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Think it’s not possible to get executed in broad daylight in America’s biggest city? Meet Brandon Lincoln Woodard.

It’s been a year since one of the most brazen things you’ll ever see: a man executed in broad daylight in a busy area of the biggest city in America. His name was Brandon Lincoln Woodard, and there’s a high likelihood he had ties to the cocaine trade. But at the time, he was a Los Angeles-based law student in NYC — and that headline is far more linkbait than “Man with a couple of arrests for drugs gets shot in NYC.” According to the NYPD, this is a case that perhaps best personifies the idea of “a difference between what you know and what you can prove.”

“It’s the kind of case that will get solved when you arrest somebody else and they say, ‘I want to make a deal,’ ” said Joseph L. Giacalone, a retired cold case squad commander. “It’s like Ben Franklin said: three people can keep a secret as long as two of them are dead.”

The gun involved had been used before — in a 2009 shooting in Queens. They traced the license plates on the getaway car and it came back to a rental place on Long Island; the car was rented by a couple with a long history of renting cars for other people. It hasn’t necessarily led to anything, 373 days later.

Everything about the nature of the crime and the fact that no one’s been caught for it yet suggests a professional-type hit, in the eyes of most law enforcement officials. The saddest part about the whole case is that ample evidence does exist.

Here are a few contextual facts about Woodard, including a weird story about Usher’s bodyguard giving him a wedgie.

If you read through the different links about Woodard, it seems like the basic picture is this: kid from a pretty good family (his mother runs United Mortgage in Los Angeles) dabbles in drugs a little bit. Because of his connections through the club scene and his family, he has the ability to move more product than he thought, so the dabbling becomes a bit more sophisticated. While ostensibly on the straight and narrow/right path, he’s also making money on the side with drugs and moving drugs. Eventually, he runs into the wrong people, and after 2 or 3 screw-ups, they decide to take final action. As for why it needed to be on the street, in broad daylight, in Manhattan? That part is confusing. Perhaps there was some kind of need to send a message to others? It’s been a year and we don’t have anyone in cuffs over this, but we also (for all we know) don’t have other issues on the streets of NYC involving these crews either. The brazen nature of it seems like it was perhaps a message to others. It could have also just been their best shot.

I think this will eventually be solved. The Ben Franklin quote above is perfect. I always think that for a conspiracy to be effective, or a secret to be held for years and years, a few key things need to be in play: (a) money (which fits here), (b) the ability to control the message, i.e. kill those who are off message (which fits here, to an extent — we don’t know the other players) and (c) corruption already in place (which fits here). Someone will probably flip on this story when they’re brought in for another case, or something like that. You also have to assume this is someone’s priority at NYPD — their caseload is staggering, but to have an unsolved broad-daylight Midtown murder can’t please everyone high up in that mechanism. Someone’s grinding on this case 24/7. It will reach conclusion.

Ted Bauer

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