"STORY BEHIND THE STORY?" (JASON SIMPSON)
An explosive theory regarding Jason Simpson appeared on the blog "Above Top Secret," titled: 'Was O.J. The Wrong Suspect?' Excerpts below:
When Jason was younger, he wrote a paper in which he was a murderer.
Jason has spent time in mental institutions and was even spotted threatening to kill his girlfriend with a knife, on more than one occasion. Jason was diagnosed with Jykell and Hyde Syndrome. He was on drugs, that would cause aggression, depression and other central nervous system affects. Jason was even arrested for assault on a few occasions.
On The night of the murders it has been documented that Jason was preparing a meal for the family, a very special meal, since he worked at a restaurant. The special occasion was his half sisters recital, the one that was stated pushed OJ over the edge to kill.
Nicole Brown was reported to have made a phone call to Jason stating that she would not eat with his dad and that she would rather be at Ron Goldman's restaurant. It is even reported that after Jason hung up the phone he was extremely angry and was highly disappointed that she would choose Goldman over him. Jason had a bag of special cooking knives that he carried everywhere (from and to work). After the murders of Nicole and Goldman the murder weapon has yet to be found and most odd of all, jason never returned to work....
The big point here was that OJ was called the evening of the murders. It was a brief phone call and possibly made by Jason in a frantic cry for help.
Forensic Expert Dr. Lee stated specifically:
"They went for the wrong Simpson."
1. As an adolescent, Jason performed poorly in school and demonstrated many antisocial behaviors.
2. Considered a "problem child" at an early age. Documented in articles of interviews given by OJ.
3. Jason overdosed on drugs and alcohol at age 14 and was rushed to hospital.
4. Jason reportedly had difficulty communicating with his mother and at an early age and moved in OJ and Nicole because Marguerite could not control him.
5. As a teenager Jason flew into a fit of rage and attacked a statue of his father with a baseball bat.
6. Jason stole his father's car and was turned in by Nicole.
7. Ronald Shipp stated Jason began being physically abused by his father at a young age.
8. Ronald Shipp described him as having psychological problems, along with abusing drugs and alcohol.
9. Jason was treated at the UCLA Neuropsychiatry Institute for a mental condition, later being diagnosed as "Intermittent Rage Disorder" accompanied by seizures.
10. Jason dropped out or flunked out of USC.
11. According to Shipp, Jason had possibly stalked Nicole Simpson while she lived at Gretna Green.
12. According to Shipp, Jason and Nicole would go out dancing and partying together.
13. On more than one occasion Jason left or was fired from his job as a prep chef. Indications were he was unable to get along with people of authority.
14. Jason attempted suicide by stabbing himself with a pair of scissors.
15. Jason, in a fit of rage, assaulted his girlfriend Jackie where he nearly broke her back by throwing her into an empty bathtub.
16. Jason attacked his girlfriend Jackie with a chef's knife and cuts off her hair.
17. Jason attempted suicide by cutting his wrists with a shard of broken glass.
Source: Above Top Secret.com
"STORY BEHIND THE STORY-CONTINUED" (GAY BLACK MEN & GARY CONDIT)
The following interview was conducted by journalist John LeBoutillier. Keep in mind, the allegations are unfounded.
According to John LeBoutillier:
Yesterday I spoke to "RJ" – an inside-the-Beltway source who, over the years, has never steered me wrong. RJ said, "John, do you know the true story of Gary Condit?"
RJ then proceeded to outline a scenario for what happened in this case: "Condit has been known inside the gay community here in D.C. for being a big, big user of gay male prostitutes – especially blacks from the Caribbean who ride motorcycles and love to wear black leather.
"Condit lived in Adams Morgan – a terrible commute to and from the Hill – and it is a notorious neighborhood for gays and bisexuals.
"Now, here is the dirty little secret behind the disappearance of Chandra Levy: Condit goes both ways. He likes to get sodomized by male prostitutes before having sex with women. The gay sex turns him on and he can then 'perform' with women.
The media has heard all of this – but has yet to report it. Behind closed doors, reporters often referred to the "dark aspects of this story that we can’t report yet."
Other media players are aware of all of this – and more: Apparently Condit liked three-ways and even four-ways with himself, the gay male prostitute and two women.
Some of his girlfriends obviously knew of this over the years; some participated in the three-way sex.
GENE ANTHONY RAY: "STORY BEHIND THE STORY"
Having skipped school to attend the auditions, Gene Anthony Ray beat 2,800 other hopefuls to the plum part of the singer and dancer Leroy Johnson in Alan Parker’s film Fame (1980). In the very best traditions of show business, it was a role he was born to play.
Like Leroy, the 17-year-old Ray was a raw, untutored talent from the streets of Harlem. Moreover, both displayed an uncontrollable wild streak and a propensity for self-destruction. While appearing in the follow-up television series of Fame, Ray indulged freely in alcohol and drugs. After he was dismissed from the show, his drinking spiralled out of control and his career went into sharp decline.
Gene Anthony Ray was born in Harlem, New York in 1962. He learned to dance on the streets, honing his skills at summer block parties. “All the blocks had parties, not just ours,” he later recalled. “And I’d go to them and scoop all the prizes.”
After attending Julia Richmond High School, where he performed in a dance class, he was awarded a place at the New York High School of the Performing Arts, the very academy portrayed in Fame. However, unruly behavior led to his expulsion after just one year. The school, his mother later recalled, was “too disciplined for this wild child of mine."
At the auditions for the movie, Ray’s dancing may have lacked a certain polish, but his charisma and natural talent dazzled the film’s choreographer, Louis Falco. “He was just incredible,” said Falco. “I felt like I was in the same shoes as the person who had seen Fred Astaire for the first time.”
Ray’s performance was central to the success of the movie, which won an Academy Award for best song. Indeed, his balletic dancing, good looks and superb physique instantly made him both a star and a teenage heart-throb. As a result, Ray was asked to reprise the role of Leroy in the television series of Fame, which ran for five years from 1982.
Although the show flopped in America, it attracted huge audiences in the UK. In 1982, when Ray and other members of the cast toured Britain as "The Kids from Fame," thousands of screaming fans packed the Royal Albert Hall and other venues to watch their idols perform the show’s greatest hits.
According to a record company executive who toured with the cast, Ray would go on cocaine benders that would last for days. He also developed a taste for gin, and “could throw it back at an amazing rate." Ray, said the executive, also had his pick of the girls from the chorus line, but seemed to prefer the company of men.
Ray was axed from the Fame television show in 1984, having failed to turn up for work on more than 100 occasions. Around the same time, his mother received a life sentence for running a drug ring. Seeking solace in junk food, Ray ballooned in size. “The most exercise I got,” he later claimed, “was walking to the fridge and back.” After five months: “I looked in the mirror and thought, ‘Man, you are the fattest pig on Earth’.”
Having got back into shape, Ray resumed his career, dancing with the Weather Girls in their video of It's Raining Men. In 1988, he won plaudits for his performance as Billie in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Carrie.
However, an attempt to start a Fame-style dancing school in Milan proved unsuccessful and Ray’s heavy drinking continued to cause him problems. In 1992, he was arrested for stealing a bottle of wine from a Milan supermarket, but the charges were later dropped.
Soon after, rumours emerged that Ray had been sleeping on park benches. Then, in 1995, it was claimed that he had died of an AIDS-related illness. Though Ray was willing to admit that he was an alcoholic, he invariably brushed aside questions about his sexuality. He was diagnosed HIV positive in 1996.
He continued to make attempts at a comeback, but with little success. Starring alongside Michael York, he appeared as Man Friday in the television mini-series Shipwreck. In 1995, he had a cameo role in Out of Sync, a film co-produced by his Fame co-star Debbie Allen. The following year, he made a brief appearance in Eddie, which starred Whoopi Goldberg. He also starred in advertisements for Dr Pepper and Diet Coke.
Ray died in Manhattan from complications arising from a stroke he suffered earlier this year. He never married.
Gene Anthony Ray, actor and dancer, was born on May 24, 1962. He died on November 14, 2003, aged 41.
"NOSTALGIA" (MORE INFO & MORE QUESTIONS SURROUNDING SAM COOKE'S DEATH)
Story Behind The Story:
Sam Cooke died at the age of thirty-three on December 11, 1964, at the Hacienda Motel at 9137 South Figueroa Street in Los Angeles, California. Bertha Franklin, manager of the motel, told police that she shot and killed Cooke in self-defense because he had attacked her. Police found Cooke's body in Franklin's apartment-office, clad only in a sports jacket and shoes, without a shirt, pants or underwear.
According to Franklin and the motel's owner, Evelyn Carr (whose last name is identified by some sources as Card, rather than Carr) had been on the telephone with Franklin at the time of the incident. Thus, Carr claimed to have overheard Cooke's intrusion and the ensuing conflict and gunshots. Carr called the police to request that they go to the motel, informing them that she believed a shooting had occurred.
The woman who had accompanied Cooke to the motel was identified as Elisa Boyer, who had also called the police that night shortly before Carr. Boyer had called the police from a telephone booth near the motel, telling them she had just escaped from a kidnapper.
