Boys For Sale In New York

All Prices – All Ages

Boys are for sale in this city. Twelve year old boys are selling themselves for 10 dollars at Times Square. Pimps are selling teenagers for 50 dollars every night at 53rd Street and 3rd Avenue. Lonely runaways are met at the Port Authority Bus Terminal by pimps, lured away by the promise of a free meal, and then beaten into prostitution. Boys, kept high on ups and heroin, are exhibited in a Christopher Street restaurant; ask and you’ll be told their prices. And for 100 dollars a call service will deliver the type of boy of your choice.

This is the world of chicken hawks, those men who enjoy sex with boys not much older then 16, and their chickens, those boys who out of desire, fear or pain, submit. It is a world of prostitution, beatings, drugs, and white slavery. And it is a world of big dollars, pimps living well off their stable. The high spending chicken hawks include a well known professional athlete, a television newscaster, a high church official, and numerous actors.

The centre of young male prostitution in this city is Times Square between 7th and 8th Avenues. Every afternoon groups of young boys, boys mostly aged 11-14, can be standing around Times Square store fronts. These boys largely Puerto Ricans, are for sale. You can go up to them or they will go up to you, it is that open. Business is conducted right on the street. A price is named and a boy will disappear into a movie theatre with a john, or for more money, into one of the cheap hotels near the Port Authority building.

These boys, the 10 dollar an hour boys, are independents. They are into the scene for usually one simple reason: the money. The word has spread around the South Bronx that money can be made by allowing yourself to be used by an old man in a movie. Ten dollars can be made for 10 minutes work. So each afternoon and evening, groups of boys come down to Times Square and hang around. The money is good, so no one complains.

Soon, though, these kids either leave the scene or are forced to work for a pimp. The pimp promises to get you more johns at higher prices. If you need a place to stay, the pimp will put you up. The pimp will house you, use you, sell you to his customers and then pass you onto another pimp when he tires of you. What happens if a boy wants to leave a pimp? He cannot. It is impossible. Thirteen year old boys are forced to become addicts, are chained to their beds, are beaten, are disfigured by lighted cigarettes. When a boy works for a pimp, he works until the pimp decides to let him go.

Since the most requested commodity by chicken hawks is a new face,, the pimps are always looking for new boys. The pimps stand like vultures around the Port Authority bus terminal waiting to descend on runaways. A young boy need only to get off the bus, a knapsack on his back, walk a few confused steps in the big city, before a nice man will offer him a free meal and a place to stay. Too often the boy accepts. By that night the boy has been broken in. He becomes the victim of what is called on the street, the rape artist. The boy is beaten. Perhaps he is drugged. And he’s working. All the money he makes goes to the pimp. All the child receives is a few meals and enough to keep him too stoned to resist. He is now part of the stable, a chicken sold from john to john until the pimp tires of him.

Since last June, Captain Kenneth Gussman and a special squad of six men from the police’s Public Morals Division have been trying to crack down on this business of selling boys. Working with Assistant District Attorney Robert La Russo, Captain Gussman’s squad has been responsible for 64 indictments. A look at the arrest sheets reveals the following:

  • A 15 year old pimp arrested for selling two boys. The boys are aged 12 and 13.
  • A pimp aged 14 booked for selling another 14 year old.
  • A pimp aged 19 booked for selling a 16 year old.
  • A pimp aged 17 booked for selling a 17 year old.

And the list of child pimps and prostitutes grows.

