View Full Version : LUKE BLADE: A Biography
02-25-2012, 07:44 PM
Ever since Criss Angel guest-starred on CSI: NY, his character, Luke Blade, the psychopathic magician, has taken on a life of his own on the Loyal Community Website. He has been portrayed as everything from heartless killer to frightened man-child to sadisic lover. He had even been "married" a few times, with children.
But the details of his "life" are sketchy at best. An hour's episode merely scratched the surface of the complex life of Luke Blade. How do you reconstruct a man's entire life? What forces shaped his destiny? How did an abandoned child become the phenomenal illusionist known the world over? And what led to his psychopathy? What drove him to kill? Did he feel any hint of remorse for his actions?
It is my hope to try to help the public understand Luke Blade, the man as well as the legend. From the few resources at my disposal, I attempted to reconstruct his life, with its triumphs as well as its tragedies. There were a few bright moments in his troubled life, but in the maelstrom that was his soul, with all the anger and bitterness, there was a deep sadness which could not be eradicated, not even by all the applause from every audience for whom he performed. In spite of all his crimes, he overcame a great deal of personal and professional adversity to make it to the top of the entertainment world. In many respects, he truly was a hero. It was for this reason his downfall was so dramatic.
This is not an apology for Blade. This is not to justify his crimes, but to seek the motive behind them. Luke Blade will always be held accountable for his actions no matter what. This book is to show Luke Blade as he had never been seen before by the public and the media--as a human being.
Chapter One: The Child.
The man who would become Luke Blade was born "No-name Clark" on December 19, 1975, in Long Island, New York. His father, George Clark, was an itenerant laborer who had been in and out of prison since the age of sixteen for various misdemeanors ranging from breaking and entering to assault with a deadly weapon. When Clark was twenty-five, he met Lola Tatumski, an alcoholic waitress at a local diner. She was twenty-three, but looked older, having worked throughout her teen years supporting her family when her father died. In George Clark, she hoped to find escape.
Both wanted a stable relationship, and they eloped on June 12, 1974. The marriage was rocky from the start. In the cold-water flat they shared, there were reports of fights and loud arguements between them. Lola began drinking even more heavily. George began staying out late at night, sometimes not coming home until mid-morning the next day.
Yet they stayed together long enough to conceive a child. When Lola found out she was pregnant, she did her level best to stop drinking. Unfortunatly for the baby, she failed, lapsing every once in a while, thinking "one drink can't hurt".
When it came time for her delivery, complications arose. The birth was difficult, and Lola died on the delivery table of preeclampsia. The baby, however, survived, seemingly healthy at first sight. George Clark realized he could not take care of a baby by himself, and so decided to give him up for adoption.
Baby Clark, as he became known in the hospital records, was quickly adopted by Gary and Sylvia Walker a week later, bestowing upon him the name Luke Daniel Walker. The Walkers had tried for years to conceive a child of their own, but had been unsuccessful. Baby Luke was the most welcome Christmas present they had ever received, or so they thought.
As Luke grew older, he was impulsive and tempermental. By the age of six, he was all but uncontrollable. A trip to a child psychologist revealed that Luke suffered Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or FAS. Symptoms of FAS were violent mood swings, temper tantrums, impulsive behavior, the inablility to reason between cause and effect, and the inability to distinguish fantasy from reality. His intellegence level was normal, if not above average. He could lead a normal life with the right therapy and special education, the experts told the Walkers. It would just take a lot of patience and understanding.
Gary Walker, however, had neither. He openly admitted that adopting Luke was a mistake. Luke's behavior had strained the Walker marriage to the breaking point, and they were on the verge of divorce. But somthing happened that would change their lives, and Luke's, forever. Sylvia became pregnant, and, fearing for the life of her unborn child, made the most fateful decision a mother could make. She gave up Luke for adoption again in 1981. This act would scar Luke for the rest of his life; he would harbor feelings of abandonment and bitterness in his soul, affecting all future relationships.
Luke was made a ward of the state and sent to a home for emotionally distrubed children, where he would stay for the next two years. Behavioral modification techniques were tried to control his temper and impulsiveness. But the impersonal atmosphere of the home did nothing to heal the pain of rejection he felt. He wanted love more than anything, but lashed out at anyone who tried to come close to him. He created imaginary friends for himself, and believed magic could fix everything, even bring his mother back.
In 1983, Luke was sent to a foster home run by Mr. and Mrs. Griffin. His first Christmas there, he would recall later, was the best he had during his childhood, for it was then he received his first magic kit. It was just a few rubber balls, some plastic cups and a pair of plastic handcuffs, but it was a turning point for the boy. The Griffins saw it as mode of therapy for the troubled youngster. For Luke, it was the beginning of his career in magic. He would carry that little magic kit around with him for the rest of his life; it became his most prized possession.
In mid-1984, Mr. Griffin was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Unable to care for both her husband and her foster child, she sent Luke to St. Mary's Children's Asylum. For Luke, it was a living nightmare. The nuns were strict to the point of sadism. Beatings were frequent, despite public policy to the contrary. One former resident recalled "getting my ass burned with a ping-pong paddle." Luke relapsed into tantrum mode, which made him a frequent target for the nuns' "discipline".
There was also a darker secret at St. Mary's. Sexual abuse by the priests were later reported duing the Church sex scandals of the late 1990's to the turn of the millenium. As Luke was constantly being sent to the priests for "discipline" and to make confession for his sins, it is likely that he suffered sexual abuse by those same pedophiliac priests. Nothing can be confirmed, as there were no records of Luke even metioning his stay at St. Mary's. He could have been so traumatized about it, like so many children before him who had been sodomized, that he created a mental block. His later lovers would claim that Luke Blade hated oral sex of any kind.
In 1986, an investgation alleging abuse led to the closing of St. Mary's Children's Asylum, but the damage had been done. Luke no longer trusted anyone. He became sullen and withdrawn. Only when his magic kit, confiscated by the nuns, was returned to him did he show any type of socialbility. He was returned to the home for emotionally disturbed children. Knowing his love of magic, the specialists used magic tricks as therapy. The eleven year old Luke was soon entertaining the other children at the home, using whatever he could salvage for his act--cardboard toilet paper rolls, bedsheets, donated toys, pinecones and other debris were worked into his act.
Luke still had difficulty relating to the other children outside of his magic act, however. He still could not distinguish reality from fantasy, often casting "spells" on them to either do his bidding or for revenge. He created his own fantasy world where he was king. He loved fairy tales, especially those with witches and wizards. When the Dungeons and Dragons craze hit America in the mid eighties, he received a kit of his own from a donor. He became so emmeshed into his roles that it was difficult to bring him back into the real world. His education suffered because of it; by age twelve, he could not read beyond the third grade level.
In 1987, Luke was sent to another foster home run by the Russell family. It was a large, Tudor style mansion filled with other foster children of different races and ages. Luke later claimed he felt "lost in the crowd" while living there. The only way he stood out was by doing magic. His trusty little magic kit kept the other foster children entertained. Luke had become so proficient in doing magic that he entered a school talent show and won first prize of twenty-five dollars. He spent it all on more magic paraphemalia at a shop called Merlin's on 38th street. He began spending his afternoons doing street magic, reveling in the applause, and actually earning money as well.
When Mrs. Russell took the children to the public library for story hour, Luke would disappear and find books about magic, magicians and even the occult. It was there Luke found a biography about Harry Houdini, which he devoured over and over again. He would go on to read about other magicians as well, such as Harry Blackstone and Richiardi, but Houdini was his idol, almost a father figure in the lonely boy's life. Mrs. Russell gave Luke his own library card so he could check out the books he so loved, if only to improve his reading skills.
On July 18th, 1988, Luke was performing street magic on a public corner when he was picked up by police for performing without a permit. As he was still a minor, he was released into the custody of his guardians. Luke was furious. He had believed everyone loved his magic, and now they said he could not perform anymore! When the Russells got him home, Luke went into major tantrum mode, throwing seat cushions and swearing at the top of his lungs. Unable to control him, it was decided Luke should spend a term at military school.
On August 19th, 1988, the thirteen year old Luke was enrolled at Fort Pembroke Military Acadamy in upstate New York. The schedule was rigorous--up at six AM, morning calisthenics, daily inspections, drills, classes, only one hour of "recreation" and lights out at nine PM, with bed checks. No magic tricks allowed. Yet, Luke was the master of improvisation. He managed to do a bit of sleight of hand for his fellow classmates every now and then. But the harsh reality of acadamy life did instill a bit of discipline in him, if only to keep his temper tantrums in check. He stayed at Fort Pembroke for a term. His spotty education was remedied by a tutor, an upper classman assigned to him for help. Luke later confessed that he put up a brave front during this period in his life, but at night, he silently cried himself to sleep, the feelings of abandonment still within his soul.
The Russells took Luke back after his term at Fort Pembroke was finished, on the condition that he behave himself. If he threw another tantrum, he'd be back at the home for disturbed children. Luke promised to do his best.
Luke began his high school years in Forest Hills, a suburb of Long Island. There is an entry in the 1989 yearbook of Luke Walker performing in a school variety show, dancing around with a levitating cane. No mention of any trouble had been recorded, though his grades were less than stellar. He claimed to be bored in school, yet he stuck with it for fear of being sent away again. The Russells were the closest he had to a real family. Luke had hoped the Russells would adopt him, for he knew once he turned eighteen, he would be out of the foster care system and on his own, no support from anyone.
It was not to be. The Russells divorced in early 1990, and Luke's erratic behavior emerged once again. This time, he was sent to a psychiactric hospital specializing in troubled teens. Again, more rejection.
Here, the fifteen year old Luke discovered the real purpose of sex, in the form of a promiscuous female inmate. It was she who initiated him into the mysteries of adulthood. Their affair would have gone on indefinatly but for the intervention of the staff. Luke was kept in isolation for two weeks. Nothing is known about the female inmate who had been his lover.
At seventeen, Luke was released, with no home to go to or family to take him in. All he had was his childhood magic kit. He started to do street magic again, for loose change. It was on a Park Street corner that he was discovered by the man who would give him his first big break.
02-25-2012, 09:35 PM
hi great chapters , i really enjoying reading this story as i find luke really interesting :) can't wait to read more :)
02-26-2012, 02:03 AM
Chapter Two: The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
At the tender age of seventeen, Luke Walker was living on the streets of Long Island, New York, doing street magic and sleeping in abandoned housing projects, subways, or wherever he could find shelter. Having no high school diploma, he could not find a regular job. He would later describe this period as the lowest point in his life. There were days when he had no money for a cup of coffee, let alone for a meal. His weight dropped from one-twenty to a bare ninety-nine; he was almost a skeleton.
One afternoon, as he was doing a card trick on Park Street, he collapsed onto the pavement. The man for whom he was performing, Bill Whitmore, was a professional magician and theater manager who had noticed the young magician and saw potential in him. Whitmore literally picked up the unconscious Luke and drove him to his home in Manhattan, where he nursed him back to health.