Elisa Boyer (1st photo) depicted herself as a humble receptionist, who would have never gone to Watts unless abducted. She ambiguously testified that she had met Cooke “on Thursday,” which suggested that she met Cooke the night of his death, but which could also mean just about any previous Thursday. She curiously described the meeting as “a dinner party.” Well, Martoni’s served both food and drink, but when one thinks of dinner parties, they usually think of something else. Moreover, she said that before they left, he started singing to everyone in the bar. No one remembers anyone singing in front of anyone at Martoni’s that night.
Boyer then said that they drove over to PJ’s in Santa Monica, where Cooke had an altercation with another patron over her. When PJ’s closed, Sam abducted her, instead of taking her home as he promised. According to her, she kept begging to go home, but Cooke insisted that he was “madly in love with her.”
At the motel, Boyer claimed that Cooke dragged her into the office to check in. In her testimony, Bertha Franklin (2nd photo) flatly contradicts this, saying that Cooke came in alone. If Franklin’s correct, this means that Boyer had ample opportunity to escape—especially if (as some have reported) Cooke had left the car running, with the top down. She could have also cried for help.
Boyer then said that Cooke dragged her into one of the hotel rooms. As corroboration, the coroner’s office produced a witness, a fellow Hacienda guest named Alexander Prado. Prado said that Boyer had put up a little “resistance” on the way to the room, but not much. While this indicates that Cooke wilfully put her in the room, it’s not really a description of dragging someone in there.
Boyer then said that Cooke pinned her down and raped her. He never had a history of violence against women before that. And one would suspect that if Cooke signed his own name in the register (if he in fact did; as Erik Greene points out the registration card has long been missing), then it seems unlikely that he would offer evidence of his existence there that night if he had planned on committing a crime. Furthermore, the police note no physical injuries on Boyer that would indicate that she had participated in a struggle.
Boyer, on a receptionist’s salary, presumably hung out at the chi-chi Martoni’s to network and rub elbows with musicians, label executives and producers. At least, that’s how she explained her presence there that night.
At the same time, authorities probably knew Boyer’s true source of income. After all, the deputy coroner running the inquest, and the prosecuting attorney prevented Barbara Cooke’s attorney, Marty Machat, from asking a single question. The pathologist dismissed her from the stand while Machat was literally in the middle of his first question.
Later, however, authorities couldn’t deny that Boyer worked as something other than a receptionist. In January 1965, mere weeks after Sam Cooke met his maker, police rounded her up in a vice sting two blocks away from the Hacienda Motel.
Boyer had a long rap sheet under multiple aliases (Lisa Boyer, Lisa Lee, Crystal Chan Young, Elsie Nakama, etc.). She had a reputation in the underground as a ‘roll artist.’ Posing as a prostitute, she would lure a john into a motel. The minute he stepped out of the room, or fell asleep after the act, she would then rob him, and then take his clothes so that he would be less inclined to pursue her.
In January 1965, police would dismiss the charges against Boyer because of possible entrapment. That’s odd. After all, courts tolerate a fair degree of entrapment in the prosecution of prostitution charges.
Also contentious was Boyer’s claim that she met Cooke that night. Al and Joan Schmidt, whom Cooke came to meet at Martoni’s, had the distinct impression that Cooke and Boyer had known each other beforehand.
When I saw them together [in the booth], I thought the girl was a friend. Because they were sitting side by side, and she had her hand on his arm, and she was kind of leaning, almost whispering to him--talking in an intimate way, smiling--and he was smiling. The picture in my mind at the moment was, ‘Oh, this is somebody he knows.’
Some of Cooke’s friends recognized Boyer. According to them, she and Cooke had been seeing each other off and on for the previous four years. Curiously enough, she presented into evidence a piece of paper that listed Cooke’s address and telephone number. One has to wonder why Cooke would give sensitive information like this to a woman he barely knew—assuming he actually gave her this information.
One would also have to ask why Boyer, a known prostitute and roll artist, called the cops after she had just raked in another victim. We know that she made the call because the police recorded it. The prosecution played that very tape at the coroner’s inquest.
The police investigation left much to be desired, seeing that it not only neglected to examine Boyer’s background, but Bertha Franklin’s as well. Franklin also had numerous contacts with the courts on myriad prostitution charges. Getting on in years, she allegedly worked for a number of pimps as sort of a manager, not only of seedy motels, but also of prostitutes.
In 1979, Elisa Boyer would be found guilty of second degree murder in the shooting death of her boyfriend.
"STORY BEHIND THE STORY"
As a teenager and into his twenties, Huey Newton worked as a pimp, committed armed robberies, burglarized homes in Berkeley Hills, and ran short-change scams. In 1962 he was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to six months in prison, most of it in solitary confinement. Fellow Panther Bobby Seale later recounted how Newton would often lurk outside the emergency room of an Oakland hospital, and when patients were taken inside for treatment, Newton would steal from the vehicles in which they had been transported.
Newton justified such actions as follows: “I felt that white people were criminals,” explained Newton, “because they plundered the world. . . . [T]o take what the white criminals called theirs gave me a feeling of real freedom.”
Newton intermittently attended Merritt College, where in 1964 he joined the Merritt College Afro American Association (MCAAA). During a heated argument with a fellow MCAAA member named Odell Lee over an issue involving cultural nationalism, Newton stabbed Lee in the head with a steak knife. At his subsequent trial, Newton’s defense was that he had acted in preemptive self-defense. Unable to persuade the jury by this theory, Newton was sentenced to a prison term of two-and-a-half years, of which he would serve six months before being paroled.
In October 1966, Newton formed the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.
Among his fellow Black Panthers, Newton enforced obedience to his will by means of beatings and torture. One of his many female lovers in the Party, Elaine Brown, would later reveal that one of Newton’s preferred methods of punishing errant members was stomping, a practice she employed herself: “The floor was rumbling, as though a platoon of pneumatic drills were breaking through its foundation. Blood was everywhere. [The victim’s] face disappeared.”
In 1974, he earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz. On those comparatively infrequent occasions when he actually attended his classes, Newton would commonly arrive in a limousine, donning a white pimp suit and slouch hat, surrounded by bodyguards and women attired like prostitutes -- a spectacle that, according to one of his professors, both embarrassed and frightened onlookers on campus.
On August 6, 1974, Newton shot and killed a 17-year-old prostitute named Kathleen Smith. Not long afterward, he summoned his tailor, Preston Callins, to his apartment for a fitting. During the course of their meeting, Newton became abusive. When the tailor replied, “Oh, baby, don’t feel that way,” Newton screamed, “Nobody calls me no damn baby!” and he pistol-whipped Callins with a .357 magnum, inflicting four skull fractures that required surgery.
Around this time, pimps throughout the Bay Area, angry at Newton for having killed one of their breadwinners, put a bounty on Newton’s head, prompting him to disappear from public sight. When Newton failed to show up for his arraignment for the Smith murder charges, he was placed on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list. It was later learned that Newton was in Cuba, where he would remain for approximately three years. During that period, young Elaine Brown, who Newton had groomed (by means of instruction and violent beatings) to be one of his closest lieutenants, assumed control of the Party’s day-to-day activities.
In 1974 a 42-year-old white woman named Betty Van Patter, who had recently been hired to keep the financial books of an Oakland-based Panther “Learning Center,” found something wrong with the Panthers’ record books and informed Brown. Van Patter was unaware that the Panthers were in fact using the Center as a vehicle by which to embezzle millions of dollars in California education funds. Nor did she know that the Center also served as the pretext for a Panther shakedown operation of “after hours” clubs whose owners were required to “donate” weekly sums, on pain of death if they refused. On Newton’s orders, Brown oversaw the Panthers’ kidnap (on December 13, 1974), rape, and murder of Mrs. Van Patter. On January 13, 1975, the victim’s corpse, with the head caved in, would be found floating in San Francisco Bay.
Newton, who was unhappy living in exile, returned to the United States in the spring of 1977. Though he knew he would have to face charges for the killing of Kathleen Smith, Newton was optimistic about his chances for acquittal.
Newton was tried twice for Kathleen Smith’s murder; both juries deadlocked and Newton was never convicted. In a moment of candor in 1980, however, he would tell UC Santa Cruz professor Bob Trivers, “You know, I’ve killed more men than women.” When Trivers delicately broached the subject of Smith, Newton declared the topic off limits and said, “Look, the statute of limitations on murder never runs out.”
In 1980 Newton hired a new principal for the Panthers’ school in Oakland; this principal soon discovered that Newton was embezzling school funds to pay for his bodyguards, and the school was shut down. Soon thereafter, Newton’s wife left him. The radical moment in America having passed, Newton, by now a crack addict who, with increasing frequency, went on drug and alcohol binges, began to drift into petty crime, political irrelevance, and frequent visits to the criminal justice system.
