The Protectors® Podcast

#461 | Michael Boyle | Gritty Truths: A Retired Officer’s Experiences with Child Crimes and Cold Cases

October 23, 2023 Dr. Jason Piccolo Episode 461
The Protectors® Podcast
#461 | Michael Boyle | Gritty Truths: A Retired Officer’s Experiences with Child Crimes and Cold Cases
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Meet our guest, Michael Boyle, a seasoned protector of Philadelphia's streets. With decades of experience under his belt, this retired Lieutenant of the Philadelphia Police Department walks us through the gritty realities of his tenure, providing a potent blend of wisdom and insight. From dealing with gut-wrenching sexual assault cases to navigating the convoluted labyrinth of detective work, there's no aspect of crime-fighting that Michael hasn't faced head-on. 

Our journey begins with Michael's reflections on child sexual assault cases, where he helps us understand the long-lasting impact on victims and their families. Drawing on his personal experiences, he offers a window into the invaluable role of the Philadelphia Children's Alliance, an organization that has been the beacon of hope for many traumatized families over the past three decades. As we traverse the complex terrain of detective work, Michael brings to light a 1975 case that showcases the power of learning and experience in law enforcement. 

As we move ahead, we plunge into the dark world of human trafficking. Michael unravels the process of obtaining a DNA search warrant and the unique challenges of communicating with non-English speaking victims. We also address the insidious rise of drug addiction, with a focus on the dangerous increase of fentanyl, xylazine, and other life-threatening drugs on our streets, especially in the Kensington area. 

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Make sure to check out Jason on IG @drjasonpiccolo


Speaker 2:

Don't let your kids watch that. Welcome to the protectors podcast. I'm here in person with Michael Boyle, retired Philly PD. Incredible background the reason I'm here today is because there is so much going on in this realm that Michael's been working on what? How many years on, Michael?

Speaker 1:

Well, now it's 30 to police department, and I've been here 13 years 13 years and we're talking as 13 plus 30.

Speaker 2:

13 plus 30. Yeah, oh yeah, 13 plus 30. Think about that Most of your life.

Speaker 1:

Pretty much yeah.

Speaker 2:

Most of your life dealing with parts of society that nobody really wants to take a look at. And what the topic we're going to talk about today is, I'm going to warn you it's very graphic. It's not a typical protectors interview or a very light topic. This is one that it's near and dear to everybody. It happens in every town, not just big cities like Philadelphia. Every single town has this issue going on. It's children, it's adults, it's everybody could be a victim, and there are so many victims. And we're talking about sexual assault. We're talking about violence against women, violence against children, violence against men. It's crazy to be in this realm for so long. You seem healthy, you seem mentally capable After 40 something years of this. Geez, michael.

Speaker 1:

Well, I've got a good family background my family and my current, my now family.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was nice. I interviewed your daughter not that long, god Lieutenant's daughter. We talked about topics like this and her dealing with you coming home after dealing with so many victims of crime, so many victims of sexual assault, rape, abuse, torture, and then coming home and keeping a family life and keeping a sanity.

Speaker 1:

I think I was able to achieve an ability to compartmentalize, to separate my work life from my family life. My family life was the most important to me. Work life was there, but I was able to put it aside when I left the office or left the job.

Speaker 2:

Now you retired from the PD working special victims unit and then you came over. You worked different jobs, but then you had the opportunity to come and work in the center. So where are we at right now?

Speaker 1:

Okay, when I retired I was Lieutenant in charge of the child abuse section of the special victims unit. I had been there, like I said, I had been a police officer for 30 years, five of it in patrol. I spent a year in the police athletic league. I spent two years or two and a half years as a divisional detective and then I made Sergeant. And when I made Sergeant I was assigned to special victims unit or sex crimes unit at the time. I was there as a Sergeant for five years. I took a Lieutenant's test. I went back to patrol for a year and a half in different districts in Kensington and in West Philadelphia and I had an opportunity to return to what was now called special victims unit as a Lieutenant, and so I did. I returned there and I guess it was 96 or thereabouts.

Speaker 2:

So you come back, you're in the special victims unit and Philly is a huge city. Now, what are your resources like back then?

Speaker 1:

Well, I'm not sure exactly what you mean.

Speaker 2:

I mean kind of compared to now. I mean now you have this nice location right now where everything's co-located. Back then it must have been.

