Crimetown Presents|The Killing of Tamara Greene | Episode 15

Crimetown Show: The Killing of Tamara Greene | Episode 15

With the mayor behind bars, a crusading lawyer takes up the case of slain exotic dancer Tamara Greene. Could Kwame Kilpatrick have ordered her murder — or is it all an urban legend?

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Tamara Greene was a mother of three who aspired to be a nurse. She also worked as a high-end exotic dancer known as Strawberry. In April of 2003, she was killed in a drive-by shooting. An unsubstantiated rumor later spread that she had danced at the never-proven Manoogian Mansion party, and that she had been murdered to cover it up.  Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

TAMMY

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“She came up in poverty. They were dirt poor. And she swore she would never, if she had the opportunity, live like she was brought up.”

— PASTOR KEN HAMPTON

As a child, Tamara Greene attended Grace Bible Chapel, where she grew close with Pastor Ken Hampton. Tamara drifted from the church as she got older, but still called Hampton on occasion for advice. Hampton presided over Tamara’s funeral at the Chapel in 2003.

As a child, Tamara Greene attended Grace Bible Chapel, where she grew close with Pastor Ken Hampton. Tamara drifted from the church as she got older, but still called Hampton on occasion for advice. Hampton presided over Tamara’s funeral at the Chapel in 2003.

Taris Jackson, right, met Tamara at a Boyz II Men concert in the late 1990s, and the couple began dating soon after. They had a daughter together, but eventually separated. Taris is pictured here in 2009 with Ernest Flagg, another father of one of Tamara Greene’s children.  Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Taris Jackson, right, met Tamara at a Boyz II Men concert in the late 1990s, and the couple began dating soon after. They had a daughter together, but eventually separated. Taris is pictured here in 2009 with Ernest Flagg, another father of one of Tamara Greene’s children. Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.


MISSING EVIDENCE?

Detroit Police Lieutenant Alvin Bowman went public in 2004 after he was transferred from the homicide division of the Detroit Police. Bowman alleged that he was removed from his position because he was investigating the murder of Tamara Greene. In 2008, he signed a sworn affidavit in which he stated that he believed a police officer had pulled the trigger.  Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Detroit Police Lieutenant Alvin Bowman went public in 2004 after he was transferred from the homicide division of the Detroit Police. Bowman alleged that he was removed from his position because he was investigating the murder of Tamara Greene. In 2008, he signed a sworn affidavit in which he stated that he believed a police officer had pulled the trigger. Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press. TWEET THIS

“Cops are a tight group to break. They are hard to really drive or push to get information out of if if you’re not part of the team. So I felt that the interest was not in solving the case.”

— LIEUTENANT ALVIN BOWMAN

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THE LAWYER

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“Why is Kwame Kilpatrick working so hard to keep us or anybody else from finding out who killed Tammy Green? ”

— ATTORNEY NORMAN YATOOMA

In 2007, Tamara Greene’s family approached attorney Norman Yatooma and asked him to take on their lawsuit against the City of Detroit. The lawsuit alleged the city had thwarted the investigation into Greene’s murder.  Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

In 2007, Tamara Greene’s family approached attorney Norman Yatooma and asked him to take on their lawsuit against the City of Detroit. The lawsuit alleged the city had thwarted the investigation into Greene’s murder. Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

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THE LAWSUIT

Benard Kilpatrick, the father of former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, came to Norman Yatooma’s office to be deposed in the lawsuit regarding the Tamara Greene killing.  Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Benard Kilpatrick, the father of former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, came to Norman Yatooma’s office to be deposed in the lawsuit regarding the Tamara Greene killing. Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press. TWEET THIS

“He was making speeches as if he was still running for office, as if the news cameras were still on him.”

— ATTORNEY NORMAN YATOOMA, ON KWAME KILPATRICK’S DEPOSITION


CASE DISMISSED

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“It was the final nail in the coffin on this investigation. We were just getting too close. ”

— ATTORNEY NORMAN YATOOMA


DETROIT IS NOT HOLLYWOOD

Detective Mike Carlisle re-investigated the murder of Tamara Greene beginning in 2008. He concluded that there was no cover-up of the investigation, and suspected that Tamara had been killed by a drug dealer who was targeting her boyfriend.  Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Detective Mike Carlisle re-investigated the murder of Tamara Greene beginning in 2008. He concluded that there was no cover-up of the investigation, and suspected that Tamara had been killed by a drug dealer who was targeting her boyfriend. Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press. TWEET THIS

“If the mayor was involved, I’d gladly have put a pair of handcuffs on that man for what he did to Detroit. But he wasn’t.”

— DETECTIVE MIKE CARLISLE

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EPISODE CREDITS

Crimetown is Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier. This season is made in partnership with Gimlet Media and Spotify. This episode was produced by Rob Szypko, John White, Samantha Lee, and Soraya Shockley. The senior producer is Drew Nelles. Editing by Zac Stuart-Pontier and Marc Smerling. Fact-checking by Jennifer Blackman. This episode was mixed, sound-designed, and scored by Kenny Kusiak. Original music this season composed by Homer Steinweiss. We recorded some original music at Rustbelt Studios in Detroit in partnership with Detroit Sound Conservancy. Special thanks to Carleton Gholz and Maurice “Pirahnahead” Herd. Additional music by John Kusiak, Kenny Kusiak, and Jon Ivans. Additional mixing by Bobby Lord. Our theme song is “Politicians In My Eyes” by Death. Our credit music this week is “Nasty Ain’t It” by Phat Kat. Archival research by Brennan Rees.

Archival material courtesy of the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University and WXYZ. Show art and design by James Cabrera and Elise Harven. We made a Spotify playlist featuring music from the show and songs that have inspired us this season. Check it out at crimetownmusic.com. Thanks to the Detroit Free Press, Peter Bhatia, Jim Schaefer, Mary Schroeder, Melanie Maxwell, Mary Wallace, Elizabeth Clemens, Max White, Randy Lundquist, Erick Hetherington at D&D Video, Charlie LeDuff, Devin Scillian, Melissa Samson, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History, the Detroit Historical Society, Brendan Roney, Shawn Gargalino, Carol Teegardin, Mike Martin, Christine Constantino, Zak Rosen, and everyone who shared their stories with us. Detroit’s an amazing place, and we’re honored to tell a small part of its story.NextEPISODE FOURTEEN

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