Federal prosecutors in Louisiana are now certain notoriously-ruthless New Orleans drug kingpin “Wild Telly” Hankton was the triggerman in the infamous June 17, 2006 Central City Massacre, the early-morning killing of five teenage drug dealers inside an idling SUV. Because of a judge’s recent ruling, the jury in Hankton’s ongoing racketeering and murder trial won’t hear the theory of his reputed involvement in the Central City mass murder carried out exactly 10 years ago this week.

The 40-year old Hankton is already a legend in the New Orleans underworld and is serving prison time for an unrelated gangland homicide. Wild Telly, who rose to become the preeminent Big Easy gangster of the New Millennium, and several of his cousins started their family’s drug empire in the mid-1990s. They were indicted (more than a dozen co-defendants in all) in October 2012.

Central City is a neighborhood in New Orleans, located just above the Big Easy’s central business district. Hankton crew associate and fellow drug boss Michael (Mike-Mike) Anderson was initially convicted for the 2006 Central City slayings of Arsenio (Lil’ Man) Hunter, Markee (Big Man) Hunter, Reggie (Putty) Dantzler, Warren (Love) Simeon and Iraum (I-Rock) Taylor and sentenced to death via lethal injection, but has since had the conviction set aside. Anderson, who headed a gang called “The Dawg Pound” and pled guilty to another murder charge in exchange for a life sentence, is one of the prosecution’s star witnesses at Hankton’s current trial.

According to court documents, the five victims were allegedly infringing on drug turf belonging to Hankton. The SUV the teenagers were driving in was flagged down by the shooter: first, the young man in the passenger’s seat was shot in the head and dispatched to the sidewalk. Then, the assailant walked to the other side of the vehicle and shot the driver in the head, followed by unloading the rest of his weapon into the three passengers in the backseat.

Wild Telly Hankton was originally the prime suspect in the gruesome slaughter. After investigators zeroed in on Anderson, authorities claimed Hankton’s name was being thrown out to police by Anderson loyalists trying to create a smoke screen. In court filings last month, U.S. Prosecutors admitted they made a mistake and it was Hankton the whole time. Hankton isn’t expected to be indicted in the Central City Massacre though.

Less than a year after the Central City Massacre, Hankton and his organization went to war with a rival New Orleans narcotics organization run by Darnell (Durney) Stewart and Jesse (Tu Tu) Reed – tensions began boiling three years earlier with a reported shootout between Reed and Hankton. On April 12, 2007, Wild Telly and his cousin and former LSU football player Troy Hankton opened fire on Stewart and Reed as they sat in a car on Clara Street. Nobody was killed in the attack (their driver Karim Peters was shot), but the message was sent and it was clear as day: the war was on.

That December, Wild Telly’s cousin and business partner George (Cup) Hankton was gunned down in cold blood – police suspected Stewart and Reed as Cup Hankton’s killers, however, they were never charged with the crime. Handcuffs or not, Wild Telly was hell bent on getting his vengeance.

He wouldn’t have to wait long.

Stewart was heinously slain on the evening of May 13, 2008 in front of New Orleans club Jazz Daiquiris. Slammed into by a Mustang driven by Cup’s brother Andre (Reesie) Hankton as he fled on foot from a car chase after he crashed his own vehicle, Stewart went flying up in the air before violently crashing to the concrete. Writhing in pain on the ground, Wild Telly got out of the car’s passenger side and pistol whipped him before unloading his weapon into him at point-blank range. Hankton and a clique of backup men led by his No. 1 enforcer, Walter (Moonie) Porter finally killed Reed on June 20, 2009, according to prosecutors. Two months earlier, Hankton had posted a one-million dollar bond on charges that he murdered Stewart.

“Moonie” Porter and Wild Telly’s cousin Thomas (Squirt) Hankton are currently facing charges that they killed Reed associate Hasan (Hockie) Williams two weeks following Reed’s murder because Williams had witnessed the deed and identified Wild Telly Hankton as the shooter. Porter is already serving a life prison sentence for an unrelated murder-for-hire. He and Squirt Hankton are also accused of attempting to kill a witness in the Stewart hit, John Matthews, the owner of Jazz Daiquiris.

Matthews survived 17 bullet wounds to testify against Hankton at his murder trial. His brother, Curtis, wasn’t so lucky – Curtis Matthews was killed in retaliation by Porter outside Jazz Daiquiri’s in October 2011, just days after Hankton was sentenced in the Stewart case.

Leave a Reply