Did You Know Who Yummy Was, Pac Did

Yummy

When I was young my mom made sure I wasn’t groomed by the television screen. She would take us to museums and make sure we read books over the summer. I remember the tons of national geographic and time magazines in my room. I recall an issue in the fall of ’94 about a young boy from the streets of Chicago named yummy. The article read of a young child who was raised in a situation that was a catalyst for disaster. In the end his life turned out tragic and he took the life of another. The story touched Pac so much he dropped a shout to him on Makaveli’s 7th Day Theory Album track “White Manz World”.

The lines “Rest in peace to Latasha, Lil’ Yummy, and Kato / Too much for this cold world to take – ended up bein’ fatal” missed alot of people but caught a few. In this story you can see how poverty and violence go hand in hand in the cold streets of any ghetto USA. After listening to The Cool, and Adrenaline Rush so much I had to make this post. Props to my dude Reason and Uno McFly for the inspiration. Shouts to my dude Andrew over at FSD, I know you’re gonna dig this.

Addendum
Here’s another track Pac shouted Yummy out
on before the Makaveli 7th Day Theory Album.

“Young Niggaz” off that Me Against The World. Thanks QB!


Click on images to see full sized article.
Yummy

Yummy

Yummy

Weekend TV: Robert “Yummy” Sandifer Murder Clip

For the full50 minute video click here

Even took the time to re-type article for ya my Dukes!

Murder In Miniature
At the age of 11, “Yummy” Sandifer killed and was killed. His short, violent life is a haunting tale.
By Nancy R. Gibbs

On a bright September afternoon last week, the mothers of Chicago’s South Side brought their children to a vigil for a dead boy they had never met. They wanted their kids to see the scrawny corpse in the loose tan suit lying in a coffin, next to his stuffed animals, finally harmless. The big kids dragged the little kids up to look at the stitches in his face where the bullets fired into the back of his head had torn through. The only picture the family could find for his funeral program was a mug shot. “Take a good look.” said the Rev. Willie James Campbell. “Cry if you will, but make up your mind that you will never let your life end like this.”

Parents hoped to haunt their children; maybe fear would keep them safe. Lynn Jeneta, 29, took her nine-year-old son Ron. If he got scared enough, she decided, “maybe then he wouldn’t be lying there himself one of these days.” She pushed him right up to the coffin. Ron tried to stay calm. “Some kids said Yummy looked like he was sleeping, but he didn’t look like he was sleeping to me.” What exactly then did he look like? “Kind of like he was gone, you know?” His composure melts. “When Mama pushed me forward, I thought I was going to fall right in the damn coffin. That gives me nightmares, you know? Can you imagine falling into a coffin?”

Many who knew Robert “Yummy” Sandifer better mourned him less. “Nobody didn’t like that boy. Nobody gonna miss him,” said Morris Anderson, 13. Anderson used to get into fistfights with Yummy, who received the nickname because of his love of cookies and Snickers bars. “He was a crooked son of a bitch,” said a local grocer, who had barred him from the store for stealing so much. “Always in trouble. He stood out there on the corner and strong- armed other kids. No one is sorry to see him gone.”

Nor, it seems, was anyone very surprised. The neighborhood was still grieving its other dead child, the girl Yummy allegedly killed two weeks ago, when he was supposed to fire on some rival gang members but shot 14-year-old Shavon Dean instead. Police descended on the gang, and Yummy became a liability. So he became a victim too. When he was found dead in a bloody mud puddle under a railway viaduct three days later, an entire city shuddered and clutched its children and looked for lessons.

The mayor of Chicago admitted that Yummy had slipped through the cracks. Just what cracks were those? The sharp crevices that trap children and break them into cruel little pieces. Chicago’s authorities had known about Yummy for years. He was born to a teenage addict mother and a father now in jail. As a baby he was burned and beaten. As a student he often missed more days of school than he attended. As a ripening thug he shuttled between homes and detention centers and the safe houses maintained by his gang. The police arrested him again and again and again; but the most they could do under Illinois law was put him on probation. Thirteen local juvenile homes wouldn’t take him because he was too young.

Before they grow up, these children can become walking weapons. One very mean little boy didn’t grow up, so he became an icon instead. The crimes he committed and those he suffered shook the country’s conscience in a way that violent acts with far larger body counts no longer do. “If ever there was a case where the kid’s future was predictable, it was this case,” says Cook County public guardian Patrick Murphy. “What you’ve got here is a kid who was made and turned into a sociopath by the time he was three years old.” Yummy’s mother Lorina called him, without irony, “an average 11-year-old.” The courts and cops and probation officers and psychologists who tracked his criminal career all agree. “I see a lot of Roberts,” says Cook County Circuit Judge Thomas Sumner, who handled charges against Yummy for armed robbery and car theft. “We see this 100 times a week,” says Murphy.

The proof is in the paperwork worn folders inches thick, filed at the public guardian’s office, the courts, the police headquarters and now the medical examiner’s office. Yummy’s files are indistinguishable from the records of thousands of other urban American kids. The evidence if more evidence is really necessary is overwhelming: when a child’s brain is flooded, the child eventually drowns.

