‘Howlin’ Ray, a defense attorney and court jester.  More than likely responsible for the Missouri prison building boom.

No wonder, I can’t recall him ever winning a case.  All the cops kept “Howlin’ Ray’s business cards at their disposal.  Upon arresting a suspect the cops always slid one of ‘Howlin’ Rays business cards in the bad guys pocket.  He did a brisk business defending a number of the area’s most notorious criminals.

He came by the moniker ‘Howlin’ Ray because he would howl at the cop on the stand…OOOHHHH, you went to my clients house,  OOOOHHHH, then you took my client into custody, OOOHHH what led you to come in contact with my client?

He’d howl like a banshee.  Many times I observed jury’s cringe at his high pitched antics.  Not a very good way to put the defendant in a good light.  But then he often didn’t have much to work with but persuaded his client to take the case to a jury.  “Don’t worry, I’ll get you out of this jam…no jury would believe you robbed that little old lady.  You were just trying to get money to feed your drug habit.  Everything will be fine…Bullshit!!

One fine day Murph and I developed information that a well known burglar/drug dealer would be in possession of about eight ounces of heroin.  The dope secreted in a brown paper bag containing, in addition to the dope, a bottle of Remy-Martin.

We conducted a surveillance of the area and, sure enough, be-boping down the street comes joey-bag-of doughnuts with a brown paper bag.

Based on the information from a reliable informant we, along with some TAC cops conducted a stop and discovered nine ounces of heroin.

The mope-ass protested that he didn’t know anything about the dope…but claimed ownership of the Remy-Martin.  What a goof.

Fast forward about four months.

In the courtroom of Judge Jack Wanglin, ‘Howlin Ray had the cops on the stand, howling, as usual, at the officer giving testimony.  He questioned me about the snitch and some other non-sensical bullshit, howling all the while.

Then came the lunch break.  We left the courthouse and headed for the eat-rite dinner.

After a tasty meal of meatloaf on melmac we all returned to the courtroom of Judge Wanglin.

Since I testified I had the opportunity to sit in the peanut gallery.

It was Murph’s turn to testify.

‘Howlin Ray, seated at the defense counsels table made a big deal about the cops going to lunch together.  Laughing and joking at his client’s expense.

He asked Murph,  OOOhhhh, so you all went to lunch together.

Yes sir.

OOOhhh, and you were all talking and laughing.

Yes sir.

OOOHHHH, and you were talking about this case.

Yes sir.

OOOhhhh, so you were all conspiring against my client.

No sir.

Murph, being no dummy could see what was coming.

OOOhhh, would you care to tell the court what you all were laughing about.

I’d rather not sir.  Setting the hook just a little bit further .

OOOhhhh, you must tell the court what was so funny, and what you were talking about.

I’d rather not sir.

Judge Wanglin, leaned toward the witness box and said “Answer the question detective.”

Yes Judge.

OOOHHHH, now answer the question detective.

“Well, okay…I asked Detective Dye if you asked any intelligent questions and he told me no.

That’s all folks


To read about Ken’s latest novel, go to his website.


It’s hot.  It’s hot like only St. Louis is hot in mid July.  Shoes actually melted and stuck to the sidewalk.  Humidity, let me tell ya about the humidity.  A person can walk out of their house, apartment, condo or lean to right after taking a shower.  Within a few seconds, you feel like a limp dishrag.

St. Louis, MO, one of the hottest, inhospitable places on earth when it comes to the discomfort level.  This includes Panama and Viet Nam.

Murph and I are in the Drug Enforcement Task Force that covers the metro area.  Cops from departments around the city and county send detectives to work big cases.  Even the Highway patrol…except they always want to write the bad guys a speeding ticket!!

DEA, ATF and the FBI all have representatives assigned.  Of course the I wanted the OK to use our stats when they compiled cases worked, thus giving an inflated number to the end of quarter, 6 month and annual stats.

That’s OK most of us just wanted to work dope cases.

We have a snitch, DeVon, plugged into the black dope scene.  He provided us with valuable information resulting in a number of search warrants yielding extremely large quantizes of heroin, powder cocaine and the drug that grabs brain and body and turns the user into a stark raving maniac…crack cocaine.

Great social thinkers feel that the penalties for crack cocaine, possession of 5 or more grams is unfair.  It is unfair because the penalties for 5 grams of crack cocaine are the same as for 30 grams of powder cocaine.

Great debates about this stupid issue just wear me down.  The answer is simple.