Luke woke up in a warm, clean bed in a furnished bedroom in a New York high-rise. The homeless young man had never seen such luxury in his life, except in magazines. "When I woke up in Bill's apartment," he would later claim, "I thought I had died and gone to Heaven." It was Luke's first taste of the good life, one he never forgot. When served the first decent meal he had in months, a double cheeseburger and fries, Luke ate ravenously.
A week passed, and Luke got his strength back. His benefactor, Bill Whitmore, outlined his plan for him. He would train Luke in the art of magic and escapeology. He would make Luke a star, the new Houdini, he said. Luke would become the greatest magician alive, and Whitmore would be his manager. Luke did not question Whitmore's motives; after all, Bill had taken him in and cared for him. Magic had brought them together, just like Cinderella and her fairy godmother, and Whitmore would transfrom the poor beggar boy into a prince.
Luke, in turn, would have to discipline himself if he was going to survive any of the escapes he would learn from his new mentor, if he was going to survive. He would have to work hard, train his body to physical perfection, focus his mind on his act, or he would be injured or killed. He had talent, Bill said, but in order for that talent to be fully realized, it would take months, if not years of training and practice. Stick to the program, and he would become a superstar.
For once in his life, Luke agreed to do whatever was required of him. His rebelliousness and short-fused temper were suppressed to the best of his ability, submitting his will to his teacher, his mentor, his new father figure. At last, he thought, he had finally found his home.
Luke began each day with daily exercise, though not as rigorous as the drills he endured at Fort Pembroke. He was taken to the local gym and given a routine of weightlifting and physical endurance. He fleshed out to a muscular one hundred and twenty-five pounds. His shoulders grew broader, his abdomen took on a "six-pack" hardness, his legs firmed up to a marathon runner's standards. His jet-black hair had grown to waist length during his days on the street, so it had to be trimmed back. This was the first disagreement Luke and Bill had. Luke liked his hair long, but Bill claimed it looked "unprofessional". They compromised at cutting it to shoulder length. As this was the "hair metal" music period, it was quite fashionable.
There were long hours of practice: card tricks, handling animals safely, picking locks, breathing exercises for underwater escapes, patter (the monologue a magician gives while doing a trick), pace and timing. At the age when many teenagers are just thinking about a career, Luke was training for his. He loved every minute he made something appear or disappear, or got out of something in a minute or less. Still unable to distinguish reality from fantasy, he came to believe in his own illusions as real magic. He had the power to do anything he wanted!
His bravado was kept in check by the ever vigilant Bill Whitmore, who knew from long experience that overconfidence and complacency were signatures on a magician's death warrant. He constantly reminded Luke to not be so cocky, to focus on the stunt, and not his ego. But Luke was too sure of his talent to listen: he thought he knew everything. And it was this arrogance that nearly cost him his life.
Luke had been practicing getting out of handcuffs and shackles, and he wanted to try the underwater escape Houdini had made famous--he would be immersed in a long, rectangular tank, shackled and chained, upside down, with only seconds to free himself before he drowned. Bill wasn't sure Luke was ready for this, but the impetuous young magician was raring to go.
He was cuffed and hoisted by his ankles and lowered into the tank. Luke took a deep breath, as he had been instructed, and was submerged into the tank. He struggled to free himself, but no sooner did he get the first cuff off than he began to panic, hammering on the tank's glass walls. He felt himself drowning. Bill sized up the situation and pulled Luke out of the tank. Luke was nearly unconscious as he was lowered to the floor. Bill revived him with mouth-to-mouth resusitation. Coughing and gasping for air, Luke looked up at the man who saved his life for the second time.
"Well, I hate to say I told you so," Bill said, "but I warned you about this. Your cocky attitude almost did you in. You have to train your mind for this as well as your body. Mind, body and spirit must work together in order for it to work. Remember that."
Luke never forgot those words. Mind, Body, and Spirit: the trinity which became the foundation of his life's philosophy had been laid. Chastened by his near-disaster, he refocused himself on his training. Never again would he let himself lose sight of his goals by being overconfident. The stunt itself, and all the steps to perform it, had to be the only thing in his mind.
While Luke matured under Bill's tutelage, he still suffered the effects of FAS. There were still the angry outbursts, the impulsiveness, and the feelings of abandonment which still haunted him. He still could not reason between cause and effect. Bill was puzzled by this behavior; he knew nothing about Luke's past. However, he did hit on a way to control Luke whenever he lashed out or broke the rules of their agreement: he merely threatened to throw him out on the street, reminding Luke of who had rescued him. These little guilt trips would send Luke into near hysteria, reducing him to sniveling tears, begging Bill not to abandon him. Bill was his father, his mentor, the only person on this earth who actually cared about him. To be cast out was more than Luke could bear.
On top of Luke's magic training, there was the matter of his formal education as well. Luke had quit school before being sent to the psychiatric hospital, and his constant transfers from foster home to institution kept him behind. He was enrolled in evening adult education classes to earn his GED. Luke struggled with his daily lessons, if only to please Bill, in spite of the desire to practice magic, his first love. At the age of nineteen, Luke finally graduated from high school with a GED. At the same time, he was ready for a live audience.
02-26-2012, 05:34 AM
Thanks for finding this Veritas :)
02-26-2012, 10:12 AM
Great Chapters , can't wait to read more :)
02-26-2012, 04:27 PM
Chapter Three: The Prodigy
Under Bill Whitmore's supervision, Luke Walker became proficient in illusions and escape. Hours and hours of rehearsing in fromt of a large mirror sharpened his skills to the point where Luke amazed even himself. In addition to Whitmore's experience, he began to delve into Eastern philosophy and mysticism, studying the fakirs and magicians of the Middle and Far East. It was from them Luke learned to control his body, increase his tolerance for pain, and psyche out distractions, skills which would prove invaluable later in his career.
Luke had the skills and the training. Now, all that was needed was the image. Whitmore wanted to create Luke into another Doug Henning: hip, contemporary, topical. But Luke wasn't going for the Seventies look. The early Nineties called for something a bit grittier, with more "street cred". Rap music was emerging as the dominant musical force; the "gangsta" look was just coming into vogue. Luke Walker sounded too geeky, too boy-next-door like. As the Walkers had abandoned him, so he abandoned his adopted name and chose one which he came up with, inspired by a comic book character: Blade, a half-vampire superhero, dark and mysterious. The perfect name for a budding magician.
Whitmore, not having any ideas of his own, agreed. But he insisted that Luke keep his first name to avoid copyright infringement. Thus, Luke Blade came into being. His jet-black hair and smoldering good looks gave him a menacing air, an aura of danger, someone who had bargained with the Devil for power over the laws of nature to achieve the impossible. Whitmore tried to dress Luke in more formal, tailored clothes, as magicians had in the past, but Luke preferred jeans and t-shirts; he was more comfortable in them, he said.
Bill said that was all right for rehearsals, but to make a good impression on stage, he had to dress more formally. Not in evening dress, as magicians had in the past, but at least appear well-groomed. They compromised on dark, long sleeved shirts, black slacks, and a simple medallion, the first of what would become Luke's collection of "bling".
Luke's debut would be in the Whitmore theater itself. Bill educated Luke in basic theater: stage right, stage left, center, wings, backstage, orchestra pit, green room (Luke claimed later he never found out why it was called that, since he never saw one that was actually green), the catwalks above where the lighting was rigged, and so on. Luke rehearsed on the stage to the point where he could do it in his sleep. He was determined to prove himself to Bill and the world he was the greatest magician who ever lived.
The big night came. Luke saw his name writ large on the marquee for the first time. Though later in life he would deny it, he was so nervous before his performance that he rushed into the small restroom and vomited. By sheer force of will, he pulled himself together and went on with the show.
From the reviews given in the local papers, the show was a resounding success. The twenty-year-old magician was called a "prodigy", a "young Houdini". Bookings from various magic clubs around New York followed. And Luke wowed them all.
While Luke was amazing audiences with his skills at magic, his business sense was clearly lacking. All finances were handled by Bill Whitmore. Luke's mentor, now his manager, was raking in the dough to the point of outright exploitaiton of his protege. It was he who decided what Luke would wear, what and when he should eat, and what hotel would he be staying in. Luke turned a naive eye to his manager's business dealings. After all, Bill had more experience with these things than he did, so he felt it best to leave it all up to him. Luke wasn't starving anymore; the audiences gave him a sense of self-worth, a feeling of acceptance he had never known before in his lonely childhood, and he was guaranteed a warm bed to sleep in after the show. That was gratifying in itself.
Luke began appearing in magic magazines and other entertainment periodicals, leading to national exposure. He was the new phenom to watch out for, the reviews said. In mid 1996, Luke Blade entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest person to succeed in performing Houdini's underwater escape. The near-disaster in the past had been a learning experience for him, and he vowed to never slip up like that again. He still prided himself on doing escapes, though.
There were photo shoots and interviews. Luke posed semi-nude, covered with shackles and cuffs, for Cosmopolitan. He was photographed wearing a loincloth and leather cuffs, as if he was about to be sold into slavery. The female public ate it up; they swooned over this darkly handsome illusionist with the flowing black hair and muscular body.
As hard as Luke tried to keep himself in top physical condition, the grueling schedule began to take its toll. In June, 1997, while performing in Chicago, Luke collapsed onstage at the Magic Castle. He was rushed to the nearest hospital, where he was diagnosed as having a "low-grade virus" complicated by exhaustion, forcing him to postpone any future performances. Bill remained at Luke's side, encouraging him to recover quickly. The doctors, however, ordered a week's bedrest for Luke.
Luke's recovery was hastened by three days when he received word from Gateway Productions in Los Angeles that he was being offered a role in a movie titled Pentacle. It was a low-budget occult horror film about young witches and warlocks terrorizing middle-class America. Eager for more publicity, Luke jumped at it.
The problem was, Luke had no acting skills beyond what he had learned from Bill. He literally had to learn on the set, coached by the director himself. Still, Luke was a master of improvisation, and he made the best of it. The film, however, was a flop. The only good which came from it was that it gave Luke more public exposure. It also gave him a taste of LA life. To his credit, Luke never succumbed to the temptation of drug abuse, though he did consume a great deal of alcohol early in his career. Whether it was to become more socially accepted or to drown out the past is a matter of conjecture. Still, he dreamed of the high life, of having it all. He wanted wealth and fame, with all the trappings, but had no access to his own finances. It was at this point in time where Luke and Bill would go head to head, leading to a showdown.
02-26-2012, 05:47 PM
Great Chapter :) i can't wait to see what going to happen between Luke and Bill :)
02-26-2012, 06:26 PM
More please :)
02-27-2012, 07:25 PM
Chapter Four: The Overnight Sensation.
Luke's star was rising. He was in demand at theaters and magic clubs all over the East Coast. Everyone wanted to see this young illusionist who was barely out of his teens yet performed like a seasoned professional. Women went gaga over his sultry good looks and muscular physique.
