Another Quickie Relationship Ends in Tragedy


Sistas, this is a very sad story, but one that neesd to open up our eyes to the danger of rushing into relationships instead of taking the time to get to really know someone. We keep hearing stories of black women becoming involved with men they barely even know and the outcomes have repeatedly been tragic. Just two weeks ago we read about Nimeha Milien, the woman who was carjacked by Donald McGee, the man she was on a first date with. Now this tragic story, another case of barely knowing a man and he does something awful to the woman:

After a 37-hour standoff, police in Trenton, N.J. shot and killed registered sex offender Gerald “Skip” Tyrone Murphy, 38, on Sunday May 12, 2013, after he held his girlfriend’s three children hostage for three days.

Murphy killed 44-year-old Carmelita Stevens, the children’s mother, and her 13-year-old son. Police found their bodies in separate bedrooms. According to an article on, Stevens’ body was in an advanced state of decomposition leading police to believe she and her son could have been killed two weeks ago.

Murphy, who wasn’t the father of any of her children, and Stevens had only been dating for a few months, yet both lived in the house where this all took place.

According to the article, a relative of Stevens’ called police worried after she hadn’t talked to her in weeks. Police then learned her children hadn’t been to school in 12 days, which led them to the home.

The three-day standoff began at 3:00pm Friday afternoon and didn’t end until around 3:45am Sunday. Friday, according to the article, police smelled an odor consistent with a decomposing body after entering into the home through a rear door. They also said maggots were throughout the residence.

Police found Murphy in an upstairs 10-foot-by-11-foot bedroom, but had to back off when he told them he was armed with a gun and explosives and had three children with him: two teen girls and a 4-year-old boy.

The story said the officers noticed one of the dead victims before retreating from the second floor and rescuing Stevens’ 19-year-old son from the basement. Her son told them he hadn’t seen his mother or his siblings since about April 24.
Police kept in contact with Murphy throughout the standoff, passing food into the home through an upstairs window, the article said.

On Sunday, police re-entered the home where an officer shot Murphy because, the police said, he was threatening one of the children. Murphy had also assaulted and abused the children.

Sistas, the story went on to say Murphy had a long criminal history:

• convictions for aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy
• arrested for robbery and weapons offenses and child endangerment
• warrant out for his arrest for failing to register as a sex offender in Pennsylvania

Ladies, we must do a better job of being selective about the men we bring into our lives, and especially around our children. This is an awful and unfortunate story, but hopefully it will serve as a “wake up” call for black women. I don’t know Carmelita’s story, but let’s stop picking up any and every random guy (or ones we hardly know) just to say we have one. It’ not worth it.

Service is her passion, writing is her platform, women and the Black Community are her avenues. Shala Marks is a writer, editor and soon-to-be author. Through her work, Marks aspires to demonstrate “The Craft of Writing, and the Art of Efficacy.” She has a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University. Connect with her at:


  1. OMG!!! Thank you God, for Brown Sista!! Thank you God so much for Social Media. I pray God that some woman is reading this and I am praying they don’t make the same mistake!! Please think about your kids they are gift that God gave to you and many women are not given that gift!

  2. When I saw this story unfold on TV I immediately thought of the article about the woman who was robbed at gunpoint by a man she had spoken to the first time only hours earlier. This horrible story breaks my heart but there are lessons to be learned. The poor victim and her son are dead because a pedophile probably targeted the family. It is very common for men like this to go after single women who are often willing and anxious to have any man in their life. Any man who they hope will act as a father figure to their children. I feel for Carmelita and all the victims, but better decisions needed to be made when it came to who was allowed in the home. She may not have known his criminal record, but I bet he gave her clues beforehand that he was not wrapped too tight. I don’t want to blame the victim, but ladies we have to be smarter. Not be so open and needy. Vet men before we invite them into our lives and definitely before we expose them to our children.

  3. This is sad and so frequent that it will boggle the mind. We just need to be careful period. Even with friends. Great article.

  4. Being alone is not a bad option in these days and times, I find it to be the best option esp if you have children. I know if I had any, I wouldn’t bring any strange men around period, let alone move one in. Father GOD rest the souls of the mom and son and comfort and heal those left behind!

  5. My heart goes out to her family and especially the children. That predator did what he had to do to worm his way into her life. I don’t think she made any mistakes, I believe the devil came to her in disguise and sadly the devil was in control. Its wise to be aware and watch your children closely when it comes to bringing a man or woman into their lives as a participating guardian.

  6. This stuff happens, it seems like, everyday. As a single mother myself, I am very picky because I know that it is my duty to protect my kids. We, as women (and definitely as Black women) need not to be so desperate for a man in our lives that we become blinded to the fact that we need to do our homework to make sure that the man is not only good for us, but good for our offspring. I wrote about this same thing because I had a friend that had his daughter die by the hands of his baby mama’s live in boyfriend.
    Ladies, let stories like this by your wake up call!!

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