Documents just released in the Tamara Greene homicide investigation could further fuel a multimillion-dollar lawsuit that claims former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and other city officials tried to cover up the exotic dancer's death.
A 911 dispatcher who worked the fall 2002 night when Greene was allegedly assaulted by Kilpatrick's wife, Carlita, while dancing at a rumored but never proven party at the Manoogian Mansion, and a former high-ranking retired Detroit police officer who said he was threatened for investigating the cold case have come forward.
Sandy Cardenas said she received several "high-priority" calls to dispatch police officers to a disturbance at the Manoogian Mansion the night of the alleged party. The responding officers told Cardenas that they were prevented from going into the mansion and that they went to Kilpatrick's other home at the time to pick up Carlita to help them gain entry.
"Once Carlita got inside the mansion, the disturbance heated up immediately and an assault took place," said Cardenas in a sworn affidavit.
Cardenas said a number of police dispatchers were at the mansion for several hours, and it caused backups in other parts of the city because many of the cruisers were tied up.
Cardenas said the next night she came to work and all the 911 tapes of the run had been removed.
The midnight dispatcher told Cardenas that an Internal Affairs Officer took the tapes.
Officer Demoted, Forced Into Early Retirement For Investigating Greene
Sgt. Odell Godbold Sr., who worked with the Detroit Police Department for almost 30 years, was in charge of the DPD's Cold Case Squad when he was assigned the Tamara Greene cold case in 2004.
He said that he was removed from the case a short time later, demoted and forced into early retirement in 2006 after he discovered that an active-duty female Detroit police officer named Peytra Williams danced alongside Greene at the party and that she too was assaulted by Carlita Kilpatrick.
Williams told Godbold, "She was scared and didn't know what to do," he said in the affidavit.
Godbold said that current Deputy Chief James Tolbert, and then-Assistant Police Chief Walter Martin and Inspector Tony Saunders told him to not "let anyone see the Greene file and (not to) talk about it."
Godbold said after Tolbert and the others talked to him, he was ordered by William Rice, inspector of the Major Crimes Bureau, to hand over the Greene files, which he did.
A few days later, Martin said to Godbold, "You dumb mother-(expletive), I told you no one sees that file," he said in the affidavit.
A few days later, Rice was removed and replaced by Saunders. Tolbert was put in charge of the homicide section.
Kilpatrick eventually promoted Saunders to deputy chief and Tolbert to commander.
Godbold said in 2005, the cold case was abruptly shut down and his computer was confiscated.
Shortly thereafter, Godbold said he was forced to either take early retirement or "be a part of a perceived conspiracy to undermine the integrity of the Tamara Greene's homicide investigation."
After his retirement, Godbold took a position with CrimeStoppers, a nonprofit organization that forwards anonymous tips to police departments.
He said during that time he saw many tips regarding the Greene murder investigation come in and they were forwarded to the Detroit Police Department.
"I never saw a vast majority of that information during the time I investigated her murder," said Godbold.
Greene, 27, was shot to death a few months after the party in a drive-by shooting.
Birmingham Attorney representing Greene's family, Norman Yatooma, has asked a judge to unseal documents in the civil lawsuit.
Yatooma said publicity about the case helps produce tips about Greene's still-unsolved slaying.
He says confidence in the court system would be enhanced if U.S. Chief District Judge Gerald Rosen lifts a gag order on attorneys in the case and opens future court hearings to the public.
The judge says publicity could harm a new investigation.