Around early 1998, Luke Blade made his first Las Vegas appearance at the Magic Castle. It was a three-night engagement with every performance sold out. Luke did not disappoint his audiences. He worked hard at his craft, developing new illusions and even more life-threatening escapes. Bill Whitmore had told him that he was only as good as his last show, so every new performance had to be better than the previous ones.
Luke did not work alone, though. A small crew of eight people set up the stage, rigged the lights, handled the props, and assisted with the act, then had to tear it all down and pack it up for the next show. This tiny group would become the founding members of the Family, as Luke would refer to them, growing to nearly thirty crew members and assistants. They worked long hours, paid only mimimum wage with little overtime compensation.
Luke himself, though achieving fame, did not make a fortune. Whitmore handled all the finances, and proved himself a miser when it came to expenses. He gave Luke a fifty-dollar a week allowance for personal expenses. Luke Blade was making less than his crew, even with federal, state and local taxes withheld. When Luke complained, Bill said that he was keeping an eye on the bottom line. It cost a fortune to keep this "circus" going, as he put it, and besides, he didn't want Luke to squander all that money on himself. He had his crew to think of; they had to make a living, too. Fifty dollars a week was all he was getting.
Luke was furious. He was a star. and his manager was treating him like a kid! Fifty dollars a week barely covered a week's meals! He was being cheated! The crew felt the same way; they threatened to go on strike, even quit en masse, if they did not get better pay. Luke used this animosity to his advantage. He claimed to be on their side, sympathizing with their cause. Together they would win, he said. They were his family, and families stuck together no matter what. His crew cheered him on.
It all came to a head in late April, 1998. An outdoor show had been scheduled in Miami. Unfortuatly, an F1 hurricane had been spotted off the Gulf of Mexico and was headed for Florida. While an F1 is minor compared to more devastating storms such as Katrina in 2006, the heavy winds can still cause major damage.
The scaffolding for the lights had been barely set up when the tail end of the hurricane struck. Luke and the crew watched helplessly as all their hard work came crashing to the ground. There was no way to set it up again until the storm was over, and they were already behind schedule. Local authorities insisted the show be cancelled.
Whitmore was adamantly opposed. He had too much money invested in this, he argued. People wanted Luke Blade, and they were going to get Luke Blade. The wind would die down soon, and the show would go on, even if the crew had to put in extra hours.
When Luke and the crew heard Whitmore's decision, their outrage triggered an even bigger storm than the one from the Gulf. The crew pleaded with Luke to intercede on their behalf, reminding him that they were "family", and of his promise to stick together with them. Luke, still bitter over his meager allowance, was all too happy to oblige.
What followed is still a matter of debate. Luke demanded more money for himself and his "family", accusing Whitmore of holding out on them. They slaved for him, nearly risking their lives for him. And now he expected them to perform in the face of a howling hurricane? They had almost been killed by that scaffolding! Didn't Bill care at all for him and the "family"?
Whitmore insisted that Luke's demands were "unreasonable", that expenses were high enough. He reminded Luke yet again that he was the one who dragged him off the street, taught him everything he knew about magic, and made him the celebrity he was today. After all his hard work and sacrifices, this was how he repaid him? He should be grateful simply to be alive because of him.
Luke, for once, was not yielding to guilt. While it was true Whitmore had given him a break, he was also exploiting his talents for his own profit. Luke stood firm, demanding to know just where the money was going. He would not be cheated, he said.
Whitmore said later that he showed the profit and loss reports to Luke, while Luke denied any such claim. Luke was no financial genius, but he knew instinctivly he was getting screwed in this deal. But the outcome was certain: the Miami show was postponed and Luke and the crew walked out, until better terms could be reached. A week later, Luke filed legal action against Bill Whitmore. An accounting firm was hired to go over the financial records, and the findings shocked everyone, including Luke.
It turned out that Whitmore had been pocketing the profits from the tour, to fund his gambling habit. Evidence of tax evasion was also revealed. Nearly a million dollars had disappeared, never to be recovered. Luke was crushed. He had been betrayed by the one person whom he had trusted more than anyone in his life, his mentor and father figure, the man who had saved his life twice and taught him the great secrets of magic and illusion. For a boy who had been rejected, abandoned and abused, this was another stab in the back for Luke Blade.
A lawsuit had been filed, and a federal trial was set, but Whitmore never made it to court. On May 18th, 1998, Bill Whitmore was found in his kitchen in his Long Island apartment with his head in the oven, dead. The person who discovered his body was none other than Luke Blade himself, who had come home from the gym that morning. Neighbors later reported hearing screams of anguish from the apartment and had called the police, thinking it was a domestic disturbance. The two officers who responded to the call reported seeing Luke cradling the body of the older man in the kitchen, weeping uncontrollably. The love Luke once had for his mentor resurfaced at the sight of his dead body. Death to him was abandonment, a sort of betrayal, just as his adoptive mother had betrayed his love and trust by returning him to the children's home.
It was the accounting firm of Blum and Schwartz who gave Luke the impetus to go on. After sorting out the tax mess and the estate, Luke was left with a quarter of a million dollars, the most money he had up to that point. They gave Luke a crash course in business math, and recommended a more reputable agency to represent him in the entertainment world. They also made sure the original "family" members were well compensated. Luke would retain Blum and Schwartz as his personal accountants for the rest of his career. They treated the young magician fairly and honestly, and Luke treasured that.
He was introduced to his new manager, David Barron, and his agent, Mick Thompson. Together, they had Luke touring the entire continental US, getting more public exposure, even appearing on national television. Luke Blade was the new phenomenon. His "family" grew to three times the size it had been before, to almost thirty people: stunt engineers, make-up artists, stage hands, wardrobe keepers, electricians, and personal assistants. Due to the extreme danger of his escapes, and to cut insurance costs, a professional nurse was hired to keep Luke in good health and to treat any injuries to himself and the crew as well. Luke's "family" was growing, and they filled the lonely man-child's need for both control and belonging.
02-27-2012, 07:52 PM
can't wait to read more
02-27-2012, 09:08 PM
Great Chapter , can't wait to read more :)
02-28-2012, 05:20 PM
Chapter Five: The Family Man
For all of Luke Blade's fame, there was still the sadness, the insecurity and the pain of lonliness deep inside his tortured soul. The feelings of abandonment had never left him, the trauma of his abuse at the hands of the priests and nuns at St, Mary's continued to haunt him. Shuttling in and out of foster homes and instutions augmented his sense of unworthiness and rejection. His only solace was in the applause he received from his audiences and the adulation from his fans. But Luke wanted more. He wanted to belong to a special someone. He wanted to be loved, cherished and comforted. He wanted a family.
He had created imaginary friends as a child, but he yearned for actual physical contact with a real human being. His teenage lover in the psychiatric hospital had just used him for her own pleasure. Luke also suffered night terrors, often waking up screaming. He hated sleeping alone, often taking in groupies just for the security of their company. He often slept with the female members of his crew, though often at times never engaging in any sexual activity but just to keep away the boogymen his tortured mind created while he slept.
The theatrical crew who worked for him found themselves drawn into a cabal of secrecy, understandable for a magician, but for Luke Blade, it went even deeper. He began referring to them as "the Family", laying down unwritten but rigidly enforced rules for their conduct: They were required to show unquestioning loyalty to him and to the rest of the Family. Leaving the Family was betrayal. Luke, in turn, was protective of his Family to the point of obsession. He would defend them to the death, and he wanted the Family to do the same for him.
There was no messianic type dominance as in the case of Charles Manson. Luke was not out to start a cult following. He was simply a psychologically scarred young man who clung to those close to him, fearing rejection and abandonment. He was still prone to outbursts of anger, unaware of the consequences of his actions at times, but there were periods where Luke was the soul of generosity, showering gifts upon the members of his Family at Christmastime, comforting them when they had troubles of their own, and even playing games with them.
There is video footage of Luke with some of the male members of the Family, playing beer pong, a game that was starting to become popular among college students. Cups of beer were lined up on either end of a ping-pong table, and each player batted the ball as in a regular game. If the ball landed in a cup of beer, the person whose side it was on had to drink it. Whoever was left standing was the winner. The videotape showed Luke and his buddies getting slowly hammered as the game progressed. "I can't remember," a former member of the Family, who wished to remain anonymous, stated. "We were all pretty smashed, One minute I'm playing ping-pong, the next I'm in the bathroom blowing chow! Luke says he won, but he was always prone to exaggeration. We had a lot of good times in the beginning."
One of those good times was a ski trip to Colorado. Luke, of course, had never been skiing in his life, but a couple of Family members who were expert skiiers gave him a few lessons. Luke took a few tumbles and landed on his face, but soon got the hang of it. "He thought he was ready for the Olympics after a couple of runs down the bunny hill," one of them said. Luke was laughing throughout the trip. "I never had so much fun in my life!" he said later.
Yet for all the fun, the pressure of work was still there. As much as he loved and cared for his Family, they were technically his employees. They worked for him. They also had lives of their own, something which Luke had to be reminded over and over again. When a Family member suffered the loss of her mother and requested time off to go to the funeral, Luke's first reaction was "What about me?" His personal nurse had to take him aside and carefully explain the situration to him. The woman was allowed to go to the funeral, with the instruction from Luke to "hurry back, we need you."
Luke was not completely heartless, just unaware of other peoples' feelings. He never developed a sense of empathy for anyone, but remained in an infantile state of dependancy and self-centeredness. Luke was, deep down inside, a helpless, wounded child, begging for someone to care for him, crying for his mother to come back to him. His insecurity shielded him from seeing the pain of others; he only felt his own. He lashed out at anyone whom he perceived as having betrayed him for any reason, even for going on dates with each other or "outsiders".
His personal nurse, Victoria Soames, was the only one in the Family who could control Luke's rages. The oldest member of the Family (she was thirty five when she was hired), Soames was an RN with twelve years' experience dealing with violent patients in the emergency room of an inner city hospital, usually gang members who had been in a turf war, or drunks hauled in after being floored in a bar brawl. At least Luke was unarmed and ususally sober when he flew off the handle, but she had the patience of a saint when it came to defusing Luke's temper tantrums. She was truly and angel of mercy as far as the Family was concerned. "Nursie" Soames became the mother figure in the Family, doing everything from treating Luke's injuries after doing stunts to giving flu shots to dispensing everything from asprin to condoms. Hers was the shoulder to cry on; the Family came to her for emotional support as well as medical treatment. It was she who taught Luke about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, showing him the proper use of a condom, and warning him about the prostitutes who were constantly vying for his attention. Luke heeded her warnings and ordered security to arrest any prostitutes who showed up on the set or weaseled her way toward him. The local police officers in whatever city Luke was performing in were all to happy to co-operate.
