Aspen, Colorado, playground of the 1%, had 31 suicides per 100,000 people, compared to 11 nationally.
That statistic is featured in the November 2015 memoir by Nancy Styler. The title is "Guilt By Matrimony."
She was one of the three accused of murdering Aspen heiress Nancy Pfister in 2014. Of course, that had been a big media story. There was a famous photo of her husband and herself doing the perp walk outside an Aspen motel. The husband Trey Styler - was wearing a woman's blue bathrobe.
Pfister had been knocked about the head with a hammer, folded into two, and stored in a closet in her mansion. Initially, her death was assumed by locals to have been a suicide. She was known for her non-stop drinking. Drunks frequently end up suicides.
Of the three, it turned out that it was the husband Trey who did wind up pleading guilty. In prison he committed suicide. The interesting thing about the book is that it's written in the third, not first person, with ghostwriter Daleen Berry.
The Stylers both had been prominent anesthesiologists who had l been lived the life of the rich and famous. Then they had fallen on hard times. And, they lacked what it took to figure out a comeback. At the time of the arrest both were considering suicide. They referred to it as their "Thelma and Louise" plan.
When his health failed he gave up practicing medicine. She had been pursuing other ventures which didn't yield the kind of money they had been used to. They wound up renting Pfister's house while she traveled globally. In it was the equipment for a spa they were operating. It was to be the platform on which they could earn enough to pay their bills.
Because of a dispute, Pfister wouldn't allow them to retrieve that equipment. She had a reputation in Aspen as a player who liked to cause others trouble - just because she could.
She had the wealth, power and contacts to do just that. Law enforcement frequently looked the other way. Meanwhile, Trey was already enraged because a lawyer had allegedly bilked him for about $650,000.
The third one accused had been Kathy Carpenter, a local whom Pfister used and abused. The heiress made it her business to get that naïve woman to fall off the AA wagon and get drunk with her.
The book is dedicated to Trey. Nancy Styler has filed for bankruptcy. She would be homeless had not she been able to bunk with her mother in Boston. Carpenter has become a pariah in Aspen. But she doesn't seem to have what it takes to start a new life away from the scene of the crime.
According to Trey's account to an investigative reporter, he just "snapped." His real object of violence was that lawyer, not his former landlord. But there she was. And even in murder, he was the caring doctor. He hit her several extra times to ensure she wouldn't die slowly.
Last September during the West Indian Day Parade in Crown Heights, New York, lawyer and aide to Andrew Cuomo, Carey Gabay was shot in the head. Nine days later, he died of that wound.
Now, reports the New York Post, a suspect has been arrested - Micah Alleyne of Queens, 24 years old. He has been charged with murder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon. He is being held without bail.
"Two Silicon Valley billionaires with a history of bad blood are squaring off over Gawker. Pierre Omidyar, an eBay co-founder, is leading the charge to support Gawker in its appeal of a $140 million judgment ... Omidyar ... is reaching out to other media organizations to file friend-of-the court briefs in support of Nick Denton's Gawker ..." Kevin Dugan, New York Post, May 27, 2016. Here is the article.
The newest development in that amazing $140 million Florida jury verdict in favor of Hulk Hogan and against Gawker et al. is that it has evolved into the clash of the titans.
Billionaire Peter Thiel had ponied up $10 billion to fund Hogan's legal bills. Thiel was co-founder of PayPal.
Now, billionaire Pierre Omidyar, who co-founded eBay which later purchased PayPal, is getting into the act on the side of Gawker. His strategy is to round up key media players to submit amicus or friend of the court briefs to champion First Amendment rights. Some contend what is at risk in "Hogan v Gawker" is free speech.
So, in a sense "Hogan v. Gawker" has mutated into "Thiel v. Omidyar."
However, I wonder if a flood of amicus briefs can have a backlash. When the verdict against three defendants, including Sherwin Williams, in the Rhode Island lead paint class action public nuisance litigation was appealed to the state supreme court, there was a flood of amicus briefs supporting the plaintiff. That was the people of RI. The court tossed the whole enchilada. Here is the opinion Download Statev.LeadIndustriesAssoc.,Inc..
