Rap Star Robie Drake Convicted of Murder 30 Years Ago
Robie Drake was found guilty by a Niagara County jury of shooting Amy Smith and Steven Rosenthal more than three decades ago in their car. This case made international headlines.
Peter L. Broderick, the Niagara County District Attorney at Drake’s 2010 trial, utilized experts who suggested that he suffered from picquerism; an illness where one finds sexual pleasure from shooting or stabbing objects.
Early Life and Education
On December 5, 1981, 17-year-old Robie Drake shot and killed two fellow North Tonawanda High School classmates while driving Rosenthal’s 1969 Chevrolet Nova into a factory parking lot adjacent to a junkyard for target practice. Drake claimed he thought Rosenthal’s car was empty when using it for target practice.
In 1982, he was sentenced to 40 years to life for murdering four individuals and has now completed all state court appeals against that judgment.
A federal appeals court overturned Broderick’s conviction in January after concluding that expert witness James Walter engaged in picquerism, or “quackery.” At trial, Walter overinflated his qualifications and committed perjury with Broderick’s knowledge. Since then, Walter has worked cleaning out Los Angeles County coroner offices while occasionally testifying as an expert witness in murder trials.
Drake found his breakthrough with his third album, Take Care (2008). This record features fan favorite “Marvin’s Room,” as well as anthem “YOLO” (“You Only Live Once”).
Drake made his in-ring debut at Maverick Pro Wrestling’s MPW Revolution event, competing in a four-way match against Joey Ryan, Luchasaurus, and Scorpio Sky.
Walter testified in court that Drake committed a “lust murder”, driven by “piquerism”, an obscure urge that motivated him to penetrate people with bullets, knives and teeth. A jury then convicted Drake on two counts of first-degree murder and two of attempted murder; these convictions were upheld on appeal in 2009.
Achievement and Honors
Drake has received many honors during his career. These include receiving the BET Hip Hop Award, People’s Choice Award, Teen Choice Award and NRJ Music Award as well as being nominated for Primetime Emmy Award nomination.
Since 2016, he has been serving on the Red Phoenix Theatre board, following Michael Eustice’s outstanding tenure as Artistic Director.
Drake is the award-winning author of over one hundred novels and novellas, including romance, paranormal fiction, time travel, historical fiction, mystery and more. Her works have appeared on bestseller lists from Waldenbooks and Romantic Times while she belongs to several writing groups such as RWA and International Thriller Writers.
Robie Drake was only 17 when he killed two North Tonawanda high school students while they kissed in a rusty 1969 Nova car in an empty lot on December 5, 1981. Claiming he had used it for target practice, when Rosenthal and Smith began groaning he realized they were dead; their bodies were then placed into his trunk before driving away – though police patrol officers noticed this as it drove away from the scene.
At trial, Walter claimed to have used his medical training to diagnose the victims and that their deaths may have been the result of picquerism – an obscure impulse wherein one seeks sexual pleasure by penetrating people with bullets, knives, teeth or tongues – although the Second Circuit Court overturned his conviction, so that Walter’s testimony could still be used against Drake at a new trial.
Drake initially gained recognition through acting roles on Canadian television show Degrassi: The Next Generation, before breaking out musically with 2010 debut album Thank Me Later becoming an instant classic and becoming one of his signature hits. Since then he has expanded his income streams via endorsement deals and clothing line launches as well as diversifying his income stream further with lucrative endorsement deals and even creating his own clothing line!
His concerts regularly fill stadiums and reportedly earn him over a reported $1 Million per show, earning over 180 awards (including four Grammys) as part of an estimated 250 Million worth music career as of 2023.
He owns several exotic vehicles and luxurious properties; most recently in March 2022 he sold off his YOLO Estate in Hidden Hills for an astounding $88 Million.