The End of the Innocence
Bill Boyle and Jeff Miller wheeled into one of South Phoenix's meanest neighborhoods looking to score cocaine. The friends--both white men--had snorted coke earlier that night at the office. Now, they wanted more, and they knew where to get it.
Lino Josytewa had been hanging out that evening, December 21, 1989, at the Coffelt housing projects at 19th Avenue and Pima Street. He'd been living on his own since late last year, after his father threw him and an older brother out of his west Phoenix house. Lino usually slept at crack houses or at friends' places, and carried a few articles of clothing in a bag.
Bill Boyle was due to fly to Massachusetts in two days to visit his wife Lori. She'd been living with her parents there since August because of complications with her pregnancy. Boyle, who worked as a manager at Jeff Miller's telemarketing operation in the East Valley, stayed behind.
Lino had been dealing crack cocaine at Coffelt for three or four months, ever since his dad had booted him out. He sold an average of $300-$400 a night in the projects. He'd also been snorting coke and smoking crack for about a year.
Arizona Coyotes vs. San Jose Sharks
TicketsTue., Nov. 1, 7:00pm
Phoenix Suns vs. Portland Trail Blazers
TicketsWed., Nov. 2, 7:00pm
Arizona Coyotes vs. Nashville Predators
TicketsThu., Nov. 3, 7:00pm
Arizona State University Sun Devils Hockey vs. University of Michigan
TicketsFri., Nov. 4, 7:05pm
Lino is thirteen.
Miller turned his Ford Bronco off 19th Avenue at Pima Street--the only way in and out of the Coffelt projects. Lino and a friend named Fat Man walked up to Miller's vehicle. In this neighborhood, after dark, white men in cars are expected to be in search of drugs.
Bill Boyle had last seen his wife in November, a few days after his second child was born. He'd left a note on her pillow when he left for Arizona: "My love, I'm leaving without waking you because you had a rough night. I love you very very much and am very proud of you. I'll work very hard so we can have a good life together. You made me so happy these past few days. I love you. Me!!!"
Lino's main source of crack was a man named Bobby. Lino calls him Rock Man. To this day, Lino hasn't revealed Rock Man's full name. He's kept that information to himself, even after more than two months in juvenile jail.
Boyle did the talking that December night. He rolled down the window on the passenger's side and said he wanted a "20-rock," a $20 chunk of crack cocaine. As Boyle and Fat Man haggled, with Lino standing nearby, a black man nicknamed Eight Ball ran up to the Bronco. He grabbed the $20 and disappeared into the night.
Lino was a member of the Coffelt Jets gang. He sold drugs at the projects in defiance of the black dealers who have controlled the trade there since the mid-Eighties. Lino feared his black competitors more than he did the Phoenix police. At five-six and 104 pounds, he needed more than an attitude and quick feet to survive as a dope dealer. He also needed a gun.
Jeff Miller will never forget what happened after Eight Ball took off with the $20 bill. Boyle and Fat Man argued briefly. Miller then saw Lino "fidgeting, with his arms behind his back . . . I saw him take the gun out from behind his back and fire it at our direction three, maybe four times. As soon as I saw him raise the gun, I took my foot off the clutch."
When the phone rang on the afternoon of December 22, Lori Boyle thought it was her husband. "He always called," she says, "three, four, five times a day."
"I noticed Bill slump over," says Jeff Miller. "As I drove around the corner, he fell over on me. I could feel something wet running down my arm, and I saw it was blood."
Bill Boyle had taken a fatal bullet to his brain.
On the morning of December 23, Lino called the Phoenix Police Department from a pay phone and said he wanted to turn himself in. The rumor mill had already churned out his name as the shooter. Lino's drug-selling pal, Fat Man, reportedly had fled to Mexico. "It was a policeman," Lori Boyle says. "After four years of marriage and two little kids, someone calls to tell me I'm a widow at 29."
Residents of the low-income Coffelt projects knew Lino Josytewa by sight.
"I thought it was funny, a little kid like that out there," one says. "I thought he was fourteen or fifteen."
Lino's maternal grandfather died of a heroin overdose in the early Seventies; Lino's sixteen-year-old uncle killed himself three years ago. Lino's older brother sold coke until January, when he was locked up at a juvenile facility for violating probation. Lino's father enjoys getting high when he can afford it. Lino's mother has supported her crack-smoking habit by dealing. For the last few years, she's been living at fleabag motels, at crack houses or with friends.
