Born A Gangster: Beannca “Bebe” Catherine

Bebe Catherine was born & raised in Saint Catherine Parish. Also known as “Spanish Town”, St Catherine is a town located in the south east of Jamaica.

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Born to a family of powerful gangsters, Bebe was introduced to the street lifestyle before she was born. Her mother, “Sandy” was 6 months pregnant with Bebe when she was sentenced to 6 years in Riker’s Island, New York city’s most dangerous prison on drug charges due to her alleged affiliation to Jamaica’s most feared criminal organization, The Shower Posse. Sandy’s charges were later overturned and she was extradited back to her homeland of Jamaica as a condition of her release.

Bebe grew up a privileged child due to her family’s power and wealth. She was raised with the most elite & influential and attended some of the best schools the island had to offer. Though Jamaica is known for its tropical blue skies and waters, beyond the breathtaking tourist attractions brews deadly street wars in which gangs battle to control the country’s drug trades. When she was a teenager, her mother sent her to the Untied States to live with family members in hopes of protecting her from  the extreme violence and dangerous conditions on the island.

As Bebe grew into adulthood the very same vices that her mother had hoped to protect her from, captivated her. She too began dating (and eventually married) an alleged high ranking member of The Shower Posse and had 2 children. Her story would be anything but a fairytale as her husband was later indicted on drug and gun charges in the much publicized raids of the international organization, then ran by Jamaican druglord Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke. Bebe’s husband was sentenced to 14 years for his alleged involvement with the “Posse” which left her to fend for herself and her children. As many wives and girlfriends of gangsters often find themselves abandoned due to the repercussions of the streets, Bebe began making her rounds by collecting on debts owed to her husband. She eventually found herself knee-deep in the game, a choice that would cost her drastically.

Eventually she was indicted on her own charges and found herself back on Riker’s Island, this time as a mother herself. After spending almost 2 years in jail she was released on one condition, that she return to Jamaica –and never return to the United States.

Since arriving back in Jamaica, Bebe has made a choice not only change her lifestyle but to shield her children from the same pitfalls both she and her mother suffered from the streets. She now works with various charitable organizations such as The Prettie Committee, which supplies women of the island with trendy clothes, shoes, accessories, food, and household items. She also spends her spare pursing what she calls her “first tru love”, writing.

Check out the blog dedicated to Christopher Coke: www.thejamaicandon.blog.com.

Follow Bebe on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/bebefashion859

Written By: Bailey Manhattan

GANGSTERS: America’s Most Evil: The Kingston Kingpin

Brandy Cavalli (Coke) and a group of writers and media production has been instrumental in putting together much of the television and print media famed incarcerated “kingpin” Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke.

The newest project to hit airwaves is Gangsters: America’s Most Evil, a cinematic documentary series that explores the rise and fall of some of the most nefarious and notorious criminals brought to justice.
Brandy Cavalli (Coke) and her team worked extensively with producers of the very popular hit show which airs on the BIOGRAPHY channel, but due to Coke’s latest legal troubles, were given no tentative date of which the finished product would air on the cable television’s network.
“The Kingston Kingpin” features candid interviews from some of the people closest to the case as well as previous prosecutors and investigators.
Brandy, an independent crime writer and journalist, has been working with members of the Coke family to write and produce a more detailed documentary based on the life of Christopher “Dudus” Coke, entitled The Last King Of Jamrock.
No dates have been confirmed on the filming and release of the documentary.
Brandy, rumored to be the ex girlfriend/lover of Christopher Coke, is now married to “Big Dave” an alleged high ranking official of the Black Mafia Family (BMF) but still contributes and coordinates media and public relations for Christopher Coke.

Check Out the OFFICIAL BIO Channel for more information on “The Kingston Kingpin”
GANGSTERS: America’s Most Evil

The daughter of American Gangster Frank Lucas speaks

 Francine Lucas-Sinclair spent part of her childhood being raised by her grandparents, while her parents served time in prison. She is the daughter of Frank Lucas, the drug lord depicted in the 2007 film American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.

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AMBLER — Francine Lucas-Sinclair spent part of her childhood being raised by her grandparents, while her parents served time in prison. She is the daughter of Frank Lucas, the drug lord depicted in the 2007 film American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.

Through her experiences as a child with an incarcerated parent, Sinclair was led to establish Yellow Brick Roads, a program that helps children with parents in prison. On Feb. 19 at the Ambler Campus, Lucas-Sinclair presented, “My Father: The American Gangster,” an insight into her life as a child and how it led up to the birth of a new organization for children like herself.

“My father built a heroin pipeline from Southeast Asia to New York and paid soldiers in Asia to smuggle drugs over here and sold it for cheap. My dad looked at this as a business opportunity at the time,” Lucas-Sinclair said.

