Filed under: alleged crime

The Fall of Carmine Baffa *UPDATED*

SEE UPDATE AT BOTTOM OF ENTRY.

Carmine Edmund Baffa, 52, ran seminars across the country, stalking through starry-eyed crowds hanging on his every word, wearing a headset mic as he instructed others on how they could achieve “life improvement.” Baffa was all about “Human Performance Engineering.” He tacked Ph.D. at the end of his name, and apparently, plenty of people bought into what Baffa was selling.

Baffa, a resident of Lawrenceville, GA, was arrested April 9 and is in the Gwinnett County Jail, charged with raping two teen girls, aged 13 and 19. While local Atlanta media has referenced “two separate incidents,” Baffa’s charge sheet, available online as of April 17, shows multiple charges. They include aggravated sexual battery, aggravated child molestation, and rape.

While Baffa traveled nationwide for seminars, his alleged crimes occurred in a private setting at his Georgia residence. The victims told police that they were raped during therapy sessions. Though Baffa was supposedly a hypnotist, his alleged victims were not under any kind of hypnotic spell. Police believe Baffa committed rape as part of furthering the patients’ “treatment.”

Gwinnett County Police Department spokeswoman Cpl. Illana Spellman told local reporters that adults being treated by Baffa “[S]aid they knew what was going on, but were convinced that it would help their treatment.”

Spellman also said that legitimate therapists referred patients to Baffa, who presented himself as a psychotherapist. In reality, Carmine Baffa was “not a licensed therapist” in any way, according to Cpl. Spellman.

For his “Mindsight” seminars, Baffa traveled to Chicago and Los Angeles in addition to holding seminars in the Atlanta area.

Baffa’s website, Carmine.net, appeared to be “under construction,” but at one time it contained a great deal of writing by Baffa, some of it quite creepy in light of the recent charges against him. He’d posted many of the articles as responses to various discussions in Usenet groups, message boards that have been online in one form or another since the 1980s. Some were still online as of April 17, 2008, but it looked as though any links to the writing from the main page of Baffa’s website had been severed.

One “Internet Response From Carmine Baffa, Creator of Human Performance Engineering,” was titled, “NLP and Sex.” NLP referred to “neuro-linguistic programming.” Wikipedia described NLP as “an interpersonal communication model and an alternative approach to psychotherapy” that was “based on the subjective study of language, communication and personal change.”

In “NLP and Sex,” Baffa wrote the following:

This, by far, is one of my favorite subjects. At least that’s the way I feel today. I often wonder about how so many people could experience anything other than wanton desire that moves toward passionate sexual arousal. My question has been the opposite. How do I turn it off?

Of course, the results of having internalized the skills of NLP has only added to my misery. Now, not only do I live in a state of heightened sexual arousal, it has become very contagious. Or is that contiguous, as the feelings have connected to everything else. I can’t go anywhere without profoundly eliciting in those I come into contact with deeply felt arousal and attraction…

Baffa paused the slithery digression into his “heightened sexual arousal” to explain some things:

Putting the fun aside for a moment, let me seriously answer your question. First, you learn, in so far, the entire skill set called NLP, then you elicit anything you want, period…

Later, Baffa expanded on what NLP had done for him when it came to getting “anything” he wanted:

For me, the process of learning NLP/DHE(TM) has been an adventure. One that has enhanced every single area of my entire world. Life for me is fantastic! I continue having the ongoing experience of being able to do what ever I want to do. I only work an average of three hours a day while making as much money as I want to. I am involved in the most enjoyable, caring, fun, loving, dynamic, pleasurable, intimate relationship imaginable. I do what I want, learn what I want, go where I want, get what I want, experience what I want to experience – always! In fact, my life while awake is far better than any dream I have ever had. And since I only need about three hours of sleep in every twenty-four hour period, I have plenty of time to enjoy it all.

Why stop at just sexual arousal and attraction when you could live all of your dreams? Every single one of them!

Carmine Baffa’s words described an ideal existence for a predatory, antisocial personality — little to no work and constant self-satisfaction. In light of the charges against him, his words about neuro-linguistic programming and sex induce some queasiness. The message — for it was originally posted in a newsgroup that by and large loathed him — seemed to hint that he’d been doing what he wanted for some time.

A similar “Internet Response” from Baffa addressed “Kids Learning NLP.” Baffa wrote:

Pretty much as a rule, when people have attended one of my trainings their children were always invited for free. I have had children ages seven to over sixty attend trainings.