County juvenile prosecutors charged Lino with second-degree murder--"without premeditation, and under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life . . . "
In 1985, Bill Boyle was running a sub shop in a Boston suburb. To orchestrate a date with him, Lori made up a story about losing a gold bracelet. They were married the following year.
Lino's mother, Mary Alice Camou, is nicknamed Chachi. At 32, her once-pretty face shows the ravages of repeated rock use. She is skinny as a line of cocaine.
"I'm a crack addict, okay," she says. "That's why I don't look good right now. This is not the person that my mother raised. This is a user."
Lino's father, Glenn Josytewa, is a part-time carpet layer who survives on welfare and food stamps. A stocky guy with a serious manner, he can't fathom why everything has gone wrong for him and his family.
"I used to sell weed down there in the projects sometimes," he says, "but I didn't let my kids run wild. I put my foot down."
Chachi met Glenn when she was a fifteen-year-old student at Carl Hayden High School. Glenn had run away from home a year earlier, but was living with his parents again.
"I didn't let him get in my pants for nine months," Chachi says with a rare smile. "Then I got pregnant."
They had four children together--Glenn Jr., Lino, Ira, and Dalina.
Lino appeared at a hearing at Maricopa County's Juvenile Court to determine if he would be tried as an adult. A seventh-grade dropout of Hispanic and Indian descent, he is a darkly handsome young man, with indifferent brown eyes that seem to focus on nothing in particular. He looks thirteen and thirty at the same time. Bound by leg irons, he kept wiping away tears with his blue, jail-issue shirt.
In 1987, Lino sent a card to his ailing grandmother, Licha Saavedra. He was eleven at the time: "To my Dear Grandma--I now that when I go to your house I make a lot of noise and make fights, but I hope you get better and I love you very very much. Lino."
Lori Boyle is not moved by Lino's problems. "The Phoenix detective told me that Lino has had a very tough life, that he doesn't have an active father figure," she says. "Guess what, detective? Neither do my kids now."
After his court appearance, Lino gave each family member a perfunctory hug. His impassive face showed emotion, however, when his two younger siblings approached him. He looked down at sobbing eight-year-old Dalina and whispered, "It's okay, Lina, it's okay."
Detention officers then handcuffed Lino and led him away.
Chachi's little brother Ralphie killed himself in September 1987. He swallowed 200 Valiums at the family's long-time home in the Coffelt projects. Ralphie was sixteen.
"That was the end of this family," Chachi says. "If he was here, he wouldn't have let all this with Lino happen."
Jeff Miller had been inches from Bill Boyle during the murder. In his first interviews with police, however, Miller didn't say Lino had shot his friend. But at Lino's court hearing, the paunchy 22-year-old said, "I saw Lino raise the gun and fire it in my direction."
Miller shrugged off this discrepancy by saying, "My employee and friend had just been shot and killed. My mind was in a lot of other places at the time."
Chachi describes how her father used to smuggle heroin.
"He'd take me to Mexico with him," she says, "and he'd always give me this belt to wear back across. When I got to be about twelve, I asked him what was in that belt. He told me it was heroin, that I was helping him out."
Two years later, he died of an overdose in front of her on the family's kitchen floor.
Chachi hitchhikes often to the east Phoenix cemetery where her brother Ralphie is buried. She sits in front of his grave for hours, drinking tequila and asking God for forgiveness.
In the lobby after the hearing, Glenn's mother, Margie Josytewa, shouted at Chachi: "You see your boy with his chains on him. They ought to be on you. Why don't you go see your friend, Noriega? You're just crying cuz you're coming off the crack."
Glenn's youngest sister, Katrina, lived with Chachi years ago. A mother of three, Katrina now does volunteer work at the South Phoenix Boys Club, and hates dope. "I got no love for Chachi," she says, "but it's Glenn's fault, too. It's drugs that did this."
Chachi had started sniffing paint to get high when was she twelve. With Glenn, she says, "We took about every drug that came our way.
The Boyles also snorted cocaine together, but Lori says that practice ended January 1, 1987. "We wanted to have children and I just made up my mind not to do it anymore," she says.
Licha Saavedra speaks of her childhood on a small ranch near South Mountain, at 19th Avenue and Dobbins Road. "We had a wood stove, no lights, no radio," Chachi's mother says. "We used to hear Indians riding their horses down near the Western Canal. I used to sit outside with my sister and sing Mexican songs. I had to ask my father permission to go to a dance. It was beautiful."
After she met Glenn, Chachi dropped out of school and started a family in the Coffelt projects. Their apartment was next to the one her parents had moved into in the early Sixties. The projects were safer then.