In 1987 Newton was convicted for a 1974 gun-possession charge and was sent to Jamestown prison camp for one year. Soon after his release, he was arrested on several drunk-driving charges and was placed on probation. In 1988 he was finally ordered to face trial on the aforementioned embezzling charges. A month later he was jailed for six weeks for driving under the influence of drugs. Half a year after that, he was sentenced to six months in San Quentin after he had been found basing rock cocaine with a prostitute in a motel. In early 1989 he was convicted of embezzlement when, from the confines of his prison cell, he pleaded no contest to the charge and was ordered to pay restitution. He was released from prison in early 1989.
On August 22 of that year, a destitute, chronically stoned Newton was murdered by a black drug dealer he had failed to pay.
Source: Discover The Networks.org
As a Motown wonder boy, Lawrence Horn lived like a prince, but by age 52 he was just another music-biz pauper. Police say Horn missed the good life so badly that he hired an assassin to murder his own family for millions in insurance money.
The majority of us are familiar with this well publicized story, below, we give you the backstory.
Story Behind The Story:
On the night of March 2, 1993, Lawrence T. Horn was watching TV in his Hollywood apartment. The 52-year-old free-lance music engineer hadn't had much work lately, and even though his $545-a-month rent was cheap by L.A. standards, it was still a struggle to find the money every month. He was getting by as a part-time consultant repairing home computers in the cramped one-bedroom bungalow that seemed as bleak as his future.
Not far from Horn's run-down neighborhood, the gleaming Motown headquarters towered over chic Sunset Boulevard. Horn had spent nearly his entire professional career working for Motown in L.A. and Detroit. As a gifted young recording engineer, he had helped create the “Sound of Young America” that swept the nation in the '60s. “L.T.,” as he was known, was a whiz kid with a knack for anything mechanical or electronic. Among the first hires Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. made, Horn was one of the technicians who manned the studio recording machine that captured for all time the classic hits by Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, and the other demigods in the Motown pantheon.
It was more calling than job. Though barely in his 20s, Horn ran the control room at “Hitsville U.S.A.,” Motown's original Detroit headquarters. There were heady, late-night sessions, when the house band—a former jazz combo called the Funk Brothers—laid down the beat that eventually pulsed from car radios and jukeboxes everywhere.
“He was experimenting, he was exploring,” recalls his first wife, Juana Royster, who often attended the recording sessions. “He loved what he did—he really loved it.”
Horn might not have appeared on the covers of any magazines, but his behind-the-scenes role suited him fine. Hell, he and Gordy both knew how important he was to the Motown Sound, and that was all that mattered. And besides, the money was good—damn good. A Porsche, fancy threads, a nice house—it was the sort of lifestyle he'd always dreamed of. He may not have had a high profile, but L.T. was living large.
But all that was years ago. Before Motown relocated to Los Angeles, before the music business changed and the hits stopped, and before Gordy sold—some say sold out—the family business to show-biz conglomerate MCA. Before Horn lost his last job at Motown—as a lowly tape librarian—in 1990.
By 1993, the dream was over for all too many figures from Motown's past, from the biggest stars to the humblest peons. For a few, there were even worse fates than Horn's. Marvin Gaye had been dead a decade, slain by his father. Bassist James Jamerson, the genius behind the signature Motown groove, had succumbed to years of guzzling his favorite Greek brandy. Former Temptation David Ruffin had fatally OD'd in a crack house. And the previous summer, Mary Wells, Motown's first female star, had died in poverty after a long bout with cancer, her medical bills paid only by the charity of sympathetic superstars like Bruce Springsteen.
The only person helping Horn with his bills was his live-in girlfriend, who worked at a bank. Some of his obligations were piling up—he owed his ex-wife $16,000 in overdue child support. Horn was an unemployed has-been—just another stubborn moth hanging around in the Tinseltown glare. The man who mixed “My Girl” had become a soul age dinosaur in the era of gangsta rappers Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg. He still had his white '76 Cadillac, but there was not much else to show for his long career in the big time.
Horn was still ostensibly in the biz as a free-lance engineer, but the only recording that he'd been doing lately was with his video camera.
That's what he was doing on the night of March 2—filming a quiet evening at home. The amateur cinematographer set the cozy scene: a panning shot of the cluttered apartment, a TV showing a documentary on jazz great Miles Davis, Horn's girlfriend sitting on the couch, and finally, Horn himself stepping into the frame for a nice video-cam self-portrait. He even made sure to zoom in on the date and time flashing on the TV screen: 11:03 p.m., Pacific Standard Time, March 2, 1995.
Prosecutors claim that this footage was no mere contender for America's Dullest Home Video, but a meticulously staged alibi.
At roughly the same time, 3,000 miles across the country in an upscale Washington, D.C., suburb, Horn's ex-wife, 44, and his 8-year-old invalid son were murdered “with icy dispatch,” as the prosecutor described it, along with the boy's 38-year-old overnight nurse, Janice Roberts Saunders.
The killer broke into the $355,000 house in the Layhill section of Silver Spring, Md., and gunned down Mildred Horn, who was apparently caught by surprise at the foot of the stairs. Then he burst into the first-floor nursery and shot Saunders as she watched over Trevor's crib: She was still in her rocking chair, also apparently caught unawares.
Both women were shot in the eyes at close range with a .22-caliber rifle.
Their bodies lay sprawled in the immaculately furnished home, bloody remains of a shattered domesticity. Mildred Horn was murdered in her nightgown, her hair curlers strewn on the bare floor like a bad roll of the dice. Saunders lay in a sweat shirt and slacks next to the crib. Her cold hands still clutched sewing needles, and an unfinished quilt for her own 4-year-old son lay on a nearby couch. Blood from her wounds seeped through the nursery floor and pooled in the basement below.
The murder scene was described by more than one investigator as among the most horrific they'd ever seen. But these women's final awful moments were mercifully brief compared with Trevor Horn's death.
As a 13-month-old, Trevor had been rendered a severely brain-damaged quadriplegic after a hospital mishap. Doctors warned that the semicomatose boy probably didn't have long to live, but over the years Trevor's condition improved, due mostly to the constant care of his mother and nurses. By the time he was 8 years old, he was able to breathe on his own, say a few words, and even attend school. Trevor still required round-the-clock care and a respirator to help him get enough oxygen, but these were minor impediments compared to the victory he'd won just by surviving.
A malicious pair of gloved hands changed all that.
The murderer went to the crib where Trev or lay asleep. He loomed over the child, who was likely oblivious to the shots that had just killed his mother and nurse. The killer decided to take a hands-on approach to his last victim and yanked the tracheotomy tube from the respirator machine. Then he plugged the open end of the tube with one hand and sealed the boy's mouth and nose with the other. He held and held and held until the tiny body went limp.
After years of a day-to-day battle for survival, Trevor Horn's life leaked out in a matter of minutes. Not that he didn't put up a fight: The autopsy showed that his heart, lungs, and left eye were speckled with the pinpoint bleeding that occurs with a violent, desperate attempt to breathe during asphyxiation. According to a medical examiner, Trevor gasped for air in a doomed struggle against the assailant's death grip; he eventually suffocated.
Trevor's pajama-swaddled body was found that morning as silent and still as the menagerie of stuffed animals that crowded his crib. The medical monitor continued to ring, a distress alarm marking every missed breath. The incessant, obnoxious beep-beep-beep-beep-beep only amplified the juxtaposition of the child's corpse and the now-useless ventilator still keeping watch like a faithful family pet. In a phone call later retrieved by police from an answering-machine tape, the killer said that the noise had distracted him; otherwise, he might have taken photos of his handiwork.
Every day, there are gun slayings of the vicious kind that killed Mildred Horn and Janice Saunders. In the world of American-style homicide, this is a dime-a-dozen, routine murder. All it takes is someone with a cold heart and a handful of bullets who is willing to pull the trigger.
But it takes a rare sort of killer to strangle a helpless, disabled child to death.
Last week, a Montgomery County jury convicted a 47-year-old Detroit man for the triple murder. A self-described minister and spiritual adviser, James Edward Perry is also a street hustler who conducted his business affairs from corner bars and a shady storefront operation called “Mr. Money.” He is now a convicted murderer, who has been sentenced to die by lethal injection.
What was this Detroit hustler doing in a quiet D.C. suburb, killing three people he apparently didn't even know? Perry tried to make the murder scene look like a bungled burglary. He overturned some bookcases and a couch, but he didn't take any valuables. In fact, police ruled out robbery shortly after arriving on the scene. Whoever entered the home that night had murderous intent from the get-go.
As it turned out, Perry's booty was supposed to be a lot more than some jewelry and credit cards. He was a hit man, hired to kill for a fee, which prosecutors said was in the thousands of dollars.
Authorities say that Perry's employer was Lawrence Horn. Using his talent as a behind-the-scenes engineer—the same skills that helped create some of the most joyous pop music ever recorded—Horn allegedly orchestrated this hit from a very great distance. Prosecutors suggested it was the most heinous crime ever committed in Montgomery County: One simply called the case “evil” and dubbed Horn “a conniving, sniveling coward if there ever was one.”
