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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When the others were herded into the dining room, Yvette and Guy Long were forced to lie on one side of the room. Yvette Long's boyfriend, Alfred "Bobby" Goodwin, 54, was forced to lie on the other side of the room with occupant Craig "40" Kilby, Ronette "Pooh" Abrams, 33, and Bruce Carter, 45. Edward "Petey" Sudler, 44, was also forced to lie face down on the floor.

Yvette Long told the Daily News that the killers then said, "If you had listened to me, motherfucker ..." before spraying the dining room with bullets.

Some of the victims tried to hide beneath a table; others curled against the wall in fetal position. Three tried to crawl toward the basement door.

After the killers finished shooting, police say one of them came back.

"I've gotta give this motherfucker some more," he said, according to Yvette Long's account.

He then shot Porter three more times.

Yvette Long pretended to be dead. When she was sure the gunmen had left, she called out to the other victims. Only one, Bruce Carter, answered, with a moan.

George Porter, Tyrone Long, Calvin Helton, Malik Harris, Alfred Goodwin and Edward Sudler were dead. Ronette Abrams later died at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Yvette Long, who had taken five shots to her legs, ran out onto Lex Street. There are only three occupied houses on the block. The rest are eyeless ghostly shells.

She yelled for someone to call the police.

When police arrived, shortly after 8 p.m., the carnage was absolute. Bodies lined the wall. Legs protruded from beneath a table. A cat in an upstairs bedroom sat curled in a ball, afraid to move.

George Porter, his back against the wall, his hands at his sides, was still.

His head had been riddled with bullets.

Police say the killers took about $50 worth of crack from Porter's crew.

In a cloistered community, where the very geography breeds secrets, the horror of Lex Street is another chapter in the never-ending story of Mill Creek.

It's a story that goes back generations.

Veronica Conyers, whose family has lived in the Mill Creek housing project for 30 years, is Calvin "CJ" Helton's mother. She grew up knowing the mothers of some of the teenage victims. She watched her son grow up with their children. She is still friends with Andrea Watson, Tyrone "Guy" Long's mother. She was Guy Long's godmother.

Watson, who lived in Mill Creek until the late '90s, remembers the anxiety of watching her children grow up in the projects.

"I used to worry because I used to let them kinda go around the back of the building," she says. "I could see from the porch. But when I had to move [out of the high-rise into one of the ground units] and Guy had to get with some of the other kids, some of them were really rough ... But they became friends."

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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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