Bluefield Daily Telegraph Newspaper Archives Jan 19 1997, Page 10

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Bluefield Daily Telegraph (Newspaper) - January 19, 1997, Bluefield, West Virginia By Nancy Shulins the associated press Chicago James Ellroy Speaks in a booming staccato and no topic is off limits. At the moment he a turning Heads in a four Star hotel lobby with a Lively monologue on illegal drugs and forbidden sex acts. Midway through a Marathon Book tour for his new Memoir my dark places Quot the Best Selling crime novelist is Reed As a Racehorse High on a mixture of double espressos and glowing reviews. At 48, he a a big Man with Buzz Cut hair eyes like lasers and a manner so intense he practically pulsates. For dinner he a booked a table at the hotel restaurant it has the dark polished Interior and clubby opulence that he craves. Like his old Money wardrobe the kind of clothes he used to steal refined settings soothe him evoking a state of Grace he never knew As a kid a i bed so animal stoically for so Long a a Ellroy says. 6 his troubled life left him with no tolerance for Bright lights aggressive behaviour Rock music and a the big sweaty Tongue kiss of the i is to a pc arc climate con trolled rooms listen to classical music and Brood. He likes paying Bills and loves paying taxes and thing to reinforce his status As a Quot respectable citizen at last. He was t born to that status. As parents go Armand and Jean Ellroy a were from Mars a he says a a Good looking cheap couple a they were a too sexed up to be recognizable As protestant too educated to be considered White his Early years in los Angeles were scarred by their Battles. When he was 6. They divorced. He preferred his father but had to live with his Mother. She was murdered when he was 10. He rejoiced he writes in his new Book about a the Jean Ellroy this thought crossed his mind a some unknown killer just bought me a Brand new Beautiful Jean Ellroy 43, was found strangled with her own Nylon stocking in Al Monte calif., on june 22,1958. A striking redhead she was a Stem nurse by Day and a promiscuous Boozer by night. James hated her. The murder was his ticket Back to his dad. Unlike the redhead who a made him go to Church and do Homework Armand treated his 10-year-old son like a pal sharing his Girlie magazines and his theories about Jean Ellroyd a murder. A i got a spooky feeling it was All about sex Quot writes Ellroy who a glimpsed his Mother naked and Felt the first guilty stirrings of adolescent sexuality shortly before her death he wanted to know More about her murder but not As badly As he wanted to forget his oedipal urges. He channelled his curiosity and unresolved feelings into crime novels racing through several a Welc novelist James Ellroy coming to grips with a Mother s murder. And a hard boiled life f a amp is Kkt. T _ a photos James Ellroy top talks with detective William Stoner left. The sketch above is a the Swarthy man1 who is a suspect in the 1958 murder Case. His mind spinning elaborate fantasies of himself As the hero detective. Quot every Book i read was a twisted homage to her. Every mystery solved was my love for her in ellipses Quot he writes in a my dark places. But at the time he never made the connection. He rarely thought of his Mother. A a in a astonished at How the screen came Down in my he spent the next 20 years trying to outrun her ghost. By 14, he was friendless and lonely a a Geeky minor miscreant about town. His lather was often broke and worked nights when he bothered working at All. James stayed Home alone with the Beagle no one Housebroken or cleaned up after. James began roaming the streets to escape. He stole food clothes and crime books. He peeped at Rich girls through the windows of their lavish Homes. At school he wore nazi armbands and advocated slavery in a desperate bid for attention he now Calls his crazy Man act. In High school the act got him beat up and eventually expelled. His father died soon after his last words to his son a try to pick up every waitress who serves instead he discovered drugs and alcohol. They gave his fantasies a surreal Edge. They also made him bold. He broke into houses. He a stole liquor food drugs. He got evicted and lived on the Street. He got arrested for stealing and trespassing. Jail was. A health spa he ate. Slept. Got out. More booze More dope he began hearing voices. He stuffed Cotton in his ears to muffle