This story was originally published in the April 27, 1990, issue of the Boston Phoenix.
Mr. Darryl Whiting, 34-year-old president of Corona Enterprises, was late for his nine o'clock appointment. The assemblage waiting on Whiting got so nudgy they had him paged. No show. At 9:45, on the morning of April 12, Whiting finally strolled into the room, flanked by one of his business associates-cum-chauffeur, Mr. David Waight. Darryl Whiting looked as though he'd been delayed because of a GQ fashion shoot. He was spiffed up in a silver-green, black-collared Burberry raincoat, which he wore over a black pinstripe English three-piece suit with a double-breasted vest; a silver print tie that stood up to his white pinstripe shirt; black tasseled ostrich loafers; and a gold-and-diamond left-pinky ring that packed so much flash it seemed able to blind anyone who stepped in his way.
Right now, Whiting was being hassled here in Dorchester District Court by a piddling
charge leveled against him by the Boston Police Department: operating an entertainment spot without a license. Whiting stood contritely before Judge James Dolan, hands behind his back, and requested a jury trial. The judge charged him $25 for being tardy, another $100 for failing to seek a jury trial at least seven days before his court appearance. Darryl Whiting calmly peeled off $125 from the wad he'd been palming in his left hand and handed it over as if he were flicking a speck off his expensive suit. Although he's a busy man, Whiting would just have to make room in his appointment book for a May 10 Boston Municipal Court trial date to answer the no-license allegations about his club.
The venue in question is the Crown Social & Recreation Hall, at 48 Geneva Avenue, right off Blue Hill Avenue. Crown Hall is the centerpiece of Whiting's expanding small-business investments, an inventory that also includes Crown Video, Crown Barber Shop, Crown Sneaker, and Second Exodus Productions; another venture, Crown Limo, is warming up in the wings.
In certain circles on the street, Whiting and his Crown Hall have garnered a big rep. With the police, for example. A number of law-enforcement sources have told the Phoenix that they believe Crown Hall and the other firms are secondary to the most prominent and profitable sector of Darryl Whiting's burgeoning business empire: drugs. "He's one of the biggest traffickers in this fucking city," says one Boston police source. And it is from his position as a top-dog drug trafficker, police sources believe, that Darryl Whiting is now brilliantly angling to become the Godfather of Boston gangdom. His dream, these sources say, is to consolidate and control the city's lucrative gang drug market. Despite the official pronouncements to the contrary peddled by the Boston police, this crew commerce appears to be rapidly expanding.
In fact, despite the deadly game of denial being played by Boston police brass, both street and police sources say Boston's power posses continue to move even closer to a ruthless, sophisticated, expansion-minded LA-style set-up. This is in marked contrast to the image promoted by the Hub's top cops. According to them, Boston gangs are ghettoized, limited to 450 black punks from Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan. Street workers and other law-enforcement sources maintain there may be as many as 4000 to 6000 members of Boss Town youth gangs, ages nine to 35. (The lowest street estimate is 800.) They are not only black and male. They are Latino. They are female. Some are white. They also operate in Brighton and South Boston, Jamaica Plain, and Roslindale. They are laying the groundwork to open new franchises of fear in outposts like Cambridge, Chelsea, Lynn, Brockton, Randolph, Milton, Dedham, Waltham, and Medford, Boston police and street sources say.