That was the verdict of a psychiatric evaluation last November. “Robert is emotionally flooded,” the confidential report reads. “His response to the flooding is to back away from demanding situations and act out impulsively and unpredictably.” The examiner asked him to complete the sentence “I am very…” “Sick,” Yummy replied. The examiner saw a child full of self- hate, lonely, illiterate, wary. When he heard a walkie-talkie down the hall, he jumped from his seat, afraid of police. “You tryin’ to trick me,” he accused the examiner. There was not much doubt about how he came to be that way only about whether anyone or anything could save him.

Yummy’s mother was the third of 10 children from four fathers she never knew her own. When she was 15 she had her first son Lorenzo, then Victor, then Yummy and eventually five more. She dropped out of 10th grade, found an apartment, went on welfare and nursed a crack habit. For a while she tried living with Yummy’s father Robert Akins, who was convicted of drug and weapons charges. They soon split because he had “a rather angry and hot temper,” she told a social worker.

So, apparently, did she. The first charge of child neglect was filed in 1984, when Lorina failed to follow doctors’ orders for treating two-year-old Victor’s eye condition. He eventually went blind. The following year 22-month- old Yummy arrived at Jackson Park Hospital covered with scratches and bruises. A few months later it was his sister, this time with second- and third-degree burns on her genitals. Lorina explained that the toddler had fallen on the radiator. An emergency-room nurse told the court that the injuries did not quite match the story. Someone probably held the child on the heater, the nurse testified.

The courts finally moved in a year later, when neighbors told police that the five children were routinely being left at home alone. By the time they removed the kids, Yummy was a bundle of anger and scars. He had long welts on his left leg; police suspected he was beaten with an electrical cord. There were cigarette burns on his shoulders and buttocks. “I never beat my kids,” Lorina insists to this day. She says the scars were caused by chicken pox, not cigarettes. “I gave him all the attention I could,” she says of Yummy, but admits there were distractions. Now 29, she has been arrested 41 times, mainly for prostitution.

“He shouldn’t be dead,” she says, sitting in her living room the day after his funeral. There is a white bucket in the corner with a live frog he caught a few weeks ago. “He liked to fish,” she says. “People think he was a monster, but he was nice to me.” She says she saw him regularly; he called her Reen instead of Mom, and, she admits, “he was always blaming me” for his problems. “They could have saved him and rehabilitated him,” she insists. “When he started taking cars, they should have put him away then and given him therapy.”

From early on, the child welfare workers had little hope for Lorina as a parent. “There is no reason to believe that Lorina Sandifer will ever be able to adequately meet her own needs, let alone to meet the needs of her growing family,” a psychiatrist reported to the juvenile court in 1986. And so Yummy and his brothers and sister were placed with his grandmother, Janie Fields, whom Yummy took to calling Mama. Her prognosis as a care giver was not much more promising. The psychiatric report described Fields as “a very controlling, domineering, castrating woman with a rather severe borderline personality disorder.”

Neighbors in the black working-class neighborhood called Roseland still remember the day Janie Fields moved into a two-story, three bedroom house with her brood: nearly all her 10 children and 30 grandchildren lived with her at one time or another. “They are dirty and noisy, and they are ruining the neighborhood,” complained a neighbor. Residents launched an unsuccessful petition drive to force Fields out. “All those kids are little troublemakers,” said Carl McClinton, 23, who lives down the street. “This is the kind of neighborhood where we all look after each others kids, but they are a rougher breed.”

The neighborhood kids describe two different Yummy Sandifers. There is the bully, the extortionist, the fierce fighter who would take on the big kids and beat them. “Yummy would ask you for 50 cents,” says Steve Nelson, 11, “and if he knew you were scared and you gave him the money, he’d ask for another 50 cents.” Erica Williams, 20, a neighbor, says, “You really can’t describe how bad he really was. He’d curse you completely out. He broke in school, took money, burned cars.”

Others recall a sweeter side. Lulu Washington sells discount candy out of her house, just across from Yummy’s. “He just wanted love,” she says. For that, he could be disarmingly kind. “He’d say thank you, excuse me, pardon me.” He loved animals and basketball and had a way with bicycles. He once even merged two bikes into a single, working tandem. Those were the good times. “It always meant trouble when he was with a group,” says Ollie Jones-Edwards, 54. “If he was alone, he was sweet as jelly.”

Yummy liked great big cars, Lincolns and Cadillacs, says Micaiah Peterson, 17. “He could drive real well. It was like a midget driving a luxury car.” Sometimes he hung out at the local garage, learning about alternators and fuel injectors. When he wasn’t stealing cars, he was throwing things at them or setting them on fire. “What could you do?” asks McClinton. “Tell his grandmother? She’d yell at him, and he’d be right back on the street. If the police picked him up, they’d just bring him back home because he was too young to lock up. He was untouchable, and he knew that.”

His odds of reaching the age of 12 dropped sharply when he fell in with the local Black Disciples gang. Several thousand or so gang members in Chicago are spread out across separate fiefdoms, led by “ministers” in their 30s and 40s who are always recruiting children. There is plenty of work for everyone: car theft, drug running, prostitution, extortion, credit card fraud. Police suspect that gang leaders use the little ones as drug runners and hit men because they are too young to be seriously punished if they are caught.

On the other hand, they aren’t likely to last long. “If you make it to 19 around here, you are a senior citizen,” says Terrance Green, 19. “If you live past that, you’re doing real good.” A Black Disciple named Keith, 17, describes the role the youngest members play: “He’s this small little punk but wants a name, right? So you make him do the work. ‘Hey, homey, get me a car. A red car. A red sports car. By tonight. I’m taking my woman out. Or hey, homey, go find me $50. Or hey, little homey, you wanna be big? Go pop that nigger that’s messing with our business.”