The Captain’s squad has also arrested the older professional pimps. These men freed on bail, can be seen hanging around Times Square most every evening. For example:

  • Hollywood Al, a seaman indicted for promoting prostitution, endangering the welfare of children, sodomy and sexual abuse. Hollywood Al gets his street name from his sunglasses. He is known to every chicken hawk in the city. He can be found on Times Square any afternoon or evening.
  • Ace the Spade, a black pimp, indicted for selling a 12 year old. Ace specialises in white runaways.
  • Cigar Murray, who runs a call boy operation out of the Village hotel he manages. Cigar Murray was indicted for promoting prostitution.
  • Sideburn Eddi, indicted for sodomy, sexual abuse, endangerment of the welfare of a minor, and unlawful imprisonment of a child. Until his indictment Sideburn Eddie was a psychologist at Kings Park hospital where he worked with disturbed children. Sideburn Eddie was finally arrested after allegedly keeping two brothers locked in his apartment for days. The brothers, according to the police report, were repeatedly raped by Sideburn Eddie and other men. How did the boys get to his apartment? They were taken from their Brentwood, Long Island, home by a friend of their father who promised to take them for a ride. The “friend” delivered them to Sideburn Eddie. The brothers are aged 11 and 14.

“What we are talking about” Captain Gussman emphasises “is not homosexuality between consenting adults. What we are making thfe arrests for is prostitution and imprisonment. Boys are being sold against their will. That’s the filth we want to clean up off the streets.”

It is a cold and very late night in Times Square, but the street still loudly lit with neon – is not empty. I walk down the street and eyes follow, wondering, hinting.

Am I a tourist or customer, these quick glances demand. In front of a theatre, I am finally approached. A black man with a large grey hat and shiny glass rings on his fingers does the talking. Behind him stands a young boy wearing purple pants, sneakers and a light corduroy jacket. His shirt collar is turned up to protect him against the cold.

The boy has blonde hair parted in the middle. His face, that nicely tanned, is that of a child – fresh and soft. He tries to disguise his age by puffing on a cigarette. The boy stands under the movie arcade, hands in his pockets, shivering. He is not wearing winter clothes.

His tan, his clothes, suggest Florida or California. How long has he been in New York? It is impossible to tell. He doesn’t talk. Behind the boy stands another black man.

He is not so fancily dressed. He also does not talk. He only stares. The four of us stand in the cold. The smoke from the boy’s cigarette drifts up into the neon lights.

“It’s cold out here. Why don’t we talk downstairs?” the man with the hat offers.

I follow the trio into the Subway at 42nd Street. Two transit patrolmen see the two black men and the blonde boy walking ahead of me. They look, but they don’t stop the boy. They don’t ask him where he’s from, what he’s doing out so late at night. The two transit cops continue walking, talking to each other.

They lead me to an underground penny arcade near the trains. The man running the place says hello to the man wearing the hat. There is a long line of target machines, 10 cents for 25 shots. No one is using the machines. We stand next to them.

The light down here is very bright. In this stronger light I see the black man’s coat is frayed at the cuff. His rings are a clear purple glass and catch the light as he moves his hand. The othef black man silently and quickly moves behind me. I move away. I don’t want him behind me. He realises this and moves away. The boy lights another cigarette. He does not talk. He puffs on the cigarette and starfcs down the sights of a rifle attached to a machine.

The man with the hat breaks the silence. “My rent is due tomorrow. Gotta pay my rent. Gotta make some money somehow. Got any suggestions?” he asks me. “What do you think?” I ask. The man with the hat laughs. “I got a little friend here, a nice little chicken, who’ll help me earn the money. Got any suggestions?” he repeats.

It’s a Tuesday night in Times Square.

Nevada is a chicken hawk. He spends 300 dollars a week buying boys. I met Nevada in his Upper West Side apartment. He is a tall, handsome man with thick red hair and dark eyes. He talks slowly and with a slight Boston accent, the city where he was born and attended college. He has lived in New York for the past fifteen years, working as an accountant by day, and living the life of a chicken hawk by night. I sip red wine and listen.

“You know, I’m not like most of the other chicken hawks. You don’t find many people like me around, I take care of the kids. I take them out to dinner. I give them 20, 25 dollars. I care about them. Look, you know what those kids on the street are looking for? Love and affection. If I find a kid on 42nd Street I treat him well. I tell a kid I’ll give him a place to stay but I’ll tell the kid right off, he’s gonna have to do something to earn his keep.”

