I got Badges, Bullets & Bars in the mail and started reading it.
I am amazed (maybe pleased is a better word) to find that one story -- a police urban myth I constantly heard -- is true. There are many crazy stories cops tell. And every squad has its own ghosts. Most of the stories are probably true (you really "can't make this shit up"). But cops are also good bullshitters, so you never know for sure.
There are stories that come to mind that I fully believe are true but weren't in my book because, well, I didn't see it.
One involves fake snow and a sleeping police officer.
another involves an officer who dragged a cold dead body across the street so he wouldn't have to do paperwork.
Turns out the dead guy had the misfortune of dying right on a post boundary line. What made it even worse was the the line wasn't even a district line (I mean if he dumped the body on the Southeast... or even gave it Sector 1, well, that is a little funny). But the SOB dragged the body across the street so another member of his own squad had to deal with it! What a prick.
Or who knows? Maybe it never happened. (But it did.)
Another story I heard (many times) involved brothers on Durham St. One brother stabbed his brother with a butcher's knife. On Thanksgiving. At the family dinner table. Why? Because they were arguing about who would get the turkey legs.
Now that's certainly a doozie of story! True? Who knows? I mean, I wouldn't kill my brother over a bird leg. But then there's a lot of behavior in the Eastern I wouldn't do.
But I rarely heard stories that weren't true... I mean, why make shit up when there's such much true that is unbelievable?
But still... Thanksgiving? turkey leg? brothers? carving knife? table all set up and everything. It seemed too picture perfect to be true. I mean, maybe they were just "brothers." And it wasn't Thanksgiving. And it was while eating a chicken box. But really it was about something else.
Well... I'll be damned. In his book, Dan Shanahan was working Sector Two in the Eastern and says not only is the story true, but he was the primary at the scene! On Durham Street. In my sector. It happened back in 1976. (The way the story was told, it always seemed like it happened just nights before I hit the streets in 2000). Twenty-five years later (only one officer I worked with had more than 24 years on) this story was still being told to represent everything that was f*cked up about the Eastern.
Still. I'm happy to read this. I feel like Mythbusters. "Man in Eastern stabs and kills brother over turkey leg at family Thanksgiving dinner." Confirmed!