This book details the true life of Luther Butler, the son of an ex Chicago Bears player. To escape the spousal abuse, Luther’s mother left him when he was five. After the mother departed, Luther was now the recipient of the bloody abuse. By 15, Luther was kicked out of the house onto the Chicago streets. In order to survive on the streets, homeless Luther joined one of the deadliest gangs in Chicago. The book details many life or death scenarios in which he was entangled. The worst of which, made the cover of Time Life Magazine in 1994. Luther was one of the top high school football recruits. With every felonious act, he lost scholarship offers. A retired police officer took Luther into his home in attempts to help him off the streets and into college. Time was running out at the cop tried to undo all of the negative behaviors Luther acquired on the deadly streets. Years later Luther’s father was found murdered in his home. Common sense pointed to his gang banging son with an ax to grind.
I was hungry, broke, and stunk. It had been days since I had showered. I was living in my car. It was close to midnight. I needed money in the worst way. I was driving around Chicago; looking to rob a crack dealer…any crack dealer. With the money I could buy some food. If there was enough money left over, I could rent a cheap hotel room for the night. I saw my victim selling crack in the alley. He was alone and waiting to sell to his next trick. He was a slender, black man, in his mid to late twenties. I drove four blocks down so I wouldn’t attract the dealer’s attention.
I parked my car on a side street. I had to stay in the shadows. I jumped fences and used the darkness of the alley to creep behind him. I shoved the gun in his lower back and told him to, “Empty your fucking pockets!” He responded by whipping around and stabbing me in my left side with a knife. I stumbled back, gasping to catch my breath. Before I could regroup, the man came back at me with the blade. He was about to stab me again.
I fired, hitting him twice in the chest. This was the first time I had shot someone. It was either me or him. When a person gets shot, it is nothing like in the movies. People don’t fall coordinated or gracefully, but rather flop clumsily to the ground. The first thing they do is beg for you not to kill them. The blood doesn’t run neatly into the streets. It initially rushes out; until it saturates every part of clothing it touches. The victim’s breathing is not regular. Every breath is forced and painful. It seemed as if every breath was hastened and devoid of a natural rhythm. Out of fear of getting spotted I immediately retreated, leaving the man to lie in his own blood. As I ran away I could hear the man faintly screaming, “Help me! Help me!” I didn’t get a dime from the man. I was out of breath from knife that was just inserted into my left ribcage. I was in too much pain to run. I pressed the stab wound with my left hand, in an attempt to slow the bleeding, as I painfully jogged to the car. The scene would give the toughest man nightmares, but I wasn’t a man, I was another psycho raised on the Chicago streets.
Days afterward, the stab wound became seriously infected. The wound started oozing puss and began to really stink. The pain was unbearable. It hurt to breath. I couldn’t go to the hospital out of fear of getting linked to the shooting in the alley. I became sick for almost a month. My wound needed stitches, but I knew I couldn’t go to a hospital. I kept wrapping it with gauze to keep the laceration closed. I could feel my heartbeat in the wound. Painkillers and ointment that I stole from the store did little to help, but the cut eventually healed into an ugly scar along my left ribs.
I never intended to shoot the man in the alley. It didn’t bother me that I had to. I constantly told myself, “He was breathing when I left him, so he had to be alive.” This wasn’t the life I chose. I didn’t ask to be born. God gave me my terrible parents. God was the one who allowed me to be born in Hell. Since I was born in Hell, God has no right to be upset that I adjusted so well to the fire!
Get to know Pacc:
1. Q. What drives you?
A. A sense of community and family. Parents are lost at how to be parents, therefore the children are at a disadvantage. I want to make a difference and set a positive example for all.
2. Q. What do you do in your spare time?
A. I volunteer at the local center. I do a lot of public speaking on gangs, gang violence, and mentoring at risk teens.
3. Q. What irritates you?
A. When parents fail their duties as parents. Children don’t ask to be born, so we have an obligation to offer them the best chance possible to succeed. In doing so, the parents MUST lead by example.
4. Q. The experiences in your book molded you into who you are. If you had the chance to go back would you do everything all over again?
A. No! Emphatically not! If I had the chance to start over. I would have sought help for homeless teens. I would have maintained straight A’s in high school. And I would have practiced patience and discipline.
5. Q. What drives you?
A. Remaining a positive beacon of light for my children. In the millennium of pants sagging and broken speech, I make sure that I set my kids up for success. This at least gives them a chance to succeed.
6. Q. What do you like to do for fun?
A. I LOVE to travel with my beautiful wife and kids. I am not a parent that searches for outs. Wherever I go, my family is with me.
7. Q. What is a message in your book?
A. The importance to being a good parents and breaking the cycle if you had bad ones.
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