“You know why 42nd street is full of kids’ Do you know why the runaways are coming off the buses? I’ll tell you why: it’s because something went wrong at home, and they‘re just looking for someone to take care of them. One summer I kept 17 kids at my apartment up here. Do you know what they cost me in food? I make sure all my chickens are well fed. I spent something like 750 dollars a month on food that summer. And then I had to give the doorman all kinds of tips to shut him up. Every time he’d threaten to call up the cops. I’d have to hand over another picture of the President.

“If I don’t get the kids off the buses, do you know who gets them? The rape artists will grab them. Let me tell you a story about one of them, about Steve, the rape artist. I get a call from this scum and he tells me to meet him at his house. He says he has a nice chicken for me. When I get there I find this kid tied to a bed. He’s been tied to this bed for four days already. Steve tells me he’s been raped 17 times. He says the kid resisted at first so he beat him, and just to teach him a lesson, burnt his initials on the kid’s back with a hot cigarette. I spoke to the kid. He was some poor 13 year old from Baltimore. You know why he ran away from home? Get this – he got a bad grade in Mathematics and was afraid his father would beat him. I mean a guy like Steve the rape artist is sick. I don’t see why people make such a fuss about me and my little chickens. I’m just looking for a nice boy. I’m willing to pay for a new face. What I’ll pay depends on what the boy will do. What kind do I like? I like sweet boys. My ideal boy has blonde hair and blue eyes. But I’ve been with all kinds. I would never go to bed with a coloured person though. I don’t consider myself a bigot…”

“You can buy any type of boy in this city, if you’re willing to pay. It’s no problem. On 42nd street the Pimps like Hollywood Al will take care of you. On 53rd and 3rd the scene is more expensive and older. The boys hang out down there in a restaurant when it’s colder. Usually there’s a row of expensive cars along the curb. The pimps make a deal and the boys disappear into the cars. If you want to buy a boy there, you see Mike “Nary” Muscles. He’s the big pimp. He handles johns from all over the city, shipping boys out to the Queens or Brooklyn. He’s a weightlifter or something. Upper East Side chicken hawks like this guy we call Rockefeller come by in their fancy cars. They get a high class crowd on 53rd Street.”

“Or if you want, you can get your chickens in the Village. Super Sam keeps his flock in a restaurant on Christopher Street, too. They’re just looking for a place to stay. Look, there’s even a number where you can call up and get a boy delivered to you. They say it’s a massage service. You can’t believe how big this thing is. Why there’s even a place in Connecticut where they take kids and make them pose for pictures.”

“The only problem is that there are just not enough new kids. New York makes kids too tough too soon. A lot of us chicken hawks, and the pimps too, drive up to Philadelphia to a place on 17th and Walnut on weekends to look for new faces. Or we go to the meat market in Baltimore. Or we hang out in Jersey City. The kids in other cities are much sweeter, much looser. They’re doing it all for the fun.

“Look, I’m not like the others. I never forced a kid to do anything. You’ll never find a kid who’ll say anything bad about me.”

Soon Nevada tells me I must leave. He is expecting a guest and he has to check on the roast in the oven.

Later that night I see the trio again. They are standing in a coffee shop underneath the Port Authority terminal. I watch them from the other side of the glass. The black man with the hat is talking to a tall man with glasses and lots of curly hair. The tall man is looking at the boy. The boy is kicking an empty paper cup across the coffee shop floor. The other black man is standing by the door, hands in his pockets.

The conversation continues. Hands are shook. Is money exchanged? Quickly the black man opens the door and the tall man and the boy with purple pants walk out together. The two black men remain inside the restaurant and order something. The boy follows the tall man, still kicking the paper cup as he walks towards the subway.

