FB photo from the profile of Ant BoopEnd LowEnd, used under First Amendment Fair Comment and Criticism, blog post by John Hoff
In the course of researching numerous FB profiles while digging into the story of Kyle Hickman and Jaylin Dubose, I found myself looking deeply into the online "social media" record of a gritty urban lifestyle. It was a fascinating mental journey.
One question I found myself asking, over and over.
WHO IS "PUDDA?"
One thing is for sure, I thought to myself...
People miss and love this "Pudda."
I saw young people posing in shirts with his likeness. There were constant references to "RIP Pudda." He was mentioned in the same breath with others who were missed, urban tragedies I already knew about.
Pudda Mystery Solved?
When trying to figure out mysteries of this kind, if you look hard enough and get lucky, sooner or later you find a "Rosetta Stone" document which seemingly gives you the key to unlock the mystery. This photo, above, was my "Rosetta Stone."
The picture is found on the FB profile of Ant BoopEnt LowEnd. From the picture itself, and comments made on the picture, it becomes apparent this is the grave of Pudda, who was born DeCari Antonio Starr.
(Addendum, June 16, here are the comments which lead me to conclude Starr equals Pudda)
My personal favorite comment is "your killer dieing this year."
How, I thought to myself, did I miss writing about this murder? Was I out of town driving a truck or something in May of 2010? What was this blog DOING on May 4, 2010, the night Starr was murdered? I looked in my archives. I found an article about Get To NoMi t-shirts being available. My fellow blogger NoMi Passenger informed me, "You were up at Camp Ripley for two weeks, doing your annual training."
So that's what I was.
Extremely timely news coverage is a good thing, when I can pull it off. Sometimes I can even beat the Star Tribune to the punch and revel in that, momentarily.
But the fact as story has some cobwebs on it won't keep me from digging into it, not if I can put out information nobody else has.
Dropped Off By Unknown Parties, Dead
According to the Star Tribune, Starr was shot in front of 1525 Newton Ave. N. Odd to see the Star Tribune use a specific address instead of a block number. Whatever. Looking into that address, I see it's owned by A Vision, LLC. This company lists an address of 4555 131 1/2 St, Savage, Minnesota. It's manager is Bruce Barron of that same address. It's principal executive office is located at 1510 Emerson Ave. N., Unit 2.
Starr was shot at the house owned by A Vision LLC, but according to City Pages, when police arrived at the scene there was no victim. Starr was dropped off by unknown parties at North Memorial Medical Center where he died of a gunshot wound to the chest.
According to the Starr Tribune article previously linked, but click here to see it again, there was another shooting the same night. A second shooting happened at 10:50 PM, in the 2600 block of Emerson Ave. N. The victim had leg and facial injuries but, it appears, did not die.
Murder Still A Mystery, Many Online Tributes, But What A Mess They Are
I see no evidence this crime was solved or anybody was even arrested for it. I did dig up the online court record of DeCari Starr. It's still on MNCIS, even though he's dead. There is a notation below his DOB which states his "DOD" is May 4, 2010.
Starr had a juvenile record where he was adjudicated delinquent for receiving stolen property. (62-JV-091013. Case also references "companion case" 62-JV-09-2571) This adjudication happened on 4/29/2009. Starr got probation. Early in 2010, he picked up a couple minor traffic charges. He was only convicted of not wearing a seatbelt. At the time he was convicted, and no doubt warned to be safe and wear his seatbelt, he had only a couple weeks to live. Beyond a doubt, Starr was not wearing a seatbelt during his final ride to the hospital, a bullet wound in his chest.
Starr would have been on probation until October 3, 2010, but of course he died before then, while still on probation. His file was closed 4/14/2010, ten days after his death. One MySpace page appears to have been set up as a tribute and says "R.I.P. BABYDAD DECARI ANTONIO STARR" and shows a single photo of an individual holding a child.
Keep in mind there is a stunning lack of clear online communication among this young, urban group. So just because the tribute page says "R.I.P." to so-and-so in the title, and only displays one picture, that does NOT necessarily mean that's the same person being referenced.
(Addendum: The texts of more than a few anonymous commenters dispute who is in the photos. I say, "If you put "RIP So and So at the top of the online page, but it's not even a tribute page and those aren't even photos of the dude, how sad is THAT? You can't even pull off a clear tribute?)
The rest of the "RIP BABYDAD DECARI ANTONIO STARR" MySpace profile can't be accessed except by MySpace friends. Here is a link.
Another MySpace tribute page contains 15 photos, though some are just cropped versions of a previous photo in the series. Comparing one photo to another, it seems clear (if you follow rules of clear communication) all the photos picture Starr (Pudda, or Pudda Locc) at various stages of his life.
But this young, urban group DOES NOT follow clear rules of communication.
(ADDENDUM, June 11, 2012, at least one commenter posting twice disputes whether all the pictures on the "Pudda" tribute page are, in fact, Decari Antonio Starr. Some of the pictures are labeled "DRO BITCH." It is unknown if this is some kind of EXPRESSION or if "DRO" is somebody's name, somebody whose pictures are posted in the tribute. The communication patterns of this social group defy deciphering)
(ADDENDUM, June 28, 2012. In response to numerous comments...none terribly helpful or specific, just pissed off and illiterate...I have removed photos that came from what seemed to be a DeCari Antonio Starr tribute page, linked earlier. As long as the link still works, readers can go to the page and judge for themselves.
(The photos certainly looked like they could be Starr and the page had all the earmarks of an attempted "tribute" page with photos of the departed. However, it appears that EVEN THOUGH the page is titled like a tribute, EVEN THOUGH the page contains a picture of Starr's grave marker and enough evidence convinces me Starr is indeed "Pudda," some or even all the photos on that page were not Starr with the exception of the grave marker)
(Even though I carefully used caveats like "appear to be," I have decided to remove the photos to keep the focus on Starr and his unsolved murder)
Police Still Seeking Information
The murder of DeCari Antonio Starr is still unsolved.
Anybody knowing anything should call the Minneapolis Police Department tip line, but of course you're also free to comment on this blog post.