"People never bothered me down there," Licha says. "When my husband used to go out, I'd leave the door open."
The spot where Bill Boyle was shot is less than fifty yards away.
Chachi tried twice to commit suicide with pills after her brother Ralphie's death. She spent time at the state mental hospital and then disappeared into Phoenix's drug subculture.
Chachi says, "I got toasted with him right before he died--hard liquor and a little weed." She is talking about her brother Ralphie. "He got his head into a shell, I guess. We don't know why he did it." She means his suicide.
"I knew Lino was selling," Glenn says. "I found out about a week before Christmas. I seen him down at the projects. I went up to him. I said, `Come back home. You're so damned skinny. Come home and eat.' He told me to get the hell away from him."
After he moved into the Coffelt projects with Chachi, Glenn says, "I had to fight everyone down there to show them I was a man. Camou was a big name down there, but I'm not a Camou. The projects were her turf, not mine. I'm part Indian, and I had to let them know I didn't take no crap."
"After Ralphie died, I started stayin' away," Chachi says. "I left Lino and all of them--I was going through my own pain. I was hitting rock after rock, thinkin' that the first blast would take away the pain. But I fooled myself. I lost my kids. I lost everything I had."
Chachi and Glenn were ever the off-and-on couple. Glenn would move out for much of the year, then would return during the winter holidays. Lino, Ira, and Dalina were all born in September--nine months after the Christmas season.
Chachi never married the man with whom she had four children, although she says, "I loved him with everything I had in me."
"I never wanted to get married, even when he bugged me," she says. "I never was a Josytewa. I'm a Camou!"
Lori Boyle had her second child, Ian, five weeks before her husband was murdered. "I had no insurance, no income," she says. "This was three days before Christmas. I used to be a Christmas-type person."
Katrina has had long talks with her older brother: "I've told him, `Glenn, what the hell happened to you? Look at me, brother. I'm happy. Ask God for help.' He says, `I did, I did.' I say, `You can't expect Him to do it for you just like that. Help yourself first.'"
Chachi held down many jobs during those first years with Glenn: She was a teacher's aide, a secretary, a cashier, a supervisor at the Coffelt park. Glenn laid carpet when there was work.
"She is lost," Licha says of her oldest child. "That girl is going to the dogs. She ain't got nobody right now. She's no good now. She got friends, but they ain't good friends. She walks around with a little bag, sleeping where she can."
After Chachi left, Glenn took the four kids. They lived for a short spell last year at his parents' west-side home.
"Glenn didn't have control of those older boys," says Glenn's mother, Margie, referring to Lino and Glenn Jr. "They wanted us to run them down to the projects at night, and then pick them up. We wouldn't do it, and they hated us for it."
"I never broke her jaw like she tells everyone," Glenn says of Chachi. "I'd push her now and again because she's a loudmouth, but I never hit her like she was a man. I used to spank her like she was a little baby, on my knee."
Chachi showed up one Sunday last month at the house where her mother is living. She hadn't eaten in days. She devoured three plates of grilled meat and guacamole that Licha had fixed for her.
Lino was detained by juvenile authorities for six days last August after he and a friend stole a car and went joyriding. The next month, he dropped out of Isaac Junior High School before even attending a class. Then his father threw Lino and Glenn Jr. out of the house. Down on their financial luck, Licha and her second husband have been living for the last few months at another family member's spotless South Phoenix home.
"I don't blame my kids for hating me," Chachi says. "I mean, people tell them, `Your mom turned into a drug addict and a whore after she left you,' and they're half-right. But I've never gone so far as to sell my ass for a piece of rock."
Two hundred mourners attended Bill Boyle's funeral in Massachusetts. His widow Lori says, "The kid who killed him was a drug dealer. How can you expect a thirteen-year-old kid to have any sense when he can make more money in an hour selling dope than he can with a college education?"
Shortly before the murder, Chachi bumped into Lino on the streets of the Coffelt projects.
"He wouldn't sell me no rock," she says. "I was scoring shit with food stamps. Lino'd say to me, `How can you stoop that low?'"
"To save my daughter," Licha Saavedra says, she and her husband moved with Chachi to southern California in late 1988. Chachi got a job at a Circle K, and put some weight back on.
"I got fat and sassy," Chachi says. "I wasn't getting screwed up too much. I knew I'd left my kids, but I was doing the best that I could."
Homesick for Phoenix, however, the trio moved back after a few months.
