Girls fall victim to Boss Man

Andrea Gardner, Managing Editor

Time magazine said he had a way with the opposite sex. That is a sick understatement, but it is true.

Over the past two years, he had sex with at least 61 women and girls ranging in age from 12 to 22.

One more thing-he did that knowing he had AIDS.

Darnell “Boss Man” McGee used to hang out by the local roller rink or junior high school, smiling and waving at girls in East St. Louis, Ill. Locals said he was known around town.

That familiar face was one of a murderer, actually a mass murderer, one who prowled upon young girls, naive and insecure. To make them feel special, McGee told them they were pretty and gave them gifts. And then he gave them a death sentence.

According to the Missouri Department of Health, it is rare for a person to knowingly transmit AIDS to another. Fewer than 1 percent actually do this, but one careless person has meant a public health disaster, and a national scare.

Perhaps you are reading this thinking it could never happen to you because you are too mature to be lured into casual sex with some sweet nothings and cheap gifts. And maybe you are.

And maybe your definition of gifts and complements just sounds a little better.

The average woman would not jump into a car with a smiling stranger after school, like many of the girls in East St. Louis, but a lot more women would invite a “gentleman” over for a nightcap after dinner, roses and bit too much to drink.

No matter the scenario, it is still casual sex and one might just be dining with a murderer in either one.

The case of Boss Man McGee is one of the worst cases on record of a person knowingly transmitting the AIDS virus. Currently, 13 women whom McGee had sex with have tested positive for the HIV virus. Some of them are pregnant and one has already given birth to an infected baby.

State public health officials are still trying to track down all of McGee’s partners, as more and more women come to be tested.

The women coming to be tested are young, most younger than the age of college freshmen.

Girls who hang out in roller rinks and junior high schools are in their early teens and it is not surprising that someone like the Boss Man would go for them. They are less experienced and more inclined to be impressed by an older man that tells them what they want to hear.

It still seems hard to believe they would be so needy of acceptance that they would have sex with a stranger who merely told them they were pretty.

Strange, surprising and completely true-a few kind words got more than 50 girls into bed.

What a sad reflection it is of a society that raises young women so terribly that they would risk their lives for a stranger who paid them a shallow complement.

That insecurity has now resulted in disaster, as teenagers who were lured into McGee’s trap are realizing what they have done.

Knowing that a short romp with the Boss Man was worth nothing close to AIDS, they will pay the price with their young lives, regardless.

Perhaps the only salvageable thing left from this tragedy is what men and women everywhere can learn from it. People who have AIDS unknowingly and knowingly are having sex everyday. Their partners become victims, they get sick, they agonize and then they die.

If you think it cannot happen to you, just ask the little girls in Illinois what they thought when the Boss Man rolled into their neighborhoods.

Andrea Gardner, a junior broadcast journalism major, is managing editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at

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