Another devoted Family member was Benjamin "Benny" Weeks, a technician and supervisor who became Luke's second in command, and closest friend. Benny Weeks was devoted to Luke to the point where rumors circulated that he had homoerotic feelings for him. When Weeks married Andrea Packard in 2003, Luke served as best man. Andrea was in charge of wardrobe in the Family ( "She kept me in stitches!" Luke quipped). She was not as devoted to Luke as her husband; in fact, she claimed to have stayed with the Family more out of fear than anything.
His first personal assistant, Tanika Verrell, or TiVi as she was known, stayed only two years. She later claimed that she was so scared to stay with Luke Blade another minute, and promptly quit. Luke was outraged at what he saw as an act of treason. The truth was that Verrell couldn't take any more of Luke's erratic behavior. She didn't know when he was in a good mood or a bad one, and it kept her walking on eggshells to the point where she felt she was heading for a nervous breakdown. The rest of the Family felt the same tension. Only when Vienna Hyatt was hired did things return to some semblance of normalcy. The lovely, blond-haired Vienna stirred feelings inside of Luke that he had never known before. It could have been love, or simply the desire to possess her, but his past experiences left him unable to sustain any long term relationships with any woman; he could not bring himself to trust anyone, for fear of abandonment and betrayal.
One of the few he did trust was Rebecca "Beckie" Winslow, a marginally mentally handicapped woman who was barely nineteen when she was "adopted" into the Family; Luke affectionatly called her the "baby" of the Family. Beckie was the maid-of-all-work, the Girl Friday who did the laundry, fetched coffee and everything else she could carry, cleaned the RVs, and handed Luke bottled water after every show (cooled, not chilled, to prevent abdominal cramps). Beckie loved three things in her life: Luke, daffodils, and the band U2 (she knew the music and lyrics to every song the band recorded. Her personal diaries were "letters" to Bono). She adored Luke like a big brother, always hugging him and pouting when he chided her. Luke was always amused at her smug little nods whenever she completed some task. Of all the members of the Family, Beckie was the one who would show the most loyalty when everything came crashing down.
Family members came and went, with varying degress of loyalty. Some took Luke's idiosyncracies in stride, some couldn't cope with him. There was one instance, however, when a Family member took advantage of Luke's defensiveness.
Tami Lee, a stage assistant, had a boyfriend with whom she wanted to break up. The young man in question was the type who could not take "no" for an answer. He kept showing up at rehearsals, disrupting the acts. He left long-winded messages on her cell phone. As much as Tami Lee kept trying to avoid him, he kept popping up like a bad case of acne.
Fed up with this persistant suitor, Tami turned to Luke. This man was stalking her, she told him. He wanted her all to himself, demanding that she leave the Family for him. If she didn't, he would cause her bodily harm. She pleaded for Luke to help her, she feared for her life, he was her last, best hope to be free of this creep. Of course, much of this was exaggerated, but Luke swallowed it hook, line and sinker on dry land. Outraged at this threat to a member of his Family, he took action.
The next time Tami's ex-boyfriend showed up at rehearsal, Luke was ready, with Benny and another man from the Family at his side. They dragged him to the back of the warehouse-cum-theater and "roughed him up a little". The ex-boyfriend landed in the hospital with a broken collarbone and three cracked ribs, plus a bloody nose and two black eyes. No charges were pressed, as he had probably been terrorized into silence. Tami never saw or heard from him again. Mission accomplished.
With the support of his Family, Luke rose to national, then international fame. He achieved rock-star status with his dark, almost menacing gaze and slick moves on stage. Aside from magic, Luke began dabbling in music, writing songs which he later recorded on a CD entitled Mind, Body, Spirit. The pyramid logo on the liner was designed by Luke himself. The music is mostly electronic synthesizer, designed to hypnotize the listener to an altered state of consciousness. There is a hint of sadness in some of the pieces, such as "Gone Away" and "Dark Night of the Soul", the latter taken from a work by St. John the Divine. While Luke had no inclination toward organized religion (his stint at St, Mary's turned him away from the church for good), he still had some sense of the spirtual, having studied the Far Eastern mystics while serving his apprenticeship with Bill Whitmore. He believed in otherworldly things such as ghosts, spirits and witches as well as angels and devils. There was no formal worship, but his inability to distinguish fantasy from reality kept these beliefs alive. Luke was treading a razor's edge between sanity and delusion.
02-28-2012, 06:04 PM
02-28-2012, 08:35 PM
great chapter , more please :)
02-28-2012, 09:14 PM
Chapter Six: The Celebrity
By the turn of the Millenium, Luke Blade was ranking among more established illusionists such as David Copperfield and Penn and Teller. The twenty-first century began with Luke's induction into the Brotherhood of Magicians. He finally belonged. He was accepted, even in demand, by the public and fellow magicians.
In the spring of 2000, Luke bought his first home, a sprawling, five-bedroom estate in the desert hills of Nevada, about twenty miles from Las Vegas. It was modest by celebrity standards, costing only $1.5 million dollars, but there is a theory that Luke did not want to live in a huge mansion as it reminded him of the instutions in which he had been incarcerated during his childhood.
He developed a passion for cars and motorcycles, though there was the small matter of not having a license, or even knowing how to drive. With the help of his manager, Dave Barron, however, he aquired both the skill and the legal right to drive an automobile, and his first purchase was a classic 1969 Ford Mustang convertable. Luke was like a kid with a new toy--an expensive one to be sure, but he loved his car so much he had it towed along when he went on tour.
And Luke loved toys. Having had so few when he was growing up, he compensated by frequenting high-end toy stores such as FAO Schwarz, buying whatever he fancied. "He had so many toys in his house, he could have opened his own toy store!" said "Nursie" Soames. "He had model trains, radio-controlled cars and planes, building sets, even a go-cart that he raced around on. He liked anything that moved."
He read all his own fan mail, sending out personally autographed photos to anyone who asked. As his fan base grew, it became necessary to hire a secretary to help out. Luke autographed anything anyone gave him, even various parts of their anatomies (the legend that he autographed a fan's arm with a Bowie knife is unfounded; that incident is credited to Ted Nugent). He had his own website and "blog", available to anyone who wanted to read about him. Many of the "facts", however, were either distorted or left out altogether. For example, he claimed his parents gave him his first magic kit at six, when in fact he was given it by his foster parents at age eight. When asked about his religious beliefs, he stated that he had been left to "make up his own mind about that by his parents", when in fact he had little or no religious training outside of St. Mary's, and that left him antagonistic toward any sort of mainstream religion. He tried to create a middle-class upbringing for himself to cover the stigma of being in and out of foster care and institutions.
As a celebrity, Luke was constantly being asked to do charity work and to make donations to this cause or that. Give back to the community, they encouraged him. So many were in need and he could do a lot of good for them and for himself as well. Luke was still pretty much self centered and materialistic to listen to them. It took a disaster of national proportions to shake him out of his complacency.
Luke was in Manhattan for shooting a television special in late summer of 2001. He was on his way to a production meeting in the early morning of September 11, when he heard a deafening roar above his head. He and the rest of the New Yorkers looked up to see the initial attack on the World Trade Center. Luke recalled the ground shaking beneath his feet as Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower. Luke convinced himself that it had been an accident; maybe the pilot was drunk or something, he reasoned. Anyway the FDNY was on it's way to rescue everyone. Only when Flight 175 slammed into the South Tower did it occur to Luke that it was no accident. Like thousands beside him, he tuned into whatever news cast he could listen to. It was on that fateful day that the word "terrorist" entered his vocabulary.
Luke wanted to go home, but flights were cancelled, subways were paralyzed and the swirling dust disoriented him. The final horror Luke would witness was the collapse of the South Tower at 10:00 AM. The billowing clouds of dust charged at him like a monster from Hell, he said later. He took refuge in a small cafe, watching helplessly as downtown Manhattan was swallowed up in a dense cloud of grey dust.
When the dust finally settled hours later, the once bustling metropolis was like a ghost town, blanketed in concrete dust and debris. In his cafe shelter, Luke stopped thinking of himself for the first time in his life. The tiny cafe mobilized itself as a relief shelter for the firefighters, police officers and other rescue workers, handing out bottled water and preparing meals. Luke was drafted into service, serving sandwiches and coffee, sweeping the dust out of the cafe, and hauling out pallets of water and juice to keep the rescue teams hydrated. Luke did not complain; in fact, he wanted to be out there with New York's Finest and Bravest, digging out survivors and putting out the fires. The chief of Ladder Company 89 made it explicitly clear to the impetuous illusionist that his place was in the cafe. He should leave the rescue work to those whose job it was to do rescue work. The best way he could help was to stay out of the way. Just keep doing what he had been doing, and he'd be doing his part. End of discussion.
Luke reluctantly obeyed. Yet his assistance in the cafe/shelter did not go unnoted by the entertainment industry. He was photographed in the stock room of the cafe wearing a white kitchen worker's apron and kerchief around his head, cutting open boxes of bottled water, . It elevated the public's opinion of him as a civic-minded American citizen as well as an entertainer. Luke began to realize that charity work had personal benefits: for one thing, it was good PR. From then on, Luke made it a point to do as many benefit performances and personal appearances as his busy schedule allowed. It made him look good in the eyes of the Cult of Personality.
And the Cult of Personality welcomed him into their pantheon with open arms. He had all the qualifications: good looks, trim body, rock-star attitude, and a magic act yet to be equaled. He thrilled audiences worldwide with stunts, escapes and illusions on a grand scale never seen since the days of Houdini. He was becoming a household name in magic. He was a superstar. He never went anywhere without a gorgeous girl or two on his arm, and amassed the most ostentatious collection of "bling", or heavy jewelry, outside of the rap music industry. One silver chain set him back $30,000. Luke was living large, and he was in charge.
It was when he was in bed trying to sleep that the past came back to haunt him. He still suffered from night terrors to the point where he had to check into a sleep disorder clinic for help. Ironically, it was these night terrors that gave him inspiration for his most chilling escapes, such as the Underground Cell Escape. Psychologists reason that this particular stunt stemmed from his stay at St. Mary's, when he was locked in a dark closet in the basement of the home, as witnesses who were children in the care of the nuns later testified. Was Luke trying to overcome the demons of his past by doing this?
Luke made sure that no one found out about his past, especially his years at St. Mary's. He remained elusive about his childhood when interviewed. He created an illusion about himself to block away the pain and trauma of his early years. In time, however, his soul would become as deformed as his brain had been in the womb.
02-28-2012, 11:25 PM
Poor Luke , great chapter , can't wait to read more :)
02-29-2012, 12:26 AM
If this was real Luke Blade would be a physicist dream with his problems and how he dealt with them
02-29-2012, 04:43 PM
Chapter Seven: The Two-Faced Janus
Luke struggled so hard to conceal his past, it seemed there were two Luke Blades--the public and the private. The public face he wore was one of self-confidence, the daredevil illusionist who knew no fear. He was the man-about-town, the playboy surrounded by beautiful women. He had VIP access to all the trendy clubs in LA and Vegas. He posed for photos and signed autographs for his fans on the street. He even took time to visit terminally ill children whose only wish was to meet the master illusionist. He was a true celebrity, as far as the public was concerned.