Speaker 1:

Well with regard to special victims unit yeah. No, we didn't have this. This is the co-location was a huge achievement. It was in 2001 that it came into reality and fruition in 2001 and has proceeded into this new era. We wanted to be the social workers, the child abuse specialists and the police who do the investigations. We wanted to be able to have them interact more successfully and more efficiently, and to do that you had to get them physically together At least, if not professionally. You know, sometimes social workers and police don't quite see eye to eye as you might expect and we don't expect them to do that. They have a different role, they have a different mindset than police. Police are, you know find a bad guy, arrest him, convict him, send him to jail, rehabilitation we're not concerned too much about that. Social workers are, and that's their milieu, and so that still exists today. But at least now we can interact efficiently and we could disagree, but we could. You know, having people at the table physically it works. It works a lot better. Now we can have a forensic interviewer, specialist in child interviewing, sit down with a child and his family and hopefully disclose, while police and the discretor are looking in another room through a closed circuit camera so they can capture a disclosure of a very intimate, horrendous detail. The kid's not going to be particularly interested in telling a bad thing about dad or uncle, joe or mom's boyfriend or her brother or his brother. Having them disclose, that is one thing. Having them testify in a court, well, that's a whole nother achievement, a whole nother hurdle, not only for a child victim but for any victim. I used to tell people that to prosecute successfully, prosecute a sexual assault crime is more difficult than prosecuting a homicide. A homicide is very clear the victim is the victim. They're not moving. They're not going to move, they're not going to change the story. All you have to do is find out who done it and how they did it. With a sexual abuse victim, you have to get them to stay with the story, to stay with the theme and not throw it out. When you I didn't telecop that Well, we wrote it down. Well, I didn't tell him he's lying and that goes the case, or if in fact there is a conviction, the child might then blame the police for sending the breadwinner away, and so that makes the cop feel really, really bad, and I can attest to that personally. But that's what you have to do Now here. I think it's really a wonderful thing here. It really does. Now, since the Philadelphia Children's Alliance came into existence about 20, some years ago, 30 years ago, they still have two interviewers and that doesn't work. You know, jobs come in 24-7. I told you earlier, I'm usually not very busy here in the daytime, but at night it can be jumping, and so can the child abuse thing, because, god knows, whenever the child discloses, they disclose and they come in through 911 and they have to be interviewed. Now, if they're too sleepy, okay, they can do that, but they should do it in the morning. They should do it as soon as possible. Now they have I think they have at least a dozen interviewers, so it's working so much more efficiently.

Speaker 2:

That is the big thing. So this is the Philadelphia Sexual Assault Response Center.

Speaker 1:

Yes, we're part of Drexel University.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you know, coming out here and then looking at this actual building, it's like a one-stop shop, because most of the time things are never co-located. Usually the police are in their own one location, dhs and everybody else and the forensic people are all in like five different locations and then by the time one gets to the other and gets to the other, that child that you're talking about these interviews. Well, what if someone comes into their life who changes their story?

Speaker 1:

And it will.

Speaker 2:

And it will yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yes, it will.

Speaker 2:

But if they do it all at once and you have the same consistent story, the same location with different people within the same hours.

Speaker 1:

Not just take the child out of the house and put them in foster care? That's, that's not a very pleasant experience for the kid, and but that's what they'll do. And how long are you going to leave them there? At least, here it's kind of like taking the Band-Aid off quickly.

Speaker 2:

Now, when you're talking about children and you're talking about taking that Band-Aid off quickly, when you were first dealing with this you know were you did you first start out with children specifically Are?

Speaker 1:

we? No, I was a line operator. I was. I was in line. We handled whatever came in through 911. Most of the child abuse section. They mostly handled cases that are being referred to by the children and youth people, the DHS.

Speaker 2:

Now, this is one question I was thinking about too is like so you're coming off of being a regular police officer, right?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, a line detective. Yeah, was it detective handled burglaries, robberies, assaults.

Speaker 2:

And you go from that to now working, probably one of the most sensitive things. Like you know, people die homicides or homicides, drug dealers, or drug dealers. But when you start talking about someone touching children and rape, how did you deal with that?

