Five years ago this week: Tale of a teenage triple-murderer

In March 2004, CL published part one of a serial narrative about a young prostitute turned killer.

Back in 2004, CL Senior Editor Mara Shalhoup chronicled the story of Falicia Blakely, a young woman who’d pleaded guilty to the murders of three men.

Shalhoup interviewed Blakely at the DeKalb County jail, not long after her guilty plea. Here’s the ensuing two-part story, which earned first-place prizes for feature writing in the 2005 Clarion Awards and the 2005 Association of Alternate Newsweeklies Awards.

Learning to hit a lick

Falicia Blakely was a 16-year-old dancer when she met a pimp 11 years her senior. Within two years, she’d be a prostitute facing the death penalty for three murders.

Aug. 15, 2002

Falicia stretched out on the floor of the apartment and, finally feeling ready for anything, pulled from her purse a .32-caliber Sauer & Son pistol. Nobody seemed to care. Doc was on the phone. Ray and Pumpkin were playing solitaire on Ray’s laptop. In front of the four of them, the sliding glass door framed a sky about to reach out and swallow the sun, to take the edge off the heavy August heat. Since the afternoon, when they began partying, the cover of clouds had lifted, loosening the morning fog and mist so that only broken fragments remained. And still no rain. It hadn’t rained in weeks.

They’d kept it to tequila and weed for the most part, some ecstasy and blow for later. Falicia had shown up at Ray’s hours ago, under the pretense of bringing him ecstasy pills. But as always, it was expected she hang out when she delivered the drugs. With Ray she didn’t mind. They’d been doing business for more than a year. She liked him. Unlike most men she knew, Ray had helped her out of more than one bad scene, had picked her up when she was in trouble, had listened to her rant when she was scared or pissed off. He was a welcome change.

She herself was easy to do business with. All long legs and slow curves, eyes like a sphinx and skin like bitter Godiva. She was only 18 - not that she let on - and full of fast talk, a little ghetto at times, but tinged with just enough girlish sass to disarm.

But not today. Something was different about her today.

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