Cruising With the Whore Cop

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

In that kind of situation, it's easy to get frustrated, which is why the girls will rob the drivers or collude with pimps to rob them. Sometimes, truckers get killed too. She knows a girl that got put in jail for 10 years, another for 35 years on an armed robbery charge.

She was put in jail many times, often by Peters. Finally, she looked around at all the women getting old and dying in prison and decided she didn't want that for herself. "Then I started reading the Bible, and I realized, this is not me and the way I want to live my life."

When she got out of prison, she got a job at Golden Corral. One night, Peters came in with his wife. He didn't even recognize Baby Doll at first. For as many times as he arrested her, he should have.

"Roxy" works a truck stop on Interstate 20.
All photos by Mark Graham
"Roxy" works a truck stop on Interstate 20.
Office Terry Peters listens to Twinkie's story at the Pilot truck stop. Peters--DPD's "whore cop"--talks to truck-stop prostitutes such as this one almost every night.
Courtsey of Grapevine Police
Office Terry Peters listens to Twinkie's story at the Pilot truck stop. Peters--DPD's "whore cop"--talks to truck-stop prostitutes such as this one almost every night.

Now she's a drug counselor and trying to get into Bible college. She goes to church in Balch Springs, and you could say that's her life.

She talks to Peters every month or so. He just calls to see how she's doing, which makes her laugh, because she's doing fine.


It's a hot Wednesday afternoon in August. This evening, when it gets dark, Peters and I are going back out to the truck stop. It will be my last visit. We meet at the Southeast Patrol Substation, a squat brick building off Jim Miller Road, hidden from view by some raggedy trees that look like they need water.

Peters buzzes me in and leads me into a messy conference room. There's some kind of diagram on the dry-erase board--stick figures and boxy cars and crisscrossing streets--the remains of a briefing on a robbery, or a murder, I can't tell. Peters pulls up a chair in front of a computer.

This is where he spends a good portion of his time. With every new hooker he meets, he has to enter all her information into the database. It's a tedious job--one hooker might take four hours, checking out all her aliases and stuff--but it's important. Say there's a robbery at one of the truck stops and all someone has is a nickname, such as Sweet Pea. With a database of more than 1,100 prostitutes, chances are Peters can identify her if she came from one of the truck stops he works.

When he finishes, we hit the highway. Tonight, Peters promises, we won't get a flat. On the way, he talks about different things that have happened since my last visit--stolen cargo recovered, different girls that have shown up, that kind of thing.

A big 18-wheeler rumbles by. I think of something the spokesman at the American Trucking Association told me: "Trucking keeps America running." And it's true. Eighty-seven percent of the stuff you and I buy is at one point hauled by truckers. Maybe some truckers are ex-cons and maybe some smoke crack, but they account for a very small percentage of the trucking industry. Think of it this way: Every day, 5,000 trucks pass through the five truck stops Peters works. Over the last three years, he's arrested maybe 300 truckers. A tiny fraction.

Still, the way Peters sees it, some of these stops could do a bit more in terms of safety. Like the Pilot, the stop that gives him the most trouble. They could start by patrolling their lot. (I will later learn that they do patrol it. A spokesman for Pilot says they have two security guards on the lot at all times. As far as what goes on in the field next to the truck stop or on the surrounding side streets, the spokesman said that is the responsibity of the police or whoever owns the property.)

We exit the highway and drive down Lancaster, past the fast-food restaurants, toward the field where I first met Cookie Monster. It's kind of dead. There are few trucks and not a girl in sight. Through the crackle of the radio, through all the talk about niggers and crack whores and screwing, we hear a small, quavering voice trying to make a date. "That's Twinkie," Peters says. "She's new." More than any other girl out here, she's in danger, Peters says. "She doesn't have her street smarts yet."

We see a man walking along the field. He's wearing a dirty backpack and a dirty Cowboys hat and has a white towel thrown over his shoulder. "Nationwide," Peters says with a grin.

Peters pulls up next to him. "Nationwide, how you doing?" Nationwide squints, suspicious, keeping his distance. Once he sees it's Peters behind the wheel, he smiles and approaches the car. He leans down to Peters' level, his hands on his knees. He's got two bottom teeth, that's it. His face is tanned and weather-beaten. He looks like a dirty elf.

"What are you hearing?" Peters asks.

"Gas prices are up."

"Violence increases," Peters says, as if he's finished the riddle.

Nationwide nods.

"How's business?" Peters asks, pointing with his chin at Nationwide's dirty white towel. Nationwide's a wheel polisher. "They're paying less," Nationwide says. "They want pussy. I say man, you're looking for pussy out here? You'd be better off with Henrietta and her five sisters." He grins and lifts his hand, makes the motion of jerking off. Peters chuckles. "Yeah, you're probably right."

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
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.

 
Loading...