Yummy averaged a felony a month for the last year and a half of his life; 23 felonies and five misdemeanors in all. Ann O’Callaghan, a lawyer and assistant public guardian, met Yummy once, last December in court. She was astounded by his size and demeanor. “Some of these kids we represent are ominous characters. But I had to bend over, and I was like, ‘Hi! My name is Ann, and I’m your lawyer.’ I couldn’t believe it.” Yummy wasn’t the least bit intimidated by the courtroom. “It was like he was just sitting there waiting for a bus.”

Last fall Yummy was placed with the Lawrence Hall Youth Services, which runs homes for troubled teenagers. He ran away in February and went back to his grandmother until June, when he spent two weeks in a detention facility. In July, Yummy and his cousin Darryl went on a church trip to Six Flags Great America, an hour north of the city. “Yummy couldn’t get on most of the rides,” Darryl says. “He was too small.” On another day a neighbor, Ida Falls, took Yummy and 12 other kids to the local police station to see a film on crime. The cops asked her not to bring him back because he got into fights with other children. On Aug. 15 he was charged in another burglary. By Aug. 28 he would be firing the fatal bullets and it would be too late.

Falls’ niece Shavon Dean lived around the corner from Yummy and had known him growing up. One August Sunday night she was sitting in the kitchen eating Doritos, while her mother Deborah was out back grilling ribs and chicken for a family barbecue. Shavon slipped out for a few minutes to walk a friend home. She never made it back.

George Knox, a gang researcher at Chicago State University, believes Yummy was sent on a specific mission of revenge sparked by a drug feud or a personal insult. “If it was just an initiation ceremony, he’d do it from a car. But to go right up to the victims, that means he was trying to collect some points and get some rank or maybe a nice little cash bonus.” Yummy opened fire with a 9mm semi-automatic into a crowd of kids playing football. Sammy Seay, 16, was struck in the hand. “I hit the ground,” says Seay. “It was the second or third shot before I knew I had been shot. So I got up and I just ran, trying to save my life.” Shavon was struck in the head and died within minutes. “Shavon never got a chance, never got a chance,” her mother says.

Yummy spent the last three days of his life on the run. Gang members shuttled him between safe houses and abandoned buildings as police swooped down on the neighborhood, searching for the shooter, followed by a flock of reporters. Gang leaders felt the pressure. “He was like a trapped animal with everyone after him,” says Knox. “He was the hunter, and then he was the prey.”

Maybe Yummy figured out that the gang’s protection was not worth much. Janie Fields last spoke to Yummy Wednesday afternoon before he died. “He said, ‘What is the police looking for me for?’ I said, ‘I’m coming to get you.’ I had clothes with me ’cause I knew he was probably filthy and dirty. My heart was racing. I said, ‘You ain’t done nothing wrong, just let me come and get you.’ ” The phone went dead. She went to 95th Street, where he said he would be. “He wasn’t there.”

But he appeared that night on a neighbor’s porch, visibly frightened, asking that she call his grandmother so he could turn himself in. He asked if they could say a prayer together. The neighbor went to make the call, and when she came back, he was gone. The police can only guess what happened next. Derrick Hardaway, 14, and his brother Cragg, 16, both honor students and fellow gang members, found Yummy and promised that they could help him get out of town. They drove him to a railroad underpass, a dark tunnel marbled with gang graffiti. Yummy’s body was found lying in the mud, with two bullet wounds in the back of his head.

Now it’s the Hardaway brothers’ turn. Authorities say gang leaders, who can easily order hits in any prison in the state, may have the Hardaways targeted next. Both boys were arrested and are being held in protective custody. As for the other children in Yummy’s neighborhood, when they are asked what would make them feel safer, most give the same answer: getting a gun. Among other things, it would protect them from the children who already have them.

There were those who were missing Yummy last week, those who had seen the child and not the killer. “Everyone thinks he was a bad person, but he respected my mom, who’s got cancer,” says Kenyata Jones, 12. Yummy used to come over to Jones’ house several times a month for sleepovers. “We’d bake cookies and brownies and rent movies like the old Little Rascals in black and white,” says Jones. “He was my friend, you know? I just cried and cried at school when I heard about what happened,” he says, plowing both hands into his pants pockets for comfort before returning to his house to take care of his mother. “And I’m gonna cry some more today, and I’m gonna cry some more tomorrow too.”

From The Goat
After re-reading this article and watching the full doc on Yummy Sandifer I’m at a loss. There is no simple answer to cure this ill that plagues cities all across the country. I for one was raised in a two family home with caring parents. As much as I hid stuff growing up I turned out pretty good. I also have associates who had both parents but didn’t turn out so lucky. I think one of the true answers has always been overlooked. As much as Rap does damage to the children today (yea it does) it wouldn’t be so damaging if it was given in moderation. We allow the television and the world around us to provide the building blocks for the youth today. Sure I listened to “Throw Ya Gunz” coming up. You better believe I had to sneak and bump that tape when I was alone. We’ve lost sight of one of the greatest proverbs given to us. It takes a village to raise a child.

