Long Island father of three gets flat tire in Harlem, two locals help him, then kill him

What should Jeff Locker have done? Refused the help, and driven on the flat tire until coming to a service station or until getting out of Harlem. Alternatively, he should have avoided driving at night through Harlem altogether—or through any black area. The case immediately reminds us, of course, of Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities, in which “master of the universe” Sherman McCoy has a car problem while driving through Harlem at night with his mistress, leading to an incident that brings about his downfall. But at least, in Wolfe’s book, McCoy was the one who did the killing. [A reader sends this correction: “It was McCoy’s mistress who was driving the Mercedes when it ‘fishtailed’ and hit the unfortunate young man. Of course, she later testified that McCoy did it.”]

For a white man to allow strange blacks to help him out in a deserted area of Harlem at ten o’clock at night was an extremely risky thing to do, on the order of playing Russian Roulette, except that in Russian Roulette you only have a one in six chance of being killed, while I’d say that Locker’s behavior created a one in two chance of his being killed. He lived in the New York City area. He could not have been unaware of the threat of black violent crime. Yet he proceeded, Eloi-fashion, as though he were. He behaved like someone who knew nothing about the real world. And now his wife is without a husband and his three children are without a father.

The story is in the New York Post:

July 17, 2009

A motivational speaker from Long Island who had pulled his car over on a gritty and desolate strip near the Triborough Bridge was stabbed and left to die—ambushed, his wife told cops yesterday, by two thugs who had offered to help the father of three fix a flat.

Jeff Locker, 52, whose Web site describes him “as an inspirational keynote speaker known as the business spiritualist,” was found in East Harlem behind the wheel of his 2007 Dodge sedan with stab wounds to his chest and neck at 11:30 a.m., police said.

One of the chest wounds looked like a bullet hole, but a police source said it probably came from a screwdriver.

Locker’s car was parked on Pauldino Avenue near East 124th Street, near the bridge ramp and the Sen. Robert F. Wagner Houses.

Neighborhood firefighters made the grisly discovery, spotting Locker’s body slumped behind the wheel.

Cops, however, said they were puzzled by circumstances surrounding the slaying.

Locker’s wife told Nassau County police the frightening details that she gleaned from the last time she ever heard her husband’s voice.

According to an NYPD source, the wife had called Nassau cops yesterday to report that her husband was missing and that he hadn’t come home Wednesday night after going out.

She told suburban cops that in a call to her at around 10:15 p.m., Locker had reassured her that he was safe.

“Listen, I’m running a little late because I got a flat tire near the Triborough Bridge,” the wife quoted her husband saying in that conversation.

The NYPD source said Locker’s wife also told cops that he had pulled over and that he casually mentioned that a man and woman were helping him out.

At the Lockers’ comfortable home in the upper middle-class enclave of North Woodmere, weeping relatives gathered to comfort one another.

One neighbor said the family was devastated that Locker met his end in such a horrific fashion.

“The family was told that he was changing a tire at the Triborough and he got robbed by some guys he thought were trying to help him,” the neighbor said.

While robbery hasn’t been ruled out as a motive, two sources said investigators were still looking at all possibilities.

One source said that all four tires in Locker’s car had air in them.

Another said: “Maybe the tire was flat, it ain’t flat now. There’s something else to this story.”

Locker’s wife described her husband as “a wonderful person” and referred a reporter to his Web site but wouldn’t comment further.

He leaves two sons and a teenage daughter.

“They were a lovely family and to leave those kids without a dad is tragic,” another neighbor said.

Additional reporting by John Doyle and Ed Robinson


[end of article]

- end of initial entry -

David B. writes:

This is a subject that my ex-friend Professor F. was adamant about. Once I remarked that it would be dangerous to have a auto breakdown in a black area. “NO IT’s NOT,” he shouted. The professor was belligerent in insisting that it was no more dangerous in black areas than in the white side of town.

LA replies

Excuse me for saying this, but in my view you should not have maintained a friendship with such an idiot for so long. A man who says what you just quoted him as saying is not just a liberal, and is not just a radical liberal. He is a sick man and should be avoided.

“This Boy Ain’t No Eloi” writes:

Based on my read of this story and the readers’ comments at the Post, I think there are several questions unresolved. First, did his car actually have a flat tire? If the tires were found fully functional, it could be that the thugs fixed the flat and drove him to a more secluded area to do him in. Second, there is some speculation that the man was there for cocaine or sex. Who knows? In any case, a normal rational person of pallor—even a liberal one—knows best to stay out of Harlem at any time. For crying out loud, aren’t there any black or Latina hookers on Long Island?

Carl Simpson writes:

The horrific stories just keep on happening, don’t they? I thought this was all supposed to be a thing of the dark, primitive, superstitious past with the ascension of the Mocha Messiah and the subsequent commencement of a shiny post-racial utopian Obamaland. A small technical correction about the term “Russian Roulette.” The Nagant revolver which inspired the term has seven chambers instead of the six normally encountered in U.S. guns. So it’s actually a one-in-seven chance.

Paul K. writes:

You wrote, “For a white man to allow strange blacks to help him out in a deserted area of Harlem at ten o’clock at night was an extremely risky thing to do …” If, in fact, Locker was stuck in Harlem in a car he could drive no further, and he was did not have a gun, he was in no position to allow or not allow strange blacks to “help him out.” Many criminal assaults are preceded by a seemingly benign approach, as the predator takes stock of his prey.

A well-known self-defense trainer who goes by the name SouthNarc (he is a police officer who works undercover in Memphis) has an excellent class called “Managing Unwanted Contacts,” which provides strategies for dealing with approaching strangers. There is a pdf document on-line which describes his lessons.

I recommend that any VFR readers who have wondered how to protect themselves in such a situation take a look at it. Even if you do not carry a firearm, there is a lot of useful advice in it.

LA replies:

I was proceeding on the assumption that he had a flat. With a flat, he should have driven the car on the flat tire until getting to a safe area. But it’s possible he didn’t have a flat:

One source said that all four tires in Locker’s car had air in them.

Another said: “Maybe the tire was flat, it ain’t flat now. There’s something else to this story.”

Maybe there’s a whole other story here that’s yet to come out.

Also, I looked at the comments in the Post and many of them are of such a low nature that it’s not worth reading. Reading an unmoderated online discussion forum has approximately the same value in relation to reading that eating out of a garbage can has in relation to eating.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 17, 2009 11:22 AM | Send

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