DEENEY: I Could Have Easily Been Rian Thal

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deeneythumbnail.jpgDAILY BEAST: It’s not as surprising as you’d think that someone like Thal, a reported casual coke user, would find herself being asked if she wanted to start participating in deals. I once knew a coke dealer—not a barroom nickel and dimer, but the kind of dude who could get you kilo if you needed it—and there were moments of opportunity when I, too, was asked if I wanted to get in on the game. Did I want to front five grand and go in on a niner? The question came up more than once.

So when I read about Rian Thal’s murder, I wondered how long ago it was that someone put a similar question to her. Did she want to get in on a brick? Would she mind if someone stashed a couple at her crib, along with some cocaine.gifcash?

My friend didn’t typically deal in weight as big as Thal did—his usual deals were in the “4½ to 9” range, the two standard ounce measures that midlevel Philly coke dealers trade in. In the apartment above his corner store was the coke, usually right out on a desk next to a digital postal scale, a softball-size chunk we spent endless nights and days chipping pieces off to grind into powder and snort. MORE

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