During the era of the Vietnam War, soldiers used drugs in Vietnam and eventually became addicted to it, Sinclair said. Lucas made $1 million a day from his business.

“We lived in New Jersey where [there] are beautiful houses, picket fences, [and] manicured lawns, but we lived a normal life,” Lucas-Sinclair said. “We took exotic trips, but it wasn’t like people think that he spent enormous amounts of money on extravagant things. Our house was always cheerful – it had lots of friends and family.”

Even with her enjoyable childhood, Lucas-Sinclair was too young to understand what he father did for a living. “As a little girl, I had a loving father and loving mother, all the toys I could ever want, but what I didn’t know what my dad was doing,” she said. “When you’re living on borrowed time, sooner or later it’s going to catch up to you. We were living at the expense of others.“

In 1975, Lucas went down with his business at the end of the war. Lucas-Sinclair was three years old when her father was arrested for drugs.

“The federal authorities came charging into our house,” she said. “I do remember that it was like a stampede of people coming through the door. I remember just screaming, and there was a lot of screaming in our house. I remember being thrown on the floor. It was traumatizing.”

After the arrest, life for Lucas-Sinclair was different.

She visited her dad every day in jail but didn’t understand where he was. Sometimes she believed he was in a fish tank when she talked to him through glass, she said. For her, it was a very confusing time. Her father was sentenced to 70 years in prison, and his family was placed in the witness protection program and moved to Albuquerque, N.M.

After living in New Mexico for three years and not growing accustomed to the lifestyle, they got out of the witness protection program and moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico, with Lucas-Sinclair’s grandparents.

Frank Lucas was released from prison within six years and had a difficult time obtaining work. Lucas went back to the drug business and was caught a second time, but this time, his wife was also involved. He went back for eight years, while his wife went for five years. Lucas-Sinclair went back to San Juan to live with her grandparents.

“They taught me that I have to determine what my life would be,” Lucas-Sinclair said.

When released, her mother enrolled Lucas-Sinclair in the girl scouts.

“I had to take responsibility for my actions. I couldn’t act up,” Lucas-Sinclair said.

Her parents taught Lucas-Sinclair that their choices did not have to determine her choices. From her experiences as a child with incarcerated parents, she decided to start Yellow Brick Roads, formed to help children who, like herself, who have incarcerated parents.

“I think it’s an excellent program,” said Michelle Darby, Kensington Annex Head Start teacher. “Having a support system like this makes them [feel] accepted. It’s more prevalent because there are just so much more parents [being incarcerated] because of drug offenses.”

Sophomore Nick Prince also saw the benefits of the program.

“I felt good to witness the beginnings of a foundation that will eventually benefit a lot of people,” Prince said. “I see it taking more kids away from the streets. I think there needs to be a program recognizing a program where they can relate to.” Sarada Jailal can be reached at

Written By: sjailal@temple.edu.

Gangster’s Wives: Mary Evelyn “Billie” Frechette

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Mary Evelyn Frechette, also known as Billie, met John Dillinger in 1933. She experienced her first taste of her boyfriend’s criminal life that same year. As the couple was leaving a Chicago doctor’s office, a shootout ensued. Later that year, Dillinger’s buddy killed a police sergeant; forcing the gang to leave the city. Evelyn left with them and traveled through Florida, to Arizona; where they were both arrested. Evelyn was released because she couldn’t be identified under the alias she used. Evelyn was present during many of the crimes committed by the man declared Public Enemy #1; including the ST. Paul shootout that took place after his escape from jail.

Billie was arrested for harboring the fugitive. Dillinger watched her arrest from a about a block away.  She was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison; she served two years and a day. After her release, she traveled with John’s family and told stories of her life. She would later settle down again and live the rest of her days out on the Indian Reservation on which she was born.

Wives tell gangsters to lay down arms or go without sex

Gang members in one of Colombia’s most violent cities face an ultimatum: give up guns or give up sex. In what is being called a “strike of crossed legs”, supported by the Pereira mayor’s office, the wives and girlfriends of gang members have said they will not have sex with their partners until they vow to give up violence.

“We want them to know that violence is not sexy,” said Jennifer Bayer, 18, the girlfriend of a gang member. She and at least two dozen other women have said the sex strike will continue until their men hand over their weapons to authorities and sign up for vocational training offered by the mayor’s office.

The women yesterday launched a rap song that will become the strike’s anthem. “As women we are worth a lot. We don’t want to fall for violent men because with them we lose too much,” Ms Bayer sang down the telephone to the Guardian.

She said the men had laughed about the strike but would soon see it was serious. The women were not worried that frustration would lead to violence against them by their partners. “They wouldn’t do that to us,” Ms Bayer said.

The city’s security secretary, Julio César Gómez, said surveys of gang members showed that their favourite activity was having sex and their membership of gangs was more about power and sexual seduction than money.