Devon, as with any good snitch, is difficult to locate whilst trying to find out about a group that popped up on the radar.  He is always available upon being arrested on a gun, dope or shoplifting pinch.

He came back in pocket after his latest brush with the TAC boys who caught him with a couple heroin “buttons.”

DeVon possessed info on a big heroin crib in the fine suburb of Pine Lawn.  A shitty little town overrun with drugs and crime.

Murph and I headed out the door to cove a team making an undercover buy of crack and a couple sawed-off shotguns.  The ATF boys salivated over that one.

Ms. Rohan, our unit secretary and all around good egg, said, “Ken, you might want to take this call…it’s Devon.”

I asked Murph to handle the call.  DeVon related a story about a big heroin stash, just hit town.  The bad guys in the process of breaking it down into ounces, half’s, quarters and eight balls.  This occurring, of course, after the product had been stepped on at least three times.  The additive being a Mexican laxative called Bombieta.  The Bombieta meant to counteract the constipating effect of the opium poppy and its derivatives.

Being in a big hurry, Murph told DeVon to drive past the local, obtain the numerics, color, size, shape and other distinguishing characteristics of the dope house.  Murph told DeVon we were in a big hurry…call us in a couple hours.

We both thought he must have gotten jammed up and needed to work off his case.  A thought process that is entirely correct.

We covered the team making the buy.  As is usually the case the only thing predictable about a dope, deal is that it’s unpredictable.  It’s supposed to go down at 3:15.  The seller only had one shotgun and the crack man hasn’t shown up yet.

After a number of calls between the dealers, the operation came to fruition.  The narc’s walked away with two ounces of brown heroin, three sawed off shotgun and a boatload of intelligence information.  This info would later prove invaluable in thwarting the ambush of two narc’s.

When Murph and I got back to the office, it’s 6:30, we hadn’t eaten, it’s hot out, and I had to take a monster leak.  I stopped off at the john, Murph went to his desk.  Before he could plant his ass in the raggley ass government chair, he picked up the phone.  That’s right DeVon.

Devon dutifully gave information about the house, where the dope could be found, the color, size and shape of the residence.  OK fine.

The last line on a search warrant is “Affiant prays that a warrant be issued for the structure known and numbered as 4356 La La street, front facing east rear facing west.”

Having this in mind Murph asked DeVon “Which way does the house set.”  As soon as the words were out of Murph’s mouth he realized what a stupid question to ask a street cat.

DeVon, in his feeble, drug addled mind said, “Ah, UMMM, er-ah, ya know I been thinkin’ ‘bout that man.  I believe that muthafucher sits sideways.”



To read about Ken’s latest novel, go to his website.


Courtney “Owl Baby” Newman a well-known creep, dope dealer and all around bad guy and his lovely girlfriend/baby mamma, Takiashia Brown dabbled in the sales and distribution of dope and guns.

As is customary in this situation both had lengthy arrest and conviction records. Not so customary, Takiashia, snitched for Murph and myself.

Takiashia came up with good information for us from time to time.  This activity, of course, conducted without the knowledge of “Owl Baby.”

Murph and I completed our undercover activities, now assigned to the street crew, that being former undercover cops that knew the criminal landscape and worked in the Street Corner Apprehension Team, referred to as SCAT.

Primarily targeting open-air drug markets and developing, following up on any major criminal activity.

One fine day Takiashia called our office looking for Murph and moi.  Ms. Rohan, the secretary tracked us down and told me Takiashia is looking for us with a most important crime bulletin.  Something about bloody tennis shoes, stashed clothes and a bunch of other gibberish that she couldn’t understand.

I contacted the source of all the drama and agreed to meet her near the abandoned carter carburetor factory.

By now, it was dark.  Like no moon or stars dark, like no streetlights dark.  Creepy dark.  Murph and I had our iron out and ready for quick access.  Is this a set-up?  Crazy thoughts run through your tired, oxygen-starved brain.

Tankiashia arrived on the scene and got in the back seat of our trusty red mercury cougar.

She couldn’t stop talking.  Words spilled out like a machine gun.  I picked up snippets like “Owl Baby”, bloody clothes, attic and I think he kilt that boy.”

After we settled her down with calming words like “What the fuck are you talkin’ ‘bout, girl?”  She composed herself somewhat and broke the set down to us.

The story revolved around a non-paying heroin distributor in the employ of our purveyor of fine dope products.  “Owl Baby.”