Speaker 1:

It was an eye opener. It was pretty straightforward. You know, somebody was robbed. They tell you they were robbed, they were beaten up. They tell you and the chances are they're not going to be deceitful, unless it's they're doing a point of fraud or something like that. But generally you don't have to be critical or doubtful of the account In sex crimes work. I went in there thinking, oh, we really have to be careful here, because rape is a legal term. It's not a physical. There's no physical evidence that will speak to a crime. They'll speak to a sexual act, but not necessarily a crime. 90% of the victims that we see here there's no physical injury and if there is, it's minor and it actually can even be consistent with consensual sex, micro abrasion, that sort of thing it happens. So what you have basically is a scenario it's he said, she said, and then you have credibility. And how do you test credibility? By questioning. And if you question too much the victim becomes resentful, the untrustworthy of you and of the system. You have to be very, very tactful on how do you deal with it. You know I went in there when I first went to sex crimes. I was talking to a female detective who had been in sex crimes and I said what's the big deal? You know it is what it is. She said no, it's different. You'll learn. And this was a detective telling her supervisor you're a lawyer. Learn, you're on land. I learned that was different.

Speaker 2:

Drug world. Yeah, you know, you get someone that got the drugs in their hand, they got the money in their hand, you have a deal. Homicide get a confession, you got physical evidence, you got motive, you got a body. But when it comes to rape and child abuse and sexual child abuse and man hers like, putting that case together has got to be.

Speaker 1:

Well, child abuse cases are really mysterious. I mean, you have physical abuse, you have physical maladies. We had one case years ago a little boy, 10 years old. He died with an overdose of salt. He had like 10 times the amount of salt sodium that would be in your body and it caused his death. In fact, the doctor at the ER explained his brains went to mashed potatoes. How did that happen? Well, it turns out that I believe his stepmother was OCD and he was a 10 year old kid. Who was a 10 year old kid and he started to have bedwetting episodes. When they did an autopsy on a boy, he had bruising on his penis and his anus and he had 42 piercings on his, on his soles of his feet, minor piercings but on his soles of his feet. How do you explain all that? Well, as I said, mom is an OCD person and he was wetting the bed and actually began soiling. I think she gave him an episode salt enema or more than one, and I think she probably also clipped his penis to keep him from paying or at least to show him what could happen. She never admitted to that. The soles of his feet his sister explained that that he ran through. He was running in the house and they were playing with tax. They had you know some tax and it got knocked off the off the table onto the floor and he ran barefoot through it. I don't believe that, because every one of those penetrations were very shallow If you were going to run through it. Some are going to be deep, some are going to be flush. That wasn't the case. We never did figure out how he. We could never prosecute because it was just not there, although it was clearly a crime. I even present this case twice in front of the Pennsylvania Attorney General in Irishburg with all the experts there, to try to find out what could this be? Could this be a natural event? No, no, universally no. So we had to kind of let it go fallow for a while, idle for a while, and then about six months later I was looking at what we used to have teletypes. Then at the door, just close that door and I looked at the teletype and I noticed the address and I said wow, that's the same address with the boy. His father killed himself, hanged himself. Six months later. The stepmother overdosed. I don't know what the story is behind that, but it sure is curious, isn't it?

Speaker 2:

That brings up a good point is like, the things you've seen, the things you started to see, is like does it take a special type of officer, special kind of detective kind of personality to work these types of crimes?

Speaker 1:

Yes, yes, someone who is non-judgemental, someone who is open-minded and someone who is a certain degree of sophistication. You can't just go in and say, okay, it's a robbery, like in this case here. I got to learn a lot about munchausen by proxy. So many different things, so many different syndromes and conditions that you have to learn about and you can't go in there just being a quote dumb cop. You have to be a smart cop.

Speaker 2:

Do you have to be like, could you just train someone to do this job, or do they have to have something?

Speaker 1:

I think to some extent. Yes, you can, but to some extent you have to have a kind of a moral or a core that allows you to do it. You know what An emotional core.

Speaker 2:

Well, you talk emotions. We know about police stress. We know about the stress of the system. It's not just police, it's people who are dealing with this type of stuff all the time. You've been in this arena for a long time. Do you think, thinking back about your career and about where you're at now? Should there be a cap on how long someone should work in?

Speaker 1:

doing these kinds of things yeah, that's come up before, I think, dealing with different agencies like the Women's Law Project and so forth. That's been suggested to relieve the stress or to eliminate the burnout factor. I think they should have an opportunity to leave if they want to, but I don't think it should be compelled to. You don't want to give up your best pilot simply because he's 60 years old.

Speaker 2:

I am so glad you said that Because I came from the Fed world. With the Fed world, you do three, four, five, six years in one location. You work one specific crime and then you want to move, you want to transfer and you go somewhere else. You work different crimes. One thing about police I've noticed is you could be in the same jurisdiction, the same area, the same state, the same locality and be an expert. You know the people, you know who to contact. Your expertise is almost like having a PhD in law enforcement In reality. Yeah, that's what it is PhD in reality. The Fed world. I think you're kind of stuck in eighth grade.

