November 30, 2011

Memories of Sly

An Essay by Mike Shaw
November 30, 2011

Sly McCurry was more than just a friend to me. Though he was a year younger, he was someone I looked up to and admired. His smile would light up the room and his laugh was unforgettable. He was always happy and full of energy and life. He truly was the life of the party. The world was so new and big to us, and we were treating it like a playground. We had a very small, tight knit group of friends. It was mostly just the three or four of us hanging out and having fun. We often talked about our dreams--Sly's, of course, being the biggest. He aspired to be an actor and, let me tell you, he would have been the next Jamie Foxx. He had the looks, the laugh, the smile, and the desire. If you ever have the chance to hear the song "Up, Up and Away" by Kid Cudi, it was Sly all the way. He really did live up to his name. Sly loved life more than anyone I have ever met, and that was partly why I admire him so much.

The fire for life I had back then died with Sly.

My friend Sly did not walk out onto the ice of Lake Superior that cold January night and fall through and drown. He was murdered. I cannot tell you how surreal it is when to have your friend goes missing and not know what happened; it will drive you insane.

I'll never forget the night I got the phone call, "they found Sly's body." This is very hard for me to talk about, and I have never received closure. I was a trained fighter for many years and felt very protective over all of my friends. I often fought their battles when we were younger. I probably felt the most protective over Sly. He wasn't a muscular guy by any means and would sometimes get bullied at parties that I didn't attend--getting his shoes stolen and things of that nature.

After his discovery and autopsy, the coroner ruled his death accidental drowning due to cold water immersion. No one can ever convince me it was anything but cold-blooded first degree murder. He would have never went from the Stargate Nightclub to that secluded area alone in 20-below weather with no coat and also drowned. His hotel was two blocks away from the club, and his body was found in the Tower Bay slip, 9 blocks in the opposite direction. Sly did not have a car and after being discharged from the club out the back door, he was last seen walking toward his hotel. The police brought in dogs two days after his disappearance, and the dogs indicated that his scent stopped at the back door of the hotel. I have looked into how reliable these dogs are and was shocked to find out that they are extremely sufficient.

I began my own investigative work which has not stopped to this day. A few months after his disappearance, I went to SPD to speak with lead detective Chad La Lor. I had seen him on shows like Forensic Files and was confident he would pursue justice for my friend, but he did not. He told me it was accidental and that was that. In tears, I pleaded for him to believe me that this was murder and the work of a serial killer, but he shut me down and left. I have no confidence in the SPD and have pursued my own career in law enforcement to get justice for my friend and to stop this sick person(s) from committing these murders. Just like clockwork, I see this killer(s) strike all over the Northeastern United States. I can only hope the wrong victim is chosen next, one with a gun in his belt. I want to see the person(s) responsible for my friend's, and many others deaths, brought to justice. I want to see it that when the truth finally does come to light, there are no Hollywood movies made idolizing the murderer.

I'm writing this because I want to help the other families and friends of victims of the same killer. I feel your pain, and I live with it every day. I feel like most have just let go and moved on since Sly's demise. I have not. Not a day goes by that I don't fight back tears for my friend. This last year and 10 months have been the hardest of my life. I am a changed person, and I struggle with depression. If you have something to share about these victims or your hardships please pull yourself together enough to talk about it. Networking with each other can possibly bring justice for our loved ones. As long as there is air in my lungs, I will fight for it.

Boss forever, Sly, we love you.

Copyright © November 2011 Mike Shaw and Footprints at the River’s Edge. All rights reserved.

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