Wayne “Silk” Perry is the most infamous gangster to ever walk the streets of Washington D.C. aka Drama City. He’s been called the Michael Jordan of the murder game. A professional head hitter and alleged killer. The streets hold a definite respect, a curious awe and a healthy amount of fear for the man they called Silk. “Wayne was one of those niggas that lived by the code, but played by his own rules.” Says E, a gangsta who came up under Silk. In the Chocolate City it was by any means necessary and Silk took this attitude to new extremes with his boldness in the face of adversity and challenges.
Nobody was off limits to Silk and nothing was undoable. According to police, Silk was legendary for his willingness to kill at will- in broad daylight, up close and personal, in front of the police- it didn’t matter if you were on his hit list you could be killed anywhere in front of anyone. There was nowhere to hide, it’s alleged that Silk would lay in wait for his prey all night until he got his opportunity to strike. Murder, robbery, drug dealing and extortion were said to be his business and he took it seriously. He prided himself as a man that could put his mind to whatever he wanted, as he conquered all aspects of the game.
Wayne Perry is the man who protected self-proclaimed Harlem drug lord and notorious snitch Alberto “Alpo” Martinez. Working as an enforcer for the so-called Martinez organization, a powerful DC-based drug ring, Silk acted as bodyguard and hitman for Alpo, who after he was apprehended by the law and arrested snitched on his too loyal right hand man, Wayne and countless others. But Silk didn’t get down like that. He took his on the chin and kept on fighting. He held true to the code of the streets that spawned him. He’s gone down in infamy, as one of the top soldiers from the Murder Capital. A true warrior and hustler who lives by the creed of death before dishonor. The Washington Post called him one of the District’s most heinous murderers, and almost fifteen years after his rise, the streets are still talking about him.
“Wayne was so smooth with that murder shit that when he first started killing for money in the city niggas didn’t even know who was knockin’ them heads. Niggas was talking about it was a hit man in town from Detroit somewhere,” a dude from the era says. And as Silk’s name took on the eminence of his actions, he quickly became one of the most feared dudes in the city. “Some niggas used to try to feed slim to keep him off they ass.” Manny says. “Rayful Edmond used to try to drop loads of shit down 203, but Wayne used to be like, ‘Nah, I’m cool. I don’t want nothing from you.’ He wanted to make his own way. He had a game plan.” It was said that when Wayne was on the streets, certain hustlers wouldn’t even drive nice cars because they didn’t want Wayne to think they were getting money. And weak dudes or those that were punks weren’t supposed to have shit as far as Wayne was concerned. Eighty percent of the dudes that fucked with him back then did so out of fear. When he started taking money for hits nobody was safe. If the price was right and the joker wasn’t in Wayne’s circle he had no problem killing them. There are stories of Silk sleeping in the yards of dudes that had money on their heads until he could get them. “I don’t play that across the street shit,” Wayne says. “I walk right up and put seven in the head like it ain’t shit.” The fear that he put in the hearts of some people was like no other.
In every hood there’s an individual whose supreme talent seems to be a penchant for murdering others for whatever reason. These individuals are elevated and upheld as heroes in their hoods and for good reason. “He went home in the late 80’s and looked out for all the men he left behind,” Sop-Sop says. “He did what he had to do to survive as a man in the streets.” And those things included terrorizing the streets of D.C. with homicides, shootings and armed kidnappings. It was in the heavy drug trafficking areas of Drama City where Silk plied his trade and made his name. Silk was a master philosopher when it came to that street shit. He played the streets like a game of chess. He was more than feared. “People feared Silk because he was said to have a lot of humps in the ground. People didn’t only fear that, they feared the fact that Silk got away with the shit he did.” Manny says. His reputation itself put an end to any investigations or court cases against him. Sop-Sop explains it another way, “I don’t think it was fear, but the possibility of what Wayne can manifest.” The dude was unpredictable. He kept people off balance and witnesses in check. Nobody knew what to expect. Maybe not even Wayne himself. That’s what made him so dangerous. In a world of ups and downs, betrayals and double-crosses he reigned king.
