Linda Frickey was that person who seemed to know someone wherever she went.
Whether on vacation or at the local Waffle House, relatives said it was guaranteed that Frickey, 73, would run into someone she knew, and they would pass along a warm “Hey, Linda.”
“She never met a stranger. If you go to the store with Linda, you’re doing a two-hour stay. You can never just pop in and pop out,” said her sister, Jinny Griffin, 60.
The four teenagers allegedly involved in the death of a 73-year-old woman during a Mid-City carjacking Monday have been arrested after two of …
Frickey was a compassionate and generous spirit who abhorred violence, family members said. They said the four teenagers who allegedly took her life from her Monday afternoon during a horrific and brutal Mid-City carjacking would only have had to ask for her vehicle from her.
“If they would have given her time, she would have walked away,” Griffin said. “She would have called the insurance company and the police, but she would not have fought for the car.”
But Frickey became tangled in her seat belt when the suspects forced her out of her Nissan Kicks sport utility vehicle, New Orleans Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said. When the suspects sped off along Bienville Street, they dragged her alongside the vehicle for about a block before she fell to the ground, severing her arm from her.
Frickey, of Waggaman, died at the scene.
“It’s just so senseless. Linda did not deserve this. Nobody deserves this,” Frickey’s sister-in-law, Kathy Richard, 57, said Tuesday.
4 juveniles arrested
During a news conference late Tuesday morning, Ferguson announced the arrests of four juveniles in connection with Frickey’s death: a 17-year-old boy, a 16-year-old girl and two 15-year-old girls.
The parents of the boy, the suspected driver of the stolen SUV, and one of the 15-year-old girls contacted police Monday to identify their teens as those involved, according to Ferguson. The boy and the 16-year-old girl were taken into custody together at an undisclosed residence.
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The 15-year-old whose parents contacted police surrendered to authorities. The other 15-year-old was arrested Tuesday morning, Ferguson said. All four will be booked with second-degree murder.
Ferguson told reporters he would ask the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office to charge the teens as adults.
“Look at the nature of the crime,” Ferguson said. “Look at the brazenness, in broad daylight, with no regard to this woman hanging from the vehicle.”
Before the news conference, Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams released a statement saying that his office would prosecute anyone who participated in Frickey’s “heinous and unthinkable” killing “to the absolute fullest extent of the law.”
Meanwhile, in a statement released Tuesday morning, several members of the New Orleans City Council called Frickey’s killing part of a “pandemic in our streets.”
Data shows that 13 people have been murdered in the last week in New Orleans. And while the number of carjackings has dipped in recent weeks, they emerged overall during the pandemic, and data shows that the city had already seen at least 90 carjackings since the start of 2022.
The teenagers allegedly took Frickey’s Nissan at about 1:35 pm from the 300 block of North Scott Street. Witnesses told WWL-TV they had trouble reaching 911 after the crime.
An ambulance didn’t arrive for 11 minutes from the time of the first call to 911 at 1:36 pm, officials said. But EMS wasn’t dispatched to the scene right away because it was initially reported solely as a carjacking, Orleans Parish Communications District spokesperson Sierra Wallace said.
City Hall Communications Director Beau Tidwell said the response falls within the 12-minute standard New Orleans EMS uses for high priority calls.
Frickey’s relatives said they are saddened and outraged by her death.
“We hope her loss won’t be in vain,” Richard said. “We hope it will open the community’s eyes and the lawmakers will start doing something to keep it from happening again.”
The Hen Party
Linda Frickey was raised in the Bridge City area, the middle child in a family of six siblings, one boy and five girls, according to relatives. She attended West Jefferson High School.
Frickey and her husband, Rickey Frickey, 64, had been married for 35 years, Richard said. Linda Frickey had two sons, two grandsons and a granddaughter.
“She loved her family,” Griffin said.
Frickey worked as a beautician in her younger years and continued to do everyone’s hair in the family, her sisters said. She also had been an insurance agent for decades.
Most of Frickey’s clients were elderly, and she went out of her way to help them, collecting premiums in person for those who weren’t computer-savvy. She sometimes covered payments herself when clients were short, according to her relatives.
“She would just say, ‘Pay me next month,’ or they might give her some fish,” Griffin said. “She really helped everybody.”
That generosity, compassion and caring nature earned Frickey the nickname “Angel,” said her sister, Vernell Kellerman, 79.
Despite her job and all she did to care for others, Frickey was also the consummate mother, wife and homemaker, according to relatives.
“She was old-fashioned. She made sure dinner was cooked for Rickey and Randy [Frickey’s youngest son] every day,” Richard said. “She did all the house stuff, paying the bills and doing the washing.”
Every Thursday, Frickey and her four sisters would get together at Kellerman’s house to catch up on life and family. Griffin’s husband dubbed the gathering “The Hen Party,” the sisters said with a laugh.
The shock of Frickey’s loss has left her family devastated, and the tragic details surrounding her death have been difficult for them to take in.
But Griffin said they were grateful to hear that there were witnesses who rushed to Frickey’s side in her final moments, people who made sure that she was not alone. It’s something they know Frickey would have done, herself.
“We want to thank the people that were there, holding her hand,” Griffin said.
Staff writers Jillian Kramer and Jeff Adelson contributed to this story.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism