Vernon Whitlock Jr. distinguished himself early: Graduating at the top of his police-academy class in St. Louis, he was recruited by the marshals in 1962. He told people he marched with Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. "My grandmother's first cousin was Frederick Douglass," he would say.
After ten years, Whitlock quit to be an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigator; the money was better, and it got even better when he became a bail bondsman in the late seventies. But he was such a superfly, with his flashy cars and clothes and diamond-chip rings, and such a braggart—trading bonds for jewelry or sex with inmates' girlfriends, court papers alleged, and dealing cocaine and synthetic heroin—that in 1985, he was targeted by several law-enforcement agencies.
"Vernon was the kind of guy that women waggled for if they saw him—flamboyant, outspoken, fun, and funny," remembers Guinn Kelly, the undercover cop who brought him down. The arrest at a Steak n Shake made the local news.
Sentenced to 24 years when Kimora was in grade school, Whitlock was sprung after just 3: He swaggered into the local marshal's office and told ex-co-workers he'd turned state's evidence against his supplier. Now a barber, Whitlock was a guest at Kimora's St. Barts wedding and captured the ceremony on video, which he screens for customers at his shop.
NY Mag - June 21, 2004
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