Speaker 1:

I've got the Fed's. Yeah, believe me.

Speaker 2:

We're not going to talk about the FBI.

Speaker 1:

Okay, but we'll talk about them offline.

Speaker 2:

But no, but that's the deal, though. At first with that question I'm like you know what? There should be a cap Five, six years. But then I'm like five, six years is when you become an expert. Five, six years is when you're quote unquote a doctor of that specific thing you know and you're continuously learning. And if you're passionate about it, you're not just doing this job, you're going to continue to learn, like what you were talking about before. But if you didn't know something well, I didn't know about Munchausen and I didn't know about this you learned and you become that. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

If you stop learning, then it's time to get out because you never learned at all. There's always more to learn. There's more cases to look at. There was a case some time ago, in 1975. I was at the time finishing college and that was the day of the gas rationing and all that.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, I'm a little dizzy.

Speaker 1:

And I used to get a gas. I used to get a gas at a gas station and they would like give me a little break. I don't know why, but they did so. It was good. And the only reason I mentioned that is because, fast forward to the 2000, 20 years later, I guess it was young woman came into our office. I happened to be walking down the hallway and she asked me for directions and I said well, who are you? And she said no, no, what do you need? She told me who she was. She was the sister of a young man who was a gas station attendant at this gas station where I used to get gas. He was 17 years old and on Columbus Day and that's October, it's cold or chilly he went missing. No idea what happened. He just gone now, left the behind with his cigarettes, his lunch, but not him. He was never found. A week, 10 days later, a body, and, by the way, he was dressed in jeans and coveralls and sneakers. 10 days later, duck hunters over in New Jersey, over on the Jersey side of the Ben Franklin well, whitman Bridge, down down by the airport, they found the naked body of a white male, bloated and decomposing, but it was a male. They took him out. I did an autopsy. They did look at it as possibly related to the missing boy, michael, and they ruled it out because they ruled the body to be uncircumcised. Michael was circumcised. They ruled him out because Michael had a strawberry birthmark on his cheek but because of the blackening of the skin they didn't see it. And they also ruled him out because his dental records didn't match 100%. Although they were close, they were like 90%. They ruled it out and they burned him as a pauper, a John Doe and a psych facility that had since been closed psychiatric grounds, hospital grounds, they had since been closed. And then on Mark Grave, the daughter or the sister came up and said could you please look into this again? And she was telling me about and it's over and true to me because I used to get my gas there, you know I said, okay, I'm gonna do this. So I got two of our long-term missing person detectives To go over to Jersey find out some records from the homicide or from the autopsy. And she found records. She found photographs. We sent those photographs to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children to see if they could match it up to known photographs of the boy. They did His ear matched 100%. They were able to fill her out, the decomposition and there was the mark. So now all we had to do was find the body. Of course, the records were bad. We found somebody, a caretaker, who told us where it probably was buried where to get a search warrant. Blah, blah, blah. 25 years later, we dug up the remains and, of course, we had a dental expert there at the grounds Haskell Askins, I think his name was. He compared the teeth at the scene. He said, yeah, that's him, but I'll give you a confirmation later. We didn't even have to do DNA. Okay now how did he get naked? It's a tidal river, it's not a river rapid. I argued with the District Attorney over in Jersey, over in Canton County, there should be a homicide. Well, no, it's gonna be undetermined. I said what?

Speaker 2:

are you?

Speaker 1:

talking about it's undetermined because there was no flesh on the body at all. I said how can't be, so we'll make it undetermined, We'll make it a suicide, Get out of here A suicide. He jumped into a cold river and I and I being a smoker at the time I said I would have had that last cigarette before I made that leap. And then how did he get naked? He stripped down first.

Speaker 2:

No, no, I don't believe I had that.

Speaker 1:

Now I wanted the medical examiner over and he did rule in a homicide until the politics got involved and they went back to undetermined and that's where it stays today. So I mean, but I know this boy was killed and I have reason to believe that it was the manager at the time. There was a homosexual act.