But this public persona concealed a darker side of Luke. He was possessive of everyone and everything in his life. He kept a jealous eye on the personal activities of the Family, watching out for any signs of deviation or defection. He became a perfectionist, openly critical of any mistake he perceived, however small. Any flaw in the plan could spell the difference between life and death, he reasoned. His flashes of anger reduced many female members of the Family to tears, especially Beckie Winslow. As much as she loved Luke, she was also afraid of him. Her relationship with Luke is a classic example of "trauma bonding", where the victim still cares for the abuser despite the abuse, covering up the physical and psychological pain to protect him. No matter how much Luke made her cry, she always forgave him.
Only Nurse Soames was immune to Luke's rages. Twelve years dealing with street gangs in the ER steeled her against the temper tantrums and ego trips Luke displayed. She stood firm when the rest of the Family cowered. When Luke snapped at her or anyone else, she snapped back with equal ferocity. She was a fairly large, matronly woman who brooked no nonsense from her patients, even when that patient was Luke Blade. She was the dominating mother figure in Luke's life, one which proved over time Luke needed the most. As angry and egotisical as he would get, Luke always deferred to his "Nursie", however reluctantly.
But there was nothing that would cure Luke permanantly. The two faces were still emmeshed in his soul. He swung from one side of his personality to the other without warning. Psychologists theorized that Luke Blade was bipolar, but in reality it was a manifestation of FAS. As his fame grew, he became increasingly paranoid, more possessive to the point of obsession. He began fearing for his life when a death threat appeared one day that had been delivered among his personal correspondence. It had obviously been slipped in by someone from the "inside"; there were rumors it was a disgruntled Family member, but the culprit was never found.
Luke had always hated sleeping alone. He began taking more and more female company to bed with him, whether they be Family members, other celebrities or fans. Most nights he just slept, without any sexual congress whatsoever. They were like living teddy bears, keeping him safe and secure. Having two or even three women in bed was not at all unusual. He made it clear to all of them that he hated oral sex of any kind. When he did engage in sexual activity, it was for his own personal gratification, a form of masturbation on his part; he cared nothing for his partner's pleasure. The few women he slept with who were willing to talk confessed to feeling as though they had been "raped" when they tried to make love to Luke Blade. There was little if any foreplay; he simply got down to business. There was almost no tenderness in his lovemaking; they were there to "service" him. Women, to Luke, were just another perk of fame.
But Luke still possessed feelings, however carefully hidden. He still sought that special someone with whom he could share his life. He lived vicariously through Benny Weeks and his wife, Andrea. When the Weeks had their first child on Thanksgiving Day, 2006, a boy they named Lucas Benjamin Weeks, Luke was as estatic as though he had been the father himself. He was especially honored to be named godfather to the baby. Luke doted on his godson, whom he called Baby Luke. "I never knew what people saw in babies until Baby Luke came into my life," he said. Baby Luke was often photographed with his famous godparent; many of the pictures were a study of contrasts: the darkly menacing magician holding the sweet, innocent infant in his long, nimble hands. During an outdoor performance on Times Square, he worked Baby Luke into his act. The audience cooed affectionatly as Luke emerged with his infant godson in his arms. The tiny infant huddled against Luke for warmth in the cold winter weather.
Suddenly, Baby Luke sneezed. "Oh! No!," Luke said in mock horror. "He's catching cold!" Luke called for a "nice warm blanket" to wrap up the baby. A fan in the crowd produced a quilt she had made as a gift for Luke. He accepted it graciously and covered the baby in it. Then, suddenly, Luke shouted "NOW!" and whipped away the quilt. The baby had vanished! The audience was astonished. "Well, he's out of the cold," Luke quipped.
Andrea Weeks came out to the stage area, a bit indignant. "Luke," she said, "I told you to watch him, not put him into your act!"
The audience laughed. Luke just smiled sheepishly and took a bow. The baby, it turned out, was safe in Luke's RV. For all his daring and outrageous behavior, Luke never harmed his godson in any way. Indeed, he could be overprotective at times, shielding him from the photographers and overadoring fans. Baby Luke was more of a possession to him than a person. And like all his possessions, he guarded them jealously.
02-29-2012, 05:35 PM
great chapter , more please
02-29-2012, 07:15 PM
I'd like to see Criss do that
02-29-2012, 10:05 PM
03-01-2012, 02:18 AM
Making a baby disappear the way Luke did
03-01-2012, 03:51 PM
Chaper Eight: The Suspect
Luke Blade was on top of the world. He seemed to have it all--money, fame, adulation, talent, good looks and charm. His face was on every entertainment periodical in print, his merchandise flew off the store shelves: CDs, T-shirts, posters, jackets, jewelry, anything with the Luke Blade name on it. A men's cologne had been marketed by L'Oreal called Blade, packaged in a Mind, Body and Spirt triangle-shaped bottle. Whatever Luke touched turned to cold, hard cash, and he was raking it all in.
He had friends among the glitterati, beautiful women at his beck and call. He could be found at the local hot spots, dancing and drinking until dawn. But there was always work to do. Luke had his own office in midtown New York City, not far from his duplex across from Central Park. Unfortunatly for Luke, it overlooked the gutted remains of Ground Zero, so he made it a point to keep the blinds closed. He still recalled the horror of that day, as millions of Americans did. He tried to shut out the memory as he shut out the view.
In mid-spring, 2007, Luke Blade produced his biggest show ever: a three-night extravaganza he called "Death Becomes Me". The site he chose was on 44th Street, where Houdini made a full-grown elephant vanish in 1917. It was Luke's homage to the greatest magician and escape artist in history. The show took two years to plan; every detail was carefully laid out. Nothing would be left to chance.
During that time, there was dissention in the ranks of the Family. Luke's assistant, Vienna Hyatt, and his stunt coordinator, Austin Cannon, had been dating for most of 2006. Vienna, however, was being stalked by one Rupert Lanaghan, the Irish-born manager of Magic Paradise, a shop selling magic and illusion props and kits. Lanaghan first met the beautiful Vienna when she came into his store to pick up some props for Luke. Lanaghan claimed later that she was "a big flirt, and may have taken it the wrong way," but records showed he became obsessed with her. Vienna had to file a restraining order to keep Lanaghan at bay, finally culminating in his arrest in September of 2006, and twice more in late September and early October of that same year, for harrassment and criminal trespass. He was sentenced in early 2007 to six months' probation, with compulsory attendance to anger management classes.
Austin Cannon, for his part, was weary of doing all the hard work of co-ordinating Luke's stunts but not getting any of the credit. He was paid well enough, but he was dissatisfied with working behind the scenes. Things came to a head when Austin approached Luke's RV one day during rehearsals. He knocked on the door, but no one answered. He opened the door and looked inside, discovering, to his shock and disbelief, Vienna asleep beside Luke in his bed. From the pile of clothes on the floor, it was clear that Vienna was not there just to ward off Luke's night terrors. Austin was ready to leave the Family right then and there, and told Luke so in no uncertain terms. To Luke, this was betrayal. No one left the Family for any reason.
Vienna, herself, was causing grief for Luke as well. Two weeks before the "Death Becomes Me" show, Luke fired her for allegedly selling his secrets to the tabloids for an undisclosed amount of money. Like Bill Whitmore before, Luke felt he had been betrayed by someone whom he had trusted and loved. For Vienna Hyatt, it would have tragic consequences.
The first night of "Death Becomes Me" arrived. An enormous crowd mobbed 44th Street to see what the great illusionist was going to do. Even those who were farthest back from the stage area could see the huge rotary saw blade suspended high above their heads. Luke, wearing a simple sweatshirt and jeans with a black ski cap but no shoes or stockings, perched himself above the stage, screaming out loud, "Are you ready?" Luke was lowered onto a suspended platform specially designed to accomodate what was to come. He was held down by his wrists and ankles by two female assistants. A large metal bracket was secured over his waist.
Suddenly the huge saw blade began spinning rapidly, lowering itself onto Luke's prone body. Screams and cheers filled the air as the blade "cut" through Luke's body through the bracket. Luke was severed in two, but there was no blood. The two platforms swung above the ground, one bearing Luke's upper torso, the other his legs. The first night was a rousing success.
Meanwhile, Raymond Rogers, a seventy-five year old security guard, had been patrolling the area around an abandoned theater. He had left for a while to check on the Luke Blade stunt. When all was satisfactory, he walked back to the theater. Noticing the backstage door was open, he went inside to investigate. What he saw almost gave him a heart attack.
On the stage of the theater, two boxes with moons and stars painted on them were standing apart from one another. A pair of women's feet stuck out of one, cuffed together with plastic handcuffs. Rogers saw the blood on the floor, and the severed remains of a young, blond haired woman, her mouth stuffed with a red silk kerchief. The elderly guard rushed out to call for help, then collapsed. He was treated for shock by paramedics. Investigation by the police revealed the identity of the woman as Vienna Hyatt, former assistant to Luke Blade.
CSI specialists took photos, gathered evidence such as the saw used to kill Hyatt, used electromagnetic film to pick up footprints from the stage area, and wheeled the two halves of the victim to the morgue. One officer stated that "Of all the top ten, this one is the most twisted."
The autopsy revealed serration marks identical to the saw used to sever Hyatt's body in the box. The saw itself, a standard hand saw found in any hardware store, was tested for fingerprints on the handle. The red silk kerchief revealed to have the Magic Paradise logo. There was also an "invisible" tattoo on Hyatt's right forearm, visible only under infrared light, of the triangular Mind, Body, Spirit logo.
Fingerprints on the magician's box were found to belong to Rupert Lanaghan. His arrest record and complaints filed against him by Hyatt seemed to confirm his guilt. However, on the night of the murder, Lanaghan stated he was at his anger management class as part of his probation. A quick inquiry confirmed this, and Lanaghan was cleared as a suspect.
Luke himself was questioned about Vienna. "Vienna chose money over Family," he said to the investigating officers. She had been motivated by greed when she tried to sell Luke's secrets to the tabloids. He seemed to show no grief over her; it was as if her death was justified as far as he was concerned. The interrogation was interrupted by Austin Cannon, who wanted to go through the safety checks for the next stunt.
"If that's all, detectives," Luke said dryly, "I have to light myself on fire."
The second night promised to be as spectacular as the first. Luke Blade was going to be a human torch for four hours, the longest anyone could endure. If he succeeded, he would make the Guinness Book of World Records for 2007. If he failed, he would be severly burned, even killed. Luke had rehearsed this for months on end, using gallons of stunt gel to protect him from the flames.
"Someone please light me on fire!" Luke screamed.