RELATED: Alberto “ALPO” Martinez Drug Kingpen Speaks On The Real Paid In Full! Also Big Meech Interview From Prison (AUDIO)
“He knew how to use fear and mind games real well.” E says. “He was one man that had a large percentage of the masses shook. He didn’t give a fuck what you thought about him as long as you didn’t cross the line. There were a lot of dudes in the streets at that time that were head hitters, but some of them moved on the D.L., you didn’t know they were killers unless you knew them. With Wayne it was a fear thing. Niggas knew he was about murder, it was no secret.” Wayne once bumped into a dude that was like that down Lorton, the dude thought he was still like that on the streets, Wayne told the dude, “You ain’t heard, I run the city.”
He was feared because of the many reasons that set his name to ringing. His name was behind a lot of things that were going on throughout the District. “A lot of people couldn’t understand how he was supposed to be behind so much shit and he was still moving around the city as if nothing was a problem.” E says. When shit went down and the drama jumped off dudes were like, “It was Wayne Perry and them.” He had a whole team of dudes that were very loyal to him. Wayne was the type of dude that if he came up on some kilo’s, he showed love, breaking it down with all his dudes. He might hit 30 dudes off with a couple of ounces each just on G.P. Just to inspire that loyalty to that do or die attitude. His team would go all out for him. No questions asked. They were a bunch of youngsters, and in their eyes Silk was a god.
“On the real, I think Wayne’s name started ringing because he was bussin’ ass. He wasn’t talking, it wasn’t no playing when it came to putting that work in, plus he had some serious killers on his team.” E says. Silk had a whole squad that he could sick on dudes in a minute. Wayne was the type of person that if dude had something and dude was weak or a sucker, then dude wasn’t supposed to have it. It didn’t matter what it was, Wayne was taking it and if dude didn’t like it, fuck it. Wayne only respected men. If a dude was a rat, he wasn’t supposed to breathe, let alone come out his hole. No matter how much money the rat had, spent or flashed or how hard he flossed, that shit meant nothing to Wayne. He was coming to get that. That bling-bling was his. Only integrity and heart counted to Silk. The whole, “he didn’t tell on me thing,” didn’t fly with Wayne Perry. Dudes had to play their position. And if their position was to be up under him and do what the fuck he said, then so be it. That’s how Silk played it. It was all or nothing with him. No half-stepping or in-betweens.
“One day me and Wayne went to pick up a bucket he had parked across town. He used the car to stash stuff in.” Manny says. “Wayne popped the trunk and he had hand grenades, sticks of dynamite and a rack of guns, coke and some more shit. We had this other dude with us too. Wayne threw the dude the keys to the bucket and told him to drive the car back around Potomac Gardens. The dude was like, ‘I can’t drive all that shit back around the way.’ Wayne pulled out his pistol and told the nigga, ‘You better get your ass in that car and take it around the Gardens and if the police pull you over tell them it’s my shit and if they take it I’m a kill your muthafuckin’ ass.’ The nigga got his ass in the car and did exactly what Wayne said. Silk ain’t play no games.” And dudes were wise not to fuck with him or try him in any way, because Wayne was quick to expose a dude and in vicious fashion. “One thing about Wayne, he went at whoever. If you was supposed to be like that and he had to see you he was gonna knock your head off. You would think he was some big 300 pound nigga, but when you see him he is this tall, skinny, funny nigga. Always joking and playing, but dangerous. Niggas didn’t want to be on his shit list.” Manny says.