Speaker 2:

You know, but and nowadays that brings up the technology aspect of it you know, when you're talking about your first career and the career is like the 70s and the 80s, even the 90s. Now you have DNA and now you have these forensic experts and everything, when you're dealing with these crimes now a lot of it still, even with all of this technology in the world. What you were saying before is he said, she said yeah, that's right. So you really need, like your gift of GAD, your negotiating, your interviewing, your interrogation techniques really need to be top notch, you have to be top shelf and your empathy has to be there.

Speaker 1:

You have to be compassionate and empathetic and you have to say what if it were I? What if it were family, my family member? That's what he's telling people all the time. Treat them as if it's a golden rule. You know it works. It really does. It's worked for centuries.

Speaker 2:

I'm glad he brought up family members too. It's like I did interview your daughter, the lieutenant's daughter. She has a really cool thing going on, but you know how can family members of an officer serving in these units really help you?

Speaker 1:

To be understanding that sometimes I'm going to miss a dance or I'm going to miss a baseball game because I have an obligation here. As much as I have an obligation there, I have an obligation here and there are ways to compensate, especially in the detective bureau. If you're able to get away for a little while, you can see an inning or two, but you can't stay for the whole game because you're strapped to your radio. Now you strapped your cell phone, but back then it was your radio or your beeper, beeper, yeah, but as long as they understand the importance of what the police officer is doing and it's just as important what he has to do or she has to do for them. It's just something that they have to be understanding of that They'll work, consumed the body and killed the child and consumed the body and she believes the child is still alive. So I'm sure I'll talk to her. Well, it turns out she didn't speak English, but that's okay because I had a Spanish speaking officer detective. I said Manny, who was a really kind of a gruff, you know, you know street-hardened cop. I said Manny, just be, you know, be sensitive and go in and talk to her and don't be critical and don't give her the. You know the stinky eyeball. You know, understand that she believes this. He came at his crime, I believe the boss Whoa really. So we got into it. We got in the birth records, death records, fire records, you name it. The more we dug, the more we convinced that we had. We knew who the suspect was. We found that she had had she had been arrested once before for setting a fire to cover up a theft. We knew that she had had her the flipping tubes tied when the child had presumably been born. We knew that she'd doctored up a phony birth certificate. We found a woman that she claimed to be the midwife where she, the child, was born at home. We found her in Florida. That's not true. We found out that she even faked the death of another child and had a funeral to raise money. So we had a lot of probable cause here to believe that this child that she was raising was in fact that infant who had been abducted that day or thought to have been consumed in the fire. The fire was restricted to a bedroom. The media showed the fire. People, firemen taking out what they thought was remains of the child was actually bedding they hadn't melted. The fire was restricted to one room and consumed consumed very little of the property. So how could it evaporate or cause it to go into gas? Not even ashes. So we believed for sure that we had the right, we were on the right track. So we got a search warrant for DNA from from the presumed mother what we thought was the real mother and the father and the child, the child for the child. We used a search warrant for the suspect. We used a search warrant for the others until we used the consent. We collected the child's DNA in the mother in the suspect mother's lawyer's office. Now this was difficult because we weren't going to let that child go home with her. We were going to take her in the custody for until the DNA results came back, because mom we figured mom was going to fly to PR and we're never going to see her again. So anyway, we're all there, they, while we're getting ready, the lawyer's looking at the warrant and all that, mom's stepmom or fake mom says, yeah, let me, she wants to go to the bathroom, I'm going to take her to the bathroom. So they go to the bathroom, we come back. We didn't go in the bathroom with her, but yeah, we went to the bathroom.

Speaker 2:

So anyway we collected the DNA.

Speaker 1:

We took the child. She told me the youth took the child on. I assured them look, my word, this is a Friday. Oh, my word, as soon as the results come back, you'll either have your child back or you're going to be in trouble. That's, that's my oath they could. The lab called me some day morning, match. Okay, we talked to the kid. We had to get second. Well, that's the other thing I forgot. We had to get a second search warrant because on the way to the foster placement the little girl told the detective who was riding with her, you know, mommy sprayed something in my mouth. It was really nasty tasting. I believe it was watered down bleach. She was trying to defeat the DNA test. Well, in fact, both DNA tests came back positive that she was not the mother. You know, anyway, that we were nominated then for officer award of the year. Well, I got a call one day. She said you ain't gonna believe us, but Secret Service will talk to you. Get out of here. You know cops do this all the time. They got you I said I'm not calling anybody. You told them to call me. So they did. Next thing you know we're we're on a. We were gonna go to first class on the plane, but one of my detectives he refused to fly, so we went down on ASL. It was a marvelous experience really, was.