Cannon came up with a blowtorch and touched off Luke's alcohol-soaked clothes. The timer started. Luke walked around and around the stage area in flames, but showing no signs of distress. Every half-hour, a couple of crew members covered him with a sheet soaked in flammable liquid, reigniting him. As the final minutes ticked by, the suspense grew. The audience counted off the final seconds as if it was New Year's Eve. At the end, the flaming figure fell to the ground, doused by a fire extingusher. When the CO2 cleared, there was nothing but charred clothing. The "assistant" who held the extinguisher pulled off his hooded sweatshirt. It had been Luke himself, posing as his own assistant.
The two CSI officers were present when Luke finished his act. Mac Taylor received a call on his cell phone, urging him to come to an alleyway three blocks from the show. A corpse had been found, burned to death. Taylor immediatly identified the body as Austin Cannon, the stunt engineer. Cannon's footprint had been taken from the theater where Vienna Hyatt had been murdered, but he could not be placed at the time of the crime. It did not match the bloody ones on the stage. And now Cannon could not be questioned for anything. A gasoline can was found in the trash dumpster not too far away. Stranger still, a magician's wand was found inside, with one end charred.
The two murders shook New York to the core. Luke showed co-operation by cancelling his final performance to allow the investigation to go on. Fingerprints were taken from the gas can. The charred wand was examined thoroughly, and one tiny speck of human tissue was retreived from it. The speck was taken to the lab for DNA testing. There was no record of the person's identity on file, but there was one of his father: George Clark.
03-01-2012, 05:03 PM
wow more please :)
03-01-2012, 11:40 PM
03-02-2012, 03:10 PM
Chapter Nine: The Psychopath
With Vienna Hyatt and Austin Cannon gruesomely murdered in imitation of Luke's stunts, investigators looked into the illusionist's past. A detailed report showed Luke's rejection and abandonment as a child, and his affliction with FAS. With the DNA evidence of the skin sample taken from the wand, Luke's guilt was confirmed as far as Austin Cannon was concerned. Vienna Hyatt's murder needed more investigation. The plastic handcuffs which bound Vienna's feet in the box matched that of the magic kit Luke had carried around with him since childhood. But both murders took place when Luke was on stage in front of a live audience. How could he, even with his skills as a magician, be two places at once?
The investigators watched video footage of Luke during his human torch stunt. They discovered that Luke's assistants covered him with a fuel-soaked sheet every half hour. At 10:30 PM, Luke turned his back to the audience and the cameras to make a switch with an assistant dressed like himself in flames. The murder of Austin Cannon took place about 10:58 PM that same evening, three blocks away. Luke had allegedly beaten Cannon, doused him with gasoline, and ignited him with a flaming wand. Then he returned to the stage area to complete his act--and give himself an alibi.
Now that the show had been cancelled, there was no alibi to hide behind for Luke. While he openly co-operated with the police regarding the murders, he was secretly planning his final act of revenge on the one person whom he believed had wronged him more than anyone in his life.
Sylvia Walker was a middle-aged divorcee living in a small suburb in Long Island, New York. She and her then husband, Gary Walker, had adopted Luke as an infant, but had been forced to give him up at the age of six because of her pregnancy and her fear of what the uncontrollable youngster would do to a newborn. It had been a painful decision for her, but one she felt she had to make to preserve the peace and the safety of her baby. Six months later, she gave birth to a healthy daughter, Amanda Elizabeth.
On the morning of the third day of Luke's "Death Becomes Me" show, Sylvia was on her way to the supermarket when she was abducted from the parking lot into a truck, according to eyewitnesses. The license plate was never recorded. The police were notified, and forensic evidence was taken, but it was too late. Sylvia was gone. A missing person's report was filed the same day; this prompt action would save Sylvia's life.
Sylvia was bound and gagged, and taken to a warehouse on 23rd Street and !1th, where Luke stored his props and other equipment. There, she was forced to confront the son she had given up twenty-five years earlier. Worse, she discovered she was to suffer an unspeakable horror.
The investigating team tried to contact Luke at his hotel, office and everywhere else. A "make" was done on Sylvia Walker, in hopes of getting any information from her about her former adopted son. That was when the missing person's report showed up, explaining the abduction. The team knew that Luke's third and final stunt was Houdini's famous underwater escape, as a homage to Luke's hero and idol. They put two and two together, and realized that the missing Sylvia Walker was Luke Blade's finale--and potential third victim. A big break came when a member of the Family reported one of their trucks missing; the Lojack system Luke had installed on all his vehicles to prevent theft was activated, revealing the location at the 23rd Street warehouse. The investigating team moved quickly, hoping they were not too late.
From Sylvia's testimony, Luke had bound her mouth with duct tape, trussed her in a straitjacket, chained and shackled her, then hoisted her up by her ankles over a large tank of water, all the while addressing an imaginary audience. Then she was slowly lowered into the tank. Luke released the clamp from the hoist, dropping Sylvia into the tank. He stepped off the stage to the rows of seats to enjoy the show. Sylvia lost consciousness. Suddenly, like the calvary charging to the rescue, Mac Taylor and his team burst in with guns drawn. With one shot, Taylor shattered the glass tank. Water rushed over the stage in a torrent. Luke howled in outrage, charging through the water and onto the stage. The officers tackled Luke, forcing him to his knees and pinioning his arms behind his back, while Taylor rescued Sylvia Walker. Detective Taylor stated later in a candid interview that he never forgot the experssion of pure animal rage on Luke Blade's face as he was being placed under arrest.
The arrest of Luke Blade for attempted murder made international headlines; it was on the same scale as the OJ Simpson case in popularity. As in the case of the famous former football star and actor, the public was divided into two camps as to Luke's guilt or innocence. His merchandise, however, continued to sell in enormous quantities. Luke Blade was never more popular.
The Family was questioned carefully by the authorities. Most did not want to be identified, for fear of reprisal. There were claims of Luke treating his crew like "dirt", yet always referring to them as his "family". Some, like Austin Cannon, were ready to quit. The few who were brave enough to confront Luke about their dissatisfaction were either ignored or accused of disloyalty. Even Nurse Soames, who had some degree of control over the tempestuous star, was ready to leave the Family. Only Beckie Winslow, the "baby" of the Family, stuck with Luke. Having no one to care for her, Luke became her big brother. She defended him to the end, fervently believing in his innocence and pleading for his release.
Criminal psychologists were called in to determine Luke's fitness to stand trial. His medical and personal records were scrutinized carefully. Luke Blade, they determined, suffered from the effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, coupled with deep feelings of rejection and abandonment, and delusions of grandeur. When the Family pulled away in fear and loathing of what Luke had become, he had snapped, triggering the psychopathic responses which led to his crimes. If they could not stay with him, then they would suffer the consequences. Luke Blade, they concluded, was criminally insane.
As the evidence piled up against Luke, more and more people were convinced of his guilt. His friends among the glitterati deep-sixed him. His assets were frozen. A fundamentalist church in North Carolina publicly burned Luke Blade paraphenalia in protest of "the depravity of the so-called entertainment world, which corrupts the souls of young people". The tabloids milked the story for all it was worth, exaggerating the truth in their headlines as usual. Luke Blade had ridden high, and now he had crashed and burned.
He was incarcerated in a mental hospital, since the jails were so overcrowded, and, given Luke's reputation as an escape artist, he was considered a security risk and, therefore, put under twenty-four hour surveillance. For the first time since his rise to fame, Luke Blade was once again institutionalized.
03-02-2012, 03:36 PM
Great Chapers :) more please :)
03-02-2012, 08:43 PM
Chapter Ten: The Defendant
During the summer of 2007, the tedious process of jury selection for Luke's trial began. Fourteen jurors had to be selected out of nearly a thousand candidates, a seemingly impossible task given the high profile of the defendant. Many were dismissed because they had children who were Luke Blade fans, others were convinced of his guilt. One overly religious individual claimed that Luke was a minion of Satan. She was summarily dismissed.
Luke's legal counsel knew the odds of aquittal were slim to none, so they tried to go for an insanity plea. At least Luke would be spared prison life, which would make him even more dangerous, in their view. They had the backing of the psychologists in the mental hospital, who provided their findings about Luke and his mental condition. Sending Luke Blade to prison would just add fuel to the fire, they argued. At least in a mental hospital, he could get the help he needed.
The prosecution, however, was loaded for bear with the help of the CSI team's forensic evidence. The fingerprints from the gas can, the footprints taken at the crime scenes, the DNA from the wand torch, and the eyewitness accounts of Sylvia Walker and Investgator Mac Taylor made it a slam-dunk as far as the DA was concerned. Luke was as good as convicted.
The trial began on October 5th, 2007. Luke had been incarcerated for seven months at the hospital. He had been placed under twenty-four hour surveillance, sedated to a near zombie-like state to keep his rages under control. Now he arrived at the courthouse in prison orange, his wrists and ankles shackled. He glowered at the court assembled to try him, especially at Mac Taylor, the man who had ruined his greatest trick, but he remained silent.
The presiding judge, the Honorable Thomas Williams, read the charges against Luke: Two accounts of first-degree murder, one account of attempted first-degree murder. How did the defendant plead?
The counsel for the defense pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Luke was unaware of his actions, being unable to distinguish reality from fantasy, cause from effect. The defense recommended that Luke Blade was unfit to stand trial, and should be committed to a psychiatric ward.
The court turned down the insanity plea, stating the defendant had meticulously planned the murders. The plea was recorded as "not guilty". The case of State of New York v. Luke Blade began.
Transcripts of the trial were unavailable to the author; only summaries and second hand information was available. The prosecution opened with a brief outline of the crimes and Luke's involvement. He was not insane, as the defense claimed, but had premeditated his crimes down to the last detail. Luke was intelligent and totally aware of his actions, even if he was not aware of the consequenses at the time. He was a dangerous psychopath, on the level of Ted Bundy and Jeffery Dahmer. He should be removed from society forever, the Prosecution stated.
The defense was called to make its opening statement. Luke Blade suffered from the effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which left him unable to distinguish reality from fantasy. They stated the example of Luke addressing an imaginary audience in the warehouse on 44th St. A CAT scan revealed minimal brain damage in those areas of the brain which controlled perception. Also, there was his past to consider: given up for adoption as an infant by an ex-con father; given up again at age of six; the shuttling between foster homes and various institutions. For the first time, Luke's stay at the infamous St. Mary's Children's Asylum was brought to light: the abuse the children who stayed there were a matter of public record. It was enough to push anyone over the edge, they argued.
With the opening statements out of the way, the cross-examination began. The first to be called was Sylvia Walker, Luke's former adoptive mother. She related the kidnapping at the supermarket parking lot, the warehouse, and the terror Luke had inflicted upon her. She had sought professional counseling just to get up the courage to testify against him. When asked whether she was sorry that she relinquished Luke at age six, she said no. The ordeal had confirmed the rightness of her decision, she said. She had given him up out of fear for the safety of her unborn child, and with good reason. Luke had been so uncontrollable she became afraid of him herself. She had tried to love him, be patient with him, but with FAS, it was impossible. She told of the great sense of relief she felt when the doors of the children's home where she left Luke closed behind her. Luke had cost Sylvia her marriage, she said. She and Gary had thought him a gift from God when they adopted him. He turned out to be a demon from Hell.