There was no limit to the way Silk played either. He didn’t care who you were supposed to be, he was still going to play with you. He would play with you even if you weren’t trying to and if you got serious, he was cool with that too. A lot of times Wayne would try dudes he didn’t like by playing with them. “One time, me, Wayne and two other dudes were in my Benz on the way to the mall. Wayne knew that one of the dudes with us wasn’t who he thought he was in the streets. The dude was supposed to be a killer but Wayne could see through him. Wayne hated fake niggas. So Wayne starts playing with dude, trying to provoke him. When the dude gets fed up, he told Wayne to stop playing with him. Wayne said, ‘Nigga fuck you, I play when I want to and if I wanted to I could fuck you. You’s a bitch, you should be taking that dick.’ The dude gets heated and tells Wayne can’t no nigga fuck him. Wayne laughed at him and told him, ‘I ain’t no average nigga, I’m Silk and if you keep running your mouth I’m a leave your fake ass in this back seat with a hole in your head.’ I tried to tell the dude to leave the shit alone because I saw where it was going, Wayne was going to end up smokin’ the nigga. The dude wouldn’t let it go, his pride was in it. Wayne ended up telling the dude they could fight if he had something he needed to get off his chest. When we got to the mall Wayne took off his jacket and slapped the shit out of dude, he tried to make the nigga fight him but the dude wouldn’t fight. Wayne looked at us and said, ‘I told y’all this nigga was a bitch.’ Wayne then pulled out his pistol and makes the dude strip ass naked right in the parking lot, then he shot him in the ass and told him to get the fuck away from us. Everybody was laughing. Wayne exposed the nigga and it was all a big joke to Silk.” A dude from back in the day relates.
Wayne was on that extortion time real hard too. “He put me on a nigga one time, he wanted me to lean on the nigga.” Another one of Wayne’s old partners in crime says. “I put the squeeze on the nigga, told him I wanted 50 grand. I worked the move about two or three times and broke down with Silk every time. At the same time Silk was playing things with the nigga, getting close to him, making him think they were cool. Then Silk acted like he found out I was squeezing the nigga and told the nigga that he would get me to leave him alone for 50 G’s. From there he was milking the nigga for 50 G’s anytime he wanted to and he would still hit me off. Silk worked that move so many times on different niggas too, even some niggas that was supposed to be like that. It was like taking candy from a baby for Silk.” And when Silk’s friend came home from jail he used his reputation to put him back on his feet.
“I remember when I first came home from Lorton and was in the halfway house,” Manny says. “Wayne came to get me and told me to get in his CE and took me uptown. He asked me if I had money. I was just coming home, I was broke. I told him, no, so he said he was going to take me to get some money. We pull up in front of a well known spot that’s owned by some dudes that supposed to be major in the city. Wayne looked at me and said, ‘Go in there and tell such and such to send a bag of that money out here and don’t make me come in there and get it either.’ I thought Wayne was playing, he’s a real funny dude, always playing, but he was dead serious. So I went in the spot and told the dude what Wayne said and with no problem the dude gave me a bag full of money. Wayne had niggas scared to death.” He didn’t stop at street figures when it came to his extortion game either. It’s said that he went as far as extorting lawyers and Italians in Georgetown too. Silk was cool and calculating but he also fortified his bourgeoning reputation as the most feared man in D.C. with sporadic outbursts of violence that seemed to come out of nowhere with no rhyme or reason.
“I had a spot over Southwest on Orange Street. I had a few young dudes hustling for me,” another dude from the era relates. “One day Silk came over there to holla at me and me and slim was sitting in the apartment talking shit and joking when my little man came in the spot and told me that a New York dude around the corner told him that he couldn’t hustle until he was finished with his shit. Me and Wayne looked at each other and shook our heads. Wayne told shorty to go back outside and stand on the corner and sell his shit. Shorty acted like he was scared so I told him that if Silk said it was cool, then it was cool. The young dude went back outside and started pumping. As soon as the New York dude bent around the corner to say something to shorty, Wayne stepped out of the cut beside the building and hit his ass in the head with everything he had in the clip and stepped off with the hammer smoking. When the police and ambulance arrived, Wayne popped back up with a different set of clothes, just to see who was talking to the cops.” It seemed Wayne did what he did just because he could. His aura of fear was impregnable.
Some people called it Chocolate City. Others called it Drama City. ‘It’ was Southwest Washington D.C. The worst kind of ghetto, made up of tenement houses, fleabag motels, and rat-infested apartment buildings. Slums didn’t even begin to describe the poverty and squalor of the area.