I have friends who teach in New York City schools. One of the key things you hear in and out of the classroom is the ever favorite “You’re not my Father/Mother” line. We need to remember that we can’t be everywhere at once and more realistically that we all aren’t capable of teaching the youth everything by ourselves. We all need help in this world. It pains me at times to see some mothers on the train with a little one no more than 3, another in the stroller and one in the belly. How can she raise the next Martin if she lives this way. How can we expect more from them if his father or father figure does not exist. We must stand up and take these roles and also allow others to do the same for us when were not there. Too many times as a child I’ve seen the bad kid stay out extra late because he can. Maybe if he went inside when he was suppose to he would not be exposed to certain things.

Maybe if Yummy had that older brother to look up to he would be a college graduate today. Maybe if we swallowed our pride at times and got advice from a fellow neighbor things would be different. I myself try to talk to the youths in my community and show them the difference and how much we lose by following this path. Our world glorifies Sex, Drugs & Violence so we cannot allow the world to be our children’s teachers. We must mix the 50 Cent’s with the Arthur Ashe’s. Because frankly most of them are great parents to there children. It is our responsibility to save the ones we can. I’ll be damned if a child in my reach falls victim to the world little Yummy was no match for…

R.I.P. Robert Sandifer & Shavon Dean

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28 Responses to “Did You Know Who Yummy Was, Pac Did”

  1. Unomcfly Says:
    August 7th, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Damn BiggaFell…really Transcribed the whole joint…ur amazing…and yeah me and the Homie Reason were there in the Building to see the genius @ work… Well Me…Reas and 2 of my good friends Sir Piffington and The Earl of Sour Diesel….

  2. dairy Says:
    August 7th, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    i pride myself on all the things i’ve done in my short life for young women. and this article reminded me of a dear male friend i have who told me, “yo, you can’t forget about the young men that need you. brothers are dying, we need you too.” that coupled with this article has made me realize it’s so much more than gender. it’s youth. it’s being “more conscious of the raise we raise our daughters (sons).”

    great post, marrón.

  3. Shamz Says:
    August 7th, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    damn, that was heavy…..good post man. As bloggers witting about “rap beef” and frivolous news all the time sometimes we forget about reality. The issues that are REALLY going on in the ghettos of America, and how the youth of our country are being poisoned. These kids really need some role models because as much as this story may stand out it’s certainly not unique, there are Yummy’s all over the place in every hood.

  4. cocastyle.blogspot.com Says:
    August 7th, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Great post! I never heard this story before,so thank you for the knowledge. My question to you though is this; as young adults, how can we help the younger generation behind us? There hundreds of Yummy’s in streets today. We spend too time focused on things that don’t matter and not a enough time on things that do.Leave a comment on my blog(www.cocastyle.blogspot.com) or send me an email coatofchicagoarms.com. Let’s talk about what we can do!

    Peace Brotha!
    360!

  5. Tyron Perryman Says:
    August 7th, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Thank you!

  6. Talley Davis Says:
    August 7th, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    The Greatest Blogspot Post Ever Created…

  7. Money C. Paycheck Says:
    August 8th, 2008 at 1:56 am

    I read it..I didn’t want to at first but I’m glad I did. It’s so true about the youth nowadays. Their is nothing in front of them worthwhile anymore. Yes there is a lot of good in this world but its all filtered out. Sex Lies and Videotape is all that seems to matter. You a pussy if you doing the right thing…A sellout if you want out of your hood. Children need the proper empowerment. All Yummy needed was one person to be constantly on his ass about doing right and he may have made it. Great post. 4real

    * They say the truth shall come out of the mouth of babes*

  8. Reason Says:
    August 8th, 2008 at 3:13 am

    Yo on the real, I’m real glad I decided to read this instead of going to sleep. As a young man that is married & now I have a son of my own, I’ll be damned if I just sit back & let the streets raise my child. I never had my pops around like that but my mother worked numerous jobs & broke her back to make sure I stayed off the streets. Even though there’s a lot of stuff that I’ve done that I can’t even type about, I’m glad I took the time to assess my situation & make the right choices. If you don’t have the right cast of characters with you, or behind you, you’re going to be destined to fail. This story hurt me for real because at 11 everything you see you want. All this young brother saw was the most negative, demeaning things that Chicago had 2 offer. I heard a quote tonight that I think fits the situation perfectly. Everybody says they’re willing to die for someone they love like a child or parent but that’s just taking the easy way out. How many of you out there are willing to live to make sure you get that same point across???

  9. brain Says:
    August 8th, 2008 at 3:27 am

    Really ‘preciate you typing that up! Great read and I never would have gotten the chance if you hadn’t. Linked to it over at my page, hope it gets you some more views. This needs to be read.

    -brain

  10. The Sad and Tragic Strory of: Robert "Yummy" Sandifer - Rap GodFathers Community Says:
    August 8th, 2008 at 7:52 am

