A Look At The Real Falicia Blakely, The Real Dino & What The Film Omitted
On Monday August 28th TV One premiered the film, ‘When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story‘, a movie that tells the real life story of underage exotic dancer turned murderer Falicia Blakely. An already bad situation for a young Blakely turned deadly after her boyfriend/pimp convinced her to start ‘hitting licks‘. You probably didn’t even get through the film before you started looking into more about the story of the real Falicia Blakely. There are some glaring omissions in the film and some choices made for entertainment purposes, so we’ll try to help you navigate the fact from the fiction.
Here’s What You Need To Know About The Real Falicia Blakely & What You Won’t Get From The Film:
Falicia Blakely was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida with somewhat of a difficult childhood. Her father didn’t play an active role in her life and found himself in and out of prison for drug charges, mostly for heroin. In the film, her mother is portrayed by Tami Roman and appears as a woman who is more concerned with the men in her life than the well being of her own daughter. Apparently the film only provides a slight glimpse of what the realities in the home actually were. Oftentimes Falicia would spend time with her grandmother because her own mother wasn’t up to the task of taking care of her. In one scene in the film Falicia mentions that her grandmother was “up in New York”.
Falicia was also sexually assaulted as a child, a topic the film doesn’t bother to visit at all.
It wasn’t until around 15 or 16 years old that the real Falicia Blakely moved to Atlanta, deciding to join her mother in a new city. It wouldn’t be long before she would get into exotic dancing, using a fake I.D. to secure the bag. She dropped out of high school and eventually was making enough money to move out on her own.
Blakely became pregnant shortly after the move to Atlanta. She continued to dance throughout her pregnancy. One of the clear changes in the film is the portrayal of Falicia’s child as a girl, but in fact the real Falicia Blakely had a son. Her child was two years old when she was arrested in 2002, so her son, who she calls “Man”, is currently 16 years old, approaching 17.
Dino (portrayed by Lance Gross in the film) comes into Falicia’s life about 30 minutes into the film. He is an in-and-out of prison, older man, who from the outside looking in was clearly trouble from the beginning. But he was everything Falicia had never had before. A consistent man, who said he loved her, helped her care for her child and brought her nice things (although most of the time he was using the money she earned).
The real life Dino is a man the real Falicia Blakely has identified as Michael Berry. He was older then Falicia by 14 years so manipulation might not have been hard for him at the time.
The movie shows a scene were Dino gives Falicia a necklace with a padlock on it. The necklace was a real gift and for viewers who made it all the way to the end, the real Falicia Blakely was pictured in her mug shot wearing the chain. The mugshot image is below:
Falicia Blakely was 19 years old in August 2002 when the murders were committed. Her real life co-defendant was named Ameshia Ervin.
On August 15th the pair robbed and killed Claudell Christmas, 35 and his friend Raymond Goodwin, 34. The two men were left for dead in an apartment belonging to one of the men.
What the film got wrong:
In the movie, Falicia and her partner murder 3 men in the first apartment, including one man who was a longtime friend/acquaintance of Falicia. Only two men were murdered on that first night, but both victims knew Falicia and Ameshia.
In the film there is one phone call from Dino telling Falicia to murder the men or he will murder her. Real life court reports mention as many as 6 calls from Dino.
After the murders Falicia and Ameshia hit up a club in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. There they met 29 year old Lemetrius Twitty. They lured him back to his apartment with the promise of sex. Once again they robbed him and murdered him. It was only a few hours between the murders, but Mr. Twitty was officially murdered on August 16th.
Falicia and Ameshia moved on to the normal routine and were living comfortably for a week before they were caught. They weren’t even initially arrested for the murders!!! In addition to hitting licks, the duo had taken to robbing fried chicken spots and small diners in Atlanta. While at a diner called Mrs Winner’s, presumably about to rob the place, the owner became suspicious and called the cops. When police arrived Falicia and Ameshia were in the bathroom. It was then that then cops discovered that they were riding in a car belonging to a man who had been murdered the week before.
The duo declined legal representation and they both admitted to all three murders. Falicia was found with identification that claimed she was 24 years old, but at the time she was only 19 years old.
Where Is The Real Falicia Blakely Now???
Ameshia was offered a deal in which she could testify against Falicia Blakely and receive concurrent life sentences but be up for parole in 14 years. She will be up for parole in 2024.
Falicia Blakely was given three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. Prosecutors had tried to get a death sentence in the case, but her life was spared in exchange for the rest of her life behind bars. Her sentence was more severe because she was the shooter. Today the real Falicia Blakely is 33 years old. She is serving her sentence at Arrendale State Prison.
Falicia also found out she was HIV positive after she was arrested. It is believed that Michael Berry infected her.
Where is the real Michael Berry now?
Dino was not ever tried for the murders or for conspiring to commit them, in part because Falicia tried to protect him throughout the process. Her lawyer, Ken Driggs, made it clear that she was incapable of being the mastermind behind these crimes, but no effort was made to pin the crimes in Dino.
As you can imagine though, Dino continued his life of crime and it wouldn’t be long before he was arrested yet again. Just three years after Falicia’s crimes Dino was arrested and convicted on unrelated charges and he had been in and out of prison since Falicia was convicted.
Today, Michael “Dino” Berry is 47 years old. The real Michael Berry is pictured to the right. Clearly he’s no Lance Gross.
Lil Mama Discusses Taking On The Role of Falicia Blakely
Lance Gross Discusses Playing “Dino”
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