Speaker 2:

So you got to meet the president.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and Schumer and all kinds of people.

Speaker 2:

You know, he brought up something that I didn't even think about before until right now is the not just the language barrier, but culture.

Speaker 1:

Filly yeah.

Speaker 2:

Incredibly diverse city and you're dealing with a lot of different cultures, and especially when it comes to sex crimes, so you must have to really dig it deep to get a diverse police force and are to have that. When you talk about the sensitivity to also be empathetic and sensitive to cultural beliefs.

Speaker 1:

We're fairly lucky, drexel, our mother ship. Here we do run a deficit, but they shoulder it, and one of the things we have is a language line, which it's not a telephone thing, it's actually a computer where we can do FaceTime with the interpreter. You know, did you ever do the language line on telephone? It's like really, it's like madding, but this has been so much easier, so much better, and it's not cheap, but it's very useful. But you say culturally, especially as regards the sex crimes, so many not so much American culture, but some of the cultures that we're dealing with now Middle Eastern culture, asian culture they're not going to disclose. Usually the patient or the victim will not initially disclose unless it's a really violent assault, which it often is not. Most of the time it's not, especially with a child. They're just groomed and they're not. You know, obviously there are people or killers out there, but most of your offenders are not like that.

Speaker 2:

You know that brings us up to this article you showed me before we started. It was about a case, you know. I'm just going to read like a little excerpt of it and this is about. You know, someone attended a police training seminar in Philadelphia and they talked about this case. So in the case there was a video and it says the video was seen as evidence in a case where a Philadelphia University student, samir Ali, engaged in a systematic torture of drug-addicted prostitutes in a basement of a banded city house. Now, when we're talking about victims and we're talking, I really want to talk about this case prostitutes can be victims.

Speaker 1:

They are victims.

Speaker 2:

So let's talk about this case and how you got involved.

Speaker 1:

Prostitutes are victimized in many, many ways. I mean they're robbed, they're beaten up, they're raped, they're killed. You know, my son, there's a case with Kensington Strangler. I don't know if anybody ever told you about that. This guy would rape, sodomize prostitutes and then kill them. I think he did four or five and because most of it was handled by homicide but because of the sexual assault component, we got involved. The reason I bring it up is one of his victims was a nursing student. My son went to Gwynedd Mercy Nursing School and we lived in an upper middle-class neighborhood and she was a neighbor. I didn't know her, but you know she was a neighbor. My son knew her. I didn't like her but he knew her Well. She was also drug-addicted and for a time she'd be clean and for a time she wouldn't be Well. When there wouldn't be time she was down on the avenue. She was the fifth victim, you know. So I say that because prostitutes can come, especially drug-addicted prostitutes can come from anywhere and they are going to be victimized in so many ways. This particular case.

Speaker 2:

Well, one thing before you get into this particular case was this is a Philadelphia University student.

Speaker 1:

No, he was a Temple student. A Temple student, that was a misprint, yeah, okay.

Speaker 2:

But what the thing is? He's a college student, yeah, a college student. So he's not, like you know, down on his luck or some sociopath type breeze in college.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I met him, saw spoken kid. In fact, I met him in the bathroom. I was standing at the door and he had to come in with three and stand in the next one and he started talking to me. I didn't mean to do this and he didn't know who I was. I don't think it was. Do I have to warn him? I guess not. Anyway, I paid attention to what I was doing. He actually told us about some physical abuse by his father at a younger age and maybe that's where his circuitry got crossed. I don't know. But he was a very soft spoken, polite kid, except for this.

Speaker 2:

Now, what did he do?

Speaker 1:

He'd recruit these girls, these women, as I said, as you said, that was a videotape so we were able to look at a lot of the evidence and we discovered women who never reported it. Some of them were really beat up, old kind of burnout drugies, but still he was engaging with them sexually as well as inflicting physical damage. They would agree to his craziness to some extent, but I don't think they really were aware of how crazy he was. I mean, the one woman he beat so badly she spent several days in the hospital for internal bleeding. I mean he would beat them. And to watch this video? To watch this video. The reason I showed this video at this training seminar was to illustrate and not to discount a prostitute or a crack whore, as they say, because they are victimized. That person is representing everybody in the commonwealth, not just that individual, but they represent everyone. Could be your sister, could be your mother, could be yourself. So that person who's doing that vile, evil thing to these people has to be stopped.

