PHILADELPHIA – A Gothic hip-hop artist known as the "Black Madam" could testify Thursday in her murder trial over an underground cosmetic-surgery death.
Padge Victoria Windslowe is accused of injecting industrial-grade silicone into a 20-year-old London dancer seeking to enlarge her buttocks.
Doctors testifying at her murder trial said the 2011 injection at a hotel near Philadelphia International Airport struck a vein and caused the silicone to move to the Claudia Aderotimi's heart and lungs.
A friend said Aderotimi was a student and competitive break dancer who wanted to look better and boost her self-esteem.
Theresa Gyamfi's testimony from a 2012 preliminary hearing was read to jurors Thursday because she did not return from London for the trial.
Authorities said the 45-year-old Windslowe injected clients at airport hotels and "pumping parties." Several testified that they were injured.
Investigators this week told jurors Windslowe ordered silicone by the gallon and syringes by the case in a side business that she ran under the name "Lillian."
She testified before the trial started last week that her work was so renowned she was called "the Michelangelo of buttocks injections."
Police around the country have investigated at least two similar deaths involving other suspected faux surgeons, but Windslowe may be the first to be charged with murder. Prosecutors have charged her with third-degree murder, which can bring a sentence of 20 to 40 years in prison in Pennsylvania.
She is also charged with aggravated assault for allegedly injuring an exotic dancer at a New Year's Eve 2011 "pumping party" in Philadelphia, when she allegedly injected a group of dancers on a dining room table. The woman spent two weeks in the hospital with respiratory problems, after silicone particles that moved to her lungs were too small to remove surgically.
Some former clients testified they fear the medical problems that may lie ahead.
A woman from New York testified about spending months in the hospital with respiratory distress after getting the injections from Windslowe. Like others, she said she learned about her through a website and arranged the appointment through an intermediary.
Police believe Windslowe frequently switched locations and used different names to avoid detection — and fled when anyone was injured. They investigated Aderotimi's death for 18 months before filing the murder charges.