As I think about it, when there were children in the trainings, they always wound up becoming my assistants. It was as if they were learning the information by osmosis…

Baffa is now charged with multiple counts of child molestation, so there was no small amount of irony in a later part of the same “Response”:

Some of the side effects, if you will, that have materialized through the children who have attended these trainings are: 1. the automatic ability to effectively calibrate how far a particular person can be trusted, 2. accelerated learning abilities – where actual study time was cut to a fraction while comprehension increased (not only that, but how they were able to usefully utilize what they were comprehending was uncanny), 3. the automatic ability to make better decisions about the choices that were offered to them in all contexts…

If the charges against Baffa are true, those children who learned how to “calibrate” a level of trust for another through NLP should have run screaming from the seminar leader himself.

Because Baffa traveled a great deal and had other potentially vulnerable patients, anyone with more information about the phony therapist and alleged rapist should Gwinnett County investigator Diane King at 770-513-5356.

I’ve started a thread about this case here.

Additional links:

Carmine Baffa was also a freelance videographer with a full set of camera equipment.

One of Baffa’s confirmed e-mail addresses led to this private MySpace:

http://www.myspace.com/100740839

Note the age given on the profile. Baffa is 52. Public records indicated a marriage in Texas to a woman in her thirties in 2001, but she would be approaching 40 now.

Other blogs: The Dreamin’ Demon has a post up about Baffa.

UPDATE, 6:18 p.m. ET

Carmine Baffa’s birth date, according to the list of inmates currently in the Gwinnett County Detention Center (he was first on the list as of 4/17), is 02/15/1956.

In Broward County, Florida court records, partially available online, there was a felony case involving a defendant named Carmine Baffa from October, 1985. That Carmine Baffa’s birthdate was 02/15/1955. The charge was for “dealing in stolen property.” The case’s status read “disposition entered.” Here’s how the Broward County Courts website explains that status:

Case and count status of “disposition entered” signifies that although either a Court ruled on or disposed of the underlying case or count, or it was otherwise disposed of by operation of law, it nonetheless allows for the possibility that there may still be other actions or matters pending or due on or related to that case or count, including but not limited to, fine, fee or cost payments due; probation, restitution or special conditions pending; attorney’s fees motions pending; defendant declared unable to stand trial and committed to a hospital; appeals pending; and others…

This post may be updated and revised.

(The video below was another promotional video Baffa posted on his website. He titled it “Changing Personal History.” Something he’d probably like to do right now.)

A Black Widow’s Trail?

(A mild health issue has slowed my writing for a couple of days. The following really couldn’t wait, in part because I’m sure some readers will find this unfolding story just as fascinating as I do. I decided to be careful with this post because it touches on a long-term, ongoing investigation that stretches from Missouri to Utah. Only a few names are real, the rest are pseudonyms and marked with asterisks [*]. At the moment, I only have public records and a source close to one family involved in this story to go on for background info, so some details are sketchy, but that will change. To my knowledge, no arrest has been made in this case.)

Eugenia Howell* married Dennis Spriggs in 1967. A photo made 5 years after the couple tied the knot showed a slender woman with a pleasant face, long straight nose, engaging smile. By 1972 the pair had two children, and Eugenia Spriggs was occasionally working as a subsitute teacher. When she wasn’t taking care of her kids or substituting, she was involved with the Rho Delta Chapter of ESA International, a leadership and service organization for women. In November, 1972, Mrs. Spriggs received the organization’s highest honor, the First Pearl Award. A local paper said the award was given for “educational and philanthropic accomplishments.”

Dennis Spriggs passed away 20 years after his wife received the First Pearl Award. He was 47. There was no autopsy. Spriggs was buried with little fanfare in the Highland Park Cemetery in Kirksville, Missouri.

Eugenia moved on to Ottumwa, Iowa. She married Ray Don Ford*, became a member of the Ottumwa Chamber of Commerce. It only lasted a few years — a petition for the dissolution of the marriage was filed by either Mr. Ford or his counsel on August 27, 1998.

Then something happened to Ray Ford. Just 3 weeks after he filed for divorce from the former Mrs. Spriggs, a new petition was filed. The court records regarding the “Guardianship of Ray Don Ford” indicate the guardianship was “involuntary.” A new petition was made on December 2, 1998. This motion was to appoint a “guardian and conservator” for Mr. Ford. At 59, Ray Ford apparently could no longer care for himself.

