By Geroge James - The New York Times
September 23, 1993
The New York City police have enlisted the help of officers in several other cities to track down a gunman whose nickname is Babyface and who they say is responsible for five killings in Brooklyn.
The suspect, Richard Jameswhite, is 19 years old. But, the police say, at a height of 5 feet and with a slight build, he looks 13. They say that in addition to the five deaths in Brooklyn, he is responsible for the wounding of five other people.
For two years, Mr. Jameswhite has eluded officers. The Chief of New York City Detectives, Joseph R. Borrelli, said yesterday that people who know the gunman have told the police that he believes he is untouchable.
"He has told a number of reliable sources that he paid a witch doctor on the island of Jamaica to make him invisible to his enemies and the police," Chief Borrelli said. "As a result, he has no fear of either."
At a news conference yesterday, Chief Borrelli outlined a motive -- telling a bizarre tale of revenge for a brother's death that the police believe prompted Mr. Jameswhite's subsequent acts.
"He is extremely dangerous," the Chief said, "and is known to shoot, given the slightest provocation."
Mr. Jameswhite first came to police attention two years ago, when he was arrested in a Feb. 19, 1991 shooting that was believed to have been in revenge for the death of his brother, Glester, who was killed on an East Flatbush street a month before.
The police say that Mr. Jameswhite shot and tried to kill Kevin Smith, 19, who he believed was involved in his brother's killing. After Mr. Jameswhite's arrest, he jumped bail and has since eluded pursuers.
Member of Brooklyn Gang
He became a member of the Parkside Gang, which Chief Borrelli said congregated at the south end of Prospect Park and specialized in stealing from drug dealers.
The police believe that Mr. Jameswhite was one of five people who held up an armored car in Flatbush in April, getting away with $101,000. The robbery ended in the death of a Transit Authority worker, Robert Singleton, who was killed by a stray bullet during a gun battle between guards and robbers.
On Sept. 3, he and other gang members went to an apartment intending to rob some drug dealers, officers said. Instead, they found two teen-age girls whom they raped, according to the police. When Mr. Jameswhite spotted detectives who were with a rape victim looking for him, he opened fire and then escaped in a car.
In addition, investigators believe, he killed Javier Avila, 22, on March 29, 1992; Omark Dee, 27, on Aug. 24, 1992; Fitzroy Reid, 21, on Jan. 6, 1993, and two men, Ryan Cambridge, 18, and Dodson Sparman, 21, on May 1. Chief Borrelli said that some of the killings were rooted in revenge and disputes within the gang and that others arose from drug disputes.
In the double slaying, which occurred at St. Paul's Court and Ocean Avenue in Flatbush, Mr. Jameswhite is said to have sat on the handlebars of a bicycle being pedaled by a friend and opened fire, with a gun in each hand, killing the two men and wounding two others. Investigators are also trying to link him with with another killing.
The New York City police have sent information packets on the gang to law-enforcement officials in Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Rochester, Toronto and Washington, cities where he has been known to go to lie low.