How easy is it to call up a pimp and buy a boy? Last weekend I tried a number in the Village and spoke with a well known pimp. This pimp has been twice indicted by the grand jury and is presently free on bail. The conversation went as follows:

H.B.: Hello, M, I’m Bob. I’m in from Baltimore for the weekend and I’m looking for chickens.

M.: Who gave you my name?

H.B.: A friend. Look do you have any chickens or not?

M.: Where are you?

H.B.: Uptown.

M.: Can you meet me uptown?

H.B.: Yes.

M.: OK. Meet me at 5 o’clock tonight at 42nd Street. At Grant’s. It’s a big restaurant. I’ll find you. I’m certain I’ll be able to take care of you.

H.B.

Reprinted with love and thanks from “The Village Voice”, Greenwich Village’s community newspaper.

ED: Whilst realising that the above feature could be interpreted as being a piece of sensationalism, we believe that it will be of interest to many readers. It is a factually written article about a social phenomenon that was first examined by GN in Roger Baker’s review of ‘The Dilly Boys’ in our last issue. As always, we hope to receive your opinions about the subject of prostitution in the gay scene.

Young Hustlers Upset School Chiefs

COLUMBUS: Here in Georgia, homosexuality and gay hustling in this city’s 40,000-student public school system, has educators and city bosses “worried” and “concerned”. One local school cites the case of ‘Johnny Smith’, a 13-year-old, as an example of the ‘problem’.

The school’s head calls Johnny a “discipline problem” who has already been held back a year in school and, the head says, Johnny has a juvenile court record.

“They Have Nice Houses”

The school’s head called Johnny into his office. The boy is small and blonde. He was dirty because he’d just finished a game of basketball on the school play-ground.

Johnny said he first “went down to the church” with his older brothers and some other boys.

“You just sit down by the church, and men come by and pick you up and they take you to their houses,” he said. “Some men are old, some young … they have nice houses.”

The school head said he first became aware of the kid-hustlers last year when he was leaving services at the downtown church on a week-night.

I came out of the church and I met one of my students,” he told this reporter. “He was pretty far away from home. I knew that corner. There’s only one reason that people would be down there.”

He said that the church was in the area of Twelfth Street between Sixth Avenue and Second Avenue. This section is also the site of the bus depot where soldiers from nearby Fort Benning arrive for a night on the town.

He said: “I called the boy into my office the next morning, and he admitted to me that he and other students nad been going down there for some time.”

$25 A Night

The school head went on incredulously to say that the boys later told him they could make between five dollars and 25 dollars a night by standing on the corner by the church and waiting to be picked up by gays.

The school head who told the boys’ parents also took two of them down to the police station to see detectives.

He reported “The parents’ reactions ranged from ‘there’s nothing I can do about it’ to ‘I can’t believe my son would do such a thing.”

He said the police were “very cooperative and tried to help. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to make an arrest in a case of this type.”

Money for Mum

Johnny spoke frankly and matter-of-factly.

The boy said he would often earn 25 dollars from a man if he would “do right”.

“I gave some of the money to momma,” he said.

Just Who Are The Dilly Boys?

Romantic Guff leaves One Wondering

THE DILLY BOYS by Mervyn Harris. Croom Helm Ltd. £2.95

It is very hard to see what useful purpose this slight (and ludicrously overpriced) book serves. Mr Harris certainly tackles a difficult subject about which little is actually known, but about which much is conjectured. In the event he provides remarkably little information with which either to confirm or destroy our wildest conjectures. He seems to take no particular moral standpoint. This seems like praiseworthy objectivity until one notices how words like ‘corruption’, ‘deviant’ and ‘straight world’ creep in, all indicative of a certain attitude which would be better if properly expressed. And while his book is clearly destined to appear on mail-order lists and in the windows of shops like Sterlings, Mr Harris will disappoint those who wish vicariously to feed their buy-a-boy fantasies.

A grant from the Ninevah Trust enabled Mr Harris to work full-time on his research, so obviously he comes across, or trips full-length over, certain extremely relevant ideas and material which he either relegates to an aside, or avoids thinking about. And his field of operation is certainly too narrow for the breadth of his comments.

