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'We Got A Serial Killer Out Here:' Atlanta Stripper Robs, Kills 3 Men In Crime Spree
“This is one cold-blooded female,” Todd Merrifield, a former Dekalb Co. police lieutenant said of Falicia Blakely's murderous rampage. “That just does what she needs to do and does what she wants to do. I don’t know if I’d ever seen anything like that.”
A “cold-blooded” woman, doing whatever was necessary to get money — including murder. That’s how police described Falicia Blakely, who pleaded guilty to killing three men and robbing several fast-food spots in Atlanta.
Blakely’s crime spree was documented in Snapped, airing on Oxygen at 6/5c on Sundays — but was she also a victim herself?
The bodies of Raymond Goodwin, 34, and Claudell “Doc” Christmas, 35, were discovered in Goodwin’s apartment by his sister and friend on August 15, 2002. Police said they were the victims of what they believed to be innocent partying.
“These men were just easy to lure in,” Nicole Redlinger, Cumming Police Sergeant, told Snapped. “They’re at these clubs, they’re spending money, they’re trying to have a good time and they meet these pretty ladies.”
It all started when Cariletta “Smokey” Jones, Goodwin’s sister, got a phone call from “G,” one of Christmas’ friends.
“’G’ was like, ‘Hey, I was on the phone with ‘Doc,’ and I heard gunshots,’ and something like he couldn’t breathe or something like that,” Jones told Snapped. “He said I did hear some female voices in the back saying, ‘Get the money, get the money.’”
When she was unable to reach her brother or “Doc” on the phone, Jones went over to the apartment to investigate herself. That’s when she and a friend found the bodies.
“Finding my brother dead, that changed my life forever,” Jones said. “Everything was rushing through my head. Who, what, when, why. I just broke down crying. We couldn’t wrap our minds around it.”
Police found no signs of forced entry at Goodwin’s apartment and no signs of a struggle. Goodwin had a gunshot to the head as well as several more in his abdomen. Christmas died of a single shot to the head.
Seven bullets were fired, and police found .32 caliber shells, which come from a smaller gun, usually carried by females.
Both Jones and Goodwin were part of Atlanta’s adult entertainment industry. Jones was a dancer, and Goodwin, an avid photographer, began taking photos of dancers to help them market themselves with portfolios. Jones told officers robbery may have been a possible motive, as Goodwin had a lot of expensive photography equipment, and both he and Christmas were known to carry large amounts of cash.
Money from each man’s wallet was missing at the murder scene.
“During this timeframe, the adult entertainment industry was booming,” Redlinger said. “People would want to rob the men knowing they had a lot of cash going into these clubs. They started to have a lot more robberies within our city. And they were being committed by females.”
Two days later, Lemetrius “Meechy” Twitty, 29, was found shot and killed in his Atlanta apartment. Police discovered the same .32 caliber shell casings found in Goodwin’s apartment. Cash was missing from Twitty’s apartment, as well as his gold Nissan Maxima.
“The fact that the same caliber, which was an unusual caliber, was used, it would not be far from saying the same individual committed all three murders,” Todd Merrifield, a former Dekalb Co. police lieutenant, told Snapped.
Twitty ran in the same circles as Jones, Goodwin, and Christmas.
“We heard he got killed so we were like, ‘What the hell?’” Jones said. “You know, what the heck is going on? I was shocked — I could not believe it. We actually just were so scared, you know what I mean — we got a serial killer out here?”
Goodwin’s girlfriend told police the night of the murder, Goodwin and Christmas were hanging out with strippers, known only as “Peaches” and “Snow.” But finding the women proved difficult. Jones believed she had met the women at a yacht party a few weeks before the murders. She decided to try and help in the investigation.
Because she was a known dancer in Atlanta’s clubs, a few strip clubs allowed her to look at their permit books, where records of dancers were kept. Jones was able to recognize and identify the dancer known as “Peaches,” but still, police were unable to locate “Peaches.”
But police got a break when, 10 days after the murders, someone called 911 to report suspicious women in the lobby of a Mrs. Winner’s Chicken & Biscuits. There had been a series of armed robberies at Mrs. Winner’s locations all over Atlanta, and the workers at the restaurants had been warned.
When police arrived, they found three women hiding in the bathroom, including Falicia “Peaches” Blakely, 18, and Armeshia “Snow” Ervin, 20. A run of the tags on the vehicle they drove to the restaurant showed it matched Twitty’s missing Nissan Maxima.
Police said the women also tried to get rid of guns in the restaurant bathroom toilet tank — and one was a .32 caliber, the same handgun used in the murders.
When detectives interviewed Blakely, she admitted to killing Goodwin, Christmas, and Twitty.
“Ms. Blakely, her statement was remarkably candid,” Tom Clegg, prosecutor, told Snapped. “This was a girl who is being charged with three different murders and just lays it all out. She didn’t sugarcoat it.”
Blakely told police she and Ervin met Goodwin through his photography business, and they believed he had money. They went there with the intent to rob him — taking about a thousand dollars in cash. After murdering the two men, Blakely and Ervin went out to clubs that night, where they met Twitty, who they also believed had money. When Twitty invited the women back to his apartment, Blakely admitted to shooting and killing him, and taking $650 in cash, as well as his car.
“This is one cold-blooded female,” Merrifield said. “That just does what she needs to do and does what she wants to do. I don’t know if I’d ever seen anything like that.”
But Blakely also provided a defense for her actions, telling officers her pimp, Mike Berry, allegedly forced her to rob and kill the men. Blakely had met Berry a few years before, as a pregnant dancer.
“This was everything she probably ever wanted, that was what she saw in Mike Berry,” Redlinger said. “He was giving her love, spending time with her, buying her things — coats and cars. Then offering to take the role of being this baby’s father. He was much older than her. He made all these promises to her … he just sold this huge pipe dream. And Falicia bought into it.”
Blakely eventually lost custody of her baby to her mother and resumed stripping, and according to her, being a prostitute for Berry. That led to murder and robbery. Blakely insinuated Berry thought of her as his “property.”
Blakely’s defense attorneys tried to paint Berry as the real bad guy, arguing Blakely was being used and a victim herself. But Berry admitted no involvement in police interviews, and Ervin didn’t back up Blakely’s accusations. He was never charged with any crimes related to the robberies and murders.
In 2004, Blakely took a plea deal to avoid trial as well as the death penalty and is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Armeisha Ervin also took a plea deal and is eligible for parole in 2027.
Goodwin’s family said even if Blakely was a victim of her pimp, it doesn’t make a difference to them.
“I was like, ‘Thank you, God,’” Jones said. “This girl is off the street and she can no longer hurt anybody else. Falicia could have made different choices. You did what you did because that was the person that you are on the inside.”