Best Cool Nicknames in a Local Periodical - 2000
It's only fitting that the Evening Whirl, "a crime-fighting publication since 1938" and the most colorful newsrag in the metro area, gives almost every detective, prosecutor or perpetrator who appears in its pages some colorful handle. In a story about the sentencing of Loveless "Stupid Loc" Jones for the murder of Winzel Frost, we read that the case was cracked by Detective Sgt. Anthony "Big Tony" Rice and Detectives Byron "On the Case" Harrington and Marla "Lady H" Arinze. Assistant Circuit Attorney Dwight "P-Tossi-Man" Warren, the story continues, prosecuted Jones. "Just by knowing them, we get a feel for them," says Anthony Sanders, editor of the Whirl for the past five years and chief handle-giver. "Most of the names reflect their character," he continues, "like Byron Harrington. Byron looks very studious, very 'on the case.' If you would see him on the street, you'd think he's a triple Ph.D. Now, we don't give names to suspects. 'Stupid Loc,' 'I-Rock,' 'Sweet Pea' -- these are the actual street names these guys use." The nicknaming tradition, started by Whirl founder Ben Thomas, is not viewed with disfavor by the "H-Men." If anything, they like it, just as they enjoy reading about their own exploits in the paper (the division gets a free subscription). Says Detective Roy "Gotcha Boy" Douglas, "In the last year or so, Tony has branched out -- not only does he nickname individuals, now he puts a handle on certain crews. There's the 'Exterminator Squad,' the 'Takedown Unit' and his name for us (Douglas and partner Ralph 'Major Case' Campbell) is the 'Senior Case Squad.'" Just to confuse matters, the detectives also have in-office names for each other: There's Detective Tom Carroll, for instance, whose Whirl name is "Packman" and whose office name is "Tiny Toons." Among colleagues, there's also "Pepper," "Crawfish," "Bulldog" and "Brojack." Brojack? "He's big, he's tall and he's shaved on top," says "Major Case" with a chortle. One thing's for sure -- when it comes to hanging handles on cops and robbers in this town, there's no shortage of deserving characters.