Front cover and photographs: Toni Ranz. Front cover and photograph without blacked out face is posed by a model.

The field of operation is precisely enough stated: “Male prostitution on Piccadilly”. Sounds exciting until one realises just how limited this is (not to say inaccurate, since it is one corner of Piccadilly Circus and a few cafes, arcades and clubs in Soho he is talking about, certainly not the elegant stretches between Fortnums and Green Park).

So what it boils down to is that our researcher has got to know a few hustlers who hang over the meat rack at the end of the Quadrant, has talked to them, gained a certain degree of confidence and written it all down. The form of the book is apparently logical starting with how boys become hustlers, moving through aspects of the game to leaving the Dilly. Clearly there is little enough to say about this particular group of boys as such and consequently we get some really vague pseudo-sociological comment and real cop-outs like this: “The world of the boys to a large extent revolves around sex where human nature and human desires are seen in all their varied manifestations, the grotesque, the sadistic, the masochistic and, some venture to say, the sublime’.

I mean, really!

This is just romantic guff. Some thirteen years ago Simon Raven published an essay The Male Prostitute In London in Encounter. Harris’s worried, worthy tone is, of course, a stranger to Raven who accepts and smiles knowingly over his brandy. But in that comparatively brief essay, Raven packs in exactly the same information and, indeed, the same conclusions. And the entertainment value is, naturally, much greater. Consider Harris on the clients, offering us mysterious and vague information about men with one leg and someone with a fetish for hair. Consider Raven on clients: “…the clients wear one face only, a face which can never change. For it is the face of a currency note, always as beautiful, however faded and wrinkled, as when dew-fresh from the Mint.” Harris knows this and says it in many strangulated ways.

But if he is seriously going to describe the motivation of the man who seeks a male whore then he has got to do much better than his few random quick sketches.

Actually, as one reaches the end of the book one begins to wonder whether Mr Harris has been writing about male prostitutes at all. “It is my contention that the values of the Dilly boys are an extension of the values inherent in the larger society, only carried to a further extreme. The boys want a greater share of the goods produced by society but are corrupted by their situation.”

So what has happened really is that we have been reading about a few young lads, all of whom seem to have left homes in Scotland or the industrial midlands, found themselves rootless and homeless in central London and have tumbled to an unorthodox way of earning some money. Which is maybe why Mr Harris is vague on the two basic subjects – prostitution and homosexuality. He never seems to be regarding his boys as male prostitutes at all, but as a small (very small) section of a certain class of youngsters. This seems to me to be issue-evading.

On the question of the homosexuality of both boys and clients, Mr Harris is always ambiguous. He makes a major point of what he calls the code of conduct which consists of doing, and not doing, certain sexual things: it seems that cock-sucking is all right, but that anal intercourse is all wrong. This code is a self-protective device to enable the boys (and sometimes the clients) to assure themselves that they are not really gay at all. We hear, for example, of a newcomer to the game who allowed himself to be fucked several times before his peers informed him that this wasn’t done.

Yet we are never actually told what does go on in the hotel bedrooms, smart flats and dingy rooms that the pairs hive off to, And one wonders if, in fact, Mr Harris himself has not accepted the code too much at face value. With such a paucity of evidence on the subject it is impossible to establish the facts of the matter. And this book should do precisely that, not leave one wondering.

We also learn nothing about the physical self-perception of the boys. This too is important (if one is writing about male prostitutes, that is). How clean they are; are special efforts made to present themselves as fresh and attractive; how much of their earnings do they spend on clothes/cosmetics (ie talc, aftershave, shampoo etc); what about crabs and VD? If in fact these are low priorities (we are told that when the boys do score it is almost compulsive that they spend their cash quickly and Mr Harris only hints at beer, coffee and pin tables) then it kind of devalues some of his other suggestions that part of the appeal of the boys is their fresh youth.