    [...] The Sad and Tragic Strory of: Robert "Yummy" Sandifer Damn this is sad Murder In Miniature At the age of 11, �Yummy� Sandifer killed and was killed. His short, violent life is a haunting tale. By Nancy R. Gibbs On a bright September afternoon last week, the mothers of Chicago�s South Side brought their children to a vigil for a dead boy they had never met. They wanted their kids to see the scrawny corpse in the loose tan suit lying in a coffin, next to his stuffed animals, finally harmless. The big kids dragged the little kids up to look at the stitches in his face where the bullets fired into the back of his head had torn through. The only picture the family could find for his funeral program was a mug shot. �Take a good look.� said the Rev. Willie James Campbell. �Cry if you will, but make up your mind that you will never let your life end like this.� Parents hoped to haunt their children; maybe fear would keep them safe. Lynn Jeneta, 29, took her nine-year-old son Ron. If he got scared enough, she decided, �maybe then he wouldn�t be lying there himself one of these days.� She pushed him right up to the coffin. Ron tried to stay calm. �Some kids said Yummy looked like he was sleeping, but he didn�t look like he was sleeping to me.� What exactly then did he look like? �Kind of like he was gone, you know?� His composure melts. �When Mama pushed me forward, I thought I was going to fall right in the damn coffin. That gives me nightmares, you know? Can you imagine falling into a coffin?� Many who knew Robert �Yummy� Sandifer better mourned him less. �Nobody didn�t like that boy. Nobody gonna miss him,� said Morris Anderson, 13. Anderson used to get into fistfights with Yummy, who received the nickname because of his love of cookies and Snickers bars. �He was a crooked son of a bitch,� said a local grocer, who had barred him from the store for stealing so much. �Always in trouble. He stood out there on the corner and strong- armed other kids. No one is sorry to see him gone.� Nor, it seems, was anyone very surprised. The neighborhood was still grieving its other dead child, the girl Yummy allegedly killed two weeks ago, when he was supposed to fire on some rival gang members but shot 14-year-old Shavon Dean instead. Police descended on the gang, and Yummy became a liability. So he became a victim too. When he was found dead in a bloody mud puddle under a railway viaduct three days later, an entire city shuddered and clutched its children and looked for lessons. The mayor of Chicago admitted that Yummy had slipped through the cracks. Just what cracks were those? The sharp crevices that trap children and break them into cruel little pieces. Chicago�s authorities had known about Yummy for years. He was born to a teenage addict mother and a father now in jail. As a baby he was burned and beaten. As a student he often missed more days of school than he attended. As a ripening thug he shuttled between homes and detention centers and the safe houses maintained by his gang. The police arrested him again and again and again; but the most they could do under Illinois law was put him on probation. Thirteen local juvenile homes wouldn�t take him because he was too young. Before they grow up, these children can become walking weapons. One very mean little boy didn�t grow up, so he became an icon instead. The crimes he committed � and those he suffered � shook the country�s conscience in a way that violent acts with far larger body counts no longer do. �If ever there was a case where the kid�s future was predictable, it was this case,� says Cook County public guardian Patrick Murphy. �What you�ve got here is a kid who was made and turned into a sociopath by the time he was three years old.� Yummy�s mother Lorina called him, without irony, �an average 11 year old.� The courts and cops and probation officers and psychologists who tracked his criminal career all agree. �I see a lot of Roberts,� says Cook County Circuit Judge Thomas Sumner, who handled charges against Yummy for armed robbery and car theft. �We see this 100 times a week,� says Murphy. The proof is in the paperwork � worn folders inches thick, filed at the public guardian�s office, the courts, the police headquarters and now the medical examiner�s office. Yummy�s files are indistinguishable from the records of thousands of other urban American kids. The evidence � if more evidence is really necessary � is overwhelming: when a child�s brain is flooded, the child eventually drowns. That was the verdict of a psychiatric evaluation last November. �Robert is emotionally flooded,� the confidential report reads. �His response to the flooding is to back away from demanding situations and act out impulsively and unpredictably.� The examiner asked him to complete the sentence �I am very…� �Sick,� Yummy replied. The examiner saw a child full of self- hate, lonely, illiterate, wary. When he heard a walkie-talkie down the hall, he jumped from his seat, afraid of police. �You tryin� to trick me,� he accused the examiner. There was not much doubt about how he came to be that way � only about whether anyone or anything could save him. Yummy�s mother was the third of 10 children from four fathers � she never knew her own. When she was 15 she had her first son Lorenzo, then Victor, then Yummy and eventually five more. She dropped out of 10th grade, found an apartment, went on welfare and nursed a crack habit. For a while she tried living with Yummy�s father Robert Akins, who was convicted of drug and weapons charges. They soon split because he had �a rather angry and hot temper,� she told a social worker. So, apparently, did she. The first charge of child neglect was filed in 1984, when Lorina failed to follow doctors� orders for treating two-year-old Victor�s eye condition. He eventually went blind. The following year 22 month old Yummy arrived at Jackson Park Hospital covered with scratches and bruises. A few months later it was his sister, this time with second and third degree burns on her genitals. Lorina explained that the toddler had fallen on the radiator. An emergency room nurse told the court that the injuries did not quite match the story. Someone probably held the child on the heater, the nurse testified. The courts finally moved in a year later, when neighbors told police that the five children were routinely being left at home alone. By the time they removed the kids, Yummy was a bundle of anger and scars. He had long welts on his left leg; police suspected he was beaten with an electrical cord. There were cigarette burns on his shoulders and buttocks. �I never beat my kids,� Lorina insists to this day. She says the scars were caused by chicken pox, not cigarettes. �I gave him all the attention I could,� she says of Yummy, but admits there were distractions. Now 29, she has been arrested 41 times, mainly for prostitution. �He shouldn�t be dead,� she says, sitting in her living room the day after his funeral. There is a white bucket in the corner with a live frog he caught a few weeks ago. �He liked to fish,� she says. �People think he was a monster, but he was nice to me.