CRIME HEALER OR DEALER?

Thirteen years ago, Helen Spicer and psychiatrist Louis Deere founded Hillvale Educational Rehabilitation Association in South Dallas for alcohol and drug abusers and their families. The motto of the center is “Turn Away No One.”

Spicer, an acknowledged former drug addict, soon became a leader in the fight against drugs and served on drug abuse commissions locally and in Washington, D.C. In mid-May she even appeared on local television with Police Chief Mack Vines in a panel discussion about the war against drugs in Dallas.

But Spicer’s success story has turned into a hellish nightmare since she was arrested on May 31 for allegedly selling cocaine four times to Dallas undercover police officers. She spent two weeks in jail before being released on bond. Spicer then checked herself into an area drug rehabilitation center, where she remains today. She owes the Internal Revenue Service more than $60,000 in back taxes, and, according to police sources, faces possible charges of food-stamp fraud.

“She is sick,” says her attorney, William Hughey. “She needs help and she is seeking it. 1 am going to try and fit the pieces together before a jury. This is a disease. Helen is a pro as far as healing. But right now she is the one who is sick.”

Spicer says “1 was framed. I was set up. Here I am trying to do something good, and the police are setting me up. People are playing games.” But police say she was selling cocaine to former patients. Police sources also say Spicer persuaded Hillvale patients to apply for food stamps, which she would then receive and sell. “This has been going on for years,” says one of the sources. “She is taking their food stamps and turns around and sells drugs to them after they go through the program. She says she’s sick? Sure she is.”

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