“Trevor Horn died because his father hired this man—James Perry—to do what nature would not so quickly do,” said Montgomery County prosecutor Teresa Whalen during Perry's Rockville-based trial, which was attended faithfully by the relatives of Mildred Horn and Janice Saunders. “Lawrence Horn and James Perry devised this diabolical plot, this ruthless conspiracy, almost one whole year before Perry actually carried through with the plan.”
Trevor meant a lot to Lawrence Horn, say authorities—not as a cherished son, but as an invalid worth nearly $2 million from a settlement for Trevor's hospital mishap. With both Trevor and Mildred Horn dead, Lawrence Horn stood to inherit the money. It was only after Horn tried to claim the money—and after Perry kept pestering his alleged boss by phone for his payoff—that authorities amassed enough evidence to arrest the men.
Like the alleged plot, the investigation took more than a year—the most exhaustive and intensive in Montgomery County Police Department history. The legal proceedings have already lasted an additional year, with Horn's trial scheduled for January. In both cases, prosecutors have sought the death penalty: If convicted, Horn—like Perry—could face execution by lethal injection.
Montgomery County State's Attorney Andrew Sonner has likened the complex case—which boasts more than 7,000 pages of documents—to a Victorian murder mystery. In its essence, though, it couldn't be more modern-day American.
Horn's motive, prosecutors say, was simple: He killed his wife and son for money.
Money can't buy everything it's true
But what it can't buy I can't use.
—“Money (That's What I Want)”
When he met Mildred Maree in 1972, Lawrence Horn was 30,000 feet in the air, flying first-class. His career was soaring as well. At 32, he'd been at the top of the music business for nearly a decade, living the good life of unlimited expense accounts.
The baker's son from west Detroit had come a long way. When he graduated from the city's renowned Cass Technical High School in the late '50s, Horn didn't have many job prospects. So he did what a lot of young black men of modest means—including a shy D.C. teen named Marvin Gaye—did to get a start: He joined the armed forces.
As an enlisted man in the U.S. Navy, Horn wasn't particularly keen on a military life. Rather than gunning for petty officer, he launched his music career—but not as a performer like his mother Pauline, a former jazz dancer. Instead, he made his name as “L.T.—Your Man With the Plan,” a hot disc jockey spinning Sam Cooke and Ray Charles records on a radio station aboard an aircraft carrier. In the meantime, he got a chance to develop his talent as an electronics engineer.
In late '62, Horn got his discharge and went back home to Detroit. He was just another ex-serviceman looking for work, but his musical savvy and technical skills impressed Berry Gordy, a young entrepreneur and family friend who was starting a record company in a house in the neighborhood. The address was 2648 West Grand Blvd.; it would soon become the headquarters of the most successful black-owned label of all time: Motown.
At the outset, Motown was a modest, family-run operation, and the 22-year-old Horn took a job as a $50-a-week technician. As Motown's first full-time engineer, Horn was soon recording and mixing classics by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Temptations, and the Supremes.
“Just as the personalities of the musicians helped shape Motown's music, the peculiarities of Hitsville were also crucial to the Motown Sound,” wrote Nelson George in his definitive history of Motown, Where Did Our Love Go?. “Engineers Mike McLain and Lawrence Horn, along with Brian Holland and some of the other producers, had, through trial and error, built the original three-track recording machine into an eight-track by the mid-sixties.”
These were truly Motown's glory days, when any session could produce a million-selling smash. Horn served as chief mixing technician on the Temptations' “My Girl,” the hit that ruled the charts for 13 weeks in early 1965.
One night later that year, Horn and Gordy co-produced what remains the raunchiest, funkiest song that Motown ever released, “Shotgun,” by Junior Walker and the All Stars. One of the only records for which Horn got credit as producer, it was an anarchic assault of undiluted R&B spearheaded by Walker's screaming sax and ad-libbed lyric: “Shoot 'em 'fore he run now.” Decades later, it was the lone Motown tune hip enough to make it onto the soundtrack of Spike Lee's Malcolm X. A party record for the ages, the smash hit was also notable for the startling shotgun-blast sound effect that kicks off the raucous music.
“Engineers are often some of the most important yet overlooked factors in a record's success,” wrote Gordy in his 1995 autobiography, To Be Loved, describing his sound crew. “From those early days when Lawrence Horn had to handle most of the recording and mixing, we had been fortunate to build one of the best engineering teams in the business.”
A well-read man whose tastes ranged from jazz to classical, Horn didn't need the charm school that Gordy had set up to polish his stars, many of whom hailed from the roughest neighborhoods of the Detroit ghetto. Like Gordy, Horn came from the city's black middle class, and he cut an impressive figure. He certainly impressed Juana Royster, Motown's receptionist and switchboard operator, who still recalls the day when the tall, handsome Horn first came to the Hitsville office for his job interview. “He was brilliant and whimsical and fun-loving, with a real flair about him,” says Royster.
In 1965, Horn and Royster got married, and the newlyweds settled in a two-bedroom house near the Motown headquarters. By now, Royster had left Motown to attend Wayne State University, and Horn helped her with her studies. The young couple often stayed up late discussing books Horn had read—all sorts of authors who weren't even part of Royster's curriculum—-Socrates, Khalil Gibran, and obscure Indian philosophers.
“Lawrence really loved learning—that was one of the things I dearly loved about him,” says Royster. “He read everything—electronics, philosophy, everything....He had a very extensive vocabulary, and he had a command of that vocabulary.”
“He was very, very creative,” she recalls. “It'd be 3 a.m., and he'd say, "Let's go down to the studio,' and I'd go down and watch him mix and remix songs all night long. I'm telling you, he really loved what he did.”
Despite the relish with which Royster speaks of her life with Horn, their marriage lasted barely a year. Now a college administrator in Seattle, she won't elaborate on what doomed their short-lived relationship—only that she and Horn agreed to an amicable divorce and remained friends even after Horn remarried.
Royster says she was flabbergasted when she first heard of the charges against Horn: “I just can't fathom it. He loved his children,” she says. “It's just hard for me to get that into my head—I did not know him that way.”
The disintegration of Horn's first marriage in 1966 didn't seem to cramp his career. He was by now a bona fide Motown veteran, hooked on the sweet taste of success. For a young black man who'd come of age before the civil rights movement, the scenario seemed almost too good to be true, like some sort of wild dream: “We were making so much money then, the situation was just crazy,” Horn later said in an interview with the Washington Post in the spring of 1993, a few weeks after the murders.
In 1972, though, Horn got a dose of hard reality—and intimations of his own mortality—when he was badly shaken by a serious car accident. In the interview with the Post, he told of his Porsche sliding off an icy Detroit highway and flipping into a ditch: His prized sports car was completely demolished. Horn survived the wreck without a scratch, and he apparently believed that it was divine providence that he met his second wife shortly thereafter.
A 22-year-old flight attendant for American Airlines, Mildred “Millie” Maree was one of 14 children raised on a farm in tiny Walterboro, S.C. As a girl, dreams of her future career were stoked by the glamorous, exotic tales from modern romance novels and magazines. “She read a story about a woman who was an airline stewardess [who] had all these adventures and met all these interesting people, and Millie decided she wanted to become an airline stewardess,” her sister Gloria Maree testified at the trial. It was apparently one of those rare instances when reality matches the fantasy: According to Gloria Maree, Millie—with her knack for making people feel comfortable and cared for—found the perfect job. “She was like a flower,” Maree testified, “and when she was working she came into full bloom.”
Horn thought he'd found his guardian angel in the sweet-natured Southern country girl: Why else, he figured, would their chance meeting in the sky have occurred so close to his near-death experience? In turn, Millie was smitten with the suave Horn, who wined and dined her in a jet-setting courtship that alternated between his Detroit digs and her home in southern California.
They married one weekend, on Aug. 20, 1973, in Las Vegas. As much as Horn apparently believed God arranged their meeting, the union brought mostly grief and unhappiness to both husband and wife.
In the first years of marriage, the Horns bought a home and resided in San Diego, where Millie continued working for American Airlines. But Lawrence remained loyal to Motown, which had moved its operation to the West Coast; he rented his own apartment in Los Angeles, where he lived during the work week. In 1974, the couple had a child, Tiffani, but it was a stormy marriage, with frequent arguments and as many reconciliation's.
By 1979, the Horns were experiencing “serious marital difficulties,” according to court papers. The troubled couple agreed that Millie and Tiffani would relocate to the Washington, D.C., area to live near Millie's relatives, who could help raise Tiffani. Horn and his wife were now 3,000 miles apart, but they still met for occasional liaisons when Millie worked flights to the West Coast.
On Aug. 8, 1984, Millie gave birth to twins, Trevor and Tamielle, three months prematurely. After four weeks in a D.C. hospital, Tamielle moved with her mother into the Silver Spring home of Millie's sister.
But Tamielle's twin had a rougher time. Born with underdeveloped lungs, Trevor spent his first three months hospital-bound; he had bronchopulmonary dysplasia and required a life-support system to assist his breathing. Though his health steadily improved, he still needed frequent visits to the hospital.
