Yanni Is Freed!
The Post's Andrew Marra, in our Story of the Day, tells us that domestic violence charges have been dropped against Yanni, which is welcome news at the Pulp. (Most people run his mug shot, but I prefer to remember him as he was).
The Pulp hates abuse as much as anybody, but this story never added up, as I explained on the original Pulp site a while back. Thank God he's got this off his shoulders.
Now he can get back to making that horrible, horrible music.
In other Pulp news, the new site had its debut on Romenesko today, though in a rather osbcure spot. Try to find the reference here. Romenesko is, of course, the greatest blogger of all time. The Pulp aspires to be like him when it grows up. A friend of mine told me I should call this blog Normenesko. I thought about it, too. Here's a little-known Romenesko fact: He works all day in a Starbucks shop in Evanston, Illinois and, on the side, has a Starbucks gossip site. That's right. He knows Starbucks -- which he calls "America's favorite drug dealer" -- as well as he does the national media. It's staggering. The man must be hardwired to that laptop.
Someone Has To Die Tonight II
(Here's the second installment of my little tale for your weekend pleasure. First part is below)
When I turned around I saw that this guy was younger than me, probably about 19 or 20. About the same size as me. I got right to the point.
"Do you want to go, motherfucker?" I asked him, getting in his face. "Because if you want to go, I'm ready, motherfucker. I'm ready to fuck you up all over this fucking place. Let's go, motherfucker!"
I was gone. I truly didn't care. It was exhilarating, but I was still scared as shit this whole confrontation thing would backfire. It wasn't the guy. I was worried about a mob-type action. The guy looked at me and said:
"Hey man, I didn't mean anything by it. I've just been fucked over by the newspaper before. I don't like reporters. But you're alright."
I'd scared him. He told me his name and a couple days later I looked it up in the News-Press archive. The guy had been named by police as a suspect in the Rachel Nail rape and murder. He really didn't have anything to do with it — which explains his bitterness. Over the next year, I saw him a couple of times (at a drag race, I remember) and he treated me like I was one of his best friends. It was strange.
Anyway, Jim and I left that scene at four in the morning. And let me tell you something, there was nothing smooth about Travis in his double-wide at 4 a.m. after a night of serious chemical abuse at Timber Trails. He was a degenerated little bastard. I can't go into details here, but none of it was pretty.
I don't think I ever went back to Timber Trails. But Jim, a tall British fellow who was so thin we joked that he looked like a Holocaust victim, did. And he didn't tell me about it, which was a no-no. He and I worked the crime beat together and were basically partners. We covered crack murders together all the time. Once the Fort Myers Police Department arrested the wrong man and we proved his innocence in two days. The charges were dropped. There was also the case of the Finley Carter Funeral Home, where a drug-abusing mortician failed to bury several bodies. They were discovered rotting in a storage shed, many of them melted in the summer heat all over their Sunday best. One exploded. Then police found the mummified bodies of four infants the back of the funeral home. Interesting place, Fort Myers.
Anyway, Jim drove out to the Trails a day or two after that night in a damn Lexus owned by his older girlfriend, who happened to be the Lee County Medical Examiner (and is now his wife). That's right, Jim drove out to the dark heart of redneck Florida all by himself. In a brand new Lexus owned by the county coroner, no less.
And the first thing he did was get stuck in the mud.
I saw him the next day outside the newspaper, where we smoked cigarettes every day. The side of his face had obviously been beaten. When I saw the black and blue I knew instinctively that he'd gone back to the Trails. And I was real pissed that he'd gone out there without telling me.
Jim reluctantly told me the story. After he got stuck in the mud, a kid named Anton just hauled off and punched him in the face. Probably for being a British guy in a shiny Lexus at Timber Trails. Jim stood there and took it. Didn't retaliate. Probably was the only smart thing he did — or didn't do -- that whole night. He was surrounded by punks and just when it looked like curtains, a friendly native intervened and helped him move the Lexus out of that mud.
That was Jim. When he went to get a story, he got the damn thing, even if it knocked him upside the head. It was a magnetic pull — and it made him one of the best journalists I've ever worked with.
So we kept working the Lords of Chaos thing on and off (Gannett wound up nominating our stories for the stanking Pulitzer), but Dick Clark's company dropped the ball on the movie. They kept trying to get Alicia Silverstone, who was supposedly hot at the time, for the female lead and she sort of toyed with the idea, went back and forth, before rejecting it. That killed the project.
Jim wound up in rehab and I left the paper in 1998, after staying at least a year too long. Jim, now married to the medical examiner, vacated the News-Press at the same time with a plan to do a book on the Lords of Chaos. He became a regular visitor on Florida's Death Row and became more familiar with Kevin "God" Foster that you would believe.
Jim was even enlisted in Foster's plot to kill a few witnesses.
(Okay, I thought I was going to be able to wrap this story up today, but it'll have to end in Monday morning's post. Thanks for tuning in).