Chocolate City was where Wayne Anthony Perry was born on November 14, 1962. He grew up on L Street, in the area called 203. 203 was one of the worst sections of Chocolate City. It had the worst drug problem, the worst violence and the worst crime. The people who lived there had two vocational choices: sports or crime. Either one might provide a way out of Chocolate City. Lack of talent and poverty pushed most people to choose crime.
Wayne Perry was good at sports. So good that he was smooth. His smoothness earned him the nickname of ‘Silk.’ Bestowed upon him by his half-brother, who was called Lop, the nickname stuck. From that moment on, everyone knew Wayne Perry as Silk.
But crime was easier and it paid better than a ‘could be’ ‘wanna be’ future in professional sports. Crime paid right now. So by the time he was 12 years old, Silk was seduced by the gangster lifestyle. He began as a ‘lookout’ for the older gangbangers as they hustled. Hustling referred to dealing drugs, robbing a store, and gambling. If he saw a police car coming, Silk would signal a warning, and everyone would split. In return, the older gangbangers taught Silk the art of hustling.
Silk was an excellent student.
By the time he was 13, Silk was applying what he had learned. Initially, it was gambling and petty theft. Soon though, Silk graduated to bigger and better crimes. Con games, dealing drugs and extortion became his featured items. In 1978, at the age of 16, he robbed his first bank. Robbing banks was easy and fun. So Silk kept doing it. He was making a lot of money.
When he wasn’t out hustling, if he had nothing else to do, sometimes Silk went to real school. He attended Wilson High School, which was – supposedly – a place to get an education. In reality, it was more like a gladiator school for gangbangers. At Wilson, everyone was hustling everyone else. And more often than not, Northwest gangs and Southwest gangs engaged in gang fights and riots on the campus. It was one of those riots that sent Silk to jail for the first time.
It happened like this. Wilson High School had unarmed guards in every hall of the school. Which was the school’s attempt at keeping the peace. But it didn’t work. Free-for-all fights were everyday occurrences. One day a riot broke out and someone shot one of the guards. The police arrived and questioned the gangbangers, who pointed the finger at Silk. Silk was arrested and charged with attempted murder. When his case went to court, it was tossed out for lack of evidence.
In his interview with Don Diva, Silk claimed he didn’t shoot the guard. The other gangbangers set him up to take the fall, because they knew he “wouldn’t tell and I’d ride it out so they lied on me.”
Wilson High School was less demanding than the courts. Wilson High School tossed Silk out rather than his case. So he began attending Randall High School. But that didn’t last long. For as Silk told Don Diva, “I beat the baseball team coach with a bat at practice and I got barred out of all D.C. public schools, so I went to Franklin GED school cause the judge ordered me to and I had to kill a fool for telling me he was going to take my chain.” Whether or not Silk actually murdered anyone at Franklin GED school was debatable. There was no arrest and no record of Silk’s involvement in a murder.
Silk was now hustling full time.
In 1984, Silk shot and killed another gangbanger. The gangbanger, who was looking for Silk so he could kill him, found him. Pulling his gun, the gangbanger open-fired, but missed. Silk returned fire, killing the gangbanger. The whole thing took place right in front of a police car, which was parked nearby. The police officers in the car testified that the murder was “self-defense,” but it was still murder. So Silk went to prison.
They sent him to Lorton’s Youth Center One, which was one of the most violent and aggressive prisons of its time. Going into Youth Center One was like going into combat in a war zone. The inmates had a ‘kill or be killed’ philosophy. Silk not only survived but honed his skills. Brutality became his new featured item.
When he got out of prison in 1987, Silk made a career change. He became a hitman – murder-for-hire. Murder and armed kidnappings became his meal ticket. And the heavy drug-traffickers were the table he ate off of. For the right price, Silk provided gourmet service. Silk didn’t do drive-bys or shoot across the street. He walked right up to his target, busted his gun and shot them in the head. His rep for viciousness kept him out of court. No witness dared testify against Silk. And he kept his homies loyal by gifts of money and drugs. Silk took care of people, one way or the other.