Pereira, a city of 300,000 people, has Colombia’s highest murder rate at 97 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Part 1: A Day With Brandy Cavalli

Gangster Girls Blogger Brian Perry of CNN sat down with the film industry’s newest gangster writer Brandy Coke for a one on one to discuss her business and film career.

Brandy is an international marketer, entrepreneur and writer who is now using her skills to launch a new screenwriting career.

Her career began at an early age in the music industry and she has since worked with many artists, most of which whom now have achieved both national and international fame.

Most would describe Brandy as beautiful, cool, and extremely down to earth with a no non-sense demeanor.

She is currently involved in various independent film ventures and also lends her talents to various lifestyle publications.

She is the owner of The Social Mob LLC, a marketing and networking company based out of Atlanta. She is also the lead screenwriter for Femme Fatale Films, an all female screenwriting team.

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All in all, Brandy Cavalli Coke is a young power player in business and she is quickly positioning herself to become a sought after writer in the independent film world.

Tell me a little bit about your organization The Social Mob LLC.

The Social Mob LLC is “my baby”. I started the group as a fun way to socialize with like-minded associates on Facebook. The purpose of the group was to encourage one another to “get money”. I wanted to start a group that we could “mob” together and have a place to share our thoughts with others of the same mentality. It became a “business” kind of by default.

Why did you choose the name “The Social Mob”?

The name came from the group, and I didn’t want to change from a branding aspect, it’s really a unique organization. “Mob” actually means “Money, Opportunities, Business”. Its kind of ‘underground’, not your typical organization.

What is the company’s mission of The Social Mob LLC?

The mission of “The Mob” is provide a networking canvas for young entrepreneurs that also encourages community involvement among young people. We partner with the Young Entrepreneurs Network to mentor college students looking to become entrepreneurs. The ‘moneyops’ team which is an outside marketing team, headed by myself, that provides marketing support for various products, organizations, and companies. In all, The Social Mob is a cluster of all things business and entertainment. We now have about 20-25 affiliates and outside marketing/sales associates. We recently launched FEMME Fatale Films. Its a lot of fun. It’s truly my passion. Lots of fun projects in store!

Why do they call you the IL Capitana?

IL Capitana is a name the was given to me by my Italian cousins. (Brandy’s great grandfather was an Italian wine maker and entrepreneur).

IL CAPO means “the boss or captain” in Italian so IL Capitana means “the female captain”.

I’ve noticed that you also have a charity called The Prettie Committee? Tell me a little bit about that organization.

Yes! My charity provides clothing and accessories for displaced women and young girls. We partner with many local shelters to raise donations and awareness in the community. We try to focus on women that were displaced due to “the lifestyle” and provide resources for the mothers to escape the streets and become productive members of society. We collect trendy clothing that the women can wear to job interviews, church, and other important functions. Appearance can really do alot to raise a woman’s self-esteem and we want to provide the best wardrobes possible to encourage self motivation and esteem.

What made you decide to get into charity work?

Philanthropy is something that is very dear to me. My mother is a lifelong philanthropist and humanitarian and its something that she instilled in me as a young child. I also wanted to give to the community because I feel that I am extremely blessed and feel it is necessary to spread your blessings around to others in a less fortunate position. In all, I just wanted to find a way to giveback to causes that relate to me.

I know that you come from a certain “lifestyle”, tell me a little about your past life.

Well, actually I came from a good home, my mother is a strong, powerful and educated woman. I ended up involved in the street lifestyle due to my choices in men. Personally, I have always been a feisty go-getter and fiercely independent, for that reason I’ve always attracted the bad boys. I started my career in marketing at age 17, even though I’ve always dated a certain kind of guy, I’ve always maintained my OWN identity and career goals. It was somewhat a double life. At work I was a professional and outside of work I dwelled in the underbelly, it was very much a contrast of two worlds.

So you would say you were inducted into the lifestyle, rather than born into it?

I wouldn’t say inducted because I come from a large family of hustlers and gangsters. My uncles and cousins are all street guys so honestly, it was a natural transition for me. I was always a rebel child so it was very easy to fall into the lifestyle but I did not see crime in my household growing up. My first REAL boyfriend was in the ‘streetlife’ and he was alot older than me, so he taught me alot and I took it from there. I jumped headfirst into the life once I left my mother’s house at age 17. At the time I really had no idea what I was getting into, it was a world-wind and I was the ultimate party girl, looking for fun.

Do you have any regrets?

Not really “regrets”, just lessons learned. I would have made some different choices but ultimately my choices are what makes me who I am. What I have been through has made me the strong person I am so I could not say “regret” I would say I would choose different for my children (when I have them). That’s why I try to talk to these young girls and guide them into another direction. I was lucky (BLESSED) to make it out and I want to save as many young women as I can. If I had not experienced the things I did, then I would have no story to tell them.