� She says she saw him regularly; he called her Reen instead of Mom, and, she admits, �he was always blaming me� for his problems. �They could have saved him and rehabilitated him,� she insists. �When he started taking cars, they should have put him away then and given him therapy.� From early on, the child-welfare workers had little hope for Lorina as a parent. �There is no reason to believe that Lorina Sandifer will ever be able to adequately meet her own needs, let alone to meet the needs of her growing family,� a psychiatrist reported to the juvenile court in 1986. And so Yummy and his brothers and sister were placed with his grandmother, Janie Fields, whom Yummy took to calling Mama. Her prognosis as a care giver was not much more promising. The psychiatric report described Fields as �a very controlling, domineering, castrating woman with a rather severe borderline personality disorder.� Neighbors in the black working-class neighborhood called Roseland still remember the day Janie Fields moved into a two-story, three-bedroom house with her brood: nearly all her 10 children and 30 grandchildren lived with her at one time or another. �They are dirty and noisy, and they are ruining the neighborhood,� complained a neighbor. Residents launched an unsuccessful petition drive to force Fields out. �All those kids are little troublemakers,� said Carl McClinton, 23, who lives down the street. �This is the kind of neighborhood where we all look after each other�s kids, but they are a rougher breed.� The neighborhood kids describe two different Yummy Sandifers. There is the bully, the extortionist, the fierce fighter who would take on the big kids and beat them. �Yummy would ask you for 50 cents,� says Steve Nelson, 11, �and if he knew you were scared and you gave him the money, he�d ask for another 50 cents.� Erica Williams, 20, a neighbor, says, �You really can�t describe how bad he really was. He�d curse you completely out. He broke in school, took money, burned cars.� Others recall a sweeter side. Lulu Washington sells discount candy out of her house, just across from Yummy�s. �He just wanted love,� she says. For that, he could be disarmingly kind. �He�d say thank you, excuse me, pardon me.� He loved animals and basketball and had a way with bicycles. He once even merged two bikes into a single, working tandem. Those were the good times. �It always meant trouble when he was with a group,� says Ollie Jones- Edwards, 54. �If he was alone, he was sweet as jelly.� Yummy liked great big cars, Lincolns and Cadillacs, says Micaiah Peterson, 17. �He could drive real well. It was like a midget driving a luxury car.� Sometimes he hung out at the local garage, learning about alternators and fuel injectors. When he wasn�t stealing cars, he was throwing things at them or setting them on fire. �What could you do?� asks McClinton. �Tell his grandmother? She�d yell at him, and he�d be right back on the street. If the police picked him up, they�d just bring him back home because he was too young to lock up. He was untouchable, and he knew that.� His odds of reaching the age of 12 dropped sharply when he fell in with the local Black Disciples gang. Several thousand or so gang members in Chicago are spread out across separate fiefdoms, led by �ministers� in their 30s and 40s who are always recruiting children. There is plenty of work for everyone: car theft, drug running, prostitution, extortion, credit-card fraud. Police suspect that gang leaders use the little ones as drug runners and hit men because they are too young to be seriously punished if they are caught. On the other hand, they aren�t likely to last long. �If you make it to 19 around here, you are a senior citizen,� says Terrance Green, 19. �If you live past that, you�re doing real good.� A Black Disciple named Keith, 17, describes the role the youngest members play: �He�s this small little punk but wants a name, right? So you make him do the work. �Hey, homey, get me a car. A red car. A red sports car. By tonight. I�m taking my woman out. Or hey, homey, go find me $50. Or hey, little homey, you wanna be big? Go pop that nigger that�s messing with our business.� Yummy averaged a felony a month for the last year and a half of his life; 23 felonies and five misdemeanors in all. Ann O�Callaghan, a lawyer and assistant public guardian, met Yummy once, last December in court. She was astounded by his size and demeanor. �Some of these kids we represent are ominous characters. But I had to bend over, and I was like, �Hi! My name is Ann, and I�m your lawyer.� I couldn�t believe it.� Yummy wasn�t the least bit intimidated by the courtroom. �It was like he was just sitting there waiting for a bus.� Last fall Yummy was placed with the Lawrence Hall Youth Services, which runs homes for troubled teenagers. He ran away in February and went back to his grandmother until June, when he spent two weeks in a detention facility. In July, Yummy and his cousin Darryl went on a church trip to Six Flags Great America, an hour north of the city. �Yummy couldn�t get on most of the rides,� Darryl says. �He was too small.