Philadelphia Black Mafia Murder Timeline: ‘Get Down or Lay Down’ Boys’ Sheer Brutality On Display


The Philadelphia Black Mafia terrorized the east coast for more than a decade, from the late 1960s all the way into the early 1980s. “PBM” was a notoriously brutish and violence-prone crime syndicate that tried veiling their activities in the name of religion, latching on to the Nation of Islam and Black Muslim movement. In reality, the Philly Black Mafia were a likeminded group of tough-as-nails extortionists, drug dealers, pimps, numbers runners, armed robbers, racketeers and hitmen. Founded in the fall of 1968 by Sam Christian and several of his loyalists, PBM reigned high, mighty and murderous through the underworld’s “Superfly & Disco Eras” and beyond.

Below is a timeline of murders attributed to the Philly Black Mafia organization, compiled with the aid of Sean Patrick Griffin’s superb book, Black Brothers, Inc. – The Rise& Fall of The Philadelphia Black Mafia.

Philadelphia Black Mafia Murder Timeline

April 19, 1969 – Philly Black Mafia co-founder Nathanial (Rock-&-Roll) Williams is killed by fellow PBM “OGs” Ronald (Bop Daddy) Fairbanks and Walter Hudgins for Williams’ organizing of a robbing of his own dice game

April 5, 1970 – Local hoodlum Robert Swint is killed by Bop Daddy Fairbanks after an argument erupts between Fairbanks and Swint’s brother, Nate, at a late night party hosted by Hudgins

January 4, 1971The Dubrow Furniture Store Robbery: Philly Black Mafia co-founder Robert (Nudie) Mims leads armed robbery and torching of Dubrow’s Furniture Store, leaving one customer dead (Shane Albert) and several more beaten, wounded and burned.

February 21, 1971 – Philly Black Mafia co-founder Richard (Pork Chop) James is “hot dosed” in prison

October 27, 1971 – Local lounge patron Wardell Green is shot to death inside a club by Russell Barnes after arguing with Barnes cousin days prior

February 1972 – PBM member Richard (Red Paul) Harris is killed over a drug ripoff

March 1972 – PMB member James (P.I.) Smith is killed over a drug rip off

April 2, 1972The Club Harlem Massacre: Philly Black Mafia Godfather Sam Christian murders independent drug kingpin Tyrone (Mr. Millionaire) Palmer, Palmer’s bodyguard Gilbert (Big Malik) Satterwhite and three others killed in crowded concert hall and nightclub in Atlantic City, New Jersey

September 1972 – Local hoodlum James Boatwright is shot to death after beefing with the Philly Black Mafia

January 1973Joe Borisch is shot to death inside his home after beefing with the Philly Black Mafia

January 18, 1973The Hanafi Muslim Massacre: The mass murder of seven people (2 adults, 5 children) connected to Hamaas Abdul Khaalis, a rival of Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammed, the Black Muslin Godfather, de-fact crime boss and Philly Black Mafia ally, carried out by a PBM hit team led by Sam Christian’s right-hand man, Ron Harvey, at NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Washington, D.C. estate (Abdul-Jabbar was one of Abdul-Khaalis’ “Hanafi” followers)

May 1, 1973Hilton Stroud & Walter Tillman, a pair of local hoodlums killed for stealing PBM boss Eugene (Bo) Baynes’ drug shipment

June 5, 1973 – Flamboyant businessman, racketeer and Philly Black Mafia associate, Major (The Maj) Coxson, is shot to death inside his New Jersey mansion over a botched heroin deal e was conducted with PBM

June 29, 1973 – Local hoodlum Charles Cooper and two female associates are shot to death inside a West Philadelphia apartment by Russell Barnes

September 18, 1973Velma Green, Wardell Green’s sister and govt. witness, is murdered on verge of testifying against Barnes for killing her brother

October 2, 1973Thomas (Cadillac Tommy) Farrington: Independent crime lord an lieutenant of legendary east coast drug kingpin Frank (Black Caesar) Matthews is killed by PBM hitman Charles (Black Charlie) Russell after feuding with PBM leader George (Bo) Abney over Farrington’s street tax