Speaker 2:

Well, when he writes in here too, it's like. So. The author of this wrote about the video he watched and he said we watched a young woman strip naked and bound by wrist to a pipe near the wall, being mercilessly whipped over every inch of her body by a young man who calmly and persistently structured on what postures to assume and presenting her to his wrath. Allie would order the women to assume a particular posture and then whip her until she could no longer physically sustain her position. Once she would move, he would verbally reprimand her in a calm, soft voice in contrast to an increased intensity of his beatings. I mean, this guy is like it's like nothing to him. He doesn't look at people as a human being.

Speaker 1:

No, no, he did not see that at all. And I wanted to show that video. And I don't know if you got to the point where, like I said, there were about 100, maybe 150 people there. They were all experienced law enforcement from around the region and I said, look, I'm going to explain to you how we're going to do this without sound, because the sound was really bad. So we're doing it without sound. It's only going to be about a 30 second clip, but it's viable. And if you think that you can't deal with it, close your eyes, leave the room, have a smoke, but I'm doing it for a purpose I want to sensitize you to this issue, okay. So I turned around. I said, okay, go on. Then I heard the thought One of the detectives, I believe some writing, he passed out, just this guy who you know a tough guy passed out, got a cold, rescue and all that. And that was an eye opener to me that he had something in his background, some trauma in his background, that just triggered that response. So I hope it really did something for the rest of the audience as well.

Speaker 2:

Well, the other thing, too, is like the dehumanization of people who are addicted. They're human beings. You know, before I came up here, you know I told you I visited Kensington before and you see what's going on in Kensington and you're like wow. But then you think about these are people's brothers, these are people's sisters, these are people's family members and as someone who's lost a loved one of my brother to addiction, I look at it differently and especially coming from a law enforcement world where you may be getting desensitized, it seems like in your position, you've maintained your sensitivity and the people you work with have maintained their sensitivity, rather than getting jaded. Yeah, so I commend you for that.

Speaker 1:

Well, I used to drive down Kensington Avenue too, when we were located at a physical hospital. Kensington Avenue was a good route to go to work and I would see the same girls in the morning. You know, and this was years ago, this is before the fentanyl and all that but you could tell. You know, it was like who's the whore? You know, as I'm driving down at like six o'clock in the morning, like why are you there? You're not waiting for a bus, you know, especially with the roll, and I would see them not as what they were then, but I would see them through my kids' eyes, like somebody loves you once and you're not lovable anymore. You know that that was hard to see every morning.

Speaker 2:

That's the reality of the whole country now too. It's not just these, and that's one of the big reasons I wanted to come out here is like this happens here, but it also happens in every town, every town, whether it's prostitution, addiction or all homicide, social assaults, rapes, child abuse, child sex crimes. It happens everywhere and what you have a great model here. But how would you, what would your advice be to a small department? You know, let's say you have a department that has 20, 30 people, their, their DSS workers might be, you know, 30 miles away and timely and s how would you? Would you consider task forces or would you consider some way to what's a good model, in your opinion, for a small department?

Speaker 1:

To respond to just a sign, let's just say oh, not everything.

Speaker 2:

Let's just, let's just limit it. I mean because, seriously, I mean you can't, you can't respond to it, I mean you're going to be lacked. But you know, one of the most vulnerable communities we have is our children. So how for, let's say, child sexual abuse, or that's one of the main areas, how would you get the right people to work, the right crimes? Because a lot of these departments in small towns their officers are doing the investigation. They're officers who may maybe like one year out of the academy who doesn't know what they're doing? Are doing these investigations?

Speaker 1:

They're, at least at the preliminary stages, correct. Yeah, one thing I would want to be screened at is people who had been victimized as as a youth, because then they're kind of working with catharsis that you know, dealing with it through somebody else's cathartic. For them it's really not that'll take up, be helpful. I remember one time we had a forensic interviewer, a civilian, doing a forensic interview. We had an office set up where you know I it was kind of private, but not private at the same time and I was in my office and I heard a cry. I thought what the hell's that? And I come out to the main room and I see this young girl crying. That's the interviewer and she's running to the elevator. Well, it turns out the child had disclosed to her something similar that had happened to her as a child and reopened those wounds and she couldn't handle it. They never saw her again. So no, we don't want to have somebody who has been previously victimized or still has the residual effect of it anyway.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the residual affects the big things. Like a lot of people can use that victimization.

