Author: Timothy Crouse

  • Stranger in Harlem, Part Five: Postscript

    It is now over a year since I began my re­searches into the nature, history, future pros­pects, and larger meaning of Harlem (with special emphasis on homicide and narcotics); the time has come to stop and admit defeat. In 10 years of journalistic enterprise, I have never bitten off so much more than I could […]

  • Stranger in Harlem, Part Four: Willy and the Sneaker People

    One Sunday night last fall, trying to un­wind from the sights and sounds of a day in Harlem, I switched on my Trinitron and aimlessly turned the dial. What should come beaming into my bedroom but a service of worship that was obviously emanating from a storefront church in Harlem! I was hypnotized instantly by […]

  • Stranger in Harlem, Part Three: A Harlem Dude

    On my first day at the Sixth Homicide Zone in Harlem, I went out in a radio car with two black detectives. A cold white sun was gleaming in the February sky, and jagged mounds of pockmarked snow were piled at the curbs. I kept losing my sense of direction, and only occasionally did I […]

  • Stranger in Harlem Part Two: Sixth Homicide

    When the light changed at 96th Street and Park Avenue, I looked around to make sure all four doors were locked, and then I stepped on the gas. My car shot across the Great Divide, up the narrow lane between the medieval wall and the bombed-out tene­ments, into Harlem. I was going to 119th Street […]

  • The Day They Got Mr. Untouchable, Nicky Barnes

    The jury began its deliberations last Wednesday. By coincidence, that was the day Nicky Barnes’s troubles began. He came back from lunch and said he was feeling sad. One of his favorite women had taken it into her head to lay down guidelines. “I had to tell her that the relationship couldn’t continue if she […]

  • Nicky Barnes: Geronimo Takes on the Man No One Can Convict

    Nicky Barnes: Geronimo Takes On the Man No One Can Convict October 24, 1977 The federal courthouse in Foley Square has a far more cathedral air than its poor neighbor two blocks to the north, the criminal courthouse at 100 Centre Street. The federal courthouse has cushions on the benches, ecclesiastical ceiling lamps, and clerks […]

  • Stranger in Harlem, Part One: Where the Prisoners Come From

    “It is a miracle that the American black people have remained a peaceful people, while catching all the centuries of hell that they have caught, here in the white man’s heaven!”—The Autobiography of Malcolm X  Sometimes, when I feel the world is passing me by, I wonder whatever could have possessed me to take this […]