Anthony Lee, also known as “South Beach Wanda” and “Sobe Wanda,” a popular drag queen and Whitney Houston impersonator in Florida, will be the feature story on Monday night’s Killer Instinct With Chris Hansen on ID. The episode titled, “Wrong Place, Deadly Time,” will follow a shooting that takes place at a Florida home, where a popular drag queen is shot and killed by an intruder as his sick friend, Tiffany, and her children hide in the bathroom. *Note: In the following article, both he and she are used to describe victim.
May, 2013, Florida
According to the New York Post, police received a 911 call from a woman named Tiffany McKinney who told the operators that intruders were in the home, and she could hear gunshots.
When police arrived at the house on East Genesee Street in Tampa, they found the body of 49-year-old Anthony Jerome Lee, a well-known drag queen in the area. He had sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the body and was pronounced dead at the scene. Tiffany McKinney was so overcome with emotion that she had a heart attack and had to be transported to the local hospital.
When word hit the streets that it was “Sobe Wanda” who was found dead, some were shocked, but very few people were surprised. Anthony Lee, aka Wanda, had a reputation on the streets as someone you didn’t want to mess with. He had major attitude, but was known as a loyal and devoted friend.
Anthony Lee: A Friend To The End
In fact, that’s why he was at Tiffany McKinney’s home that day. He was cooking her something to eat because she was in bed sick. According to ABC Action News, Tiffany McKinney describes what happened after hearing a knock at the door.
“Once the door opened I heard Anthony say, ‘Who is you?’ At first I didn’t hear a response and the next thing I heard, Anthony said, ‘You don’t just bust your way into somebody’s house like that.’ And then, I heard like a struggle and then I heard the person say, ‘Where the money at?’ I am hiding in the bathroom. Please help me, I heard Anthony was saying that ‘ain’t nobody here it is just me. Just take, take and leave.’ Then I heard gunshots.”
A neighbor had witnessed two men driving up to the house in a dark-colored car. Then, a man with dreadlocks exited the vehicle and entered the home. She later saw the same man leaving the house and speeding away in the car.
Police say the killer’s name was Deandre Tolliver, a 23-year-old criminal who was at Tiffany McKinney’s home to get his money. Rumors flew around the neighborhood that it was all a set up. The Miami New Times describes what friends of Anthony Lee believed happened.
“Three men staked out the house because McKinney owed them money, several of Anthony’s friends claim. McKinney knew she was being watched, so she began texting and calling Anthony to say she was sick and needed help cooking dinner for her children.”
Some believe that it was just a case of mistaken identity, and investigators indicated that Tolliver was at the home because he believed Tiffany had a large sum of money inside. Sadly, whatever the case, Anthony Lee lost his own life for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Below, is a photo of Tiffany McKinney.
A Troubled Queen
Anthony Jerome Lee, Miami’s South Beach Wanda, had many problems in his own life and had a hard time carving out a successful living for himself. Some describe the drag queen as a menace who started trouble everywhere he went. Others remember him as a loving person with a heart of gold.
Popular in the 1990s, Lee was a legend around the gay clubs and bars, especially at Hamburger Mary’s, where he often hung out. “Wanda” is remembered mostly for her tall stature, her chocolate skin, and her large breasts that were made out of balloons, according to the Daily Mail. Word is, the former Whitney Houston impersonator never reached the status that he deserved due to his inability to work with people and maintain good working relationships.
As for Anthony Lee’s friend, Tiffany McKinney, Miami New Times calls her “a notorious criminal with a lengthy rap sheet,” which includes the 1997 stabbing death of 31-year-old Terryl Fitzgerald Collins, aka Terryl Collins.
For the murder of Anthony Jerome Lee, Deandre Tolliver was sentenced to life in prison. More fabulous photos of Anthony Lee can be found at Sobe Wanda’s Facebook page.
To find out more details in the case, watch Chris Hansen on Killer Instinct on the Investigation Discovery Channel this Monday at 9/8 p.m. Central.
[Image via Photographee.eu/Shutterstock]