Silk ran a whole crew of serious killers, dudes that took his orders and weren’t afraid to bust guns and get their hands dirty. He quickly established himself as the king of killers.
Then in 1989, a Harlem drug-lord named Alberto ‘Alpo’ Martinez was looking to set up shop in D.C. The recent conviction of Rayful Edmond, who was the premier D.C. drug lord, had left a vacancy. Alpo wanted to be the one to take up residency. Only he needed protection, because the D.C. gangbangers were volatile and they didn’t especially like interlopers moving in on their turf. Alpo had the drugs and was ready to deal, but he needed a shield to keep him safe. What he needed were some soldiers.
What he got was equal to an armored division.
Even though he was new to Chocolate City, Alpo knew who Silk was. Silk’s reputation preceded him like wind around a hurricane. Silk’s rep was that not only was he the Grim Reaper, but he also robbed and extorted drug dealers. The more weight a drug dealer moved, the more Silk liked ripping him off. Which meant most of the big dealers avoided Silk like the plague. And Alpo, who wasn’t stupid, tried to dodge Silk too.
Eventually, though, the inevitable happened. Alpo ran into Silk.
There are two different versions of how they met. One version was Silk’s and one was Alpo’s. Silk’s version of the story, as reported by Don Diva, went like this. “I met Po in 1989. I was out to destroy him over a lie a girl told me he said. I didn’t know him, he was scared to death, but he was with my close comrade Lil Pop, who asked me not to kill Po. The broad told me Alpo said he was putting a hit on me. When I ran into him I didn’t know he was Po. I told Lil Pop I hear Po be with him and I’m trying to smash him so let me know who Po is. Pop said, ‘Why?’ I said he told this broad he was putting a hit on me. Pop said, ‘That bitch lied, if Po said that I would have smashed him.’ We were in the East Side Club, so then Pop said this is Po and Po begged me and said he never said that. So Pop got the girl for lying.”
Alpo’s story of how he met Silk was a lot different. And, as one might expect, cast Alpo as a righteous dude. Alpo’s version of the story – as reported by Seth Ferranti in Street Legends – went like this. “Through Pop, a young wild 15-year old coming out of Southeast D.C., killing anything moving I met the cat Wayne Perry, who at that time had the town locked on fear and was putting his murder game down. The kid Wayne wound up going to jail for a murder and no one was trying to get him out. The people he thought were going to get him out and come up with the money never came up with it.” Alpo saw an opening and took it. He bailed Silk out of jail. According to Alpo, Silk was so grateful he decided to pay Alpo back by handling security for Alpo’s drug business.
Both stories sounded a little like fantasy. Alpo was a smooth operator and a smooth talker, and Silk had a rep to maintain. So they both embellished freely.
Whatever the truth was Alpo and Silk hooked up. Silk supplied the muscle. Alpo provided the drugs. The Martinez Organization was the name of the gang. They quickly established themselves as the best team around. Before long, Alpo was moving 30 kilos of coke per day. The money rolled in, while the bodies hit the floor. Silk was killing people left, right and center. He and his crew of killers were taking care of business. The result was that Alpo had a ghetto pass. He could go anywhere at anytime and not worry, because no one in Chocolate City wanted to mess with Silk. Everyone knew that if they jacked with Alpo, Silk, like a hobgoblin, would show up and wreak havoc.
Alpo was swimming in money, living the high life. Cars, women, jewelry, a penthouse apartment, Alpo had it all. And he took care of Silk and his crew. Silk rode around in a 560 Mercedes Benz, wearing Versace clothing. Everyone was happy. Alpo was happy because he was getting rich and getting fat. Silk was happy because he got to do what he liked to do best – terrorize and kill.
Then everything changed.
