The Month in PCP: Firetruck Follies and the World’s Worst Sandwich

A blog about murder, theft, and other wickedness.
June 3 2013 5:37 PM

The Month in PCP: Firetruck Follies and the World’s Worst Sandwich

Something you might do while on PCP

Photo by Getty Images/iStockphoto

Crime is Slate’s crime blog. Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @slatecrime.

At the end of every month, I scour the LexisNexis and Factiva news databases for stories about the criminal exploits of people who are allegedly high on the dissociative drug phencyclidine, or PCP. Urban legend maintains that a dose of PCP can give you superstrength, or make you hunger for human flesh. These are exaggerations. That said, PCP can lower a user’s inhibitions in newsworthy fashion. To wit:


“Suspect Shoots Man, Climbs Firetruck Naked.” There was a lot of PCP-related nudity this month, which I guess is to be expected, given the rising temperatures. And, as I always say, if you’re going to be naked in public, you might as well be naked on top of a firetruck, screaming about how you’re “going to kill everyone.” In mid-May, 24-year-old Mohamed Bah did just that, mounting a firetruck in Calverton, Md., and yelling until police subdued him with a Taser. (This story isn’t as funny as it sounds: Right before Bah took off his clothes, he had abruptly shot his friend between the eyes. The friend has thus far survived.) “PCP is the only true motive we can find for this unprovoked attack,” the cops later told reporters.

The Garden of Eden redux. Not every nudist-on-PCP story involves gunshots and firetrucks. Sometimes, the naked person is just trying to get back to nature. Last month, a Pennsylvania woman named Christyn DiGiorgio was arrested after “police observed her naked and on all fours pulling grass from a yard.” As Norristown Patch reports

DiGiorgio's only initial response to police was to reportedly look up, grin widely, giggle, and continue to pull grass, police said. After further requests from police as to what she was doing, DiGiorgio stated "Adam and Eve," according to the report.

It is unclear what DiGiorgio meant by “Adam and Eve,” though I bet it has something to do with her being tricked by a malicious snake into eating a bad apple. The cops later determined that DiGiorgio had smoked marijuana that had been laced with PCP.

An unconvincing quick-change. At the beginning of May, police in New Haven, Conn., identified a suspect in the murder of Qusaan McKoy: a 21-year-old man known only as “Big Head Shaune.” But Big Head Shaune proved elusive, and he led the cops on a long and violent chase that culminated in him ducking hastily into an apartment building, then coming back out in a brand-new outfit. I can think of a lot of reasons why this idea was bound to fail, but the best reason is that, no matter what he’s wearing, a guy named “Big Head Shaune” will probably be easy to identify based on his extremely big head. When police finally captured the big-headed suspect, he informed them that he was high on PCP.

PCP Story of the Month. A Texas woman was sentenced to two years in prison after serving her 6-year-old daughter the world’s least appropriate sandwich. In 2012 Torina Ann Gutierrez reportedly laced her daughter’s lunch with PCP. An affidavit notes that, after eating the lunch, the girl “began acting strangely in her first-grade classroom, talking to people who were not there and saying she could hear ‘banging in her head.’ The girl told investigators that Gutierrez made her lunch that day and that the meat tasted like ‘fireworks,’ ” which, honestly, is a pretty good description of what it’s like to be high on PCP, from what I can tell.

Justin Peters is a writer for Slate. He is working on a book about Aaron Swartz, copyright, and the rise of “free culture.” Email him at


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