“The excessive premium most homosexuals tend to place on youthfulness enhances the I attraction of the boys for the customers who come from all strata and classes in society”. Now there is a deal of truth in this, but also a deal of misapprehension. I don’t think I would agree that most homosexuals place an excessive premium on youthfulness. And though I know that an unlovely, middle-aged woman might well be a successful prostitute and an unlovely middle-aged can’t be, it remains true that hets about town do gravitate towards those cat houses where the girls are young and lovely. And if, as I feel, the boys are undernourished, scruffy and dirty, then the remark about youthfulness seems irrelevant. Mr Harris seems to have just about the usual tolerant/understanding type views of gayness, but again, the above statement implies that the clients are all homosexual. I think this is a dubious assumption. There are many possible reasons why a man who perceives himself (and who Mr Harris perceives) as conventionally straight might buy a boy. (I am aware that since the contact is that of two males then in actual terms it is a homosexual one). And I would suggest that bi-sexuality is one of them; also the feeling that infidelity on a fleeting level with a bought boy is less dangerous to the psyche than direct infidelity with a woman.

If one is looking for well-researched facts, one isn’t going to find ammunition here. I was continually reminded of Laud Humphrey’s Tearoom Trade. Bearing in mind that Humphrey’s methods were possibly ethically suspect, he nevertheless faced his subjects fearlessly and drew some conclusions that were very useful indeed, especially relating to the meaning, and the incidence, of casual male sexual contact among men not regarded as homosexual.

The implications of male prostitution itself are hardly dealt with here – that is the deeply anti-social concept that a man should sell his sex which is conventionally the exclusive priority of the female. Consideration of this would be far more useful than trite remarks about people wanting more than their fair share of the world’s goods.

That hustlers are street people essentially is another interesting aspect, implied but never thought out. This book does accept this idea and there are passages that indicate clearly the sort of bonding between people who live on their wits and in the streets. But one feels this is accidental.

Here and there some useful points are made. That the laws now relating to homosexuality confuse everyone, for example. And that – as opposed to the case of the female prostitute – in the case of male prostitution it is the client that would be charged, not the hustler. It is also made clear that though boys are occasionally busted it is never for soliciting, but for other reasons – drugs perhaps, or petty crime. And Harris also makes a firm statement about corruption when he writes: “Boys are not coerced or compelled to submit to the advances of an adult. There is great doubt whether there is such a thing as corrupting a minor, and most of the boys who are sought, themselves seek.”

This may be the sort of thing some of us would like to hear, but like everything else in the book, it must be taken cautiously. No doubt that once on the game, this is true. But earlier Mr Harris does demonstrate how easy it is to get on the game and indeed how some boys do so almost accidentally (that is, accepting offers of hospitality from strange men without realising the implications). If this experience leads to an awareness of an easy way to make a living, then that could be argued as a sort of compulsion.

Writing in The Times last month, a woman police sergeant of the Juveniles Squad which operates in Soho, had this to say:

“If they are young lads (ie absconders, missing children) men will start speaking to them, take them back to their homes and be nice to them. These boys are usually naive, and often accept. The man demands something more of them. Eventually, they put these lads on the streets as male prostitutes, and they give the men part of their earnings. Their ages range from 14 upwards. Many of these boys end up as permanent homosexuals…”

The WPS must know what she’s talking about, but her evidence has no support in Mervyn’Harris’s book; in fact he makes a point that the boys insist on their independence, and freedom of operations. (One might also wonder, in passing, how a young woman of 24 can be so definite in her statement that many boys end up as “permanent homosexuals”.) In his final chapter, Harris gives pretty strong indications that the boys, when they have left the Dilly “come to some sort of terms with the world as they grow into adulthood and drift back into the straightworld.” Simon Raven drew a similar conclusion in his view of the street hustler.