I know that you spent many years trapped in the lifestyle. How easy or hard was it to transition out of the lifestlye?

It was an easy transition in and a VERY difficult transition out of the lifestyle. You become accustomed to the money, the trips, the diamonds, the cars, the houses, the condos, the power and before you know it, you have spent years trapped in the circle.

Again, I always seem to attract this same kind of guy. After going through questioning, (Story Here) I decided enough was ENOUGH and if I wanted to save my life I would have to make drastic changes. I threw myself into my business and school and that was what helped me to get my mind in another direction, as well as ALOT of prayer and counseling.

Do you have any advice to women still in the lifestyle?

My advice is to position and transition out. It’s not going to be an easy process but it is worth it. I almost found myself in federal prison due to the lifestyle and that forced me to make a choice. There are many community outreach programs and churches that will provide resources, but my advice is to save yourself because no one else will. Once the man is gone, be it to jail or (God forbid) worse, us women are always forced to take care of ourselves and families.. and they will be able to do so.

Part 2 of this interview will be on From A Socialite To The Mob

“Bumpy Johnson’s Widow Refutes Frank Lucas’ “American Gangster” Tales”

Harlem, New York – November 2007 – At age 93, Mayme Johnson has done a lot of living. But as the widow of Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson, the original American gangster, who ruled Harlem in the early 20th century, Mayme Johnson has done more living than most! In “Harlem Godfather: The Rap on My Husband, Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson,” (www.HarlemGodfather.com) released by Oshun Publishing Company, Johnson sets the record straight once and for all. Coauthored with Essence Magazine bestselling author, Karen E. Quinones Miller, the novel is not only her an account of her life married to the Black mafia boss, but also a vivid recollection of Harlem in its heyday.

With the release of the blockbuster film, “American Gangster,” Johnson’s voice takes on new meaning. Her husband, Bumpy Johnson was an intrical character in the movie. Frank Lucas, the dope-dealer portrayed by Denzel Washington, says Bumpy Johnson was his mentor, teaching him everything he knew. He goes on to state that he was Bumpy’s second-in-command, and that Bumpy died in his arms in 1968.

Johnson hopes to set the record straight about Lucas. “Frank wasn’t nothing but a flunky, and one that Bumpy never did really trust,” says Johnson. “Bumpy would let Frank drive him around, but you’d better believe that he was never in any important meetings or anything. He would say, you can trust a thief quicker than a liar, because a thief steals money because he needs money, but a liar lies for the hell of it!”

Johnson says she was furious when she first found out that Lucas told a magazine writer that Bumpy died in his arms. Lucas, she says, was nowhere around the night that Bumpy died from a heart attack while dining at the famous Wells Restaurant on Seventh Avenue in Harlem. She says Lucas probably thought he could get away with the lie because he figured everyone who was around Bumpy at the time is now dead.

“Junie Byrd’s gone, Nat Pettigrew’s gone, Sonny Chance is gone, and Finley Hoskin’s gone. Frank would never have said any garbage like that if one of them were alive because he’d know they’d come after him,” Johnson says. “I bet he thought I was gone, too, but I’m not. I’m 93, and I don’t have Alzheimer’s or dementia, and I’m not senile. Frank Lucas is a damn liar and I want the world to know it.”

Johnson says she thinks it’s a shame that Lucas was able to fool Hollywood into believing that he’s a bigger shot than he really is, and points out that if he lied about his relationship with Bumpy there’s no telling what else he may have lied about in the movie. States Johnson, as far as she’s concerned everything in the movie is now suspect.

“That’s why I’m writing this book after all this time,” Johnson explains, adding that while there have been legends, myths, and rumors flying around about Bumpy for decades, she’s never spoken out — even when the movie Hoodlum was released in 1997 and contained all kinds of factual errors about the man she loved – because she never thought the lies were malicious. “They just didn’t know better,” Mayme says. “But this . . . well, Frank does know better. These aren’t errors, these are lies.”

“This book is so important to me,” cites co-author Miller. “Mrs. Johnson is a living treasure. Her memory is so sharp it’s absolutely astounding. At 93, it is crucial that her story finally be told. She is the missing link to the urban legend that is Bumpy Johnson.”

Originally from Harlem, Miller met Bumpy when she was a child and credits him for making her realize the the value of education. Miller is the Essence bestselling author of Satin Doll, I’m Telling, Using What You Got, Ida B., (nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Literary Fiction), and Satin Nights. Her new novel, Passin’, will be released by Warner Books in Winter 2008. Miller is also a former journalist and was a staff reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer for nine years, and has worked as a correspondent for People Magazine.

(Mayme Johnson has since passed since this interview in 2007. She was laid to rest of May 2009, at the age of 94)

Written By Karen E. Quinones, Journalist