“After all, who would notice just one more unsolved homicide into the City of Detroit?” Norman Yatooma
Detroit is full of intrigue and mystery. It's a city that does not try to hide the crime-laden underbelly. At one point, even the Mayor of Detroit committed crimes with glee and without fear of being punished.
One of the most enduring murder mysteries is that of Tamara Green. She was an exotic dancer who went by the stage name Strawberry. Theories abound as to who wanted her dead, but none are as salacious as the rumor that Kwame Kilpatrick or his wife Carlita ordered the hit on the young woman.
Back in late 2002, it was rumored that newly elected mayor Kwame Kilpatrick threw a wild party, this has never been proven, but several strippers claim to have been in attendance. At this party, rumor is that Greene was caught giving Kilpatrick a lap dance by his wife.
Tamika Ruffin claims to have been at the party and friends with Green. She claims to have witnessed harassment and assault by Kilpatrick's wife. Her lawyer, Norman Yatooma, wrote in a legal brief, "The wild party and unlawful assault by Carlita Kilpatrick were all the motivation the obviously corrupt Kilpatrick required to cover up the investigation into Greene's murder."
Stripper's Last Dance
At 3:40 am on April 30, 2003, Tamara Green was shot. Her boyfriend, Eric Mitchell, was dropping her off at a house in Detroit. A white SUV rolled up to the car that Green and Mitchell were sitting in. A "light-skinned" hand holding a gun came out of the window and shot.
Mitchell ducked, and the bullets hit Green. Many have wondered why Mitchell didn't warn his girlfriend to duck unless he was part of the conspiracy to kill Tamara Green. Several people have come forward saying he had complained about Green's occupation in the lead-up to the murder.
As the investigation into Green's murder heated up, the press and investigators paid attention to Kilpatrick. He was already under investigation for abusing his power as Mayor. Kilpatrick's team issued denials about any wrongdoing, including adultery. It would later be revealed that he was indeed having an affair with his chief of staff, Christine Beatty.
Did Kilpatrick have sex with Green? While many have said Carlita walked in on a lap dance, there is a segment of people who believe she caught the pair doing much more. The alleged harassment that came after the rumored party would make sense if there were sexual activities involved.
It also adds fuel to the theory that Kilpatrick and other city officials covered up the murder. Emails and other evidence were destroyed, even after a court ordered them to be preserved. The Green family sued due to this, but a Judge dismissed the case due to a lack of evidence.
Unsolved Still Loved
While the Tamara Green case remains unsolved, many people love her. One person wants the case solved so much that they donated $100,000 to help find the killer. So far, nothing has come from the reward.
According to Green's mother, every lead has led to nowhere. And those that could help came from anonymous sources. She believes the people won't reveal their identity because they fear the people involved in the coverup.
Kilpatrick was convicted on Federal RICO charges. He was serving 28 years in prison until January 2021, when Donald Trump commuted the sentence. Many Detroiters are readying for his promised comeback.
He maintains his innocence and denies any wrongdoing.