Stumbled across some info on Telethia Good’s disappearance

So I was reading David Simon’s Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets aka “the book that inspired the TV show The Wire” and discovered Telethia Good is mentioned in it, although not by name.

David Simon shadowed the Baltimore Police Department’s homicide unit for a year, from January to December in 1988, and wrote about the cases they solved, and didn’t solve. One of the most prominent homicides was that of Latonya Kim Wallace, an eleven-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted, stabbed and strangled.

The prime suspect is identified in the book only as “The Fish Man” (because he was a fishmonger). He knew Latonya Wallace and had a history of sexual assault and was just generally creepy, and there was some physical evidence that indicated he might have been involved. Obviously they didn’t have the kind of DNA testing thirty years ago that they have now, though.

The cops looked to see if they could connect the Fish Man to any other cases and at this point the book says that a nine-year-old girl who lived on Montpelier Street disappeared in 1979 and was never found, and she was “a dead ringer” for Latonya Wallace. The cops learn that the Fish Man’s business partner at that time lived on Montpelier Street and the Fish Man visited him there often. When they show the suspect a photo of the missing girl, he initially says he recognizes it, then backtracks and says he doesn’t.

In spite of the police’s best efforts, the Fish Man never confessed to Latonya’s murder, never mind Telethia’s case, and they couldn’t find enough evidence to prosecute him. According to the afterword in the book, he’s dead now.

I immediately checked on Charley to find a girl who matched the particulars of the missing child case in the book. Telethia disappeared in 1978, not 1979, and she was seven, not nine, but she did live on Montpelier Street and she does look quite a lot like Latonya Wallace.

I suppose I’ll add this info to her casefile. Shame I don’t know the Fish Man’s name. Now that he’s dead there’s no harm in releasing that info, I should think.

6 thoughts on “Stumbled across some info on Telethia Good’s disappearance

  1. paulmelk1 September 14, 2019 / 12:36 am

    The series was “Homicide: Life on the Streets” not “The Wire.”

  2. paulmelk1 September 14, 2019 / 12:37 am

    The series was “Homicide: Life on the Streets” not “The Wire.”h

    • Meaghan September 14, 2019 / 9:37 am

      Homicide might be based on the book, but The Wire was inspired by the book.

  3. Mark March 25, 2020 / 9:33 am

    The Wire is not inspired by the book. The show creator is the same and is from Baltimore. Almost all of the projects he, David Simon, is involved in are based on Baltimore.

    The first season of Homicide is actually based on his book, and follows it as close as possible with liberties taking with each of the police characters. The criminals and cases are almost identical.

    The Wire is based on life in Baltimore. For example, Omar, is based on a real life criminal in Baltimore. In fact almost all the characters are based on people from Baltimore, although they all didn’t exist at the same time. Often times in the show, the real life criminal or ex-con, would play an extra, or a small role, in the show. The Wire itself is about how Baltimore as a whole is a large gray area, filled with people who are playing their role in the way the city has shaped and how everyone, not just a “criminal” plays their part in trying to make it worse or better.

    Yes, some characters of the show are based on experiences that went into the book written by Simon, but no, it is not based on the book, Homicide is!

  4. Teneeka August 31, 2020 / 3:27 pm

    I knew latonya I walked to school with her everyday she worked in Willys store he did and I don’t understand why he was not convicted

    • Jake February 24, 2021 / 2:34 pm

      Willy? Is that the Fish Man’s name?

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