When police officers kicked down the door of Randolph Cuffee's studio apartment on August 2, 1998, they found him lying naked on the floor. Under him were two unrolled condoms and two leather whips. The walls were sprayed with blood, and Cuffee had more than twenty stab wounds in the back of his head and along his spine. It was the one, small wound in his chest that had killed him, however.
Randolph Cuffee, better known as Antigua, had been a regular in the gay bars of the West Village. Manhattan police began their investigation by asking area hospitals whether they had treated anyone with lacerations on his hands or arms during the preceding night. When one frantically and repeatedly stabs another human being, and the knife becomes wet and slippery, one is apt to cut oneself. The police quickly discovered that a young man named Monte Milcray had been admitted to St. Vincent's Hospital. The small finger on Milcray's right hand–the very finger that would slip from handle to blade–had nearly been severed. Police had brought him to the hospital during the night after Milcray, wandering through the neighborhood without a shirt and with overalls and shoes covered with blood, asked someone with a cell phone to get him help by calling 911.
Milcray told the police who brought him to St. Vincent's that he had been attacked by five males and that he had lost his shirt in an ensuing struggle, so detectives visited Milcray in the hospital under the ruse of trying to locate his attackers. Milcray's shoes and overalls were collected, which, lab tests later showed, had both Cuffee's and Milcray's blood on them; when Milcray came out of surgery they asked him to the station house to look at mug shots.
Milcray was put in a small room with a book of photos. He spent some time disinterestedly perusing the book, during which time he was observed through a one-way mirror. After a while, two detectives interrogated him more directly. Exhausted and in pain–two steel screws had been surgically screwed into the bone of his right hand to reconnect the finger–Milcray soon abandoned the story about being attacked and agreed to make a statement. He told his story twice, first to one of the two detectives who interrogated him (he agreed to talk only to the junior, male detective and refused to make a statement while the senior, female detective was present), and then again to a police videotape crew.
According to the videotaped version, Milcray was taking a stroll during a work dinner break when a longhaired woman stopped him by exclaiming, "You're sexy!" The woman said her name was Veronique. They flirted. She gave him her phone number and address, and invited him to visit her after work. Milcray finished work just before midnight and made his way to her apartment. Veronique was wearing a short robe, and an erotic movie played on the television. Milcray sat next to Veronique on a futon. They chatted. At Veronique's suggestion, Milcray got undressed. But when Veronique pulled down her panties, Milcray saw she had a penis.
While Veronique started to put on a condom, Milcray–by his testimony–tried to scramble to his feet and put his overalls back on. Veronique pushed Milcray to the floor and started to pull down his overalls and lower herself on top of him. "Once it gets in, it's not gonna hurt," Veronique said. Milcray pulled his knife from the pocket of his overalls and opened it with a one-handed flick. The first stab in the chest did not dissuade Veronique, so Milcray reached around and stabbed her in the back until she was weak enough so that he could extricate himself.