Eugenia Spriggs Ford moved West, to Utah. In June, 1999, Utah’s business journal, The Enterprise, reported that she had been appointed executive director of the Murray, UT Chamber of Commerce. The Fords’ divorce was final on September 9, 1999.

That same year, Mrs. Spriggs Ford married Brice Fulton*, a fifty-something father of 6 (by a previous marriage) and an Industrial Engineer who worked for UPS.

In 2003, Brice Fulton’s heart nearly gave out. After a cardiac arrest Fulton received a Left Ventricular Assist Device. He lived 3.5 more years, and died on January 4, 2007.

Just over one year later, police were in the Highland Park Cemetery in Kirksville, Missouri. They were there to dig up the remains of Dennis Spriggs. The following quote is from an article published February 27, 2008 on ABC4.com, the website for Salt Lake City’s ABC affiliate:

The FBI may be on the trail of a serial killer with Utah ties. ABC 4 News has learned agents have ordered at least three bodies exhumed as part of their investigation.

One body was buried in the Highland Park Cemetery in Kirksville, Missouri. 47-year old Dennis Spriggs died back in 1992. It was an apparently unremarkable death. The local newspaper made no mention of it. But now investigators have reason to believe he may have been murdered, so the Adair County Coroner, Brian Noe, dug up the body and took it to the state medical examiner’s office for an autopsy…

Coroner Noe went on to say he had questions about Spriggs’s death that needed answers. He wanted to determine “an exact cause of death.”

On February 28, 2008, Kansas City, MO TV station KMBC published a similar article on their website about the Spriggs exhumation. From that piece:

The FBI in Salt Lake City confirmed that similar procedures have been performed on two bodies in Utah and that their offices in both states are working together. The FBI said the investigation has been going on for months but is expected to wrap up very soon…

Eugenia Spriggs left behind her widowhood and traveled to Iowa in the early 1990s, where she became Mrs. Ford. A few years later, something happened to Mr. Ford that left him incapable of caring for his own affairs — just as he was in the process of divorcing Eugenia.

Mrs. Spriggs Ford ended up in Utah, married to Brice Fulton. He nearly died in 2003, but lasted another 3-plus years, passing away “quietly” at his home, according to his obit.

One woman, moving across the years from Missouri to Utah, leaving either dead or infirm men along the way.

She is said to be charming, attractive, intelligent. She’s always found her way into socially prominent situations. Eugenia was a leader in the Rho Delta Chapter of ESA in the late 60s and early 70s, and some online records still listed her as executive director of the Murray CoC, though she could not be found on the Chambers’ website.

When Dennis Spriggs’s body was autopsied in late February, it was reported that tests on his remains may take a few weeks to come back.

Is the pseudonymous Eugenia Spriggs Ford Fulton a “serial killer,” or simply one of the unluckier people you’ve ever heard of? Those tests may give us an idea.

*= Pseudonym

Alleged Creep(s) of the Week: Fritz Louderback and Barbara Anner

American retirees and “naturists” Frederick Calvin “Fritz” Louderback and Barbara Anner have been arrested at a nudist colony in Brazil. Authorities in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul say that Louderback, Anner, and a Brazilian couple may have participated in child-trafficking and pedophilia.

Online evidence uncovered by The True Crime Weblog may show that Fritz Louderback is no stranger to attempting to entice young people.

Louderback, 63, and Anner, 54, allegedly abused up to 10 boys between the ages of 6 and 14. Two of the boys may have even been taken to the U.S., one adopted. Statements have been taken from possible victims by the police and State psychologists.

ABC News reported that allegations were made against the American couple last March. Police began investigating activities at the couples’ home in the Colina del Sol nudeist colony, using undercover officers. Those investigations led to the arrests made early Tuesday.

Fritz Louderback and Barbara Anner ran an organization dedicated to giving free English lessons to kids who lived in the area. New Face, as it was called, may have simply been a front for sexual abuse and child trafficking. According to the Associated Press, Anner “was accused of luring the boys with promises of gifts, food and trips.”

According the police commissioner in charge of the investigation, the Americans have denied everything.

Barbara Anner once wrote a glowing article about Colina del Sol for a site called EscapeArtist.com: “Colina del Sol ~ Paradise Found!

She spoke of “Retired US Naval Aviator and Fighter Pilot, Fritz Louderback, from Southern California,” whom she said was “the first North American to receive the Brazilian Retirement Visa permitting United States Citizens the opportunity to live fulltime in Brazil.”

An article from the San Diego Evening Tribune, written in May, 1985, did reference an “F.C. “Fritz” Louderback of Scripps Ranch” who had been named “outstanding faculty member of the month by National University.” Louderback was teaching aerospace and math at the University, and in the past he’d received “the Greater San Diego Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Service Award and the Theta Chi Fraternity Exceptional Service Award.”

Anner continued:

A mid-generation member of three generations of Naturists, [Fritz Louderback] became interested in visiting Brazil through an advertisement that he read in “The Bulletin”, the official publication of the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR). There he picked up several copies of “Naturis” Brazil’s foremost Naturism and Nude Recreation magazine. Reading articles in these magazines, he made up his mind to visit Colina do Sol. “I fell in love immediately! Not only for the place, but, as well for the people. I knew instantly that I would return to Colina do Sol to live the rest of my life!”

After her reference to Louderback, Anner wrote about herself:

His friend, companion, and associate Barbara Anner, past President of Olive Dell Ranch in Colton, California, USA, and a retired member of the Board of Directors of the Western United States Region of the American Association for Nude Recreation, known familiarly as “AANR West”, also a Permanent Visa holder is of the same opinion: “I adore Colina do Sol and the people. This is the first place where I saw Fritz relax from his professional life as an aerospace consultant. This along with Colina’s many amenities and the availability of the same level of furnishings and technology found in my home in Southern California make me feel extremely comfortable. In no time at all, we have made new friends. Colina’s natives began to learn and speak English, and I, at a rather slower pace am learning Portuguese. We joke that we speak a new language, Por-English. I am happy that I have returned and plan to live here for the rest of life.”

The article continued, quoting several others who found Colina do Sol to be a little slice of heaven on Earth.

At the end of the piece Anner promoted what appeared to be a Bed & Breakfast run by her and Louderback in Colina do Sol — at one time it had its own website (now offline, few substantial files in the Internet Archive) — www.DoisAmigosBandB.com. Below that little promo was a blurb “about the author,” which read:

Barbara Anner is a great grandmother, retired after serving the Pacific Bell Telephone Company in California, USA for over 30 years. Barbara decided to find some adventure and Escape From America sometime after her husband’s early death to cancer. She needed a new start on life and she found it all, adventure and the new start at the Colina do Sol Naturist Community in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. She invites you to contact her at DoisAmigosBandB@aol.com.

In the summer of 2001, “Jan and Bill” posted a review of their stay at Dois Amigos B & B in Colina do Sol. Quote:

We just received our November AANR Bulletin. We read an advertisement that we had not seen before. We telephoned 55-51-9128-80976. We got Barbara instantly. She sounded like she was just around three corner. How surprised we were to hear that she was speaking to us from Colina do Sol on her cell phone. Colina do Sol, most affectionately called Colina is a thousand miles south of Sao Paulo and even more south of Rio.

It is a naturist village dedicated to nude recreation atop a beautiful (severe green) mountain top. A huge lake with crystal clear water and about 300 nudists last weekend greeted us. A new language greeted us too. Por-English, a combination of English and Portuguese. Everyone were friendly to us. Little kids, girls and boys, hugged us. Teens stopped to talk and practice their English with us…

Of course, the review could have easily been written by Anner herself, considering the unique use of the term “Por-English.”

Prior to Tuesday, Fritz Louderback’s name was last in the news in 2005.

From “World Award Honors Heroes For Kids,” published in November of that year:

Three children’s advocates were honored recently for their work on behalf of kids from around the globe. The World of Children Awards, which nominees call a kind of a Nobel Prize for children activists, took place at UNICEF House.

A Nepalese plastic surgeon performed seven thousand free surgeries on children suffering from birth deformities or disfiguring burns…

[…]

One of the most inspiring honorees is a child himself. Seventeen-year-old Cristiano Pinheiro (pin-YERO) Fedrigo, from a poor mining hamlet in Brazil, began helping others at age 10. A teacher scolding him for begging, learned that Cristiano was trying to buy milk so that a destitute 16-year-old mother could feed her infant. After a friend’s brother drowned in the local quarry, Cristiano and his gym teacher initiated swimming lessons for kids. A few years later, he convinced a local dentist that she would attract more patients if she discounted her fees.

Then when Cristiano was 16 his father, a miner, died of lung disease. To honor his father’s wish that his son not suffer the same fate, Cristiano hopes to become his town’s first chiropractor — but first he wants to learn English.