Sylvia Walker was dismissed. Investigator Mac Taylor was brought to the stand. With an air of professionalism honed from years of experience dealing with lawyers, he clearly stated the evidence he and his team had found--the bloody saw which had ripped Vienna Hyatt in two, the footprints on electromagnetic film, the gas can, the charred wand, the fingerprints found on those items, and, most damning of all, the tiny speck of flesh burned off from Luke's finger which provided the DNA evidence pointing to his guilt. Taylor also recounted the scene at the warehouse on 23rd and 11th: Sylvia Walker hoisted upside down in a water tank, bound and gagged, with Luke watching on with a satisfied look on his face. Taylor fired a single shot at the tank, shattering the glass, and freeing Sylvia from her watery prison. He also described Luke's reaction of outrage and fury over his stunt being destroyed. He was aware of Luke's past, having a copy of his record. He had described Luke Blade as "a ticking time bomb" when they got word of the missing truck. No cross-examination from the defense could trip him up. Taylor was a pro; like Dragnet's Joe Friday, he wanted, and got, just the facts. His invetigative and scientific skills were unquestioned.
Things were looking bad for Luke at this point. When he was called to the stand, he swore to tell the truth, but only as he saw it. he was not at the murder of Vienna Hyatt. He had only fired her instead. She had been disloyal to the Family. He had been on stage performing his illusion. Also, he was not at the scene of Austin Cannon's murder; that was three blocks away, and he had been in flames for four hours during that time, in front of a live audience. They were persecuting him, he claimed, because he was famous, because he was better than anyone. There were members of the Family who had wanted to leave him--they were responsible for the killings, just to get back at him. He stated this with so much conviction the jury were overwhelmed.
The court was adjourned for the day. Luke was taken back to his holding cell. Beckie Winslow dashed over to give Luke a farewell hug, but was rebuffed by security. Luke gave his one remaining Family member who had stayed loyal to him a sorrowful look. Beckie burst into tears as Luke was led away. Nurse Victoria Soames, who had taken Beckie in when Luke was arrested, led the mentally handicapped woman away as well.
The second day of the trial began at promptly 9:00 AM. The first witness of the day was Victoria Soames, Luke's personal nurse. She recounted Luke's behavior toward his Family and herself. Soames also told of Luke's bedtime habits, where he slept with many of the female members of the Family and sometimes with female fans, two or three at a time most nights. He never took drugs, but he had been known to be drunk sometimes, though never at a show. Luke had become a monster over time. All he thought of was himself. He cared for no one's feelings or opinions.
As the trial wore on, Luke was becoming increasingly agitated. His "Nursie", his adoptive mother, his "Family"--everyone was against him. There was only one person who would stick up for him, and she was not allowed to testify because she was retarded. He felt abandoned by all who said they had loved him, just like before. Didn't anyone believe in his innocence?
The court was adjourned for the day. Tomorrow, the jury would deliberate Luke's fate.
03-02-2012, 11:26 PM
03-03-2012, 08:56 AM
Great Chapters :) more please
03-03-2012, 06:50 PM
Chapter Eleven: The Prisoner
October 8th, 2007, dawned bright and clear in New York, but clouds gathered over Luke Blade as the jury assembled in the jury room to decide Luke's innocence or guilt. The suspense was nerve-racking to say the least. At least the trial did not last as long as OJ Simpson's, to everyone's relief. With such incontrovertable evidence behind the prosecution, there would be no doubt about the outcome. His guilt was practically confirmed--it was his sanity that was debatable. Was Luke fully accountable for his actions, or were they the product of a damaged mind? Did Luke know what he was doing, or not? Should he be imprisoned, or committed?
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome became the hot-button topic around the country: it worked its way into everything from talk shows to daytime drama. The Discovery Health Channel devoted an entire hour-long program about it. Pamphlets about FAS were distributed by the Department of Health; they could be found in every doctor's office and women's clinic in North America. Bars and restaurants serving alcohol printed warnings about it on their menus. "A pregnant woman never drinks alone," became the catchphrase. It showed up on billboards and magazine ads everywhere. In time, Luke Blade became the unofficial poster boy for FAS.
Luke, however, was totally unaware of all this. He sat in his holding cell as fourteen people whom he never even met argued over his fate. He was looking at triple life if convicted. Luke laughed at that. How do you serve three life sentences when you only live once? Were you reincarnated to serve the second and third? Did they force you to live forever? No one could do that, he realized. But he did not relish the thought of being imprisoned for the rest of his life. He had grown up in institutions--the home for distrubed children, St. Mary's children's asylum, the psychiatric hospital for teens. All his life he never had a place he could call "home". He had no mother, no father, no blood relation alive--his biological father, George Clark, had died three years prior to the trial. Clark had died in prison while serving a twenty-year sentence for sexual assault on a minor girl. That was how they found the DNA link to Luke. His own real father had betrayed him, just like all the others.
The jury deliberated for the better part of the day. At 4:39 PM, they were ready to announce the verdict. The court reconviened to hear what the jury had decided. Luke was taken out of the holding cell and made to stand as the foreperson handed the verdict to Judge Williams: Guilty by reason of insanity.
Luke looked around, bewildered. Was that good or bad? Would he still have to go to prison? He would not know until December, when sentencing would be given. In the meantime, he would be returned to the mental hospital for "observation".
The weeks dragged on for Luke. Beckie Winslow came to visit as often as her new job at a commercial laundry and her meager expenses allowed. She tried to present Luke with a bouquet of silk daffodils, but they were confiscated by security, as the stems and leaves of the artificial flowers had metal wire in them. She gave him a photo album she had made with pictures of happier days, such as the Colorado ski trip, and Baby Luke's first Christmas. Beckie had talked to anyone who would listen to get Luke released. She had promised that he would be "good", and she would "take care of him". Luke had never hurt her, she had insisted. He wasn't a "bad" person, just "sick", and Beckie would help him "get well". She still loved Luke in spite of everything.
Luke accepted the photo album once it passed inspection. She was his "baby sister", he said, and he loved her as much as she loved him. They would be together again, he promised her, but his hopes were built on sand. Things would never be the same again. Luke was a prisoner, never to see the outside in his lifetime.
December 17th, 2007. Two days before Luke's thirty-second birthday, the sentencing phase of the trial commenced. Luke stood before the judge in shackles as usual. He looked haggard; he was several days away from a shave, and his hair had grown longer, giving him a wild-man look. He was no longer the debonaire man-about-Hollywood, schmoozing it up with the Beautiful People. He was a physical and emotional wreck.
Judge Thomas stared at Luke severely. "Luke Blade, you have been tried before a jury of your peers for two counts of murder in the first degree, and attempted murder in the first degree, and have been found guilty as charged. Do you have anything to say before sentencing?"
Luke remained silent, his eyes glowering with inner rage through the scraggly hair. He wanted to kill them all--the jury, the judge, Mac Taylor and his team, Sylvia Walker, everybody who had turned against him. Only gutteral growls were all the judge heard.
"What have you become, Mr. Blade?" Judge Williams asked almost pityingly. "You had so much talent, you could have done a great deal of good in the world. Instead, you used it to kill two innocent people who were close to you, and then you tried to kill your mother--"
"She's not my mother!" Luke shouted at the judge. "She abandoned me! She never was my mother!"
The judge hammered his gavel to silence him. "You tried to kill your mother, the woman who chose you over hundreds of babies to adopt. From your record, giving you up was probably the smartest choice she made."
Luke lunged at the judge, but was restrained by the two guards at his sides.
"If there is still a part of you that can still reason, if there is still a rational area in your brain that can still function, think on this: you have escaped from a lot of things in your career, but you cannot escape justice. You are still accountable for your actions despite what the jury said. Regardless of what distorted logic drove you to commit these crimes, you are stll a criminal. Therefore, this court sentences you, Luke Blade, to the Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane. Term: for life, without parole, effective immediatly. This will satisfy both the law and the psychiatric community. You may prove to be a very interesting case study. but don't entertain any hopes for escape, as you will be placed under round-the-clock supervision. Not even your skills will help you there. You will live there, you will grow old there, and you will die there. Case dismissed."
There were murmurs and flashbulbs popping as Luke Blade, former master illusionist, was escorted out of the courtroom to face the reality of his life behind bars. His magic career was over. His life was over. His last act of defiance was a vicious stare at Mac Taylor, the detective/scientist who had condemned him to a lifetime of misery at the most notorious institution in the world.
Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane was founded in 1783 by Jeremiah Arkham as an instiution for the mentally unstable. It was an act of philanthropy by the civic-minded Arkham to rid New York of the derelicts and mental cases swarming the streets, causing terror among the citizenry. While Arkham was lauded by the governor of New York for his humanitarianism, the methods used to control the inmates were criminal by today's standards. Beatings, cold water, restraints, poor sanitaiton, abuse by guards, and perpetual confinement did worse damage than whatever they had suffered from in the first place. Various reforms were put into practice over the two-hundred years of its existance, but the conditions were still brutal. Because of the fortresslike building, it was decided around the beginning of the twentieth century that it would house the most dangerous, most psychopathic and most violent crimimals, ones who could not be kept in a standard prison such as Sing-Sing or Reiker's Island, or in a mental hospital like Bellevue. Technology at Arkham had kept pace with the times: camera surveillance, electronic sensors, metal detectors and the like, but its reputation was as brutal as it had been in the eighteenth century.
It was to this dungeon of a building that Luke Blade found himself transported. Passing through the wrought-iron gates was like going through the gates of Hell. He had no possessions of any kind with him except the clothes on his back, and they were prison orange. No bling, no black leather jackets, not even his beloved magic set which he had carried around since childhood. Yet Luke was surprisingly calm as he was led into "processing", where he was stripped, body searched, and examined for any noticible scars or tattoos. He was bathed, given the standard uniform of the Asylum (olive green surgical gear with white canvas loafers), and assigned his cell. It was little bigger than one of his walk-in closets in his Las Vegas home. The security reports for that day stated that "the prisoner was co-operative with no sign of trouble".
The truth was, Luke was biding his time. He was still an escape artist, and he would make his greatest escape ever from this place. All he needed was time to case out the place for possible routes. And time was what he had in abundance.