The feds arrested Alpo on November 6, 199l. They hit him with a smorgasbord of drug charges, along with murder and conspiracy to commit to murder. Then they tossed him into the D.C. jail, where a lot of Alpo’s enemies were awaiting trial. None of who would have grieved if Alpo woke up dead. Luckily for Alpo, Silk’s rep kept him safe even in jail. For Silk put out the word through the grapevine that anyone who touched Alpo would not live to get out of jail.
Even so, Alpo was scared to death. The Washington Post reported that when Alpo made his first appearance in court, “He sniffed loudly as tears welled up in his eyes.”
To make matters worse, the feds turned up the heat on Alpo. They decided to ask for the death penalty. And if they didn’t get it, they told Alpo they’d nail him with life in prison without parole.
Alpo’s defense attorney – who got 80 grand as a retainer fee – told him things didn’t look good. He advised Alpo to make a deal. If Alpo gave the feds Silk, suggested his attorney, the feds would cut Alpo some slack.
In his interview with Don Diva, Silk said that the feds used Alpo to get to him. He was the real target. The feds wanted Silk, but because of his rep no one would talk. Anyone foolish enough to snitch was as good as dead. So the feds put pressure on Alpo, hoping that eventually he’d break and squeal on Silk.
Whether or not that was the truth, Alpo decided to make a deal. Alpo told the feds that Silk had killed Garrett ‘Gary’ Terrell. It happened like this. Alpo and Terrell had been putting together a major drug deal involving $6 million worth of cocaine. One hundred kilos of coke. Alpo was going to pop for $1.5 million, while Terrell popped for $500,000. The other $4 million would be paid after they sold the coke. Only Terrell was setting Alpo up. Terrell planned to kill Alpo and walk off with Alpo’s $1.5 million and all the coke. Easy money, except for the fact that Silk found out about the double-cross before it happened. Silk killed Terrell. Shot him seven times in the head, then dumped his naked body in Rock Creek Park.
Alpo also told the feds that Silk had murdered a woman named Evelyn Carter. Carter was a hooker who had been cooperating with a police investigation of Silk. The police were trying to connect Silk to the murder of a drug dealer named Michael ‘Fray’ Salters. And Evelyn Carter could connect the dots. To make sure Carter couldn’t testify, Silk killed her. He stabbed her in the face, then shot her five times.
While Alpo was talking himself blue in the face to the feds, Silk was arrested for selling an illegal substance. Which meant Silk had tried to sell cocaine to an undercover police officer, who arrested him. The police tossed Silk into Prince George’s County Jail, where he awaited trial. As Silk cooled his heels in jail, the feds were putting together an air-tight case against him.
When Silk walked into court on December 4, 1992, he expected to plead guilty to one count of selling an illegal substance. He would receive a fine and a short sentence. It didn’t happen that way. Instead, Silk was arrested by the Safe Streets Task Force and charged with the October 23, 1991 murder of Garrett ‘Gary’ Terrell, “in furtherance of a continual criminal enterprise.”
They took Silk back to D.C. and tossed him into jail there.
On December 5, 1992, the headline of the Washington Timesread ‘Suspected Hitman Arrested in ‘91 Killing.’ The article identified Wayne Perry as the top hitman for the Martinez Organization, a gang that operated in New York, Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. Perry may have been personally responsible for six drug-related murders. He had been officially charged with the murder of Garrett ‘Gary’ Terrell, who was an infamous drug lord in the D.C. area.
Four months later, on March 6, 1993, the Washington Postreported that three men had been indicted as enforcers for the Martinez Organization, which had killed nine people in a two year period, 1989 to 1991. According to a statement made by the U.S. Attorney, the 27-count indictment charged Wayne Perry, Tyrone Price and Michael Jackson “with the executions of nine individuals as part of a coordinated campaign to protect and promote their drug organization. These defendants allegedly served as hitmen to eliminate witnesses, assassinate rival drug dealers and murder disloyal gang members.”
The indictment alleged that Wayne Perry took part in eight of the nine alleged homicides. Among the people Wayne ‘Silk’ Perry allegedly killed were Michael ‘Fray’ Salters, Evelyn Carter, and Yolanda Burley.
