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.