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When Terry loudly exaggerated that phony Borinquen accent she never was obtusely obnoxious. When she was collared, she took it like a gentleman. With all due respect, he was a she until the cuffs went on. Transexuals or Transvestites couldn’t be arrested as their self identified gender. That was the policy in the 1980’s.

I witnessed the debate Terry had with Dianna (a Dianna Ross lookalike Transvestite.) Terry convincingly put forth her proposition that Hispanics made better Transvestites than whites or blacks. It was an entertaining and civil debate among transvestite hookers until the first punch was thrown. We broke it up. No harm, no collars. Just another late night on West Street in Greenwich Village back in 1985.

This now 2017 trendy Greenwich Village sector of the NYPD’s Sixth Precient was once a light industrial/loft area with illegal S & M and alternative sexual bars opening at night when the area was isolated. It was also known as a transvestite stroll. After dark it was ripe with Bozos from New Jersey, slowly cruising the narrow cobblestone streets seeking oral sex. Other assorted assholes were looking to beat up homosexuals, transvestites or transexuals. They were typical Tunnel people (from New Jersey or the outer boroughs of NYC.)

Scientific fact: One loses a couple points off their IQ for every year they live in New Jersey.

We tried to stop these assholes from hurting street people. But in this case, most homosexuals/transvestites/transexuals mistrusted cops as a part of a society that scorned them. We pulled over assholes looking to beat up street people and “escorted” them out of the neighborhood. If they had a really bad attitude, they’d leave with something to remind them of the encounter. Not just a traffic summons, but a non-monetarily based organically delivered painful reminder.


It was a hot summer night in 1985 on the midnight tour. The pickings were slim for the girls.

“All dressed up and no one to blow?” I asked as we pulled up. Terry came over to our radio car. “Fuck You Frankie” she said, laughing while simultaneously employing digital communication with the middle digit of her right hand.

“Just be careful shit for brains, we had to dispatch two assholes back to New Jersey. A blue Ford station wagon. Young punks with Mommy’s car.” I cautioned Terry. “We took two  baseball bats and knife away from them.”

Terry was cool, she occasionally and very discreetly helped us when we needed info into what was shaking on the street. No vindictive bullshit, always good hard intel.

Terry just smiled as she blew smoke from her Kool Menthol and purred, “I just loves young firm white pinga, La leche es magnifico!” We all laughed, then the dispatcher squelched over the radio -“Man with a gun, 44 Morton Street.” We sped to the other side of the Precient and left Terry to continue her stroll.


Terry was absent from the street for a few nights. The other girls didn’t know what was up. Then we got the radio call. “Investigate Possible DOA at the Terminal Hotel.” or as cops say

“A Ripe One.”

As the annoyed and disinterested manager, chomping on his putrid cigar, led us to Room 425, I knew something was up. Suddenly that DOA smell overwhelmed all the other rancid smells of this SRO (Single Room Occupancy) Hotel. We entered the room to find Terry, DOA, with her throat slashed and tied to the bed. We notified Central via radio to have EMS, Crime Scene and the Detective Squad respond. Then I noticed a message written in blood over the bed. It read “I LOVED YOU.” I knew this killer wasn’t a John Terry picked up. Terry NEVER took any John home. She was too careful. This was personal. She knew her killer.

We did a primary search of the room for property and means of officially identifying Terry’s next of kin. Among all the trashy undies in the top dresser drawer we found a shoe box. It encapsulated Terry’s sad existence.

The shoe box contained dozens of old yellowing color photographs. Most were dated and had names on the rear. The photos were of Terry’s Mom and Dad, brother and sisters from the 1950’s and 1960’s. I was surprised to find a photo of Terry. There he was: a young, determined and proud U.S. Marine graduating “the Boot Camp” in 1970. There were other pictures of Terry, as the squared away Marine in California, Hawaii and Viet Nam.

Terry’s carefully rolled Honorable Discharge was among the other scattered and folded documents in the shoe box.

Everyone in the life has a story, and unfortunately, Terry’s was probably not unique.


I found out more about Terry. Richie, the Detective who caught the case up in the squad filled me in. Richie found a diary Terry had hid under her mattress. It was quite telling.

It appears Terry always knew there was a “difference” and tried to explain it to a domineering Hispanic Macho father and older brother. Growing up, Terry was constantly and emotionally savagely badgered. When enlisting in the Marines to please his family, there was still no understanding or empathy.

Terry’s family utilized unyielding shame instead of their proclaimed Christian acceptance and loving. They emotionally drove Terry away, calling their child and sibling Pato and Madicone. The two Macho Men were constantly berating Terry in other grossly demonstrative and sometimes not so subtle ways; Even after he returned from Viet Nam with a Purple Heart and a Silver Star, he still was not acceptable.

Terry sought to ease the pain by illegally self medicating. After a few arrests in Illinois, Terry moved to New York City. Terry was falling into a life of petty crime to survive. That’s when Terry met Irvin, an midtown homosexual street hustler. They fell in love. He was the first to turn her out on the stroll.

Terry took on the typical woman’s role in an abusive relationship. They’ve been having fights. This explains the occasional black eye Terry sported.

Irvin eventually murdered Terry.

Richie had a line on Irvin and would collar him soon. He was hiding out in New Jersey.


I was raised not to be a religious God faring individual. But I can’t understand how or why Terry was victimized by the lack of tolerance from his highly religious family. Shouldn’t tolerance be inherent in all people?

I smile when remembering Terry convincing a fellow young tranny hooker to surrender to the cops for some petty bullshit crime. Though Terry’s friend was afraid, Terry guided her into the busy and bustling station house. At the Front Desk to the Lieutenant, Terry humorously and loudly announced: She’s here to give himself up!”

After all she’d been subjected to, even Terry had empathy.

Yea - that Terry - an unlikely Empath.

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