Why was 'Black Madam' still on the street?

Posted: March 02, 2012

BUSINESS was bad for "Black Madam."

People on the street knew that the transgender gothic hip-hop singer was the chief suspect in the death of a British tourist who received illegal buttocks injections at an airport hotel in February 2011.

So, police said, Black Madam spread vicious rumors about the victim, slashed her prices and started charging by the Solo cup for the unknown liquid that she injected into people's buttocks.

Now, police believe that Black Madam, whose real name is Padge Victoria Windslowe, may have injected as many as 14 people in the last four months, most of whom were exotic dancers brought to her by a recruiter who also works as a stripper.

Windslowe, 42, continued her illegal practices - even using Super Glue to seal the injection site - as investigators awaited the British tourist's autopsy report to determine her cause of death and to proceed with the case.

But a young woman who became gravely ill, allegedly from one of the Black Madam's injections last month, alerted investigators, who swooped in on Windslowe Wednesday night as she was allegedly about to perform her twisted trade at what's become known as a "pumping party."

Today, the Black Madam is behind bars on $10 million bail for the injection she performed last month, but she has yet to be charged in the death of the British tourist.

Death, and untruths

The latest client to risk her life for a more well-rounded rear end was a 23-year-old woman who knew that Claudia Aderotimi, 20, died last year after receiving an illegal buttocks injection from Windslowe, said Southwest Detectives Lt. John Walker. But the woman said that word on the street was that Aderotimi had died because she used drugs and alcohol before or after the procedure, he said.

"It was clearly untrue, but that was a way for [Windslowe] to put information out there that the death was caused by something other than the injection," Walker said. "That way, people would continue to go and see her."

The woman received an injection from Windslowe Feb. 19 at a pumping party in an East Germantown home, Walker said.When she started becoming seriously ill, she didn't realize that the injection was the cause, Walker said.

She went to Temple University Hospital on Feb. 21, which is when her family called police. Investigators showed her a photo array and she picked out Windslowe as her injector, Walker said.

The woman has since been released from the hospital but remains on oxygen. Doctors aren't sure of her long-term prognosis.

A confidential informant then provided police with information on when and where Black Madam's next "pumping party" would be - Wednesday night at the same house, on Pastorius Street near Baynton, where the hospitalized woman was injected.

When police hauled Black Madam out, they also took with them her toxic kit, which included Super Glue and a clear, unknown substance with an oil-like viscosity that was in a disposable water bottle, Walker said.

He said that Aderotimi had paid $1,700 for her procedure, and that at the time, Black Madam was charging by the cubic centimeter for the amount of liquid she used. More recently, she went for bulk pricing. She filled red plastic Solo cups with the liquid and charged $700 for each cup, he said.

Why the wait?

The difficulty in determining the exact nature of the substance allegedly Windslowe uses is one of the main reasons that Aderotimi's death investigation has taken so long.

Walker said that police are awaiting the cause of death from Delaware County Medical Examiner Fredric Hellman, who said that he is awaiting toxicology results from the Food and Drug Administration.

"There's a question as to the source of the silicone, whether it's medicinal or industrial," he said. "That was not answered by the initial studies at local labs."

A spokeswoman with the FDA, which regulates plastic-surgery materials, said the agency does not comment on investigations.

But the question remains: If prosecutors could charge Windslowe with aggravated assault for merely injecting her latest alleged victim, why couldn't they have leveled charges in Aderotimi's case to get Windslowe off the street while they awaited toxicology results?

The short answer is that it would be hard to prove in court that the injection killed Aderotimi until her autopsy is complete, and the cause and manner of death has been determined.

Tasha Jamerson, spokeswoman with the District Attorney's Office, said she could not comment on an ongoing investigation.

A lawyer who has no involvement in the case speculated that prosecutors may have hesitated because they were afraid that filing charges before the investigation was finished would have violated Windslowe's right to a speedy trial. Typically, trials must begin within a year of filing charges, or a case can be dismissed.

"In a homicide investigation, especially, you want to have as much of the investigation done as possible before you charge," the lawyer said.

Tee Ali, 29, a friend of Aderotimi's from London, said it was "a shame" that Windslowe was allowed to walk the streets after his friend's death.

"It's good to know she could live her life, even though Claudia lost hers," he said. "She should have been arrested a long time ago."

When told that Windslowe was arrested Wednesday, Ali was shocked.

"And this is all going down in Philly?" he said. "Is it really that crazy there? A pumping party? Damn, that is mad."

While many were shocked that such seedy "parties" exist, Sherman Leis, founder of Philadelphia's Center for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, was not among them.

He's fixed many botched jobs from pumping parties that people have attended in Philadelphia and across the country.

"It goes on in Philadelphia regularly," he said.

The last "pumper" he was aware of in Philly was a transgender woman named Kelly who held similar pumping parties for transgender women.

"There, girls could get silicone gel or anything else they could find and squeeze into a syringe that they usually purchased from Home Depot or Walmart," he said.

Kelly died last year, he said, when she went to Mexico for removal of silicone that she had had illegally injected into herself.

Contact Stephanie Farr at 215-854-4225 or farrs@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @FarFarrAway. Read her blog at phillyconfidential.com.

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