Silk claimed he did not kill Fray. According to Silk, Alpo set the whole thing up to look like Silk was the murderer. Silk told the interviewer at Don Divawhat really happened. “Yes, I was after Fray,” said Silk, “because he put a hit on me. He said he had to get me out of the way so he could extort Alpo. So I end up finding out about the hit on me and I got at those in Fray’s crew who took the hit and let him know that he was next. But I couldn’t track him down. So Alpo and them set it up for Fray’s close buddy to hit him and then tell all Fray’s people that I did cause he was close to me too. The dude (Alpo) is a snake. All the time he (Alpo) was the one that did it and the dudes at the shop was in on it.”
Alpo, of course, had already told the feds that Silk had done for Fray. He also told the feds that Silk killed Evelyn Carter because she was shooting her mouth off about who killed Fray. So Silk took care of it. After a Keith Sweat concert at Constitution Hall, Silk grabbed her and shot her.
In his interview with Don Diva, Silk admitted to killing Evelyn Carter. “May she rest in peace. If I would have let her talk, she would have told me the truth. But I wouldn’t have listened because I stand for loyalty and my loyalty was with that dude. That was my man but he was a snake.”
“My man” was Michael Jackson, a member of Silk’s murderous crew, who was named in the indictment along with Silk. Silk told Don Divathat Jackson was the one who killed Fray for Alpo. After the murder, Jackson attended Fray’s funeral, where he told everyone that Silk had killed Fray. Evelyn Carter was there too. She heard Jackson give up Silk for murder. So to cover himself for snitching and lying, Jackson told Silk that it was Carter who gave him up. So Silk killed her.
How much of this was the truth and how much was humbug didn’t matter. Silk was a stone-cold killer by his own admission to Don Diva.
Silk and his co-defendants pled not guilty. Presiding over the hearing was U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan, whose reputation was irreproachable. No trial date was set. This was to ensure that the defendants had proper representation by experienced attorneys.
The prosecution decided to ask for the death penalty. On June 9, 1993, the Washington Post headline read: ‘Execution Sought in District; First Death Case Since 1971.’ The reason this was such a big deal was because just the year before the voters of Washington D.C. had rejected a law that would have once again allowed the death penalty. The initiative had been defeated by a 2 to 1 ratio. However, Silk was to be tried under federal law in U.S. District Court. And a 1987 federal statute provided for the death penalty in cases where defendants were convicted of murder in furtherance of a drug conspiracy.
The feds weren’t messing around. They were measuring Silk for a casket.
Silk’s defense attorneys challenged the decision in court. Judge Hogan rejected their motions. Under federal law, there was no reason not to.
Wayne ‘Silk’ Perry was scheduled to go on trial for his life.
But it never happened.
There was no death penalty. And no trial.
For on April 1, 1994, the Washington Postheadline screamed out: ‘Killer Cops Plea, Gets Life Sentence in Five Murders.’ April Fools Day! Only no one was fooling. Silk had cut a deal with the feds. He pled guilty to five murders and to participating in a continuing criminal enterprise. Silk confessed to the murder of Domenico Benson, who was killed because he slapped Alpo’s wife, and to the murders of Evelyn Carter, Yolanda Burley, Alveta Hopkins and Garrett Terrell. In return, the feds agreed to drop all other charges and not impose the death penalty at sentencing.
Years later, in his interview with Don Diva, Silk said he cut the deal because he was afraid of Alpo’s lies. Alpo’s lies – possibly – would have resulted in Silk’s execution. “I am a very loyal man,” said Silk. “I don’t fear nothing and no one but God. The fear of weaker guys put me in prison. Alpo made false statements and told countless lies that got me five consecutive life sentences. Make no mistake about it, Alpo is a spineless coward, a rat of the highest order.” Silk also claimed he was a political prisoner, the victim of racism. “I maintain that this criminal justice system is corrupt and that these so-called African American men are its prey.”
Silk went on to tell Don Diva, “I didn’t cop out because of the death penalty. I live to die. I copped out to make sure others didn’t get life. I took the bull by the horns to save others. That’s the kind of man I am.”