His translator and friend Fritz Louderback explained: “His first intentions are to come to the U.S. and study at a university where he can learn English. The Baruch College of New York City University is very receptive to students from foreign countries who need to learn English in order to start their education. And so we’re meeting tonight with the chancellor and hoping Cristiano will start the school year in New York City in September.”

Perhaps Louderback’s interest in young Cristiano was innocent. There’s no way to know, at the moment.

Even if Cristiano was safe while with Louderback, The True Crime Weblog found evidence online of possible attempts by a Fritz Louderback made some 11 years ago to lure children via the Internet. If these were not attempts at enticement, they may have been coded messages reaching out to other like-minded individuals.

An initial search of Google Groups for “Fritz Louderback” yielded this message, posted by a Fritz Louderback, on July 14, 1996. Louderback simply asked other users of the rec.aviation.military.naval news group for “Assistance in obtaining a current list of USN & USMC squadrons and their mailing addresses.” This seemed consistent with the history for Louderback reported by Barbara Anner in the article she wrote for EscapeArtist.com.

For his newsgroup post, Louderback used the following email address: FritzL@aol.com.

Searching Google Groups for this email yielded a few more results, and some of these were strange, to say the least.

On July 25, 1996, someone using the name Nicole wrote a message titled “Girl 14 years old,” and she posted it in news.newusers.questions. “Her” message was short: “I would like to improve my english […] please contact me.”

There were a handful of responses, some openly leering. One seemed innocent enough. It read, “I am 14, my name is Ricky.” It was followed by an email address. Clicking on the ellipses in that address and filling in a captcha revealed “fritzl@aol.com.”

That could have been a typo. Someone perhaps using a different address accidentally adding in a stray letter, like “l.”

But on August 30, 1998, someone posting as “FritzL” left the following message in alt.mining.recreational:

Our family has recently joined a new clothing optional resort called Deanza Springs near Jacumba, California…

[. . .]

Me, my friends and brothers have found an abandoned railroad, hidden abandoned strong boxes cemented into the rocks, an old broken down damn and a bunch of Indian art, pottery schards and stuff. BLM land is right next to the resort property. What we want to know is, are there any minerals like gold or precious stones that we should be looking for?

Can anyone help us?

Please post answer or email me at treyl13@aol.com

Trey, 13

Emphasis was added.

Was the post some sort of weird code, or was “FritzL” trying to pose as a 13-year-old named Trey in order to lure boys in his target age group?

Given Fritz Louderback’s current perch in a jail cell somewhere in Brazil and the accusations leveled against him and his companion, it is a question worth asking.

Any doubt as to the value of asking what FritzL@aol.com was up might be mitigated by this page:

http://www.abreuevieira.com.br/villaitalia/index.htm.

It was created for “Villa Italia,” a “wonderful resort” that was looking “for investors.” The resort was to be in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

The contact number was 55-51-9128-80976, the same phone number given for Louderback’s and Anner’s Dois Amigos B & B. Fritz Louderback was the contact’s name, and his email address was FritzL@aol.com.

If the sixty-something Louderback is a pedophile as the Brazilian authorities allege (the FBI may also be involved in the investigation), he didn’t just start a few years ago. As is too often the case, the trail of damaged lives and wounded psyches could stretch across continents and over decades.

This entry will be revised and updated if necessary.

UPDATE, 1/17/08

From MSNBC/The AP:

[Brazilian] Judge Vancarlo Andre Anacleto indicted Frederic Calvin Louderback, 63, of San Diego, and his companion, Barbara Anner, 72, on charges of “the sexual abuse of children, corruption of minors and conspiracy,” Renata Savian, the judge’s top aide, said by telephone Thursday…

Sources:

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Natalee Holloway: Here we go again…

The circus has come back to town.

Natalee Holloway is in the news again.

The three original suspects in the disappearance of American student Natalee Holloway from the island of Aruba on May 30, 2005, have been arrested again in connection with the case. From ABC News:
Dutch teenager Joran van der Sloot and two Surinamese brothers, Satish and Deepak Kalpoe, were arrested on suspicion of involvement in manslaughter and causing seriously bodily harm that caused the death of the 18-year-old American, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

Van der Sloot was arrested in the Netherlands, where he is attending a university, and is expected to be extradited to this Dutch Caribbean island. The Kalpoe brothers were arrested in Aruba…
Talk about news coming out of the blue in a case that had gone decidedly cold. At least in the minds of many here in the U.S.A. who covered the case — on weblogs and in the mainstream media.