� On another day a neighbor, Ida Falls, took Yummy and 12 other kids to the local police station to see a film on crime. The cops asked her not to bring him back because he got into fights with other children. On Aug. 15 he was charged in another burglary. By Aug. 28 he would be firing the fatal bullets � and it would be too late. Falls� niece Shavon Dean lived around the corner from Yummy and had known him growing up. One August Sunday night she was sitting in the kitchen eating Doritos, while her mother Deborah was out back grilling ribs and chicken for a family barbecue. Shavon slipped out for a few minutes to walk a friend home. She never made it back. George Knox, a gang researcher at Chicago State University, believes Yummy was sent on a specific mission of revenge sparked by a drug feud or a personal insult. �If it was just an initiation ceremony, he�d do it from a car. But to go right up to the victims, that means he was trying to collect some points and get some rank or maybe a nice little cash bonus.� Yummy opened fire with a 9-mm semiautomatic into a crowd of kids playing football. Sammy Seay, 16, was struck in the hand. �I hit the ground,� says Seay. �It was the second or third shot before I knew I had been shot. So I got up and I just ran, trying to save my life.� Shavon was struck in the head and died within minutes. �Shavon never got a chance, never got a chance,� her mother says. Yummy spent the last three days of his life on the run. Gang members shuttled him between safe houses and abandoned buildings as police swooped down on the neighborhood, searching for the shooter, followed by a flock of reporters. Gang leaders felt the pressure. �He was like a trapped animal with everyone after him,� says Knox. �He was the hunter, and then he was the prey.� Maybe Yummy figured out that the gang�s protection was not worth much. Janie Fields last spoke to Yummy Wednesday afternoon before he died. �He said, �What is the police looking for me for?� I said, �I�m coming to get you.� I had clothes with me �cause I knew he was probably filthy and dirty. My heart was racing. I said, �You ain�t done nothing wrong, just let me come and get you.� � The phone went dead. She went to 95th Street, where he said he would be. �He wasn�t there.� But he appeared that night on a neighbor�s porch, visibly frightened, asking that she call his grandmother so he could turn himself in. He asked if they could say a prayer together. The neighbor went to make the call, and when she came back, he was gone. The police can only guess what happened next. Derrick Hardaway, 14, and his brother Cragg, 16, both honor students and fellow gang members, found Yummy and promised that they could help him get out of town. They drove him to a railroad underpass, a dark tunnel marbled with gang graffiti. Yummy�s body was found lying in the mud, with two bullet wounds in the back of his head. Now it�s the Hardaway brothers� turn. Authorities say gang leaders, who can easily order hits in any prison in the state, may have the Hardaways targeted next. Both boys were arrested and are being held in protective custody. As for the other children in Yummy�s neighborhood, when they are asked what would make them feel safer, most give the same answer: getting a gun. Among other things, it would protect them from the children who already have them. There were those who were missing Yummy last week, those who had seen the child and not the killer. �Everyone thinks he was a bad person, but he respected my mom, who�s got cancer,� says Kenyata Jones, 12. Yummy used to come over to Jones� house several times a month for sleep-overs. �We�d bake cookies and brownies and rent movies like the old Little Rascals in black and white,� says Jones. �He was my friend, you know? I just cried and cried at school when I heard about what happened,� he says, plowing both hands into his pants pockets for comfort before returning to his house to take care of his mother. �And I�m gonna cry some more today, and I�m gonna cry some more tomorrow too.� From The Goat After re-reading this article and watching the full doc on Yummy Sandifer I�m at a loss. There is no simple answer to cure this ill that plagues cities all across the country. I for one was raised in a two family home with caring parents. As much as I hid stuff growing up I turned out pretty good. I also have associates who had both parents but didn�t turn out so lucky. I think one of the true answers has always been overlooked. As much as Rap does damage to the children today (yea it does) it wouldn�t be so damaging if it was given in moderation. We allow the television and the world around us to provide the building blocks for the youth today. Sure I listened to �Throw Ya Gunz� coming up. You better believe I had to sneak and bump that tape when I was alone. We�ve lost sight of one of the greatest proverbs given to us. It takes a village to raise a child. I have friends who teach in New York City schools. One of the key things you hear in and out of the classroom is the ever favorite �You�re not my Father/Mother� line. We need to remember that we can�t be everywhere at once and more realistically that we all aren�t capable of teaching the youth everything by ourselves. We all need help in this world. It pains me at times to see some mothers on the train with a little one no more than 3, another in the stroller and one in the belly. How can she raise the next Martin if she lives this way. How can we expect more from them if his father or father figure does not exist. We must stand up and take these roles and also allow others to do the same for us when were not there. Too many times as a child I�ve seen the bad kid stay out extra late because he can. Maybe if he went inside when he was suppose to he would not be exposed to certain things. Maybe if Yummy had that older brother to look up to he would be a college graduate today. Maybe if we swallowed our pride at times and got advice from a fellow neighbor things would be different. I myself try to talk to the youths in my community and show them the difference and how much we lose by following this path. Our world glorifies Sex, Drugs & Violence so we cannot allow the world to be our children�s teachers. We must mix the 50 Cent�s with the Arthur Ashe�s. Because frankly most of them are great parents to there children. It is our responsibility to save the ones we can. I�ll be damned if a child in my reach falls victim to the world little Yummy was no match for� YouTube – Robert Sandifer murder Aint No Jive Suckers Here Blog Archive Did You Know Who Yummy Was, Pac Did [...]