Speaker 1:

They can and that might be their passion. Yeah, it could, but it could also be deleterious. It could be it could be skew their judgment. Because you know we don't want to. As police officials, we don't want to put someone or accuse someone of a sex crime, especially a sex crime against a child, because even if you didn't do it, you're always going to be suspect. I won't get out. It's a crass saying which I won't get into it, but if you do it once, you'll always be one. You know what I mean.

Speaker 2:

So let's talk about resources. Like you're, I always hated the king for the day, president for the day. But and Philly, what's the most resources you need here? Manpower.

Speaker 1:

There's not enough police to do all that's being required of them. Police are the only agency and any jurisdiction that's 24-7 available and there has to do a whole lot of things Checking the well-being, traffic, criminal investigation, respond to 911 calls, which are myriad, you know everybody called 911 and get about. We want to get a quick response. Man with a gun, all right, that's you know everybody knows that. You know we, just the other day, last week, two cops coming to work parked their car. Sees four thugs trying to steal a car and they do you aware of this. Oh yeah, these creeps open fire on the two cops who are on their way to their job at the airport. The airport is kind of like retirement village for police. You go there when you're in the twilight of your career. You're directing traffic and answering questions. You know these guys probably carpooled to work. So these creeps breaking into a car, approached them not knowing they were armed. They killed one police officer, stole his gun and they shot the other one in the arm. Now they're all under well, one's dead. I think one of the officers returned fire on each one and the other. The other three are in custody now, but that just happened last week. So yeah, we need resources and you know there's not enough people in that particular car lot, car the thefts nobody knew this until now. Our thefts have been astronomically high. Why? Because there's nobody patrolling the goddamn car lot. They don't have the manpower. In the 25th district, where you were today in Kensington, when I came on the job in 1981, we stood three ranks of eight. Okay, we had five wagons and 14 cars Now, not every night where they all met, but that's how many we had. We had cops on top of cops and it was in 81 where the jobs were plentiful, but not crazy like they are now Shooting a cop. Then it was bad and nobody would do it, or rarely would it to be done. Now it's just yeah, okay, I'm going to shoot you, I'm going to put a cap on your cop and to keep the morale up you have to do that. Whether it's a big city cop or a small town cop. You got to give them the out-of-boys that they deserve. You got to give them discipline too, but it's discipline's a positive and a negative route. I prefer positive discipline to negative. Negative doesn't get you anywhere. Positive discipline or reinforcement does, and that's kind of what they need. So, in addition to the bodies, you need the support, and right now the support's not there. The Lloyd killing, the Black Lives Matter movement it's destroyed support and the liberal media. It's an anti-police world we're living in. So who the hell wants to be a cop?

Speaker 2:

Even with liability insurance. I know I was playing my son.

Speaker 1:

By the way, we found out as a kid he was colorblind and I was happy. Why? Because cops can't be colorblind, yeah.

Speaker 2:

You know, you bring up a lot of great points and, like you know, the first time I came to Kensington was probably about six months ago and it's changed since then. You know, I went there literally an hour ago and it's way worse than before. It keeps getting worse and it's the ground zero of the fentanyl and xylazine and whatever else are going to throw out at next. There's nothing there. I mean, it's like it's like one of the. It's like an open air drug market. You can pretty much whatever you want to do you're going to do it and they're not.

Speaker 1:

they're coming from all over. We said this several times. That's where you go. That's the epicenter. It's not going to be in Lansdale or Doyle's town. It's going to be there, although they're coming from those places. You know, we used to. You know, do a car stop. What are you doing down here? Oh, I got lost. Now you didn't. Now, you didn't get lost, buddy.

Speaker 2:

You know you brought up I brought this up in my interview that when I talked to the Haida guy you know I used to work here in probably 2010, 2009. I'd be all over the city and when you went to Kensington you're like, hey, you know it's going to be drugs, yeah, but it's not going to be like this.

Speaker 1:

This is like this is a zombie world. Yeah, it's not to the living dead is what this is. You ever see that movie yeah?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, of course yeah.

Speaker 1:

You know, when they are like this, coming in, that's what, that's what it is, and the other thing is like all the crimes still happen there.

Speaker 2:

The sexual assaults are still happening, just because someone's hide, as me, and they're not going to. You know, abuse someone, rape someone or abuse. When you bring up critical manpower, you need it all across everywhere. The whole city needs it, the whole country needs it. But, man, there's a lot to do.

Child Sexual Assault and Philadelphia Police
Detective Work
DNA Warrant and Human Trafficking Case
Small Police Departments
The Worsening Drug Crisis in Kensington