In other words, Silk was proud of not being a snitch. By inference, he was proud of being a murderer too. And in the Don Divainterview, like a dog returning to its own vomit, Silk’s two favorite topics were Alpo and Silk. He kept circling back to them. According to Silk, Alpo was a pit viper, injecting everyone around him with poison. While he himself was a stand-up guy.
In reality, Silk lived by a self-indulgent code of honor, which approved of murder but disapproved of snitching, especially if he was the one being snitched on. Silk espoused a popular doctrine called ethical pragmatism, which always turned out to be the doctrine of self-interest. It’s a pathological and narcissistic philosophy.
The Judge sentenced Silk to five consecutive life sentences without parole, and then tacked on five years probation. Silk’s common-law wife, Twala McClain tried to stand by her man. After Silk was sentenced, his wife told reporters, “I’ll always be there for him. He was good to me.” But she later divorced him.
In March of 1994, 32-year old Wayne ‘Silk’ Perry left Chocolate City for the last time. Shackled and handcuffed, U.S. Marshals escorted him out of D.C.
Alberto ‘Alpo’ Martinez entered the federal witness protection program. For all intents and purposes, it was as if Alpo dropped off the face of the earth.
Silk was gone but his name lived on. Silk’s legend started to grow. On the streets they talked about him with awe in their voices. They pumped up the volume of Silk’s life. Silk was a killing machine without peer. He was idolized as one of the Top Five Killers out of D.C. when it came to the murder game. Don Diva magazine called him “the Michael Jordan of the murder game.” People compared him to Billy the Kid of wild, wild West days. Silk had been the King of Drama City.
But even though Silk lived on in legend, things changed. Hip Hop music came on the scene, along with Rap. Mix-Unit put out a DVD about Alpo, glorifying him for being one of the baddest dudes around. The street rags, Don Diva magazine, along with F.E.D.S.magazine ran occasional articles about Silk and Alpo. Canonizing in tone, the articles’ intended audience were gangbangers, who, by dint of dwarfed thinking, actually aspired to be like Silk.
It was sick.
The outcome of such thinking and the lifestyle of “banging” never match the broadcast sales pitch. The reality of “banging” is you end up dead or you end up living out your days like a rat in a cement cage.
Today, Silk sits in the isolation unit of the Supemax prison in Florence, Colorado. Locked down. Silk has taken on religion. He is now part of the Nation of Islam. No longer is he Wayne ‘Silk’ Perry. Now he is Nkosi Shaka Zulu El. He’s even on MySpace, where he sustains his victimization at the hands of a conspiratorial and repressive government. In other words, he believes he is persecuted because of his skin color, not because he’s a mad-dog killer.
Alpo had the flow of cocaine from New York. He was flooding the city with coke. I think Wayne Perry took the long view instead of the short view. He was going to get all he could out of dude. If he would have ganked him and merc’ed him on the first deal or the first time he saw a lot of coke that would have been all he got and than the flow would have been dead. That is why he allowed him to live so he could eat and get money and so his crew and all the people around him could eat and get money. It’s like a water faucet when you turn it on the water flows but if you destroy the faucet then what? No one gets a drink. Sometimes a dude like Wayne Perry might think he is smarter than or can out hustle the weaker dude like Alpo. I see it like this, two snakes doing a deadly dance, it’s just a matter of time before one strikes.
|Alberto “Alpo” Martinez|
Like I said if Wayne Perry would have cut ties with Alpo, robbed him or killed him and took what he could from him the flow of cocaine into his city would have stopped. You have to remember this was right after Rayful Edmond got busted so dudes in the city were used to getting money and selling coke- this was right in the middle of the crack era- and when the flow from Rayful stopped Alpo stepped in and dudes in the city including Wayne needed that flow of cocaine to conduct business as usual and Alpo knew this. So you have to look at all the circumstances involved. It is why today dudes on the street will buy drugs from a dude they know is hot because he has the flow and they need the drugs to make money.
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