  11. Trose Says:
    August 8th, 2008 at 7:58 am

    O this is a classic article! I remember When i read it years ago… Yea i told Goat, Pac rapped about shorty… Yea we been on our shit since then… Damn!

  12. Trackstar the DJ Says:
    August 8th, 2008 at 10:59 am

    so deep…

    i’ve got no words, only props–thanks for retyping and posting this…

    peace.

  13. Marcellous A Holmes (BIZ) Says:
    August 8th, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    All I can say is wow. I never knew the complete story of Yummy and as I sit here its almost like I cant move. We need to protect our children. It really, really takes a village to raise one. We have to be willing to go all out for those CHILDREN who arn’t ours. I pray for all the kids out there who are struggling with themselves. As a matter of fact let me go talk to my son right now. WOW

  14. clyde Says:
    August 8th, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    I remember this shit yo…
    this was such a crazy story to me

  15. Master T Says:
    August 9th, 2008 at 10:49 am

    Will you “effen” people speak English, for crying out loud!!! All this “Yo” and “on the real” etc. just illustrates your lack of vocabulary, education and communication skills. Get it together and speak REAL English; otherwise you will languish in your B.S. thug lifestyle and never be heard by or understood by the larger society.
    It WAS a terrific artilel and an indictment of the total breakdown of the family unit in our nation’s inner cities. The only way to prevent another Yummy is to change that culture and instill in it values that are consistent with personal responsibility and responsibility to society. I don’t know how you do that in the face of generation after generation living outside the societal norm. It’s probably too late to make any impact other than the occassional “good one” that rises above it. Tragic.

  16. JoE Says:
    August 9th, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Awesome article! It is sad that it still rings true to the world we live in today. When will people wake up (if ever)?

  17. JoE Says:
    August 9th, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    And Rest In Peace to Bernie Mac!

  18. queenb Says:
    August 9th, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    Tupac also shouted out on “me against the world”‘s track ‘young niggaz’.
    (that’s the song i remember the first mentioning of him anyways)
    :I wanna dedicate this one to Robert ‘Yummy’ Sandifer,
    and all the other lil’ young niggaz out there that’s in a rush to be gangstas:
    great song btw.

    i had always wondered who ‘yummy’ was.
    thanks for taking the time to let us know;)
    this crazy world can get you down, or you can use it as a reminder that we are, each of us, needed to do some good.
    rest in peace bernie mac, chi-town will miss you.

  19. gerald walker Says:
    August 9th, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Awesome post! Simply bone chilling…thanks for the insight. There Yummy’s in every city.

  20. modi Says:
    August 9th, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    days later, i really read the entire post. on a saturday. what an article. yummy reminds me of o-dog (larenz tate) from menace II society. shows what kind of crazy shit the world has people doing. and this is america, the land of “equal opportunity.” imagine what it’s like back in a developing country.

    crucial.

  21. wizard Says:
    August 9th, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    great post and all…but dude this same article was available on Time.com! not saying that you didn’t type it – but you so didn’t have to! You ever heard of archived files??
    deep shit bro!

  22. S. Mathis Says:
    August 10th, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    A great post of a what is a truly tragic story. Hopefully that kid has found the peace in death that he could never find in life.

  23. Easy-E Says:
    August 11th, 2008 at 12:51 am

    Wow, just wow….amazing story….

    I was born in 1988, so I don’t remember when this happened. But I grew up in the 9th Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana….IN THE HOOD…but you know what I had…a STRONG black man as a FATHER….I’m making it and all I can do is thank God for a strong family. They are not without their faults, like myself, but I knew and know love. This young boy had no family to turn to and therefor had no real love. ‘You can’t make it without your family’. That should be evident. All the city programs couldn’t save him because at the end of the day, all they could do is send him back to his family.

    The problem is not that complicated if you break it down to the lowest common dominator…babies are havin babies, and when your a baby yourself, first off, you can’t make the responsible decision on who to make a baby with and secondly, you can’t raise a child when you yourself is a child.

    A quote from the article…

    “Yummy’s mother was the third of 10 children from four fathers she never knew her own. When she was 15 she had her first son Lorenzo, then Victor, then Yummy and eventually five more.”

    Let that marinate for a minute……Black people we are cursing ourselves..that’s a curse people…Yummy’s mother grew up that way, then she turned out the same way…

    “Where are the father’s?” Ask the mothers. Because if they were responsible enough to choose to reproduce with someone willing to make a commitment with them (i.e. marriage…or damn, atleast be in the child[ren]‘s life) then that question need not to be answered. As a black man I’m appalled at my people’s inability is take responsibly for the hell we’ve helped put ourselves in. Hell yea the cards are stacked against us, put we are also at fault for sittin’ there, not only just taking the sub-standard lifestyle given to us, but also perpuating the same things keeping us down, from outside forces, onto ourselves.

    I challenge everyone who read this to really look at the way they’re living (especially black people) AND DEMAND MORE, first for yourself, because you can help no one until you help yourself, then DEMAND MORE for your people.

    I’m out peace and love

  24. Enigmatik Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    This post is a first ballot hall of famer…definitely in the pantheon of drop drops. Salute.

  25. Enigmatik Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    This post is a first ballot hall of famer…definitely in the pantheon of dope drops. Salute.

  26. Cuzzo Taylor Says:
    September 1st, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    dis story real fuck’d up….but its nuttin new to my city. I’m from da GO and been here all 22yrs of my life. u get story’s like dis on a daily….it seem like shorty was fuck’d up but his MAMA and DADDY was da one’s da fuck’d up!!!! they should’ve got lock up for not being PARENTS

  27. DanielLAVillegas Says:
    September 2nd, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Kudos on this article its damn good.

  28. anne smith Says:
    December 7th, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    I was 6 when this happened. I only heard about this because of the boy who died recent in Chicago, Derrion Albert, they referenced this when talking about death in inner cities. Both stories are so sad. Yummy mother had no business having kids. She messed them up bad and now cause of her stupidity, her kids and many others were hurt or killed. Very sad, people in the hood really need to learn. As a black person, I have no problem saying black people need to learn. It’s so annoying watching black people killing each other and tearing each other down. Damn, when will they learn????? It’s embarrassing.

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