The book is easy to read and occasionally entertaining; but it never arouses anger, pity or fear. And its information will only be new to those who never realised that male prostitution existed in the first place. No index; books mentioned in the text but no bibliography.

Dilly Boys Make The Times

LONDON: Britain’s press has suddenly discovered the ‘Dilly Boys’ after a book by the same name was published by a small publishing house, Croom Helm. First in where angels fear to tread was the Sunday Mirror. With dazzling originality it called its Sunday Mirror Documentary on the Dilly boys ‘The Dilly Boys’ and admitted that it borrowed heavily from the book.

It saw a Picadilly Circus peopled almost entirely by 13 and 14-year-olds playing the flipper games and the market at Playland and the other mausement arcades, but carefully avoiding naming names or getting close enough to the problem for the article to be more than an empty piece of plagiarism from Mervyn Harris’ book.

It seemed the only people at Piccadilly Circus older than 14 were either older men there to pick up the boys, probation officers leaning on the anti-pedestrian railings or even Sunday Mirror reporters.

The Mirror’s story said: ‘We traced the case-histories of five Dilly boys who, homeless and short of cash got caught up in the dragnet.

‘Two have graduated from amphetamines to hard drugs; one has gone to jail for stealing another has put a girl “in the club”. The fifth has managed to get out of the game and gone back to Bolton.’

Midnight Piccadilly: A day’s rest over, a night’s work begins. [Photograph: Peter Mundy]
Earlier, Victor Sims, the Mirror’s man in the dirty mac at the Dilly had told us: ‘Nearly all of them have heard about the easy pickings to be had in London’s rich heart, and reckon they can eke out a living on their wits.

‘more often, they finish up frozen, half-starved, asleep inside a telephone box, huddled for warmth in a deserted railway coach, in a hotel car park or even in warehouse packing cases.

‘It’s at this stage of disillusionment that the trouble starts. They hang around Piccadilly, desperate for food and shelter. Instead of pocketing their pride and going home, they become easy prey to anyone who will offer them a warm bed …

‘Horrifying? Shameful? Almost unbelievable?

To the senior police officers and detectives at West End Central police station, the problem is very real.

‘The Chief Superintendent told me: “The situation created by these juveniles, who drift into our area is one of the most difficult we have had to handle.”’

The Chief Superintendent didn’t mention gay trade at the Dilly being more of a problem than any other drop-out youth situation there. But the Mirror chose to run as its second headline on the piece: ‘Their trade shames a national showplace’ and under it published a picture of a probation officer ’at “The Meat Rack”, the Piccadilly Circus haunt of young boys waiting for homosexuals.’

Five days later it was Friday and the Times lifted its skirts and had a slam at the Dilly.

In a series called Policemen Talking, Peter Evans wrote a piece on the ‘Missing boys and girls enmeshed in Soho vice nets.’ Racey stuff this for The Times. Police sergeant M Woodheath of the Juveniles Squad, gave us the low-down from her point of view. She said: “If they are young lads, men will start speaking to them and take them home and be nice to them. These boys are usually naive and often accept. The man demands something more of them. Eventually they put these lads on the streets as male prostitutes and they give the men part of their earnings. Their ages can range from 14 upwards. Many of these boys end up as permanent homosexuals. It is very difficult to get at the men in charge of them. Boys are reluctant to give a description or a name and address. They are frightened to give you much.

“One man had ten little boys working as male prostitutes for him from 14 upwards. They were reluctant to give evidence. Some turned up at court to give evidence. He was convicted.

“The same sort of thing happens to girls. Lesbians pick them up from 13 upwards. Three girls from Cardiff were arrested for soliciting before we discovered they were juveniles…”

And so on. It seems you get the Dilly’s dirty washing aired just as publicly in The Times as you do in the Mirror. And The Times gives its readers more details of the washing its discovered.

ED: We’ll carry a full review of Mervyn Harris’ The Dilly Boys in Gay News 17, and we’ll try to look a bit deeper into the rent scene in the future.