At the hearing before that court, some justices were sarcastic with the plaintiff's attorney hired on contingency (Motley Rice). For example, when Fidelma Fitzpatrick was starting in on a backgrounder about lead, one justice stopped her, saying they knew all about lead.
I always wondered if the justices were irked by all those amicus briefs.
Thiel could wind up winning this one by just staying cool.
It wasn't until Monica Perez Jimenez posted on Manhattan's Loyola School Facebook page about alleged sexual misconduct that there was an investigation.
Until then, the school allegedly ignored her contention that popular teacher Louis Tambini had molested her. Obviously, this is yet another sad chapter in the growing story of schools for scandal. Here is the coverage in the Daily Mail.
The probe turned up that Tambini had molested seven girls during the 1970s and 1980s. However, given the way New York law is structured not one of them can sue. Criminal charges and lawsuits for civil damages can't be filed after the alleged victims turn 23. Jimenez wants that law changed.
Meanwhile, she has outed a useful tactic to bring attention to alleged illegal activity: Post about it on Facebook. The risk, though, is having the organization sue for libel or defamation. As a public service, Facebook might create a how-to on making allegations in a manner than shields one from being accused of defamation or libel.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other conservative organizations rant about America the cesspool of nuisance lawsuits.
The reality is that many who sense they have a reason to file a lawsuit can't find a lawyer to take the case. At least not without a significant down payment.
That's one reason why the story of Peter Thiel's litigation financing has become so sticky. Everyman gets it: Hey, I need a Thiel if I want to sue my employer, landlord, former business partner, the media.
In my social circle there is a woman who has been documenting her employer's alleged illegal labor practices for several years. When what she anticipated happened - an alleged wrongful termination - she sought out a lawyer. Many would not even provide a complimentary consultation. Two said they would listen only after she deposited a down payment.
A classmate from college went lawyer shopping to file a lawsuit against her psychotherapist. To that rolling she had to deposit $5,000.
When I pitched my own idea for litigation to lawyers specializing in employment law there were no takers.
An option, of course, is pro se. Increasingly, the court system provides assistance to the pro se litigant. But that process is not easy or very promising for those without a legal background.
The new kind of philanthropy in America is to become a Thiel type sugar daddy for those seeking justice. We need them.
According to legal experts, Peter Thiel's financial backing of "Hogan v. Gawker" wasn't illegal. And sure we can impute motives to him but, come on, do we ever really know why people do what they do? Maybe they don't even know why they do what they do.
But, what has Silicon Valley in a tizzy, reports The Wall Street Journal, is the issue: Should Thiel be canonized as St. Peter or be branded an abuser of power? In this situation, the latter comes from his vast wealth.
It didn't long for the surprise over this disclosure to turn to sitting around judging. Also, those doing the judging are having fun speculating about implications. For instance, some see this the first step on the slippery slope to the end of freedom of the press.
So little time was simply spent enjoying this one rascal's pulling a fast one on that bunch of merry mischief-makers at Gawker. Those having "grave reservations" probably weren't knocked around by the Gawker crowd. I was.
For several years they harassed me in the comment section of Gawker as well as on my three blogs. I had to block my own blogs' comment section. Eventually the harassment included creating a fictional "Jane Genova" (me) on Gawker. That made-up character left stupid comments about all kinds of news items posted. I pleaded with the Gawker brass to stop it. It didn't stop. Instead it petered out. Eventually they wearied of that game. And, the poison seeped into search engines.
"Walgreens reportedly failed to adequately verify that embattled blood lab startup Theranos' proprietary Edison finger prick testing technology worked as advertised, saddling the pharmacy giant with a business partner staring down mounting troubles." - Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, May 26, 2016. Here is the article.
According to the Wall Street Journal, reports Fortune, the ways in which Walgreens could have verified the claims seemed to have a wrench in the works. For example, Johns Hopkins was to test out the Edison device for Walgreens. However, that equipment was never delivered.
At that point, should Walgreens have become more aggressive about requiring verification? Maybe. Or maybe it was caught up in the magical thinking about the revolutionary finger-prick technology.
Whatever. If it attempts to exit its partnership with Theranos, it could be sued for breach of contract. On the Theranos board and advising the founder Elizabeth Holmes is superlawyer David Boies.
Just being associated with the distressed lab-testing firm could damage Walgreens' brand.