avenue, to a new location. The present address I would respectfully decline to give for fear of the boy's safety.
I would like to clarify this statement, Senator, where I mention that he would not identify the Blackstone Rangers involved in the killing.
He did identify a Jacob Cobb as the shooter of Glenroy Stansberry. In reference to not identifying anyone, it was made in reference to Jeff Fort. Jeff Fort had been originally arrested for this on the basis of a statement given by Lerones. But Lerones at a later date changed that statement and said he was not sure whether Jeff Fort was there.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Spellar, can you tell us to what extent this reign of terror prevails in the Woodlawn area, how long it has prevailed and what causes it?
Mr. SPELLAR. Senator, I have worked in the homicide section beginning in 1960 or 1961, at 9059 Cottage Grove Avenue. This is what we term in Chicago as“Area 2 Homicide.”
The CHAIRMAN. Area 2 homicide?
Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, sir. There are six areas within the city of Chicago containing detective sections and various units, such as homicide, burglary, robbery, general assignments, stolen autos.
Each area is subdivided and has custody of approximately three to four district stations. Area 2 homicide, among three other stations, also has the Woodlawn area, which is the third police district,
During the time that I served in the homicide section in the capacity of a detective, I had many, many occasions to investigate shootings. The homicide section, also, in addition to investigating homicides, investigates serious assaults, which would be shootings of a nonfatal nature, cuttings, stabbings, and all such crimes, such as rape or any other category, of which there are something like 20 in the sex series.
In that capacity, I would say that in Woodlawn alone, and I worked midnights for approximately 8 years, in Woodlawn alone about 80 percent of all the shootings that I and my two partners, Jack Cole and John Downey, had handled were in the area bordered by, I would say, 61st Street to 67th Street, which would be six blocks, and from Cottage Grove to Stony Island Avenue, which would be eight blocks.
So I would say in a six by eight block area, about 80 percent of our cases were in that particular area; 62d Street and University Avenue was known to the Homicide men as "no man's land," because University Avenue subdivided the Rangers on the east and the Disciples on the west.
(At this point Senator Curtis entered the hearing room.)
Mr. SPELLAR. When you ask me the question about the terror, I have been present at the Billings Hospital many, many times when a boy had been shot. They have expressed a complete terror inasmuch as when I go up to talk to an alleged witness or whom we hope to be a witness, that they would actually shy away from me to the point where they refused to either talk to me or to sometimes even identify themselves.
The mothers of the boys that we had lying in the emergency room would come to me and shake their heads and they would say that they had tried to talk their boy out of being a Ranger or a Disciple, to no avail.
At that time, I talked to many, many people who told me that if you live east of University Avenue, you were a Ranger. If you lived west of University Avenue, you were a Disciple, and you had no choice in the matter. You were one or the other.
The CHAIRMAN. Do all teenagers have to belong?
Mr. SPELLAR. In my opinion, yes, sir. Teenagers that live within the confines of that area have to belong to either one or the other group, because if they do not~and I have handled beatings as well, and when I have handled there beatings and shootings to try to get information from the victim was virtually as impossible to get as from witnesses. They just will not say who shot them or who cut them.
When I first came to Homicide in 1961–62, we would term a shooting of a teenager as a rather milk run case.
The CHAIRMAN. A what?
Mr. SPELLAR. A milk run case, sir. It would be a case where you asked the boy, “Who shot you?” and he would tell you immediately. I have witnessed personally a complete evolution of that theory, and I