October 15,1973 – George (Bo) Abney: PBM power decapitated for skimming gang drug proceeds after assuming control of Cadillac Tommy Farrington’s rackets and territory

October 30, 1973 – Local contractor in Camden, NJ and PBM extortion target John (Johnny Boy) Clark is shot by BMF enforcer Lucius Johns in his own home in front of his wife and young son

November 1973 – Local hoodlum Robert James is shot death on his street, a block away from his house, after beefing with PBM

January 1974 – Teenager and 20th-& Carpenter Street Gang member Jeremiah Middleton is killed at bus stop by PBM enforcer Clarence Starks over a territorial dispute raging between PBM and 20&C Gang

December 29, 1974Charles (Bubbles) Price: early PBM member and part of Hanafi Muslim Massacre hit squad tortured and hanged in prison for the belief that he was about to or already had turned state’s evidence

June 15, 1975 – Philly Black Mafia co-founder Jerome Barnes is shot in the back of the head on a street corner, dying three days later, after accruing too many street feuds to survive

July 28, 1975 – Philly Black Mafia “brain” David (Scoogie) Mitchell is shot to death in domestic violence incident with his brother-in-law

November 5, 1975 – Philly Black Mafia enforcer and hitman Herschel (The Jolly Green Giant) Williams is shotgunned to death over an alleged dispute with his brother-in-law and fellow PBM member Robert (Big Phil) Blair with the hit carried out by PBM strong arm Joseph (Jo Jo) Rhone.

December 11, 1975 Alan & Renate Wellman: Alan was a lawyer of and future government witness against Big Phil Blair, him and his wife were slain execution style inside their San Fernando, California home in the weeks leading up to his scheduled testimony in court (Blair would go on to be convicted of the double homicide)

January 1976Lou & Yetta Gruby: Lou Gruby was an employee at Dubrow’s Furniture Store and a witness in the Dubrow Furniture Robbery trial, him and his wife were executed inside their own home

June 1976James (Monk) Hadley: The PBM associate is shot to death over a territorial dispute with PBM lieutenant Jo Jo Rhone

January 23, 1977 – 20th-&-Carpenter Gang leader Donald Robinson is killed in a shootout with former members of his gang that had swung their loyalty to the Philly Black Mafia.

October 1977 – Philadelphia Black Mafia member Grady Dyches is shot in a North Philly afterhours club over a drug dispute

December 1977 – PBM rival Sylvester White is shot after disrespecting

February 14, 1978Shirley Kelly, the wife of Ernie Kelly, who testified against the Philly Black Mafia, was stabbed to death inside her home in retaliation for her husband’s cooperation and testimony at a 1974 kidnapping and robbery trial

July 24, 1978 – Late-1970s Philly Black Mafia leader Clarence (Squeaky) Hayman is shot to death after an argument with an extortion victim of his named Barry Wright

April 9, 1979 –Philly Black Mafia drug chief Alfred Clark is killed as he approaches mosque by man dressed in Muslim garb

June 12, 1980Barry Kelly: killed as retaliation for his father Ernie Kelly’s testimony in court against members of the Philly Black Mafia at a 1974 trial

July 7, 1980Freddy (Smiley) Armour: The high ranking PBM member is shot to death by PBM enforcer Larris (Tank) Frazier over a territorial dispute related to turf in North Philly’s Allen Housing Projects

December 7, 1985Edward (Boney Bill) Perry, a lieutenant in the drug operation oversaw by William (Cadillac Willie) Rispers, a former Tyrone Palmer protégé, is killed as tensions on the street rise with the release from prison of PBM leader Russell Barnes

January 23, 1986 – PBM leader Russell Barnes is found dead in an alley in Southwest Philadelphia, shot in the back in the head



  1. Do they still exist today is the mafia still in existence the Philadelphia Black Mafia?

    • I doubt it.
      We would have heard about them from the media and law enforcement by now if they were still doing anyting in the city.

      • Not BPM but now OBH I think thier kids maybe. You related to a Juan Buchanan? My condolences for your loss if so.

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