PISTOL PETE'S AWAY FOR LIFE Murderer who became local hero won't be getting out
BY GREG B. SMITH DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Thursday, November 9th 2000, 2:15AM
A vicious drug-dealing killer whose cold-blooded slayings made him a legend in the Bronx's mean streets and a cult hero in the rap world was sentenced yesterday to life behind bars.
The misdeeds of Pistol Pete Rollack, 26, were so celebrated in Soundview, the Bronx, that graffiti artists decorated numerous walls with his gang's name: Sex, Money & Murder (SM&M).
But hours after Rollack was sentenced to life plus 105 years, police in the Bronx took the anti-hero to task - pasting up posters of Rollack's scowling face and the none-too-subtle words: "Life Without Parole" and "Don't Be Next!"
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White joined with the NYPD's 43rd Precinct to launch a highly unusual public relations campaign aimed at dissuading others from idolizing Pistol Pete's homicidal ways.
"This is a very direct way to take back to the very streetcorners where this gang operated what has happened to this gang in a way that really hits home," said federal prosecutor Elizabeth Glazer, chief of crime control strategies for White.
In January, Rollack pleaded guilty to his involvement in six murders in the early 1990s. Thirteen other gang members targeted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms have been convicted of various crimes and sentenced to years in prison.
As the gang's leader, prosecutors say, Rollack really stood out.
He "seemed to relish" murder, hanging on the walls of his bedroom lists of Mafia hit men with the names of their victims, prosecutor Nicole LaBarbera wrote last week to the judge sentencing Rollack.
He allegedly committed his first murder when he was 18, and referred to murders as "wet T-shirt contests" because the victims' clothes were drenched in blood, LaBarbera said.
Rollack admitted to ordering a notorious attack on two former underlings during a Thanksgiving 1997 tag football game in the Bronx. Two men were killed and three bystanders were wounded.
Particularly galling to law enforcement was the fact that the gangsters of SM&M evolved into twisted folk heroes.
Their reputation allowed them to affiliate themselves with the Bloods street gang, and they were brazen enough to incorporate themselves as SMMC Inc. (Sex, Money & Murder Corp. Inc.).
At one point, police even saw Soundview teens wearing T-shirts with Rollack's likeness under the statement, "Free Pistol Pete."
Though Rollack was arrested in 1995, his gang continued to control sections of Soundview's drug trade. SM&M graffiti cropped up throughout the neighborhood.
In 1998, a rapper, Lord Tariq, released a CD featuring a song, "Sex, Money, Life & Death," that offered a hagiography of Rollack. The CD thanked the Rollack family and boasted, "SM&M, it ain't over."
In a September interview on a local radio station, Lord Tariq discussed the gang and sent "shoutouts" to gang members, LaBarbera wrote.
"Rollack's influence and the reach of his gang is not limited to the Bronx," LaBarbera stated, alleging that new inmates at federal prisons in New York, "many of whom have never met Rollack," speak of Rollack "reverently."
But law enforcement officials are now trying to turn Rollack's notoriety on its head, slapping up the "Life Without Parole" posters on buildings and lampposts near schools and where gang members were known to hang out in Soundview.
On Oct. 7, federal probation workers painted over the gang graffiti throughout Soundview. As of yesterday, the walls remained free of gang tags, prosecutors said.
Yesterday, Manhattan Federal Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum sentenced Rollack and ordered him to pay $25,400 toward the funerals of his victims. The mothers of three of those victims asked her to show no mercy.
In 1994, Rollack murdered 23-year-old Karlton Hines, a one-time high school basketball star from the Bronx, simply because Hines was friends with a man who tried to shake down a member of SM&M.
During yesterday's emotional hearing, Hines' mother, Theresa, glared at Rollack, who sat staring at the table, and declared, "I hope that when you go to sleep, you see all these bodies that you murdered."
"They'll come to you," she said. "That's your penalty."
1998 DC 'Make It Reign,' by Lord Tariq
The cover of thte CD shows the site of the Sex, Money & Murder Thanksgiving Day murders. The liner notes also pay tribute to the gang - "SM&M It ain't over" - as well as a thank you to Pistol Pete Rollack's family.
Here is an excerpt from one song, "Sex, Money, Life & Death:"
"You know what makes
the world go 'round?
It's obvious: Sex,
Money, Life and
You've got one life to live
One gun to bust
One n--r to save
One n--r to brush
It's all about Sex,
Money, Life and
The fate of Pistol Pete Rollack, 26, has been posted on the streets of Soundview, the Bronx. Among his most notorious murders were the slayings of two men on Thanksgiving Day in 1997 on Rosedale and Randall Aves.