Wed Feb 13, 2013, 02:02 PM
alcibiades_mystery (29,891 posts)
Larry Davis and the Thrill of the (Man)Hunt - On Alternate Endings
There are a few cases that really exemplify crime in New York City in the 1980's - cases everyone around at the time remembers: Robert Chambers murder of Jennifer Levin; the Howard Beach racial killing; Bernie Goetz blasting away on the subway; the beating death of little Lisa Steinberg; the execution of Eddie Byrne. And, of course, the greatest railroading of the decade: The Central Park Jogger case.
Along with them, however, if less well known, is the case of Larry Davis.
1986: The City was still basking in the glow of the Mets World Series victory over the Boston Red Sox. Just weeks before, Mookie Wilson had hit a slow grounder up the first base line, and Ray Knight had come hurtling home from second, holding his helmet on in jubilation. And then Game Seven, and Jessie Orosco throwing his glove in the air as Spike Owen whiffed on the fastball.
But now it was November, and the City had to face its crises again - the crack, the crime, the horror. Six police officers - purpose still in dispute - showed up at the door of a Bronx apartment where Larry Davis, a criminal, and surely a killer, was staying. Their purpose still in dispute, yes: they said they were there to question him regarding four dead drug dealers, dealers who Davis no doubt actually killed. Davis said they were working with the drug dealers and were there to kill him. Six police officers.
Davis shot them all, and fled.
For the next seventeen days, all anyone could talk about was Larry Davis. Support for Larry Davis was rampant in many of New York's neighborhoods, and it may have even approached a majority position in some boroughs. Run, Larry, run. Hey, is that Larry Davis? Give him a token! People loved Larry Davis.
But seventeen days later he was cornered in a city housing project. Larry Davis took hostages. Larry Davis was surrounded. Six shot cops? For the 80's era NYPD? One assumed that Larry Davis, holed up in a Bronx project, was a dead man. Larry Davis thought so, too, so he made a request: he would surrender himself to journalists. And he did so, and he was arrested right there on the New York local news.
And Larry Davis was acquitted of shooting those six police officers, and killing those drug dealers. To a collective gasp from the City. The jury essentially believed what Larry Davis claimed: the cops were there to kill him. He did a bid on a gun rap.
Later, Larry Davis murdered yet another person, and finally got sent upstate on a 25 to life bid. He was killed in a prison fight just a few years ago. But few who were around New York during those 17 days will soon forget the name of Larry Davis.
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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Original post)
Wed Feb 13, 2013, 02:10 PM
Raine1967 (4,017 posts)
1. I was living in NYC when this went down --
I remember that case -- along with the others you mentioned.
Did you write this? It's very good.