them. Waking from a Nap on a friends roof he tried to think. Nothing. Not one thought. Not even his name. Screaming. Ambulance. Hospital restraints. His name came Back. He wrote it on the Wall. Just in Case. A thought formed. He wrote that Down too a i will not go he bargained with god head quit drugs and drinking if he could just keep his mind. By the time head lived up to his end he was nearly 30, with an 1 Ltd Grade education and no real skills but he knew things. Ellroy knew the dark places in cities and in souls. His new life As a part time Golf Caddy and devoted member of alcoholics Anonymous was a Long on Fern or and Short on introspection but one fantasy remained to turn his obsession with crime into Art. On Jan. 26,1979, he walked out onto the Golf course looked up at the sly and prayed a let me Start writing ten months later he sold his first Book a a Browne a requiem a to Avon for $3,5 x. Within seven months head sold a second. He relocated to Eastchester n.y., far away from the final resting a place of the redhead. He had no idea head brought her ghost with him. Her sad life and brutal death haunted his fiction. He established one of the bleakest landscapes in literature a 1950s los Angeles crawling with corrupt cops racists and the fallen women of his fantasies. All 12 of his novels Are variations on a theme a bad White men doing bad things in the name of it took him less than a decade to evolve from cult writer to Best sell ing author he broke through in 1987 with his seventh Book a a the Black Dahlia a which fictionalized a lurid Hollywood killing head obsessed on As a child he dedicated the Book to his Mother and cynically milked her murder to boost sales. He signed with Alfred a. Knopf the publisher of Raymond handler Dashiell Hammett and James m. Cain giants whose crime fiction head devoured As a kid. He got married divorced and married again this time to the right woman writer Helen Knode. They settled in Kansas City in a House As Nice As any head burglarized. It was 1992 before he realized he was still running from the redhead. For Christmas that year Helen gave him a framed photo from the files of the los Angeles times. Dated june 22,1958, it showed a boy w earing a plaid shirt and a dazed expression James Ellroy at 1�, having just heard the news. One look sent him reeling Back through the decades for the first time since the murder he Felt the screen Start to lift a opportunist that 1 am Quot he figured his Mother s Story would make a Good Magazine article. Sunday january 19. 1997 a-5 on labor Day 1994, Ellroy met with Bill Stoner a homicide detective from los Angeles county who gave him the Jean Ellroy file Stoner offered to purge the most gruesome photos from the file. Ellroy wanted to see everything. The photo that shocked him most was taken a year before she died. Instead of the Beautiful redhead of his memory it showed a puffy faced alcoholic. The night she died Jean Ellroy had been seen with a Blond woman and a Swarthy Man at an Al Monte tavern and later with Only the Swarthy Man at stands drive in restaurant. According to a witness Jean radiated a Boozy glow and the top of her dress was unbuttoned. A my read was that they a had sex and shed wanted More a Ellroy says. A that ate me up. That was my whole life right there but the police file showed Jean had fought her attacker. Shed been raped Quot that made it an uglier crime Quot Ellroy says. A it made me feel her in a Piere for go he owned up to the urges head inherited and for the first time acknowledged his debt Quot her death taught me to look inward and hold myself separate Quot he wrote Quot that gift of knowledge saved my it was t enough and he knew it his mothers death defined his life. It sparked the obsessions that nearly destroyed him and the bestselling books that redeemed him. It created him. And he owed her after 38 years Ellroy finally paid up he went Back to Al Monte hired Stoner and went in search of his mothers killer. They interviewed a Hundred people in five states and chased More than 300 leads without Luck. But their search goes on and a toll free tip line 8 h 717 6517, remains in place. As the investigation evolved so did Ellroy Stoner watched with interest. Head been reluctant to take the Case not sure he wanted to work with a Man who regarded his Mot her so coldly. A the became so much Kinder there was a softening of his feelings like he was being absorbed by months