The late Billy “white boy Bill” McCurry, failed to make good on a fronted package of two ounces of heroin.  In the dope world, non-payment is, in essence, a death penalty.  That is a death penalty without benefit of court proceedings, endless appeals and pleadings of defense attorneys like “Howlin’” Ray Nixson with some fairy tale explanation why his client is not good for the charged offense.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Murph and I were able to get a reasonable, if somewhat disjointed, story about what the hell happened.

“Owl Baby” went in search of the dope thief ,”White boy Bill”, unfortunately for the victim, if that is the correct description, he found the chump getting down with a portion of the purloined heroin.

“Owl Baby” put an end to his antics via several bullet holes in the area of vital organs.  The evil doer then rummaged through the lad’s clothes looking for any money and the remnants of the fronted two ounces.  In the process rendering his clothes and tennis shoes bloody.

Murph and I being able to piece toghather that the clothes and shoes stashed in a closet.  The gun placed behind a radiator.

A quick check with the homicide boys indicated that, sure enough, “White Boy Bill” was a murder victim.

Our boss and the homicide boss agreed to let us work the case.  Proper procedure and all that shit.

Murph put out an arrest order.  I got a search and arrest warrants.  The hunt was on.  “Owl Baby” captured a short time later.

Grand jury indictments followed.

Then came the legal system, and depositions.

Tankieshia subpoenaed by the defendant’s attorney, “Howlin’ “Ray for an exploratory deposition.  “Howlin’ Ray trying to find out who snitched out his god-fearing client. She was accompanied to this party by an assistant prosecuting attorney.

After being sworn in“Howlin’ Ray asked if she was married to the defendant, Mr. Newman.

“Yeah we married, but we ain’t got no papers ‘yaunnderstan’”

“Then Mr. Newman is your significant other?”

“My what.”

“Never mind.”

“Tankishia, do you know Detectives Dye and Murphy?”

“Yeah…but I ain’t fuckin’ ‘em.”


To read about Ken’s latest novel, go to his website.



Cops from the city and County began riding Bi-State busses and trains due to an up-tick in crime on the public conveyances.

Bi-State Transit Auth provides bus and rail transit throughout the metro area.  This includes Metro east, St. Louis City and St. Louis County.  The public transportation system served around 3.5 million people.  For many the only mode of transport available.

Of course, the bus and rail systems are always broke and keep going to the taxpayer well for this new tax and that new “User” fee.  Seems like all cities throughout the country are beset with this black hole where money goes in and never reappears.  Oh well.

The bi-state board wanted cops to ride the busses and trains, in soft clothes.  This  obviously assists in the apprehension of violators, smoking regular or cannibus cigartees, playing loud music from the ever-present “Ghetto Blasters” drinking, causing a ruckus, actin’ the fool, general or specific mopery or any number violations of the criminal cod

A team consisted of a SGT and two police officers.  The Cops rode in the bus, the SGT followed behind in beige American Motors Ambassador. Great vehicles, I might add.

The cops riding the busses or trains sat around as if they were stoned, drunk or simply sleepy.  One of the cops, Dave Barron, dressed up like a laborer.  Scruffy bib overalls, a construction hard hat. Although not confirmed, I think he pinched it from a county water dept work crew.  He also carried a lunch box.  Inside the lunch box a police walkie-talkie.

Dave later became a member of the Tactical Operation Unit and then a supervisor in the Homicide Bureau.  Dave became one of America’s premier Homicide investigators. Solving some of the most difficult and perplexing cases.  Departments throughout the country asked for his opinion on various cases.  Usually with good results.  Dave later became the subject of a book “Murder in Little Egypt.”

Back to the present.

One evening whilst I, Dave and another officer waited at the bus turnaround we observed three bus drivers stand in front of a bus passing a hand rolled cigarette back and forth.  The current holder waved the joint under his nose to capture the smoke.

We proceeded to the local, identified ourselves and placed the three under arrest.  The Transportation authority fired the drivers.
Two took their medicine and left quietly.  One fool claimed his civil rights had been violated, retained council and fought the criminal and civil matter through the court

His attorney, “Howlin’ Ray” Nixon.  Got some face time on TV and radio but soon the interest, if there ever was any, faded into oblivion.

At one of the many court hearings Dave explained, as he had many times before, how the three bus drivers passed the joint among themselves.

“Howlin’ Ray,” asked, “Have you ever seen a person inhale the aroma of a fine cigar by passing it under their nose?”

