This has nothing to do with the ongoing beef between 50 Cent and the Game, though at the risk of seeing CSTB’s lobby riddled with bullets, both of their recent recordings aren’t so hot. Instead, the New York Times’ Michael Wilson returns to the subject of Advanced Silhouette SP-83A, aka The Thug. Wilson’s original piece has provoked further debate over The Thug’s orgins., though Ben Schwartz still maintains that a young Ed Anser was the inspiration.
Since the article’s publication, new possibilities have emerged: namely, the Missailidis Theory and the Syage Theory, and the chance that the Thug is one man’s head atop another’s body, a sort of municipal Minotaur. And while the police artist credited with drawing the target, Richard Kenehan, is dead, the retired lieutenant who knew him best tried to put the matter to rest once and for all.
The Missailidis theory comes from Barbara Sheehan, 53, of Madison, Conn., who remembers being barely a teenager when her father, Nicholas S. Missailidis, an instructor at the range, showed her the big poster on thick paper. “He came home with the silhouette and said, ‘Guess who this is,’ ” she said. Her father retired a captain in 1980, moved to Florida and died two years later, she said.
The second theory centers on a former sharpshooter in the department, Albert Syage, now 75, and living in San Diego. In the mid-1960’s, he was a figure of some renown in the department, having shot perfectly, with three other experts, at a target at the White House in 1962. President John F. Kennedy was so impressed, Mr. Syage recalled, that he invited the group up to meet him, and personally poured Mr. Syage a glass of Johnnie Walker Black.
“And he poured a good one,” Mr. Syage said. “He had one with us.”
So, he said, it did not seem out of the ordinary when he received a call from the bosses asking him to pose for a new target. “They said, ‘Would you mind if we took photos of you?’ ” he said. “They just said they wanted a combat pose.”
He would, over the years, shoot at the Thug target many times, and it would have been understandable for him to feel conflicted about doing so, but that was not the case, he said, for one simple reason.
“It didn’t look like me,” he said. “All I did was pose so they could do the sketch from the photo. He can put on an ugly face, like he did. The only thing that resembles me is my stance and my pose.”