On September 20, 1968, Arthur “Shoeshine” Anderson walked into the motel run by Bris Collins and demanded money from two women who, he claimed, owed him some. When they couldn’t or wouldn’t pay, he shot them both in the head and fled. Anderson had already been in trouble with the law, and the motel itself had been raided on a regular basis for housing prostitutes, but the intensity of the violence was shocking nonetheless.
The motel, like many of the Pryor family’s businesses, was run by the whole Collins family. His wife had the liquor license on the property and was the manager; her brother resided there. And like the Pryor’s businesses, the motel was both a legitimate business and a trading station for various forms of illicit business.
In the interconnected world of black Peoria, “Shoeshine” had assorted ties to the Pryor family. He was himself a friend of Richard’s Uncle Dickie. And he was brother to “Big Irma” Anderson, who figured prominently (sometimes renamed “Big Bertha”) in Richard’s routine “Hank’s Place”.