I had not planned to do much on the computer today or tomorrow, but I felt obligated to note this development in a missing persons case that galvanized bloggers in particular, whether they specifically covered crime or not.

Some of my original coverage of the case can only be read if you follow this link: PlanetHuff.com/Darkside — “The Vanishing of Natalee Holloway.”

This may be all I post for a day or so, but I’ll be interested to see what readers have to say.

David Copperfield and the Nasty Accusations

Agents from the Seattle, WA FBI field office raided illusionist David Copperfield’s (born David Seth Kotkin) warehouse in Las Vegas on Wednesday. They took away $2 million in cash, a computer hard drive and an additional memory storage device, and a digital camera.

Brian Haynes of the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote about the raid:

FBI agents raided the Las Vegas warehouse of magician David Copperfield on Wednesday in an investigation of possible sexual misconduct by the illusionist, a source with knowledge of the investigation said.

Copperfield’s accuser said the misconduct occurred outside the country, but the case came under the FBI’s jurisdiction because the accuser was a U.S. citizen, the source said…

Another FBI investigation was conducted this week at MGM-Grand in Vegas, where Copperfield has a standing bi-monthly gig.

Fox News published an article online that clarified the allegations against Copperfield. A woman in Seattle has accused Copperfield of rape:

The woman told Seattle police the magician raped her while she was in the Bahamas, sources said. Because the alleged incident happened abroad and the woman did not report it until she returned to the United States, Seattle authorities turned over the case to the FBI…

The warehouse raided Wednesday is owned by one of Copperfield’s companies, Boy Magician Inc., and space there has been used for rehearsals and prop storage. It is also a kind of personal museum for Copperfield, who has in the public eye since the early 70s, when he entered the world of entertainment as a kind of magical wunderkind.

Copperfield began working on illusions in his early teens, and he was teaching a college course in magic by the time he turned 18. By age 21, he was a TV star. Anyone who watched a lot of network television in the 70s or 80s in particular probably saw a David Copperfield special on either ABC or CBS.

Some of his most famous illusions included walking through the Great Wall of China and causing the Statue of Liberty to ‘disappear.’

Copperfield has avoided major controversy in the past. He dated supermodel Claudia Schiffer in the mid-90s and had to deal with allegations that he was gay and Schiffer was his paid “beard.” Copperfield sued a gossip rag based in Paris (Fr) for defamation over these rumors and won.

Most recently Copperfield was in the news for stating that he’d found a real “Fountain of Youth.” And that discovery was made in the Bahamas. In August of 2007, Inside Edition reported the following:

…Copperfield says he might have found the fountain of youth.

“I found certain waters there that actually have rejuvenating qualities not in humans yet but in simple organisms have amazing reactions leaves that turn from brown to green,” Copperfield told INSIDE EDITION.

Copperfield says the fountain of youth is located somewhere on a chain of four islands in the Bahamas that he bought last year for $50 million…

The blogger at Katerfelto’s Cat is fascinated with Copperfield’s mysterious warehouse. “Dragonslayer” happened to write an entry about attempting to get inside the facility on May 10, 2007. Here was the blogger’s conclusion about the museum/archive:

It’s smoke and mirrors. It’s a distraction. It doesn’t exist. It makes us believe one thing is going on, when something else entirely is happening (like taking over the world, perhaps). I think when we read “International Library and Museum of the Conjuring Arts,” we should really be reading “Secret Lair of Fancy Magician: Nogrls alowed.” If he’s going to advertise it for chrissakes, then frickin’ make allowances for people to actually use it. Sheesh.

A friend or friendly reader left a comment encouraging “Dragonslayer” to complete the quest, saying in part, “… you could pay off some little kid to accuse Copperfield of being a pedophile and then demand the museum in exchange for signing a non-disclosure agreement. 😉

It was obviously a joke, but it probably seems less funny now. The comment is instructive, however. Though the person who left it was just being silly in this instance, celebrities like Copperfield (unmarried, intensely private males) are prime targets for false or embellished accusations designed to net the accuser recognition, money, or both.

However, what they said at CrimeRant.com about this case is true: “When the Feds are involved in a rape case it’s pretty darn serious.”

“Dragonslayer” wrote yesterday about the raid on Copperfield’s warehouse. Quote: “And I thought I couldn’t get access because…? Remind me again.”

This entry will be revised or updated as needed.

Sources not otherwise linked above: