The Killing Of Magnolia Shorty

Magnolia Shorty was not supposed to die.

Following her death in the winter of 2010 at the tender age of 28 she was described as “collateral damage” by the team of assassins who inadvertently killed her in their zeal to murder her companion Jerome “Man Man” Hampton.

The violent killing halted her ascendence in a New Orleans music industry forever intertwined with shocking acts of violence.

When Shorty, born Renetta Lowe, was a kid trying to break into the rap game she needed a street nickname she could bill herself under as she performed at underground nightclubs and block parties.

New Orleans rap superstar Soulja Slim, five years her senior, modified his old stagename and Lowe soon became Magnolia Shorty

“I wanted to be a rapper. I’ve been rapping since I was 12 years old. I was working on mix tapes and my verse while rapping at block parties. I eventually got introduced to Cash Money Records and we just went from there.”

She would have a brief but meteoric career before being shot dead in the city’s 9th Ward a few days before Christmas in 2010.

Had she not fallen in with Jerome “Man Man” Hampton, Magnolia Shorty might still be alive today.

Jerome Man Man Hampton

Hampton was a wanted man.

Word on the street had it that the drug dealer and contract killer had driven to Houston with Ivory “B-Stupid” Harris in December of 2005 to kill Steven Kennedy. The duo were part of the notorious Magnolia Projects clique, The Dooney Boys.

The killing of Kennedy was a payback for the hit that Kennedy and Garelle “Jigga” Smith had put on Soulja Slim in November of 2003. Jigga was arrested for the murder but never stood trial. He would be shot dead in August 2011.

There were multiple crews of heavy hitters looking for Man Man when Shorty drove her Chevy Malibu into the Georgetown Apartments complex in New Orleans East just after noon on December 20th, 2010.

Man Man rode shotgun.

It was partly cloudy, sixty degrees, a mild wind was blowing in from Lake Pontchartrain.

Avowed gang members Rico “Freaky” Jackson, Terrioues “T-Red” Owney, McCoy “Rat” Walker, and Tyrone “Biscuit” Knockum had been rolling all over New Orleans in Stewart’s white Ford Crown Victoria. They were hunting Man Man.

Biscuit was the wheelman.

The Killing of Magnolia Shorty

T-Red’s girlfriend lived in the complex and gave the assassins the security code so they could get in the gate at the entrance to the compound.

In a bone-chilling tale told in Judge Jay Zainey’s courtroom, Rabbit Stewart described how the double murder took place:

“We knew he (Hampton) was in the house by Magnolia Shorty. I’m like, ‘We about to sit on that boy. Let’s go to the gas station and get a cigar, and we gonna smoke some weed till he get out.”

The crew of killers rolled by a curbstore on the way to the hit to buy cigars. They paid a passerby to go inside so they could avoid the shop’s surveillance cameras. When they got back to the apartment complex they took cover by a speed bump near the gate so their quarry would have to slow down as they entered.

“Rat shot first with the 9. He hit Magnolia Shorty. That’s when the car crashed. Everybody went in their position, to go to their spot. T-Red and Freaky, they was at the back of the trunk by the back windshield. I was on top of the gate, shooting through the passenger door and the windshield and stuff, and Rat was on the side by the driver’s side,” Stewart said.

Rabbit fired 20 rounds from a .40 caliber Glock handgun the gang had nicknamed “Barack.”

After the execution the crew of killers fled the scene.

Due to the extreme violence of the slayings New Orleans FBI Gang Task Force was brought in to round up the culprits.

The Killing of Magnolia Shorty

They quickly vectored in on the notorious 39’ers Gang who soon fell to pieces as the Task Force rode down hard on the men in the group while making multiple arrests.

Following dozens of indictments the Feds were soon packing courtrooms with spectators, snitches, and attorneys.

The trial lasted six weeks. Ten men were called to the docket.

Terrioues “T-Red” Owney and McCoy “Rat” Walker would be convicted for the deaths of Shorty and Man Man. Seven years after their slaying the two would see life sentences imposed upon them by U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey.

Gregory Rabbit Stewart ended up being one of the federal officers most prized confidential informants and gleefully took to the witness stand to send as many of his cohorts to the penitentiary as possible.

Stewart would crow in a jailhouse letter that, “I’m still a G until I die. I’m a G, I don’t back down.”

Magnolia Shorty’s murder at the end of 2010 capped a particularly violent spate of killings in New Orleans’ music industry. Rapper Argell “Twelve A’Klok” White was gunned down just five minutes from the scene of Shorty’s killing in August of that year.

The following month, David “Mr. Harvey” Williams was shot down across the Mississippi River on the West Bank. Then in November, Anthony “Messy Mya” Barre, grandson of political boss Stan “Pampy” Barr, was gunned down on St. Anthony Street in New Orleans 7th Ward.

But it was the death of Magnolia Shorty, just 28, that reverberated globally.

Less than a year later, in the multi-century cycle of violence of New Orleans, Shorty’s husband Carl Bridgewater would be gunned down in the Central City neighborhood.

His death drew little notice.

The Killing of Magnolia Shorty


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