Featured Story, Street Legends

The Debate

AFA 166100The issue of Fat Cat being a snitch has been hotly debated with both detractors and supporters making their cases for or against. Based on the facts, such as reputable newspapers like The New York Times reporting that he was cooperating, it seems there is no question of his culpability.

But there is no evidence that Fat Cat ever testified at anyone’s trial. And the true definition of a rat is someone that gets on the stand and points fingers at his comrades. In prison they talk about paperwork, and by that they mean transcripts from court. Actual documentation.

The newspaper can print anything, and be used as a government propaganda tool, but paperwork from the court can’t lie. But if Cat is not a snitch, how can the fact that he was in the federal Witsec Program from 1990 to 2006 be explained? In the streets during those times, dudes knew where Pappy was at, they knew were Prince was at, they knew were Preme was at, but no one knew where Cat was.

Prisoners in the federal Witsec Program have their locations closely guarded. The information isn’t available to the public. In purely black and white terms that is a big strike against the Cat. But things in life are hardly black and white.

“People like to think of the world in terms of black and white, but most things and answers reside in a broad grey area and Cat’s story is no different.” Curtis Scoon said. “What I know is in 21 years not one piece of paperwork has surfaced with his name on it. No one can say he testified in court and he’s still in prison. There are people walking the streets because Cat did not tell on them and no one can say they’re in prison because of him.”

This could all be true, but it’s also evident that Cat played ball with the feds. Maybe he thought he could outsmart them or trick them, only tell them what he wanted. Who knows? He was probably very selective in what he said to them, and if he only told on himself then what is the crime? But in convict and street terms, everything is black and white, there are no grey areas, you don’t talk to the police period.

A litany of street legends who are rats have been glorified in movies, magazines and documentaries including Rayful Edmond, Alberto “Alpo” Martinez, Frank Lucas and Leroy “Nicky” Barnes. The street magazine F.E.D.S. has made their mark profiling and interviewing snitches, giving them a forum for their stories.

Just as Don Diva magazine has become a forum for the dudes who didn’t snitch. It’s all urban crime lore, just from a different perspective. To the public, it’s all entertainment. But to the dudes doing life in the pen there’s a big difference. In prison and the streets the ideals of death before dishonor and omerta are cherished.

Still Hollywood loves a snitch who tells it all, just look at Mafia turncoats like Henry Hill and Sammy the Bull, who sold their stories of betrayal and larceny for big money. In Hollywood it doesn’t matter if you are a snitch. Only the story matters. The fact remains that Fat Cat is a legend no matter how much his detractors hate it and for whatever reasons.

“Lorenzo ‘Fat Cat’ Nichols is a gangster in the true sense of the word before anything else,” Curtis Scoon said. To this day, dudes from Cat’s crew are loyal to him. Luc Spoon has managed to hold down the name the best he could. The snitch factor has plagued him and other Cat supporters for years, but they’ve gone through great lengths to clear it up. Luc Spoon turned to the person that the streets, prosecutors and even 50 Cent said Cat snitched on, Pappy Mason. From phone conversations to countless letters he questioned Pap. Pap denied that Cat ever told on him.

“Quote me on this, Cat told me he told on nobody, Pappy told me ‘Cat didn’t testify, nor was he in any of his paperwork.’ Any real nigga from that era knows ain’t nothing come back to haunt them. What rat you know that’s never coming home.” Luc Spoon said. Maybe a rat that pissed the feds off. But still Luc Spoon has a point, even Sammy the Bull with his 19 admitted murders got out after five years and Cat is still in and most likely never coming home.

To understand the paperwork concept in prison you have to understand how indictments and convictions come about. Before someone is indicted the feds have grand juries. At these grand juries prosecutors lay out their cases against individuals they are targeting and their accomplices. Co-conspirators, police and witnesses testify to the grand jury by answering the prosecutor’s leading questions about the targets criminal behavior.

All proceedings are recorded by a court reporter and the transcript made is used as support to get the indictment. Most of these grand jury sessions are secret, closed and not open to the public. The records are usually sealed. But when the targeted individual goes to trail he can get the grand jury statements and transcripts in his discovery materials.

That is the first time when a defendant knows who is really snitching on them. The paperwork is the proof. In prison, paperwork proves someone is hot or a snitch. Without the proof, there’s always a question mark. Without the proof, you can’t put it out there. You can think what you want, but to broadcast it you need proof. That’s how it works on the inside.

This is an excerpt from The Dope Game Misadventures of Fat Cat & Pappy Mason. Order it here or from www.amazon.com