Cruising With the Whore Cop

Officer Terry Peters knows just about every hooker in town. And they love him--because he keeps them alive.

Peters has seen some sick stuff. Girls in dumpsters, hands and legs bound, duct tape over the mouth and nose. Death by suffocation. Girls thrown off overpasses. Girls shot, stabbed, strangled, raped. They all worked truck stops such as this one.

Out here, a lot of ugly things happen. If you're a trucker, you're aware of it--the crack dealing, the robbing, the prostitution and, sometimes, the murders. Maybe you keep your nose clean, like most truckers do, and only hear stories. And maybe you indulge. Maybe you're one of the 300 or so truckers in Peters' book of pimps, dealers and users--maybe he's arrested you. If you're not a trucker, the things that happen out here would surprise, even shock you. This is another world, as Peters likes to say.

Take the truckers parked here on Peterbilt Avenue, which runs north-south behind the field. Chances are they're up to no good. Maybe they're smoking crack or doing a girl or both. Sometimes, they'll sit here for days, getting high, having sex. Eventually they'll run out of money. So they sell their gas, usually to another trucker. They might sell 100 gallons at a buck a gallon, which will buy enough crack to keep the trucker and the girl high for a couple more days. If it comes to it, they'll sell their wheels and then their cargo, until finally the truck is sitting on the side of a road somewhere, stripped down and empty, reported stolen. This happens more than you would ever guess. A couple months ago, Peters recovered a half-million-dollar load of M&Ms. The other day, it was watermelons.

Casey Jo Pipestem, a Seminole Indian, was found dead in Grapevine in 2004. It appeared that her body had been thrown out of a semi.
Courtsey of Grapevine Police
Casey Jo Pipestem, a Seminole Indian, was found dead in Grapevine in 2004. It appeared that her body had been thrown out of a semi.
John Robert Williams has pleaded guilty to killing two truck-stop hookers and has confessed to a role in Pipestem's murder.
John Robert Williams has pleaded guilty to killing two truck-stop hookers and has confessed to a role in Pipestem's murder.

The dope dealers out here, they prey on truckers. But it works both ways. A driver might beat a girl instead of paying her. The girl and her pimp might turn around and rob the driver. Sooner or later somebody bigger and meaner will come along and pistol-whip the both of them, just for sport. That's how it works. Everybody preys on each other.

Take the case of Bucket, a classic example. A "little dirt-bag dope dealer" is how Peters remembers him. He more or less lived out here, sometimes under an overpass, sometimes in the woods near the truck stop. He was part dealer, part pimp, part crook. He'd use girls to get in trucks. Once the girl was inside and the trucker had his pants down, the girl would kick open the door and in comes Bucket. Together, he and the girl would beat up the trucker, if they had to, then rob the son of a bitch.

Well, Bucket had it coming. He beat up girls, robbed them; he even robbed other dealers. He used to rob a dealer named Youngster, who in turn did the same to Bucket. It was almost a game between the two. So Youngster started hiding his dope up his ass. Well, one night Bucket decided he wanted more than Youngster's money; he wanted his dope. So he reached up Youngster's ass and took it. There wasn't a much more demeaning thing he could do to Youngster, him being a young black male and all, so Youngster shot Bucket, and that was one less dope dealer Peters had to worry about.

Not that Peters doesn't worry about the dope dealers. It's his job to worry about everybody. But his main concern is the girls. They get beat up by the drivers, the dealers, the pimps, even by each other. They get raped and cut up and left for dead, and the security guards don't even call the cops to report it.

"I'm not out here to save them or nothin' like that. I don't care. They made a choice. I'll throw them in jail like anybody else. But they do not deserve to be beaten to death. They do not deserve to be slaughtered."

He runs through the names of dead hookers who once worked this stop. Rachel Garcia, aka Strawberry, killed two years ago at the Southern Comfort Motel. A pimp known as Little Leonard shot her a bunch of times in the face then pulled all the gold out of her mouth.

Janet Tina Hendrix, aka Stormy. She's the girl that got her head chopped off riding in a stolen car. "Hell of a way to give head," Peters cracks.

That book in the back, that three-ring binder that's thick with pictures of hookers, pimps, users and dealers? The hook book? She's in there. You should see all the mug shots Peters took over the years. In the first one she looks like the girl next door: chestnut-colored hair, a little button nose, bright red lipstick. Not bad-looking for a hooker. Not bad-looking period. Then drugs begin taking their toll. The last picture Peters took doesn't even look like the same person. Her face is bloated, her hair dyed blond, black roots showing. Her eyes are ringed with dark circles. Her stare is vacant, like nobody's home. She looks half-dead.

The list continues. Tracy Figures, aka Paper Chase, found in a dumpster in Bienville Parish, Louisiana, duct tape over her mouth and nose. Josie Lee Scott, aka Sweet Pea, found in a dumpster in Colorado Springs. Maybe the trucker's story--that they got high together and her death was an accident--is true.

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1 comments
AHumanBeing
AHumanBeing

I read through to the end, but I almost stopped reading after page one. What on earth could justify this Spearmint guy talking to Cookie Monster that way?  This woman faces the VERY REAL threat of being brutally murdered, and this thug taunts her about it until she breaks down?  If that is not the cruelest kind of psychological abuse then I don't know what is!  It's sickening to think that there are cops out there who think this is an acceptable way to treat people.

 

The whole tone of the article -- calling these women "whores", joking about one woman's violent death being like "giving head" -- is just so disrespectful.  YES, prostitutes are people and therefore deserve basic respect.  Judge people by their choices by all means, but you before you do, think about what options these people actually had to choose between.  What would you do if your boyfriend got you addicted to crack?  NOBODY chooses to be a truck-stop prostitute if they can possibly help it.

 
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