Crackup on Lex Street

It was the biggest mass killing in the city's history. But that doesn't begin to tell the story of what happened that night in West Philadelphia.

By Solomon Jones
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 14 | Posted Feb. 14, 2001

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The air was thick with anticipation as nearly a dozen crack dealers gathered in the Chan Long Chinese takeout restaurant at June and Brown streets in Mill Creek, a long forgotten section of West Philadelphia.

As the men stood peering out the Chinese restaurant window, George "Jig" Porter, 18, a dealer who had seen his share of shootings and drug deals on that very corner, stood confidently among the group.

One of the dealers, Quiante Perrin, 19, lived next door to Porter's young business partner, 15-year-old Samuel Malik Harris Jr., known as Malik, in the Mill Creek housing project. Another, 23-year-old Hezekiah "Griz" Thomas, allegedly sold drugs with Shawn Crews, one of Porter's rivals. But like Perrin, he knew Porter.

When Porter left the restaurant to talk to a friend on the corner, he didn't notice the other dealers watching him.

"They knew what they was about to do that night," says a former dealer who witnessed the scene. "It was like, nine or 10 people just looking. I can imagine what they was thinking."

Porter and Harris had been warned by the other dealers to stop selling high-quality crack cocaine at half-price from the house on Lex Street. But Porter couldn't possibly have imagined what ignoring those warnings would mean.

Porter left the restaurant with another man and went to the drug house at 816 Lex St. When Porter went inside, police say the other man gave a signal.

A few minutes later, police say Shawn Crews met with Perrin, Thomas, Jermel Lewis, 23, and Sacon Youk, 19, in the Chinese restaurant at June and Brown.

Two of Porter's friends, Tyrone "Guy" Long, 18, and Calvin "CJ" Helton, 19, were already inside the house on Lex Street.

Long, neighbors and relatives say, was working with Porter, selling drugs at the house. But his "shift" was not supposed to begin until 10 that night.

CJ Helton's mother, who lives in North Philadelphia, insists her son was not selling drugs. But neighbors in Mill Creek say he had been selling drugs with Porter since he lost his job in October.

That night, according to friends and relatives, Long and Helton went to the house on Lex Street and smoked a blunt before Long's shift. Malik Harris, Porter's 15-year-old partner, was guarding the door.

Two men knocked on the door. Apparently recognizing them, Harris let them in. Two masked men rushed in from behind the unmasked men. All four had guns.

One of the gunmen grabbed Guy Long and took him to the upstairs bedroom that his aunt, Yvette Long, a longtime crack addict, rented from the house's occupant, 37-year-old Craig "40" Kilby. Another gunman went upstairs with them. Crime scene photos show freshly splintered wood around Long's bedroom door, indicating that the killers forced the door open.

Then, according to reports, the man holding Guy Long at gunpoint threatened to kill his Aunt Yvette and the others if they didn't give up everything they had.

They did.

The gunmen then forced the occupants of a second bedroom into Yvette Long's room. They tried to get all six to lie on the floor. When they couldn't fit all the victims into the tiny, neatly arranged bedroom, the gunmen took them downstairs.

The other two gunmen already had George Porter and Malik Harris--the dealers who were their main targets--lying in the middle of the floor along with Calvin "CJ" Helton.

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 14 of 14
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1. kimmi64 said... on Sep 3, 2008 at 12:22PM

“i could have been there too. i just happen to be at kirkbride rehab center in west philly at the time, not too far from the bottoms. i was that caught out, crack addict,hiv having prostitute that hung out at crack houses like that across the city. to think yhat i could have been laid out on that floor with the rest of them makes me feel unimagineably wonderful, being saved from that horrible death. whew”

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2. adeena said... on Dec 16, 2008 at 07:58AM

“as salaamu alaikum! masha'allah 4 the lives that weren't taken. Alhamdulillah”

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3. none yah said... on Feb 18, 2009 at 09:34AM

“yall dont know nothing about nothing...... ”

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4. Anonymous said... on Apr 28, 2009 at 02:19AM

“It is a damn shame those people lost their lives. I grew up playing ball at the Creek, playing football across from Sorrows and Sis Clara Mohammed, eating at Dwights and it makes me wanna cry for the families that lost loved ones. I've been to Iraq and Korea twice and its a damn shame that my neighborhood is still is disarray.”

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5. Anonymous said... on Jul 13, 2009 at 10:45PM

“There will be a movie about this compelling story sometime next year, and I guarantee the City of Philadelphia is gonna have a question or two to answer. It was indeed a shame that four young men were wrongfully accused, which leads me to believe they just strong-armed and chose those who allegedly "confessed" to the killings.

Tragic.”

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6. kishia hanible said... on Aug 18, 2010 at 01:43AM

“i have read the book watch the dvd listen to the case the youngest one that got killed was my cuzin sam i don't know what went down that night but who ever did the shit will pay rather it be in life or death they will pay and i tell you their is no system that can do what god won't do and beleave me they will suffer....r.i.p to all of them.”

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7. Steve Wright said... on Jul 24, 2011 at 10:42PM

“I left Philly in 1979 for the service to get far away from the violents in the Mill Creek section of town. I returned for a visit to family and friends in June 2011 and in hope to see that this city has improved over the years. Philly is basically the same as I left it which is a shame, When I was growing up there it was alot of shooting and killing like it is now. Growing up on June Street between Parrish and Brown I feelsf or those who lost there life on Lex St. Rest in peace Petey I remember many games of basketball we played at the courts of Mill Creek playground. R.I.P. Petey”

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8. Anonymous said... on Sep 11, 2011 at 04:39PM

“IT SADINS ME TO KNOW I WENT TO SCHOOL WITH A LOT OF THE PPL OF LEX ST... PPL PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE STOP THE VILOENCE THE ELDERLY ARE OUT LIVING THE YOUNG. IT MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL.......SIMPLY CRAZY!!! WHATS HAPPEN TO LETS SHAKE & MAKE UP!!!!”

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9. Anonymous said... on Jan 17, 2012 at 04:06PM

“SOMETHING JUST TOLD ME TO LOOK UP THIS CRIME.. AND ITS CRAZY HOW IT HAS BEEN TEN YRS AND THINGS HAVENT GOTTEN ANY BETTER..... LIKE SERIOUSLY THE YOUNGEST PERSON WOULD HAVE ONLY BEEN 25 LIKE MYSELF. WE WENT TO JAMES RHODES TOGETHER... PPL STOP KILLING OUR FUTURE OFF.. YALL DONT UNDERSTAND THAT, THAT IS WHAT IS GOING ON....”

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10. sexylady46 said... on Jan 21, 2012 at 08:43PM

“This sad that these seven ppl was killed over a fucking car”

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11. DownthewayJ said... on May 24, 2012 at 09:09PM

“Grew up in west Philly. Lived on Lancaster Ave. Shame how we continue to kill each other. When will we learn? As-salaamu-alaikum”

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12. mike war said... on Jul 20, 2012 at 07:51AM

“R.I.P JIG

46 street for life! all was senseless

r.i.p buzzy”

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13. ryan said... on Aug 31, 2012 at 12:25PM

“He said, 'This is a press conference, not a community meeting,'" Long recalls. "How can you say that as the mayor. you elected that clown and look where it got you. black people dont get the big picture thats why when you walk into a prison its made up of 65percent blacks. i recall abraham lincoln freed the slaves and yet you vote for democrats the blacks. because they want free money!”

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14. Anonymous said... on Dec 4, 2013 at 06:34PM

“this story needs to be updated. at least 4 other men were charged. the 1st 4 were aquitted.”

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