passed. A new picture formed of a Complex tormented woman a not a tragic Muse not a lemme Fatale not a whore not a drunk. Ellroy says. A just a lost woman of her Quot my dark places a his nonfiction account of the search was published to critical acclaim in october. Part hard boiled police reporting Pari lurid confessional its a Creepy classic about the Power of a single event to shape a life. I o Ellroy tans it s also hauntingly familiar a return to the scene of a crime he a visited again and again. Its what i owe myself Quot i says. A it s what i owe my readers. And it s what i owe her a he thinks about the redhead a lot now. He feels different a very poised very Calm Quot and while it remains to be seen How his journey will affect his writing he has no doubt that it will after 12 looks about bad men get Ting in trouble Ellroy says his next Book will show them trying to get out. To so Happy for you a relationship with Loving couple eases pain of giving child for adoption 9y Susan sterner Susan starts asking questions a we pm look at it a my pm in i Chou Llull associated press about Donnas family history. The she save a i k &Quot>3?surviving this without giving Susan who pronoun eve her Tumini. Donna Johnson afford another child she was barely Able to support her 18-month-old daughter Suzi so through the non denominational holy family services adoption Agency in Pasadena calif., she found a new family for her unborn baby. Eight weeks before her due Date Johnson met Mark and Susan. And so began a new Friendship and a redefining of family. A Al so Susan is afraid after exchanging awkward hugs for the positive Susan starts asking questions about Donnas family history. The pregnant woman coaxes Susan to feel the baby move beneath her rippling stomach. Susan is startled. Donna laughs. Together they visit the obstetrician. Gradually they warm to each other. Week three the birth lather has yet to sign the adoption release. Donna sobs. Suzi it awls onto her mothers Lap and brushes away her tears. Susan is afraid but she searches Quot we can look at it another Way a she says. A wok we re going to give this baby the Best first. Days possible. Whether she stays with us or week two the adoption is on. The birth father has relented the release papers now Bear his signature week one holding one child Donna talks about giving up another. A i picture myself dealing with it better if i can just hold her and say she says. Quot even though she wont understand i can to see myself surviving thus without giving her a hug and a the birth Day Donna is scheduled for a Caesar can delivery. Mark and Susan keep her company before she is wheeled into the delivery room. She lies on a table and smiles woo Zily at Susan the incision is made. There is a muffled gurgle. Susan a eyes open wide Donna smiles there a your Little girl Susan i pm so Happy for you Quot Susan stands on i tiptoe to watch nurses Dean and dress her daughter Euly a nurse hands Emily to Susan who pronounces her Beautiful. A let me give her a kiss a Donna Calls. The adoption the next morning Donna kisses Emily for the last time and Emily goes Home with her new family Quot basically i want pictures a you pie of times a year Quot Donna says. Quot any milestones she passes id like to hear about them. I done to think i m Strong enough for anything More 1 wonder if that Means in a a bad Mother. But then i know Mark and Susan How could i regret the life Shell have Quot t Mary installation available Kenmore heating amp Cooling systems Dill save up to 44% on your Energy costs t Central air conditioning k. Mobile Home air conditioning for a Frea in Home estimate Call 1-800-859-6000 of no payment until March 199/ on installed Central heat amp Cooling systems ofter ends Jan 31, 1997 so Aram Mutof a a a a Wpm Mart is / on quantic a puff Tom it zijo or Mon a a a a dwt Yew to Fame opt a Saart charge a a it in Rachwan it us by but ii ,. In of a a a a Ltd a a Xref a of a Toh ftps oar m wow cum a might a a Mimmi to a notice will be closed on monday january 20, 1997 in Observance of Martin Luther King or. Day a first. Community Bank Mocci Muli id i Memas Quot Eri it Ini Ami i ,0 my hut ten in a Siati la Ihm 4 h 7 a a Mil ukr ii 211 l Eder Niue Atje a in a \ aj0 ii sir eel a hand i v incr Smitm Hue 1 Nin r k m,1 Muir a kit 1 so mumber Odic we look Forward to serving you again on tuesday january 21, 1997

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