Last fall, Chachi was badly beaten by other dopers at Grand Avenue's now-closed Western Village motel. She still has scars from the savage attack. Lino and Glenn Jr. learned what had happened to her and carried her to safety.
"This crack coke makes you hate people," says Lino's grandmother Licha. "If you have a gun, you might take it out and shoot somebody."
Glenn recently decided to let eight-year-old Dalina and ten-year-old Ira use Lino and Glenn Jr.'s bedroom as their own.
The room's decor is in transition. Dalina has taped her Cinderella drawings onto a wall next to her brothers' pinups of Madonna, and to a handwritten chart that lists the hierarchy of the Coffelt Jets gang.
Jack Josytewa is Lino's paternal grandfather and a full-blooded Hopi who grew up on the reservation in northern Arizona. He remembers exactly what went through his mind when he learned that Lino had been busted for murder: "I was thinking, `That kid is thirteen, but this ain't kid's stuff no more.'"
On February 28, chief juvenile judge James McDougall decided to treat Lino legally as a juvenile. Most likely, he will be incarcerated in a program for violent youths for a minimum of eighteen months. As an adult, Lino would have faced up to 21 years in prison on the second-degree murder charge.
Chachi says she's found part-time work in recent days as a cashier at a South Phoenix store. "I haven't done crack in almost two weeks." Chachi's much-healthier appearance seems to confirm it: Her cheeks aren't as hollow, and her dark eyes aren't as glazed.
"I promised Lino I'd try to be straight for his court dates," she explains.
Ira Josytewa is an intelligent, polite youngster who collects baseball cards and likes to fish. He reaches under his brother Lino's bed and pulls out an air gun. He points the unloaded gun at the ceiling and fires it.
"This is Lino's," Ira says after the explosion. "He showed me how to use it."
If Lino serves time, he will probably be sent to Adobe Mountain Juvenile Institution north of Phoenix. His older brother, Glenn Jr., has been there since January.
Glenn still has a framed photograph of Chachi on his living-room wall. Eight-year-old Dalina won't let him take it down.
"Lino knows more about what happened than what he's saying," his mother says. "If he talks, he gets hurt. If he doesn't talk, he gets hurt. Tell me, what choice does my son have? My thirteen-year-old son is not the biggest crack dealer there is."
Lino has been evaluated by three mental-health experts. One wrote: "Lino's whole life has been one of rejection, cruelty, and neglect from others . . . At this point, Lino has an extremely poor capacity to establish any kind of closeness, bonding, or empathy with others."
"I hope Lino can make it," says Armando Saldate, a Phoenix homicide detective and twenty-year veteran of the force. "Making it for Lino would be staying out of jail and staying out of major trouble."
The only light in the house as darkness falls is from a flickering votive candle. "It wasn't always like this," Chachi's mother says. Licha Saavedra is a 59-year-old woman who cries a lot. "We used to be happy."
Lino says he didn't shoot Boyle. He says he took Fat Man's gun from him as the drug deal fell apart. He discharged the weapon twice, pointing it in the air. Fat Man then grabbed the gun and fired at least three shots.
"I don't think he can admit to himself that he killed someone," says Detective Saldate.
Now that her husband is dead, Lori Boyle is going back to school. She wants to be a nurse and midwife.
Eight-year-old Dalina Josytewa-Camou is talking about her family.
"Whenever I find a four-leaf clover at the schoolyard," she says, "I wish for my mom and dad to get back together. I love both of them. I wish for my brother Glenn to get out of jail. And I wish for Lino to get out. I make all these wishes for my family, but none of them ever come true."
"This crack coke makes you hate people," says Lino's grandmother. "If you have a gun, you might take it out and shoot somebody."
At five-six and 104 pounds, Lino needed more than an attitude and quick feet to survive as a dope dealer. He also needed a gun.
"He fell over on me. I could feel something wet running down my arm, and I saw it was blood."
Lino's mother is as skinny as a line of cocaine. "I'm a crack addict, okay," she says. "That's why I don't look good right now."
Lino is a darkly handsome young man, with indifferent brown eyes that seem to focus on nothing in particular.
"He'd always give me this belt to wear back across. When I got to be about twelve, I asked him what was in that belt. He told me it was heroin."
"I don't blame my kids for hating me," Chachi says. "I mean, people tell them, `Your mom turned into a drug addict and a whore after she left you.'"
Dalina has taped her Cinderella drawings onto a wall next to a handwritten chart that lists the hierarchy of the Coffelt Jets gang.
"I promised Lino I'd try to be straight for his court dates," his mother says.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.