Things took a turn from bad to worse on Sept. 16, 1985, at Children's Hospital National Medical Center. Trevor's tracheotomy tube was accidentally disconnected, and it took hospital workers more than an hour to get it back in place. The lack of oxygen caused irreversible brain damage, rendering the 13-month-old a severe spastic quadriplegic. He was unable to use his limbs, talk, or perform even the most basic functions. Doctors didn't give him long to live.
Trevor Horn would eventually overcome this dire prognosis and not only survive but regain his sight, develop some ability to speak, and even attend school. The more immediate casualty from the hospital mishap was the Horns' marriage. The unstable relationship simply couldn't bear the weight of the tragedy. Horn later told the Post that Millie already blamed him for Trevor's health problems, claiming that the stress of their stormy marriage caused the premature births in the first place. The accident that destroyed Trevor's chance at a normal life did nothing to reconcile Millie to her estranged husband: “That situation broke the back,” Lawrence Horn told the Post. “She found a way that it was really my fault. She said I was a curse on her life.”
Ultimately, the couple divorced in 1987. They were awarded joint custody of the children, but the children remained with their mother, while Horn continued to live in an apartment in Los Angeles. He was ordered to pay $650 a month in child support.
If Millie blamed her husband for the sour turn their lives had taken, Horn took out his frustration on his disabled son, say family members, mostly by ignoring the boy. After the murders, Tiffani Maree Horn, now a student at Howard University, told police that her father didn't seem to care about Trevor: “Tiffani stated that she had never seen her father hold Trevor, exhibit any affection toward him, or pay attention to him,” according to court papers. “He told her that Trevor could never be a real son to him because of his physical and mental disabilities.”
Even though Horn had joint custody, he rarely saw Trevor. In fact, he didn't see either Trevor or Tamielle from their second to fourth birthdays, according to court records.
In stark contrast to Horn's virtual abandonment of his son, Millie's extended family (including relatives in Maryland and New Jersey) doted on “Tricky Trevor,” or “Little Trooper,” as the boy was affectionately nicknamed. For his part, Trevor called himself “Or,” the syllable of his name he was able to speak, and he took after his father in at least one trait: “He truly enjoyed music,” said Millie's sister Marilyn Farmer at the trial. “He had certain favorites like "Disco Duck,' and he would sing along with the music and he would dance in his crib.”
Horn may not have considered Trevor a “real son,” as Tiffani put it, but he was willing to accept his share of the money that came from the successful malpractice suit against the hospital. In 1988, the Horns filed a federal court lawsuit against Children's Hospital for negligence in causing Trevor's injuries. The family won a $2-million settlement, with most of the money awarded to Trevor to cover his medical care through the year 2003.
But both parents nabbed a healthy cut for themselves. In the spring of 1990, Millie received a tax-free payment of $250,000 and Lawrence Horn got a cool $125,000. Millie used her money to buy a $355,000 home for her family on North Gate Drive in the upscale Layhill section of Silver Spring. It was just a few doors down from the house where her sister, Vivian Rice, lived with her husband.
For Horn, the money couldn't have come at a better time. After a dismal decade, his music career had hit an all-time low. He'd just lost his final job—a $28,000-a-year gig as a tape librarian—with Motown, which laid off hundreds of workers in 1990. He had already seen the end coming, though: Two years before, Gordy had sold the former family operation to MCA for $61 million.
Unemployed and without job prospects, Horn was thousands of dollars behind in his child support payments, so his share of the settlement money was like a godsend. Of course, Millie had received twice as much, but after all, she did have to look after the kids.
By 1992, though, the $125,000 had run out. According to court papers, Horn was “financially desperate.” He still owed on his overdue child support—he hadn't exactly been throwing money to the twins—and he'd had no luck regaining a foothold in the music business. He had even been forced to borrow thousands of dollars from his mother.
His thoughts allegedly turned to that $1.7 million that was just sitting there in the trust fund—all for Trevor.
According to authorities, Horn was aware that Millie's employment insurance (she still worked for American Airlines) covered the cost of Trevor's medical care only until March '93. Millie intended to use Trevor's trust fund for his care thereafter. Trevor's nursing care costs alone totaled $1,178 a month, not to mention all the related medical expenses—which had averaged $250,000 a year, according to court papers.
Tiffani Horn later told police that her father became “obsessed” with the civil settlement awarded to Trevor. All that money for that little boy hooked to a machine, just lying there in that big house with his mom and round-the-clock nurses. And none for Lawrence Horn, who could barely pay his rent without help from his girlfriend.
Prosecutors allege that Horn began to imagine how things would change if Trevor and his mother were to somehow die—if that were to happen, the money would go to Horn. The nagging question was how. How?
Horn took a trip to his old stomping grounds in Detroit, but he wasn't going back to the Motor City for nostalgic reasons, according to prosecutors. He needed some help, he allegedly told friends there, with a “problem” he had in Maryland.
Some people would say that a hit man is an emotionless, cold-blooded killing machine....On the contrary, a hit man has a wide range of feelings. He may be excruciatingly tender towards his woman. He may be extremely compassionate towards the elderly or disabled. He may have a strong aversion to the useless killing of wildlife. He may even be religious in his own way. What the professional lacks is remorse. He feels no guilt.
The business card, emblazoned with a moon-and-star emblem and a design of a walking cane, reads:
The House of Wisdom
Dr. J. Perry
By Appointment Only
During Horn's early 1992 visit to Detroit, his cousin, Thomas Turner, gave him a card and told him to call Dr. Perry. Maybe the “case buster” could help with Horn's problem, Turner testified (under a promise of immunity from prosecution) at the Perry trial.
A self-professed minister, “Dr.” James Perry is also an ex-jailbird who twice did hard time in the '70s for armed robbery—one incident included shooting a Michigan state trooper. Turner and Perry met when they were in prison together. It was Perry's qualification as an experienced gunman—someone unafraid to pull the trigger—police claim, that led Horn to hire Perry as an assassin to kill his wife and son: The former DJ once known as “L.T.—Your Man With the Plan” had found someone to carry out his dark design.
The defense argued that Perry was a religious family man who traveled around attending to his far-flung flock. “James Perry is a father and a grandfather,” Perry's lawyer Roger Galvin told the jury at the trial. “He's a spiritual minister. He's got people that he ministers to all over the country.”
Whether or not Perry is a true man of God, he had no experience as a hired assassin. To bone up on the subject, he studied a book, Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors, published by the Paladin Press in Colorado. (Perry must have badly needed the money that a successful hit promised, though: The check he used to purchase the paperback later bounced, testified a Paladin employee.)
Penned by so-called “expert assassin and bodyguard” (and obviously pseudonymous) Rex Feral, Hit Man's chilling, hard-boiled prose gives step-by-step instructions on how to execute someone for money—and get away with it.
Prosecutors say Perry used Hit Man as a “blueprint” for the killings. All of his major moves in the crime are recommended in the 138-page manual, down to the type of weapon and the modus operandi.
“A hit man without a gun is like a carpenter without a hammer,” notes Hit Man. “The AR-7 rifle is recommended because it is both inexpensive and accurate.”
Perry used an AR-7 rifle that police later recovered in pieces from in a roadside ditch. The serial number had been filed off, and Perry had also tampered with the inside of the barrel.
“Use a rifle with a good scope and silencer and aim for the head—preferably the eye sockets if you are a sharpshooter. Many people have been shot repeatedly, even in the head, and survived to tell about it,” Hit Man recommends.
Proving himself an excellent marksman for a first-time hit man, Perry shot Millie Horn three times in the head, including two blasts to her left eye. The killer shot Janice Saunders twice in the head, including one bullet to her left eye.
“Close kills enable you to determine right away if you have successfully fulfilled your part of the contract; distant shots may mean waiting around to read the morning papers.”
Perry didn't have to hang around. Following the book's advice, he used a rental car, paid cash at the motel where he stayed, left no witnesses, messed up the house to make it look like a robbery, discarded the gun, and quickly got out of town; all in all, nearly two dozen points of similarity between Hit Man's instructions and the actual murder.
Hit Man doesn't offer instructions on how to suffocate a disabled child. To perform that deed, Perry apparently had to improvise.
The prosecution's case against Perry was entirely circumstantial. There were no survivors, and thus no eyewitnesses. Police found no bloody gloves at the scene, no fingerprints or shoe marks, no hair or even clothing fibers that matched Perry's, “not a single shred of evidence,” according to defense lawyer Galvin.
After the prosecution's daunting four-week argument (boasting more than 3,000 hours of police work), and testimony from Horn's now-grown daughter, the defense rested after barely four hours. Johnnie Cochran was nowhere in sight: All Perry had was a court-appointed attorney arguing a bad set of facts, and the jury decided in a short amount of time that Perry's guilt was open and shut. All that remains to be decided is whether Perry will die for making the hit.
But behind the Perry conviction looms the figure of Lawrence Horn, whom Galvin characterized as “the gray eminence hovering over the trial.”
