'Black Madam' now faces third-degree murder charges in 'pumping party' death
Even before Padge Victoria Windslowe was arrested at a Germantown buttocks-enhancement "pumping party" four months ago, Philadelphia Police Lt. John Walker said the non-fatal, illegal procedure with which she was being charged that night "is similar to" a 2011 case that resulted in the death of a 20-year-old British woman.
Specifically, he said, the victims suffered pulmonary embolisms, with silicone entering their blood streams and internal organs, as a result of the illicit enhancement procedure.
On Tuesday, District Attorney Seth Williams held a press conference during which Walker's allegations were validated, as Windslowe was officially charged in connection with that case.
"Blatant disregard for human life"
Flanked by three officials from the district attorney's office, Williams announced that Windslowe — aka the "Black Madam" — has been charged with third-degree murder, conspiracy, reckless endangerment, possessing an instrument of crime and unauthorized practice of medicine in connection with Claudia Aderotimi's Feb. 7, 2011 death.
"Padge Windslowe's arrogance and blatant disregard for human life is shocking," Williams said, noting that the suspect "put her own greed above the public's health and safety. Instead of being remorseful, she bragged about [her background] to prospective clients."
Windslowe is scheduled for an Aug. 8 preliminary hearing on the charges announced Tuesday. She faces 44 to 88 years in prison in the Aderotimi case.
She is already in custody awaiting trial on charges stemming from another "pumping party" in which a 23-year-old woman was hospitalized when silicone injected during a botched enhancement procedure entered her bloodstream.
That victim, who testified against Windslowe at a preliminary hearing, survived but silicone still remains in her lungs.
Lengthy scientific investigation
While no police-department officials were at the press conference, Williams and Assistant District Attorney Bridget Kirn explained the lapse between Aderotimi's death and charges.
It was due to a lengthy, multi-agency investigation to determine what type of silicone Windslowe had allegedly injected into her victims' buttocks.
Just this week, the Delaware County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the fatal pulmonary embolism as a homicide, they said. (The hospital to which Aderotimi was taken before the injection at an airport motel proved fatal is located in Delaware County.)
With that finding, they could bring charges, Kirn said.
"This was not a gunshot or a stabbing where we were looking for injuries that we're used to," said Kirn, noting that evidence was sent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for examination. "It was important to have made sure the investigation was thorough."
Kirn noted that the conspiracy charges stemmed from other women having allegedly helped Windslowe set up the "pumping parties." However, no one else has been charged.
Silicone buttocks injections are sought as an enhancement procedure, and officials allege that Windslowe offered a cheaper, unlicensed option.
"It almost sounds silly," Williams said of injections for which sites are allegedly sealed with Crazy Glue, "and it would be if not for the serious injuries and death which result."
The back story
Windslowe was taken into custody after police learned of a "pumping party" event on East Pastorius Street in Germantown on March 1.
That event occurred shortly after a 23-year-old woman was hospitalized when silicone reached her lungs after a "pumping party" at that location. District Attorney's Office officials asked the press not to report the victims name as anything beyond "Miss King."
The arrest of Windslowe made international headlines and today's story of charges being filed was being reported in London, England, from where Aderotimi traveled for the ultimately fatal procedure.