Friday, November 25, 2022

Blind Items Revealed #11 - Reader Blind - Anniversary Month

April 2, 2018

Take the time machine back to Los Angeles,1994, to a Spanish style 1930’s apartment building near the Farmer’s Market. I was a young producer working in the television business, a recent transplant from NY, who found themselves surrounded by celebrities on all sides.

In the building to the right of me was a A+ list singer/actress who is in the news a lot lately because of her relationship with a former A+ list athlete. She was then a dancer on a TV show, and would later become a rising star due to her portrayal of a deceased Latino pop sensation. She was then living with her high school sweetheart, and had a cocker spaniel who forced my cat into a amazing Ninja routine one day when he was out on the back patio. The dog left the cat alone from then on!

In the apartment above her, at least for a while, was this former A+ list child star turned romcom actress, who currently is divorced and has her own production company. At the time she drove a vintage Toyota Land Cruiser with the license plate “FlowerChild’ [the word flower was a mod daisy symbol] and once almost ran me off the road, yelling “Hey watch it, lady” even though I was barely into my 30’s.

A well-muscled, long-haired male heart throb celebrity who was famous for being famous and appearing on the covers of romance novels, also lived on the block, and I saw him in his Rolls Royce with the top down, quite often.

In the building to the left of me lived a handsome sometime soap actor and B cult movie star. He was the son of an actress who was nominated for an Academy Award back in the day, and allegedly married to one of the most notable figures in Hollywood history, a recluse and billionaire. This neighbor was adorable and a friendly guy. I’d see him outside practicing his golf swing, or driving away in his Mustang and always wave hello.

The Monday night in question was a warm Monday night of June 13th. I had gotten home early from work, about 6:00 pm. As I went into the kitchen to make myself dinner, I opened the windows adjacent to the building next door and noticed that their windows were open too. Bits of conversation, the sound of a muffled tv, music coming from a radio drifted up into my place as I sat eating dinner.  One particular conversation got louder and louder. It was impossible to ignore. One male voice was strident, panicked sounding, at the very least agitated and insistent. I immediately dropped my fork and froze. It sounded very scary.

I heard him say  “I know he killed her, but he told me he didn’t do it. He said “I didn’t DO IT, I DIDN’T DO IT” his voice rising in intensity, his speech rapid and filled with fear. “But the cops said they KNOW he killed her and that  HIS BLOOD IS THERE.” I got in my car and came here  the minute I could.”  There was then an exchange I couldn’t hear, but the other man’s tone was reassuring and calm, obviously trying to talk his friend down. It didn’t work. The freaked out guy got very frustrated and screamed out “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND—HE WILL KILL ME.”

WOW—This was more than I had anticipated dealing with on a warm summer, early in the week night. The conversation was bone chilling, unmistakably real, the person speaking’s fear so pronounced that I had a visceral reaction. My hands shaking, my first thought was to call the police but I was so freaked out and afraid, I called my boyfriend at the time instead and told him I had just heard someone in the apartment next to us talking about a murder.  He laughed and said “Don’t worry. Handsome B cult movie star must be rehearsing his lines for the soap that he’s on. I’m sure that’s all you heard.” I swore to him that there was NO WAY that the conversation I heard was someone running lines. It was too disjointed, too real, too spontaneous to be scripted. He finally convinced me to calm down and I went to bed that night thinking “[Next door neighbor] is a better actor than I thought.”

I forgot about what I overheard until many months later—early winter 1995. Boyfriend and I had just come home from dinner with friends, and we turned on the TV just in time to see the beginning the ABC news magazine show 20/20 teasing an upcoming Barbara Walters insider scoop of the night of one of the most infamous murders of all time, featuring none other than our next door handsome B movie actor neighbor, who it turns out, had been good friends with the murder victim, and the shaggy-haired tenant of the former football player turned acquitted killer’s.

He recounted that his friend, who was declared a hostile witness by the prosecution for his evasiveness on the stand, had come directly to his apartment the day after the bodies were found, where he recounted his conversation with the acquitted killer, who he was afraid may come after him for his knowledge of what went on that fateful evening. I HAD BEEN RIGHT ALL ALONG—I HAD heard about a real murder first hand, directly from one of the most recognizable and well-known witnesses of all time, frazzled beyond belief by the events of the night before, and the efforts of his good friend to calm him down.

As a post script, we also later remembered that the morning of the murders my boyfriend’s father had teed off right before the alleged killer at a tony LA Country Club, and that the two parties had traded balls and insults, laughing along the way. Little did he know that later that night his golf companions ex-wife would be found brutally murdered at this sport legend’s own hand.

Odd how sometimes in life there is a confluence of incidents that puts you, a nobody, somewhere in the middle of a big event. That’s my own brush with one of the biggest news stories of this century. I have a few other stories to tell  and they’re juicy, but I will have to think about how to recount them without revealing myself.

Jennifer Lopez/Alex Rodriguez/Drew Barrymore/Fabio/Grant Cramer/O. J. Simpson/Kato Kaelin

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