Indeed, without Horn, Perry not only didn't have a murder to commit, he didn't have the necessary information to pull off the job. Lawrence Horn was the alleged mastermind who did all the homework. For Horn, the sheer logistics of the alleged plot must have presented a massive practical challenge: He's in L.A. His hit man's in Detroit. The targets are in Maryland. There would have to be all sorts of reconnaissance missions, which authorities say both men undertook in the form of trips to the Silver Spring area.
Authorities say the year-long association between Perry and Horn—including hundreds of pay-phone calls and several money exchanges chronicled in a staggering 7,000 pages—prove a murder-for-hire conspiracy. The police version of the events paints a portrait of cross-country phone calls and intricate planning.
In the summer of '92, on a visit to Maryland for child support proceedings, Horn videotaped the outside of Millie's house as he sat in his parked rental van waiting for his daughter Tamielle. He also recorded the route from the National Mall to the house on North Gate Drive. Horn later asked his daughter Tiffani to videotape the interior of the spacious house—a request she refused—but she did agree to film Trevor's nursery. Horn allegedly designed a map of the Layhill subdivision with X's at the locations of Millie's and her sister's houses.
For his part, Perry dutifully awaited his instructions, hanging out at his Detroit storefront business, Mr. Money, and a local bar, Francelle's. Authorities say that Horn and Perry always used pay phones to contact each other, and that both used a calling card that belonged to a friend of Horn's. Prosecutors also claim that Perry accepted frequent cash payments—the sort of expense money discussed in detail in Hit Man—sent via Western Union by Horn, who allegedly used the alias “George Shaw” and the address 2562 Sunset Blvd.: the Motown building.
Authorities say that Horn took the name George Shaw from a local death notice on the July 1992 Los Angeles Times obituary page that also reported the death of singing legend Mary Wells. Whether the references to his former employer were just inside jokes or wishful fantasies for Horn, Motown was still very much on his mind.
Perry followed Hit Man nearly to the letter, but he made two major mistakes, according to prosecutors: When he checked into a Day's Inn in Rockville after midnight on March 3, Perry paid cash to avoid revealing his identity, as Hit Man recommends. But the clerk asked for ID anyway, and made a Xerox copy of Perry's driver's license.
His murderous deed done, Perry made a phone call from a pay phone beside the motel to Horn's apartment in Hollywood. At 6 a.m., Perry checked out of the motel, which is just a few miles from Millie Horn's house in Silver Spring. Then he stopped at a Denny's restaurant in Gaithersburg, where he used a pay phone to again call Horn.
The brief stay at the motel and the early morning calls were enough for authorities to connect the hit man to his alleged boss while Perry was in the vicinity of the murder site, and to begin building their case.
In the weeks after the deaths of his son and ex-wife, Horn filed court papers to stake his claim to Trevor's $1.7-million trust fund. But Millie's sister Vivian Rice filed a civil suit to block Horn's claim to the estate. Perry grew increasingly frustrated with the delays and made repeated phone calls to Horn, allegedly demanding payment. The frantic crisscross of calls helped convince authorities that they were on the right trail.
The civil suit is pending, awaiting the outcome of Horn's trial.
Meanwhile, Horn is being held without bond at the Montgomery County Detention Center. His immediate family has stood behind him since his arrest: His mother Pauline Horn testified that the video that Tiffani filmed of Trevor in his nursery was meant for her—a grandmother who hadn't seen her beloved grandson in too long. His girlfriend Shiri Bogan, a regal, middle-aged woman, testified that she had never even heard the name James Perry, and that Horn videotaped on a daily basis.
A lifelong friend also maintains Horn's innocence: “I know how he feels about money and I know how he felt about his son,” says the Detroit businessman, who wants to remain anonymous. “He didn't care about money. I don't give a damn what they say.”
Like everyone else involved in the pending case, Horn is unavailable for comment. But in April '93, just weeks after the murder and a year before his arrest, he maintained his innocence in an interview with the Washington Post: “For me to do that, I would be dead now,” he said. “I would not be living on, because what would be the point? I would be a monster.”
Authorities suggest Horn hired a monster to do what he wanted done, but could not do himself. That way, he wouldn't have to actually pull the trigger and watch his ex-wife crumple to the floor, her eyes blown out. He wouldn't have to gun down Janice Saunders as she sat quilting and watching over his son—a chore that he had never taken the time to do. And he wouldn't have to suffocate his own child and witness his son's terrible last moments.
By hiring someone to carry out the executions, he could stay in the background and leave the focus on someone else, just as he had done all those years as an engineer in the music business.
Lawrence Horn was convicted and sentenced to life without parole.
Source: Eddie Dean
The Truth Finally Set Him Free (By 14, Norwood Young Had Contracted 4 STD'S)
By Margena A. Christian
Norwood Young didn’t want to be the reason for destroying his seemingly perfect family, so he wound up demolishing his own life by remaining silent about being the victim of years of sexual abuse, starting at the age of 7 by a male cousin. He found a way, or so he thought, to cope with his painful past by attempting to wipe it out. This meant undergoing 15 years of cosmetic surgery in an effort to erase the face of the “pretty boy” who endured the abuse.
Young, who doesn’t want another child to make the same mistakes, says, “Go run and tell!” He’s hoping that his recent appointment as spokesperson for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which seeks to also end sexual abuse, will deliver that message. And Young and California 52nd District Assemblyman Isadore Hall III plan to go in front of the state assembly, early next month to pass a resolution to proclaim April as Child Abuse and Sexual Prevention Month.
“We are so busy protecting our families and protecting the accusers that we have made the [discussing sexual abuse] taboo. It’s not taboo for people like myself,” explains Young, who chronicles his story in the memoir Getting Back To My Me. “Keeping the secret is what put me in jail. I had highs and lows like drugs and parties to cover up. This all stemmed from secrets. Imagine being 7 or 8 keeping something quiet that long. I kept drinking. I kept getting surgery.”
His secret was compounded by the fact that by the time he was 14, Young had already contracted four STDs! Subsequent abusers included older ladies.
“Being with women, people saw it as consensual. It was still abuse because I was a minor,” says Young. “It wasn’t until I was writing this book when I said, ‘Hey, if I was 14 and she was 36, she was molesting me too.’ All my life I knew that I had participated in something that was dark and something that was a secret. I just thought it was sexual behavior that shouldn’t be discussed. I did not attach it to rape. I did not attach it to abuse. I did not attach it to criminal [behavior]. I did not attach it to sickness. That’s what it was. When I watched an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986, that’s when I knew for the first time I was abused. I was a victim of a sick criminal who would hold me down, pin me down and make me bleed.”
Young, an already stunningly attractive man noted for his model good looks, had an affair with cosmetic surgery that included, among other things, a series of nose jobs, cheek and chin alteration.
“I would start hearing the voice in my head as he was raping me, telling me to, ‘Shut up’ and ‘It’s supposed to hurt.’ Then he called me, ‘pretty boy, pretty boy, pretty boy.’ I started hearing those voices in my head,” reveals Young. “I figured if I changed the way I look, the voices would go away. It was never about vanity. It was never about me not liking the way I looked. But I needed those voices to go away. And they did go away, but the looks that God gave me were gone also. I was self mutilating. What I had created, what I had done to myself, that self mutilation was done from a dark and demonic place, beginning with rape and abuse. That is evil. Even though the voices were now gone, there was another conflict going on. I let the devil win. That’s when I began the process of getting back to my me externally.”
That return visit to Norwood Berry Young Jr. meant nearly two years of reconstructive surgery. “I had chin implants and cheek implants removed and eye revision. All that stuff was undone. I am close to what I looked like originally.”
Restoring his me also meant returning to what brought him into the entertainment industry in the first place–music.
“My me was singing. I stopped singing after seeing that [Oprah] show. I was angry. I was confused. At the time, my house was becoming so popular. My parties were popular. It distracted me. When you sing and write, you have to be real honest if you’re a real artist. I didn’t deal with that. I knew the secret about myself. I’m an inspirational singer. How was I going to sing and put this on paper? So I ran from it. I ran through alcohol, drugs and through plastic surgery,” says Young.
Throughout the years, he came to be known as the “man with the house”: the front lawn of his Hancock Park mansion, Youngwood Court, is lined with 20 replicas of Michelangelo’s David. He was also known as “the man with the face.” But Young is so much more than his residence or his appearance.
Born in New Jersey, he came from a well-to-do family and attended the finest schools. His mother, Betty, was a research scientist for Johnson & Johnson. His dad, the late Norwood Berry Young Sr., was a high-ranking executive at IBM and a radio sports personality. His sister, Tanya, was once married to NBA star Jayson Williams.
A gifted singer since the age of six, his voice is a cross between Luther Vandross and Will Downing. His buttery smooth voice helped him to become one of the few singers to receive a perfect score on TV’s Star Search in the ’80s. He also became a star in the United Kingdom. Later, when he returned to the states, he became the lead singer of the jazz group Pieces of a Dream.
“I was wise in my spending,” he says of how he acquired his wealth. “I owned a very lucrative night club in Germany and I did make money off my music. I just spent wisely.”
Millie Jackson tapped him for the duet Young Man, Older Woman. The song spawned an urban stage play of the same title. Young also starred in David Payton’s A Good Man Is Hard to Find, which toured from 1991 to 1996 and became the biggest-selling gospel musical ever to tour after grossing $25 million and selling out 12 weeks at New York City’s Beacon Theater. Young also landed roles in Mama I Want To Sing (Part 2) and Broadway’s Don’t Get God Started.
While in New York, Young also worked as a make-up artist for Fashion Fair where he trained under Oprah’s make-up guy Reggie Wells, who also got his start at Fashion Fair. Young did Karrine Steffans’ flawless makeup for her appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show; he also did her makeup on the cover of her second New York Times best seller, The Vixen Diaries. The beautiful shirt she wears on the cover also belonged to him. In return, Steffans dedicated the first chapter of Diaries, “A Man Called Norwood,” to him.
“I was appalled. Karrine wrote no truth about me in that book. Absolutely none,” he says. “The only thing I ever told her was that I was abused as a child and I would tell my story when I was ready but I had to tell my mother first.”
No stranger to controversy, if nothing else, Young learned the power of resilience and his innate strength at a young age. He is a fighter. So by the time his neighbors worked to have him removed from the prestigious Hancock Park neighborhood, they didn’t know what they were up against.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Hancock Park district of Los Angeles, it is the same area where Nat King Cole bought his house in 1949. He met with opposition from his then-neighbors who fought tooth and nail to keep the neighborhood all White.
“[Cole’s] manager, who was Jewish, had to purchase the home because [the residents] had covenants that if you sold your home, you couldn’t sell to anybody not an Orthodox Jew,” says Young. “When I moved into the neighborhood, I didn’t know any of this. I leased the house for two years. I leased it with the option to buy.”
The palatial Youngwood Court has become noted for its holiday parties with elite invitation-only guest lists. The house sits on a corner and was once lined with trees. For safety reasons, Young cut down the trees. “I didn’t want someone trying to break in and hide behind the trees and jump me. I then put up the gates and put up the statues. That’s when the neighbors realized that a Negro had purchased the property. They wondered, ‘How could this happen?’”
What happened was very simple. When the owners were ready to sell, they offered it to Young. But the house never went on the market. Young bought it with cash. “The neighbors were angry because they didn’t know how I got the house without their power of control,” he says.
For 13 years, Young fought neighbors who sought to have him remove the David statues. “They were saying I was diminishing the property values and I was violating zoning laws. Johnnie Cochran came in pro bono. He said, ‘This is ridiculous. I want to fight this case for you. I won every case.”
The King of Hancock Park:
In 2008, Young was vindicated when he was crowned King of Hancock Park by LA City Beat Magazine. His home is now a tourist attraction and, according to the magazine, known as “an architectural tribute to beauty, art, glamour, fantasy, flamboyance and living out loud.”
Young never imagined he’d one day open up about his past. But an unlikely catalyst, Steffans, fueled him to write his book and tell his own story. He’s glad he did. He’s forgiven his cousin. He’s forgiven his abusers. He’s back to his me.
“What I’ve learned in this process is your me is the one thing that God gave each and every one of us that we’re going to have until we die. When you tap into that, you’ll learn to love that person.”
–Margena A. Christian is a senior writer for EBONY.
"REAL LIFE SCARFACE"
The sadism of Uday Hussein, Saddam's estranged elder son who tortured Iraqi Olympians and served three months in a private prison for murdering his father's closest confidante is documented in a new film, "The Devil's Double."
Hussein was a lunatic son of privilege, considered a mad man. Uday was a monster, hungry for power, money, drugs and women.
Uday Hussein murdered his father's personal valet and food taster, Kamel Hana Gegeo, possibly at the instigation of his mother. Before an assemblage of horrified guests, an intoxicated Uday bludgeoned Gegeo with a cane, reputedly administering the coup de grâce with an electric carving knife. Gegeo had recently introduced Saddam to a younger woman, Samira Shahbandar, who later became Saddam's second wife. Uday considered his father's relationship with Shahbandar an insult to his mother. He furthermore feared losing succession to Gegeo, whose loyalty and fidelity to Saddam Hussein was unquestioned. Mubarak later called him a "psychopath."
Uday sustained permanent injuries during an assassination attempt in December 1996. Struck by eight bullets while driving his Porsche, Uday was initially believed to be paralyzed. Evacuated to Ibn Sina Hospital, he eventually recovered but with a noticeable limp. Despite repeated operations, however, a bullet remained lodged in his spine and could not be removed due to its location near the spinal cord.
Uday is known to have used a body double named Latif Yahia. Being from a well-off family, Yahia was sent to the best school in Iraq, and it was at one of those that he first crossed paths with Uday. Even then, his resemblance to Uday was something that was apparent as Yahia's classmates would point out. Years later, during the Iran-Iraq war, Yahia was a captain on the front when he was pulled out by Iraqi intelligence and forced to become Uday's fiday or body double via threats to his family. Yahia was then made to undergo training and cosmetic surgery (including dental) in order for him to resemble Uday more.
As head of the Iraqi Olympic Committee, Uday oversaw the imprisonment and torture of Iraqi athletes who were deemed not to have performed to expectations. According to widespread reports, torturers beat and caned the soles of the football players' feet—inflicting intense pain without leaving visible marks on the rest of their bodies. Uday reportedly kept scorecards with written instructions on how many times each player should be beaten after a poor showing. He would insult athletes who performed below his expectations by calling them dogs and monkeys—major insults in the Arab world—to their faces. One defector reported that jailed football players were forced to kick a concrete ball after failing to reach the 1994 FIFA World Cup finals.
Uday allegedly kidnapped young Iraqi women from the streets in order to rape them. Uday was known to intrude on parties and otherwise "discover" women whom he would later rape. Time published an article in 2003 detailing his sexual brutality. In one such instance, he accosted a young woman who was walking with her husband, where Uday said her husband was a nobody, despite him wearing a uniform showing him to be a captain in the Iraqi Army. Uday then ordered his men to grab the girl, to which her husband struck Uday in defense of his wife, and was apprehended by Uday's bodyguards. The wife was raped and beaten and later killed herself, and the husband was sentenced to death for "high treason against Saddam."
When U.S. troops invaded his mansion in Baghdad, they found a personal zoo stocked with lions and cheetahs; an underground parking garage for his collection of luxury cars; paintings glorifying him and his mother with Saddam (which was known to have infuriated his father); Cuban cigars inscribed with his name; and millions of dollars worth of fine wines, liquor and heroin. An HIV testing kit was also found among his personal effects.
Allegedly Uday beat an army officer unconscious when the man refused to allow Uday to dance with his wife; the man later died of his injuries. Uday also shot and killed an army officer who did not salute him.
Uday purchased or stole approximately 1,200 luxury vehicles, including a Rolls-Royce Corniche valued at over $200,000. A Lamborghini LM002, given to him as a gift by Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi was later blown up by U.S. forces to demonstrate the effects of a car bomb.
According to a new report, Uday plotted in 2000 to assassinate Ahmed Chalabi, the leader of the Iraqi National Congress, presumably to impress his father after Qusay was named heir apparent.
In 2003, as many as 200 American troops, later aided by OH-58 Kiowa helicopters and an A-10 "Warthog," surrounded and fired upon a house, killing Uday with Qusay and Qusay's son. After approximately four hours of battle, soldiers entered the house and found four bodies, including the Hussein brothers' bodyguard.
Later, the American command said that dental records had conclusively identified two of the dead men as Saddam Hussein's sons. They also announced that the informant (possibly the owner of the villa in Mosul in which the brothers were killed) would receive the combined $30 million award previously offered for their apprehension.
"STORY BEHIND THE STORY" (MURDER CONTRACT TAKEN OUT ON MICHAEL IRVIN?)
by: Skip Hollandworth
DALLAS FINALLY GOT ITS TRIAL OF THE CENTURY. It was a glorious farce, full of football stars, rogue cops, undercover agents posing as hit men, topless dancers arriving for court appearances in demure below-the-knee dresses. At the center of the proceedings, of course, was Cowboys wide receiver and Super Bowl hero Michael Irvin, who came to court each day in sunglasses, alligator shoes, and tailored suits, one of which was lavender. "At least the trial was held in the summer," a member of his entourage whispered, "so we didn't have to worry about him showing up in that damned mink coat."
It was Irvin's full-length mink coat, which he wore along with a diamond stud earring for his grand jury appearance, that let everybody know this wasn't just a simple drug possession case; it was going to resemble a Las Vegas floor show. Courtroom employees oohed and ahhed at Irvin and the coat. One woman asked him to autograph her Bible.
Irvin, who calls himself the Playmaker and parks his black Mercedes in the no-parking zone at the Cowboys' training facility, basked in the attention. He considered himself untouchable--and why shouldn't he?
