It started with one murder and then put into motion a series of events, including another shooting, more death and ultimately a small measure of justice.
Not only did Eiland Johnson not know how to behave in a club, he didn't know how to dress for one. After being teased by a stripper for looking like he had arrived in his underpants, an upset Johnson went to his truck, got a gun, came back and lit up Cheetah's Gentleman's Club on Eight Mile.
He got away with it. Too bad because ten days later in August of 2009, he went to another club -- Arturo's in Southfield. Johnson went with Deandre Woolfolk, an admitted accomplice to murder, and Darnell Cooley, who authorities describe as the kingpin of the Black Mafia Family, a deadly narcotics syndicate with its taproot in Detroit.
That night at the jazz club, somebody at the kingpin's table manhandled a woman. That's when Robert Alexander stepped in to make peace. He was celebrating his 33rd birthday.
Alexander didn't leave in a limo. He left in the coroner's wagon.
"What were you thinking about? These were just grown men and here's a grown man just coming over to say something to you," said Westley Amica, the victim's father.
Alexander's best friend, Anthony Alls, told police that night what happened. He said he was willing to testify, but he never got to court because he was mowed down a few weeks later in a hail of bullets.
With no witness, there was no murder case.
"We're Christians. I just leave it in the hands of God, and I let him take care of that. He'll have the last say so in that," said Cathy Amica, Alexander's mother.
A few days after Alls' street corner assassination, cops picked up a man. During his interrogation, he claimed he was a contract killer for the Black Mafia Family.
"Did he tell you what he wanted taken care of," the hit man was asked. "Yeah," he responded. "Take care of the witness."
He offered to wear a wire, but the interrogation tape got leaked and the frightened hit man got scarce.
With no witnesses, no taped confessions, the night club crew were going to walk until a gutsy judge allowed the dead man's statement to be entered as evidence.
"These three were bad guys," said 46th District Court Judge Susan Moiseev. "My job's to make the tough calls … and I don't know if I've saved any lives for making that call, but it just seemed the right thing on the law and everything else I knew."
Woolfolk took a deal for three to five years in prison. Johnson took the same, plus ten years for the strip club shooting. Cooley, the kingpin, took the same, as well, and will be formally sentenced in April.
"We put these individuals behind bars because that's what the people wanted. We promised the people that we would protect them. We will do that in the City of Southfield by any means necessary. Individuals like this with this type of behavior (need) to understand … that this is what's going to transpire," said Southfield Police Chief Dr. Joseph Thomas.
The killer of Anthony Alls has never been caught. And the hit man? His estranged wife recently received a text from his cell phone. It read, "Your boy is dead." Detectives have yet to find his body.
Detective also tell FOX 2's Charlie LeDuff the hit man could be alive and that he sent that text message himself in order to avoid alimony payments.