Former hit man Nate Boone Craft, an imposing figure who was accused of killing 30 people, claims in an upcoming documentary that the late Gil Hill, the former Detroit homicide cop and president of the city council, asked him to kill drug trafficker Richard Wershe Jr. to keep him from talking.
WDIV's Kevin Dietz reports that Craft, who was released from prison for helping authorities lock up criminals, makes his remarks about Hill in a documentary on Wershe, aka "White Boy Rick," titled "650 Lifer: The Legend of White Boy Rick."
The film, which is expected to be released around Christmas, is being produced by Shawn Rech of Cleveland.
Wershe, who turned 47 in July, was locked up for drug trafficking as a teen, and has been serving a life sentence ever since He hasn't been able to get paroled.
"I was told to kill White Boy Rick," Craft says in the film, referring to Hill. "He said, '125,000, I'll make sure you get it as long as that boy is dead.' His key word, 'Dead.'"
"'(He said) 125 (thousand), make sure that boy is dead. We can't have him talking exact words. We can't have him talking,'" Craft said.
Dietz points out that the claims are unsubstantiated and Hill, who passed away in February, can't defend himself against the allegations. Hill was a homicide inspector before he eventually became president of the city council. In 200l, he ran unsuccessfully for mayor against Kwame Kilpatrick. He also became well known nationally after appearing in the Bevery Hills Cop movies with Eddie Murphy.
Dietz reports that Wershe, once he was behind bars, told the FBI that Hill was taking bribes to cover up homicides.
There are legitimate questions that could be raised about the truthfulness of Craft's claims. For one, where would Hill have gotten the money and why didn't Craft carry out the murder for such a handsome fee?
There's also a question as to why it would have cost that much money to kill a teenager, considering in those days people in the Detroit drug world often paid a fraction of the $125,000 to put out hits on on enemies. Then again, it might be costlier for a hit if it was requested while Wershe was already behind bars.
Before heading off to prison, Wershe was dating Mayor Coleman Young's niece, and Hill tried to make sure the niece didn't get into trouble and stayed out of harm's way.
In the early 1990s, while Wershe was behind bars, he helped the FBI set up an undercover sting in which some Detroit and suburban cops agreed to protect fake drug and money shipments to local airports. The sting netted a number of arrests including cops and Mayor Young's niece and her father, Willie Volsan.
Charges were dropped against the niece but her father and a number of cops were convicted. After that, for a period of time, Wershe was housed in a federal prison in Arizona with a number of government informants including New York Underboss Sammy "The Bull" Gravano.
During the FBI sting, undercover FBI agents also met with Hill at a Dearborn hotel. Hill was on the city council. The agents, posing as drug traffickers, asked Hill if he could find businesses in Detroit they use to launder drug money.
At the time, Hill said he would look into it. During the first meeting, one of the agents asked Hill if he ever thought of running for mayor, to which he responded by saying something to the effect, "no, the media would have a field day. I've got so many skeletons in my closet."
Hill met a second time with the agents, but brought along a staffer from his city council office. Hill decided not to get involved, and he was never charged with anything.
Dietz reports that the documentary also says Mayor Young went to great lengths to keep Wershe locked up and asks why Wayne County Prosecutor Kim Worthy has not made efforts to free Wershe.