Dave replied in the negative.

At Paddy’s one night Dave relating the story said I shudda’told that fuckin’ “Howlin’ Ray” “I once saw a ‘ho blow smoke rings out of her snatch after she took a hit off a rum dipped crook.”

We all continued on the Department, riding the trains and busses for a little spending money.

One day we worked a line that had an unusual amount of criminal activity.  Including taking guns off passengers.

Dave attired in his dirty bibs, hardhat, tool belt and lunch box rode the back of the bus pretending to nod off after a hard day’s work and consuming a Budweiser tall boy in a brown paper sack.

One of the passengers looked around the bus.  His eyes settling upon the snoozing policeman.  After several furtive looks, the dude extracted a joint from his shirt pocket and fired it up.

A few moments later, upon observing no further activity from any of the passengers, the vile and vicious criminal escorted off the bus and given a summons in lieu of arrest citation.

He seemed to be a good sport and joked around with us.  He said he knew Dave was a cop, man I knew that, man I was right, I knew that.  We all agreed that yes, Officer Barron is indeed a police officer.

The little jive ass offender then asked Dave.  “Man, can I ax you a question?”


“Hey man, is that a fo’ real lunch box..or is that a prop?”


To read about Ken’s latest novel, go to his website.



Ken Dye on American Heros Radio

Shadow of the Arch by AmericanHeroesRadio

To read about Ken’s latest novel, go to his website.



Man, what a day.  Thursday, daywatch, usually a quiet time.  Not today.  Everything broke loose.  A steve McQueen pursuit that ended with the rollin’ stolen crashing into a police car.  Shooting here, stabbing there  three or four domestics all at the same time.  The TAC unit sent to the district to handle some of the calls.  They never do that.  Ian and I were glad when the end of watch rolled around.  Damn, haven’t been that busy in a while.

Everyone adjourned to Paddy’s.  The place is hoppin’.  The guys from patrol, detectives and TAC cops were drinking cold buds and the stories flew.

Joe McCollough, a 19th district patrol supervisor told the tale about testifying in a domestic case where the suspect beat the livin’ shit out of his wife/ baby’s momma.  The defense attorney, Howlin’ Ray Nixon questioned Joe regarding the rather large gash on the left side of his client’s thick head, courtesy of Joe’s kel light.

Howlin’ Ray first asked if Joe was right handed.  Yes.

“Well then how did my client get struck on the left side of his head?”  After the usual crapola about his client being set upon by the overly aggressive and brutal police, unnecessaly and perhaps criminally inside the residence of his client.

Joe said, “the defendant was advancing on me in an aggressive manner.  I had my pistol in my right hand and my flashlight in my left.  I really didn’t want to shoot the fool and in a move much like that of a bullfighter, I moved quickly to my right and struck the advancing threat with a backward sweeping motion of my left hand.”  The hand holding the heavy metal flashlight.

Judge “Catus jack” Murphy put a stop to the silly line of questioning and bound the turkey over for trial at the circuit court level.

Then two of the TAC cops related an incident where they stopped a car for no tail lights.  The vehicle being occupied by three shady dudes decked out in their finest togglery.

Two of the mopes, wanted for an armed robbery were taken into custody.

The third member of the trio exited the car and assumed the position.  One of the cops then patted the goof down.  When he got to the lower portion of his right leg he felt a bulge.  The bulge, from experience, felt like a bag of pot.

The cop pulled up leroy’s pant leg and extracted two bags of marijuana stuffed into the top portion of his socks.

The copper then asked “What have we here?”

Only to be met with the response “Man, that’s my brother’s socks, I can’t be responsible for what’s in his socks!!”

Keep truckin’

To read about Ken’s latest novel, go to his website.

Ken Dye Publishes new novel

Ken Dye is publishing his new novel, “Beyond the Shadow of the Arch”.Beyond the Shadow of the Arch

This is the sequel to his first novel, “Shadow of the Arch”.

Detectives Sloan and Falimoso solve a brutal cold case involving the murder of a restaurant manager.

Upon completion of solving this and other complex and challenging “Who Done Its” they’re off to an intense investigation by a violent criminal group intent on toppling one of Americia’s most recognizable landmarks…the “Gateway Arch.”

The investigation takes the two detectives into the secret and shrouded worlds of international finance and intrigue.

Don’t miss this one!!!

To read about Ken’s latest novel, go to his website.

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