On the night of March 4, police officers from the Dallas suburb of Irving didn't arrest Irvin when they found him in a hotel room celebrating his thirtieth birthday with his buddy Alfredo Roberts (a former Cowboys lineman) and two topless dancers, Angela Beck and Jasmine Nabwangu.
Party favors included 10.3 grams of cocaine and more than an ounce of marijuana, assorted drug paraphernalia, and sex toys. Although a glass cigar holder containing cocaine residue was found in a small bag belonging to Irvin, the officers arrested only Beck, a doe-eyed brunette who described herself as a self-employed model.
According to later testimony, Beck took the rap and claimed that all the drugs were hers because Irvin had pulled her aside while police officers were still outside the room and promised he would treat her like a "princess." Then Irvin greeted the officers and asked one of them, "Do you know who I am?" "I know who you are," the officer replied.
To many people's surprise, Mike Gillett, a lead prosecutor with the Dallas County district attorney's office, decided that Irvin, the married father of two, needed to pay for his sordid night out. Gillett got felony indictments against Irvin and the two dancers.
(Roberts went free because he could not be directly linked to any evidence.) If Irvin had pleaded guilty then, he no doubt would have walked away with a probated sentence and a four-game suspension by the NFL as a first-time violator of the league's drug policy.
The case would have been closed and Irvin could have gone on with his superstar life, albeit with fewer endorsements. But Irvin believed (and, according to one rumor that swept through town, was told by team owner Jerry Jones) that Cowboys don't get convicted of crimes in Dallas. He wanted to plead not guilty, and what made Irvin such a hoot to watch on the field--his ability to talk trash to defensive backs as he escaped from their clutches, to spike the ball after scoring a touchdown and then throw off his helmet so the television cameras could get a close-up--was exactly what was going to make his trial so much fun to watch.
The national news media arrived to pronounce its outrage over Irvin. William Bennett, the former Secretary of Education and self-appointed national defender of values, went so far as to contend that Irvin and the Cowboys were "hurting this country's morale." To longtime Cowboys watchers, the fact that Irvin had become a symbol of a moral meltdown was a joke.
Granted, he was an amazing player, one of the hardest-working members of the team and a delightful interview who could always be counted on for a good quote. But he was also well known as a scoundrel who had had his share of paternity suits and run-ins with women.
After practices and games, he regularly strolled into the exclusive Men's Club--which a disgusted Gillett called "a high-dog strip joint"--and paid white strippers who looked like former high school cheerleaders to dance for him. He often took those strippers to a hotel room or to what was known as the White House, a home near the team's training facility where Cowboys players took women other than their wives or girlfriends.
But no one thought he had a drug problem--"Michael just got the drugs for the girls," one acquaintance said--until three days after his grand jury appearance, when one of his running buddies agreed to let a Dallas television station put a hidden video camera in his car to film Irvin purchasing cocaine.
The "friend," a chubby and slightly pathetic hanger-on at the Cowboys' training facility named Dennis Pedini, said he wanted to expose Irvin to help him get his life back in order. No doubt Pedini was also thrilled that he got some money and national television exposure on Hard Copy.
Then, tossing a barrel of lighter fluid on the fire, Dallas police chief Ben Click called a press conference during the middle of jury selection to announce that Dallas police officer Johnnie Hernandez, a five-year police veteran with an array of honors, had been arrested for solicitation of capital murder after giving $2,960 to an undercover agent from the Drug Enforcement Agency as a down payment for a "hit" on Irvin.
Hernandez was the live-in boyfriend of Rachelle Smith, another brunette dancer from the Men's Club, who had spent a few evenings in hotel rooms with Irvin and Angela Beck.
In a secret appearance before the grand jury, Smith had ratted on Irvin, saying he told her the day after Beck's arrest that the drugs in that hotel room were his. She also said Beck had told her she nearly had a heart attack when the police pulled a Hope diamond-size rock of crack cocaine that didn't belong to her from her gym bag.
According to Smith, when Irvin heard about her grand jury appearance, he had Pedini and another crony take her to an apartment, where they forced her to strip and searched her clothes and every part of her body to see if she was hiding a listening or recording device. Irvin then demanded that she go back to the grand jury and recant her story.
Smith said Irvin "kept on telling me that I shouldn't be afraid of the DA's office--I should be afraid of him, because he was more powerful."
She also claimed Irvin said that if she double-crossed him, "you'll never see John [Johnnie Hernandez] or the light of day again, I promise you."
How much seamier could this tale get? Plenty. The reason Hernandez was caught in the first place was because the Dallas Police Department was investigating the activities of allegedly dirty cops. The day after Hernandez's arrest, rumors spread that he hadn't wanted to kill Irvin for his threats against Smith. Well-known Dallas sportswriter Skip Bayless, the author of three books on the Cowboys, said on ESPN that sources had told him a hit had been ordered on Irvin because Irvin had made it clear that if he went down on drug charges, he would expose a scheme among local police officers to protect a drug and prostitution ring.
Like any professional sports franchise, the Cowboys had had their share of fallen heroes--from Hollywood Henderson succumbing to drugs to Lance Rentzel exposing his private parts in public. The team's image was certainly not helped when lineman Nate Newton, defending the players' White House, told one reporter, "We've got a little place over here where we're running some whores in and out, trying to be responsible, and we're criticized for that too."
But the Irvin case was a real-life combination of North Dallas Forty and Semi-Tough. In opening arguments, Gillett told the jury that Irvin's eyes were bloodshot the night of the bust, which he believed suggested Irvin was either intoxicated or in a drug-induced stupor.
Royce West, an African American state senator and one of Irvin's defense attorneys, was outraged, rising to tell the jurors (only one of whom was black) that all African American men's eyes are a little bloodshot. West played a unique race-celebrity card, saying the only reason the district attorney's office had intervened in the case was because it saw a chance to put a superstar in his place--or what West called "the back of the bus."
The truth was that prosecutors never would have thought twice about reinvestigating Angela Beck's arrest if Irvin had not been in that hotel room. He was singled out, plain and simple. Yet it was difficult to find anyone who felt sorry for him: The man deserved everything coming to him.
As the trial progressed, he looked more depressed, never smiling, his head hanging down. He brightened noticeably one morning when quarterback Troy Aikman arrived to sit in the front row of the spectator benches, telling the press he was there "to support a friend."
The Dallas Morning News editorial board was so offended by Aikman's presence that it published a blistering editorial saying he could be sending a message to Dallas youngsters "that a reckless lifestyle is excusable."
On what turned out to be the last day of testimony, Rachelle Smith took the stand outside the presence of the jury. (The judge wanted to hear what she was going to say to determine what parts of her testimony were suitable for the jury.)
Her dark hair flowed down her back, her lips were frosted with a light-colored lipstick, and her curvy body was draped in a long white pantsuit, apparently borrowed from someone because the sleeves hung way below her hands.
Although she had been photographed with braces on her teeth just a couple of weeks earlier, the braces were removed for her moment in the limelight. Members of the media snickered when she insisted in a slightly indignant tone that she only went to the hotel rooms to have sex with Beck, never with Irvin.
But suddenly, a pall fell over the courtroom as she described the way Irvin had her searched for listening devices. "He told me that if I didn't change my testimony, he would put everybody against me and everybody would hate me. He said that he'd make a touchdown and everyone would love him again." There was a long silence. Irvin dropped his head.
The next day that court was in session, prosecutors and Irvin's lawyers agreed to a plea bargain.
Irvin pleaded no contest to cocaine possession, a second-degree felony, in exchange for four years' deferred probation, a $10,000 fine, about eight hundred hours of community service, and dismissal of the misdemeanor marijuana possession charges against him.
In one respect, it was an unremarkable arrangement. Nearly everyone convicted of cocaine possession for the first time receives probation. On the other hand, Irvin escaped much greater problems. As part of the deal, Gillett agreed not to pursue felony witness-tampering charges against Irvin for his conduct with
Rachelle Smith. Still, Gillett seemed satisfied. He was able to get Smith on the stand to tell her story in front of dozens of reporters from around the country. Irvin's carefully developed public reputation was ruined forever.
Or was it? On July 17, the day the trial ended, Irvin showed up with his family at the Cowboys' training facility to hold a press conference. Finally beside him was his wife, Sandi, who had never come to court. She sat expressionless, staring at their eight-month-old daughter while Irvin apologized to his family, his fans, his teammates, owner Jerry Jones, and even his dead father.
Then, at the end of the press conference--speaking without notes--Irvin dropped in a veiled suggestion that his era as a Cowboy was over. He said he was not reporting to training camp but was going to Miami to restore his relationship with his family.
Of course, it didn't make any sense for Irvin to go to training camp because the NFL was going to suspend him for five games anyway after his drug conviction. No matter. Irvin gave such a masterful performance, somber and sincere, that Dallas fans suddenly stopped discussing what he had done to Rachelle Smith. Instead, they began anxiously evaluating the Cowboys' Super Bowl chances if Irvin didn't return.
Afterward, Bayless shook his head and called Irvin "the consummate con artist." But Irvin was right about one thing.
He knew that all he had to do was come back to Dallas and make a touchdown and everyone would love him again.