The Lords ruled most of Roxbury.
Mostly they drank a lot, raced their suped-up cars up and down Blue Hill Avenue at all hours and spent a lot of time loitering, combing gel into their hair and making lude remarks about women who passed by.
But they also transported and sold a lot of guns and narcotics. They were a street gang, after all.
Tommy King was their leader. He was a towering 6’4″ bully with a mean streak as long as the Massachusetts shoreline.
“We almost didn’t recognize him,” the police officer guarding the crime scene told Nicky Saint, Boston’s best private detective. “But that’s Thompson Dwayne King alright.” The cop pointed to a three yard smudge of blood on the sidewalk beneath a tall brick building on Tremont Street, downtown. “What’s left of him anyway.”
“This is a long way from Roxbury,” Nicky said stooping down to be eye-level with the street. The snow bank on the sidewalk still had blood splattered all over it. Fresh snow had fallen just the night before, so everything was still clean and white, and now red.
“The chief detective thinks one of the other teenage gangs around here plugged him then tossed him off this building to destroy the evidence,” the cop said. “Mr. King here probably strayed onto someone eles’s turf and got taken for a ride… straight down.”
“That would’ve taken a couple of guys to throw someone as big as Tommy this far out onto the street.” Nicky turned his gaze upwards calculating the angle of the fall with his finger to the top corner of the building. “Any chance he jumped himself? Perhaps a running jump?”
“You know some of the witnesses said they did hear footsteps running up the stairs, before the time of the murder,” the police officer said. “And a bunch of them also said they could hear Tommy yelling out, ‘Happy birthday!'”
“Strange thing to be yelling if you’re being murdered,” Nicky said.
“It was a suicide,” the reporter for the Gazette said stepping under the police tape. “I just came from two other scenes just like these in Fenway. Both of them were members of the Lords as well. One eye witness had even tried to stop a guy from jumping, a boy by the name of…” he consulted his notepad, “Frankie Mullen. Seems as though he too thought he was winning some sort of race by jumping off the ledge of the building he was moving so fast. His last words were, ‘Happy birthday,’ then splat!”
“What would drive three people to do themselves in like that?” the policeman wondered out loud.
The reporter shrugged. “You know these juvenile delinquents are into all kinds of crazy drugs. Dealing, selling, smoking, shooting, you name it. They probably got a hold of some bad dope and it drove them all nuts.”
The cop looked around, then in a hushed voice said, “I hear the kids around here are getting hooked on a new kind of cocaine called Frosty. Supposed to be real powerful stuff.”
Nicky shook his head. “The Lords didn’t use narcotics. Alcohol, yeah, but pills, powder, pot, no. That’s why they’ve been so successful. They sell it, not use it. If they took something, it wasn’t voluntary.”
“So we’re back to murder,” the cop said.
“It is the ninth day of Christmas, you know,” Nicky said, “and they are Lords… a leaping…”
The reporter rolled his eyes. “Not that stupid song again, Saint. Besides, there’s only three of them dead.”
“Not for long,” another policeman said running up to them. He addressed the first cop and said, “I just got a call on the radio, Burt. There’s three more jumpers lined up on the Charlestown Bridge ready to plunge into the river. Let’s go!”
The two police officers jumped into the patrol car and roared off. The siren wailed into the distance.
The reporter ran towards the nearest phone booth to place a call into his editor. The crowd that had gathered around the crime scene started hustling back to their homes to catch the breaking story on their own radios. Nicky Saint stood looking at the blood smeared on the street. He could only think of two well known people who’s birthdays were associated with Christmas. The first was the savior of the world, and the second was a rascally snowman with a magical top hat who just so happened to be named Frosty.