03-03-2012, 07:47 PM
Keep iit coming
03-03-2012, 08:51 PM
more please :)
03-04-2012, 05:29 PM
Chapter Twelve: The Fugitive
Of all the institutions in which Luke Blade had been incarcerated, Arkham Asylum was the worst. It was worse than St, Mary's Children's Asylum, worse than the psychiatric ward where he was held as a teenager, worse than the mental hospital where he was imprisoned before his trial. The inmates were not so much committed as interred alive within the mausoleum-like stone walls. There was little contact between inmates, and none with the outside world. What few letters arrived were opened and scrutinized by the guards, then either passed on (which seldom happened) or were discarded for "security reasons". Arkham was a city of the living dead, shunned by society, all hope abandoned by and for those who lived there. Even Luke was cut off completely. No friends, no Family came to see him. The only letter he ever received there was from the Society of the Brotherhood of Magicians, telling him that his membership had been revoked. It was the final blow for the once famous illusionist.
But hope still burned within Luke. He had escaped jail cells before in his career. He made it his mission in life to escape from that hellhole the state of New York had sent him. It was the only thing which kept him going, helped him endure the isolation and misery. He would show the world that Luke Blade was still the master of illusion and escape. No matter how long it took, he would have his freedom!
The days turned into weeks, weeks into months. Luke slogged through the dreary chores of "work detail", sat through hour after fruitless hour of psychiatric therapy, swallowed the tasteless meals, and brooded in his cell, all the while taking in the smallest details of the Asylum: where the guards were posted, when they changed shifts, what door led where, the kinds of locks they used, the venting system--nothing was overlooked by the keen eye of the Master.
Plan after plan was designed, but just when it seemed to be perfect, some small detail crept in to put the kibosh on the whole scheme. Undeterred, Luke kept planning and scheming his greatest escape yet. It had taken months, if not years, to execute his stunts in the past; this would be more challenging.
One morning, in late August of 2008, the six AM alarm rang out to awaken the inmates for another day. The morning shift guards made the rounds as usual to make sure everyone was out of their bunks. When they came to Luke's cell, there was no response. The guard hammered on the cell door. Nothing. He immediatly reported the problem to the secruity station and went in the cell.
Luke was there all right, but he lay collapsed on the floor, writhing in pain. The small steel toilet revealed a greenish bile. The guard called for the infirmary to come to Luke's aid. He covered Luke with the thin blanket from his bunk and waited for the medics to arrive. The medics took his temperature. It was 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
Luke was wheeled to the Asylum's infirmary, where he was diagnosed with peritonitis. The infirmary did not have the resources to treat this disease, so arrangements were made to transfer him to a local hospital. Even though Luke was too sick to move, let alone try to escape, he would still be placed under guard. He was wheeled through the labrynthian corridors of the Asylum to a waiting ambulance, securely strapped down on the gurney, and taken to the hospital.
What happened next is a matter of conjecture. The first week was uneventful as Luke recovered from his illness. He was due to be returned to Arkham the following Monday. On Saturday, August 28th, a nurse making her rounds that morning discovered Luke missing. She reported it to her supervisor, who in turn reported it to the authorities. Police arrived to investigate the hospital room. There was the rooftop of a cocktail lounge under his hospital room window, so the theory was that he had climbed out of it. The guard at the door was not held liable as this was an unforseen act; at any rate, the window had a keyed lock on it to prevent such an occurance. It is strongly believed that Luke had picked the lock and freed himself. There was also a cover from a vent on the ceiling missing. It was large enough to accomodate him as well. Yet no one heard any noise from any of the vents during their shift. And no one had entered or left the room at any time, the gurard confirmed.
So how and when did Luke Blade escape? Investigators were called in to find out. Every doctor, nurse, medical assistant, food service worker, and custodian were carefully questioned, but no leads turned up. It had been a very quiet night, they all told the authorities. Nothing unusual; just the same routine.
A statewide manhunt began for the fugitive magician. Once again, Blade was front-page news. A toll-free hotline was set up for any person who had information about Luke's whereabouts. As was the case of any crime story, there were the usual false leads and crank calls. No real leads were made. Some suggested that Luke had been so sick at the time that he probably died on the run. The morgue was called, but no bodies fitting Luke's description was turned in.
His former Family members were contacted, but they had severed all ties with their former employer and wanted nothing to do with him. They were free to live their own lives now. The only one who stayed loyal was Beckie Winslow, who was living with Victoria Soames, Luke's former personal nurse. Neither had any knowledge of Luke's whereabouts, but investigators decided to keep watch over Beckie, as she might become an accomplice should Luke turn up.
Despite the seriousness of the crimes Luke had committed and the fear generated by his escape, the whole thing deteriorated into a national joke, in line with the "Who Shot JR?" mystery generated by the television series Dallas. "I Saw Luke Blade!" bumper stickers and t-shirts were produced by small independant merchants. An underground fan club connected by the Internet had formed during Luke's imprisonment, cheering him on. His merchandise was fetching astronomical prices on eBay and other websites. The tabloids fed on the frenzy with lurid headlines about Luke's whereabouts. Armchair detectives and self-professed psychics all had theories and "sightings".
Yet for all the media attention, no real progress had been made. Investigators and forensics experts went over the few facts they had and followed every lead, however remote or absurd. They struggled to keep a tight lid on the case so as not to have anything interfere with the investigation. Very little if any news was released, leading conspiracy theorists to draw their own conclusions: Luke had been taken by the US Government because of his special skills to free American servicemen held prisoner in Iraq, or he had plotted revenge against the judge/jury/police officers/CSI team/witnesses/Family members who put him away, or he was living in another country under an assumed name with funds secreted in offshore tax shelters.
As time went on, the escape of Luke Blade began to take on mythical qualities. It became one of America's greatest unsolved mysteries, ranking among Judge Carter and Jimmy Hoffa. To "pull a Luke Blade", meaning to escape, entered current slang among American young. His hairstyle and Gothic wardrobe were copied by rebellious teens everywhere. He became an antihero to the outcast youth. By October of 2008, one year after his conviction, the case was growing cold, but his popularity was never hotter
03-04-2012, 07:29 PM
03-04-2012, 08:39 PM
more please :)
03-05-2012, 02:58 PM
Chapter Thirteen: The Mystery
Two months had passed since Luke Blade escaped the hospital. The grounds had been searched thoroughly, the surrounding area alerted for any sign of the fugitive illusionist. The director of the hospital had gone on national television to plead for Luke to surrender and return to the hospital for his own sake. He was a very sick man and needed medical help, he had said. Now there was little if any hope of Luke surviving his illness outside the hospital, unless he got help somewhere else.
Luke Blade's crimes and subsequent escape put him in the top ten of America's Most Wanted list. His mug shot was a regular feature on the crime series. Yet there were no leads as to where he was. Had he fled the country? Had he died? Had he changed his name and features and living among ordinary citizens? Where was he hiding? And who was helping him?
By October 28th, 2008, one year and two months after his escape from the hospital, David Baron, Luke's former manager, had Luke declared legally dead. Without the antibiotics he needed for his peritonitis, the medical authorities claimed he would have succumbed to the poisons swirling around in his bloodstream. There was no way he could have survived without them, they said.
The memorial service was a private affair, with very few attending. Beckie Winslow was chief mourner, weeping throughout the brief fifteen minute service. She had bought a large pot of yellow daffodils purchased from a greenhouse to the service. Soames, the Weeks family, and David Barron were the only others present. The funeral was kept secret to prevent a media circus or protest movements.
While Luke's will bequeathed his entire estate to Benny and Andrea Weeks, with a trust fund set up for Baby Luke, his assets had been frozen and under garnishment by the Court for damages in the wrongful death suits filed by the surviving families of Vienna Hyatt and Austin Cannon. His possessions were auctioned off to pay for legal fees and other debts. The house in Las Vegas was put up for sale in mid-September. By late October the following year, there were still no buyers. When a prospective customer came to look over the house, word would leak out abour its previous owner, and it was good-bye sale. The realtor could not even sell it for the value of the land. Some logical types blamed it on a sluggish housing market, but in reality, the house was cursed. Only a lone caretaker tended the property, who enjoyed regaling the neighborhood kids with lurid tales of Luke Blade and his evil ways, many of his own creation. It was here that he plotted his murders, he said, and who knows who might be buried in that house? He was a famous magician who sold his soul to the Devil for his powers, and there were many strange sights while he lived here. No one sought to correct him, or complain about his behavior. They just dismissed him as an eccentric man with a vivid imagination.
The controversy that was Luke Blade's life rages on. Underground fans say that Luke is still alive, and will return in all his former glory. Others believe he is truly dead; indeed, sightings of Luke's ghost around the warehouse theater were reported, either menacing or pleading for rescue. A videotape of one such "sighting" made the rounds on the Internet: a greenish wraithlike shape drifting past the camera lens. As much as the skeptics tried to debunk it, there were those who swore it was the ghost of Luke Blade caught on tape.
Many people still see Luke as a cold-blooded killer. He would always be a criminal, villified and condemned by his own actions, mental and psychological disabilites notwithstanding. Religious types, especially fundamentalist Christians, consign him to the lowest depths of Hell for his sins. He showed no mercy, he received no mercy. He was everything that they despised about the entertainment world, especially magicians, whom they claim practice the Dark Arts.
Others take a more humane view of Luke, saying he was a victim of an antiquated mental health system and an inadequate social services system as well. He was more to be pitied than censured, more to be helped than despised. He was cursed from the womb, when his mother drank alcohol and damaged his brain, then he suffered abandonment and abuse from a chruch run orphanage, then was shuttled in and out of foster homes and other instiutions. While they did not exonerate Luke for his crimes, he should have received better treatment for his disorders.
There are still those who regard Luke as an antihero, the idol of the outcasts. He had accomplished the impossible by escaping the most secure and inpenetrable prison in the country, despite what everyone said. He was immortal in their eyes. His CDs and DVDs are played at parties and Goth gatherings everywhere. It is the epitome of rebellion to wear Luke Blade type clothing and hairstyles; many high schools blacklist such fashion statements in their dress codes. Luke Blade has become a legend.
As of this writing, the mystery of Luke's disappearance remains unsolved. No witnesses have stepped forward to make a statement, no new clues have been discovered. However history judges him over time, whether as entertainer, criminal or madman, he is still a man who had been shaped by forces outside of his control and had suffered in the end, as well as those in his orbit. He suffered a debilitating disorder by his biological mother's alcoholism. He suffered horrific abuse by those in whose care he had been entrusted. He had been cheated by the man who brought him to stardom. He harbored feelings of abandonment and rejection by not only his adoptive mother, but by those whom he brought himself to trust. He was haunted by traumatic events and a sense of unbearable lonliness. Judge Thomas Williams stated that Luke could escape anything except justice. It is closer to the truth that Luke Blade could escape anything but himself.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of the characters in this work to any persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Arkham Asylum is the creation of DC Comics, producers of Batman and others. It is an incomplete biography, just a thumbnail sketch of a fictional character. The author wants to thank all the Loyals for their support and positive reveiws, knowing the supertalented among them will undoubtedly wish to either add on, or use this as a reference for their own works. I wish them luck.
03-05-2012, 03:09 PM
Great Story :) i really enjoy reading it , and getting to know Luke a little bit better .
03-05-2012, 05:53 PM
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