The Abduction and Abuse of Bizzy Bone
How one member of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony survived a series of traumatic youth experiences
Between his September 1976 birth in Columbus, Ohio — two hours from Cleveland, Ohio — and meeting Layzie and Krayzie in high school in 1989, Bryon Anthony “Bizzy Bone” McCane II would experience enough struggle and crime for a lifetime. When the full scope of his childhood was illuminated circa 2002, the wild and unpredictable nature of Bizzy became understandable.
Adam Walsh — six-year old son of John Walsh — was kidnapped in Hollywood, Florida on July 27th, 1981. Fourteen days later, his severed head was the only body part to be discovered. Following the crime, Walsh and his family founded the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to legislative reform, and eventually merged with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), where Walsh still serves on the Board of Directors.
The Walsh family organized a political campaign to help missing and exploited children, which eventually led to the creation of the Missing Children Act of 1982 and the Missing Children’s Assistance Act of 1984.
The four-time Emmy nominated made-for-TV movie Adam was seen by over thirty-eight million people in October 1983. It was rebroadcast in April 1984, and again in April 1985. At the end of each broadcast, a series of missing children’s photographs were displayed for viewers, and a phone number was provided if a viewer had information about them.
One of these photographs was a young Bizzy Bone.
When McCane II was only four years old, his then-stepfather Bryon McCane — former Pittsburgh Steelers fullback and on the all-time NFL Huskers list for the Ohio Valley Ironmen — kidnapped Bizzy and his two older sisters, Hope and Heather. Both were daughters of McCane. Told that his mother Roseanne Jefferson and grandmother were dead, Bizzy was unaware he had been kidnapped and displaced.
“He was more or less working the system. He used to play with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then he went on to play for the Columbus Bucks. He went to college in Nebraska. He was a very intelligent man. That’s how we went from state to state so long without getting caught.” — Bizzy
For nearly two years, Bizzy and his sisters were forced from shelter to shelter, apartment to apartment, car to car and motel to motel — all while local agencies and eventually the FBI were searching for them.
As the new “family” had taken refuge on a Native American reservation in Oklahoma, the birth-mother tirelessly worked with businessman-turned-child activist Walsh in pursuit of Bizzy.
Prior to being rescued, Bizzy was molested by the son of a friend of Byron. Too young to understand the atrocity of the act, he kept it to himself for years. A reservation neighbor and babysitter for Bizzy alerted the FBI after she viewed Adam and at seven years old, Bizzy was discovered and reunited with his mother.
“When we were in school, they called me and my sisters down and were interrogating us, asking us our last names. I ain’t never been a snitch, even as a baby, so I kept telling them the fake name, ‘Jones, Jones, Jones.’ And eventually my sister broke it like, ‘You can tell.’ ” — Bizzy
Despite the reunion with his mother, his childhood struggles were yet to be over. After the reunion, Bizzy became the new stepson to his mother’s new husband — another abusive stepfather with no regard for the scars he would create on the mind and body of Bizzy. His mother could stand no more and left the new husband and their life behind; Bizzy was placed in the foster home of Beulah Smith.
Despite the love and attention from Smith, at age thirteen he chose the inner-city area of Cleveland, Ohio and reunited with his sisters. He quickly began to sell drugs and involve himself in criminal activities and street life, ignoring his conscience.
“I was born in Columbus. I’m a foster kid. I’m one of them motherfuckers that got shipped around. That’s just how my childhood was. Maybe one day I’ll write a book about it. I became a father at fourteen years old. I became a father even before I became a man. It seemed like everywhere I turned there was another obstacle. So I figured that as long as I can drive straight and not make any turns, then I don’t have to worry about anything. Beautiful kids run up on me by the bunches and just scream my name. It makes me feel so good. But I feel in my heart that I’m not worth it. I feel so humbled. When the kids run up on me, they say, ‘We thought you were dead.’ They are happy to see that I am alive.” — Bizzy
To date, Bizzy has claimed ten children from four mothers, although the official number has varied over time. On “Hip Hop Baby” from the first Bone Brothers album in February 2005, Bizzy rapped:
“And my babies / that Jodeci six / with Sabrina / little Bree / Beau Briamous / Moe and Shanika / little Tray-Tray / Destiny / and plus Aaliyah / and the newest one is Shelby / I can’t wait ‘til I see her / the other music in my physical form / since they was born / I be singin’ with tears in my eyes / as I perform / for the whole world / until I die like Confucius / tell the world / my name is Bryon”
At fifteen years old, Bizzy met Layzie, Krayzie and Wish and noticed their mutual appreciation for making music. Despite a young life filled with strife and struggle, Bizzy would no longer be victim to the machinations of another adult.
He would not speak publicly about the abuse until his May 2002 appearance on America’s Most Wanted. The show, which premiered in February 1988, featured John Walsh as Narrator and Executive Producer and was the longest-running program in the history of Fox Television Network until the series cancellation in June 2011.
His solo debut Heaven’z Movie contained the song “Nobody Can Stop Me”:
“Trippin’ on foster homes / sayin’ I wasn’t manly / with a scarred-up soul / where I keep my skeletons — understand me / what if I said I was molested? / would you look at me pale / but I keep on bailin’ / and I hope I don’t go to Hell / stressed I will / can I sell my bio? / I was born in Ohio / already on trial / ‘cause Pops said I looked too light / but mom’s just white / but I still had your smile / and look at me now / gotta be proud of myself”
His Crossroads: 2010 album track “Gangsta Music” contained lyrics directed at Ocean Township, New Jersey-born media personality Wendy Williams:
“Everyone think I’m crazy / everyone think I’m drunk / I told the world I was molested / and they called me punk”
“Wendy Williams / you need to kill the noise / you made your name up off of gossip / and laughed ‘cause I was touched as a boy?”
In June 2003, Adrian Parlette — the aforementioned foster brother, business partner and best friend to Bizzy — was shot three times and murdered in his Columbus, Ohio home. Bizzy had previously featured Parlette on both Heaven’z Movie and Alpha and Omega.
Parlette was twenty-three years old; his murder remains unsolved.
“I blame myself, because if I wasn’t blackballed in the industry, I could have had him out there working. I could have had him out there singing his heart out, doing what he does best. But we are real people and what we rap about and sing about is not fake. If we are not doing this, there is a good chance that we may wind up dead. That is just the truth. We are real. We are real street poets with terrible stories. No mothers, no fathers, foster homes, beat on, touched on, those types of stories. So we lost him and he is watching over us.” — Bizzy
Despite the individual hardships and accomplishments Bizzy achieved since emerging into the national spotlight, he would not officially rejoin Bone Thugs until 2010.
“This is how I maintain — because everybody has a story, and there is always somebody out there who has had it worse than you: ‘Pick your shit up, kiss your children and go get some fucking money, Bryon!’ ” — Bizzy
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Excerpted from Machetes Dipped in Rum: The Oral History of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony on Medium.com