Aug
30

Florida murder/suicide’s NC ties

By

Buried in a terribly sad story over at the North Carolina Conservative are some interesting local tidbits.

Florida police are saying that Jason Robert Drake,*a man with North Carolina ties, left, shot two republican political consultants. Ralph Gonzalez and David Abrami, and then himself last week. What they’re not saying is why. After first calling it a lover’s triangle, they’re now saying:

Drake was found carrying a firearm and backpack full of ammunition. Deputies said in a short statement witnesses had mentioned “a number of potential motives.”

NCC editor Judson Cox has done some digging and come up with a story that is convoluted and involves another murder in Pennsylvania, several video and still male-on-male porn sites, and a call-boy service in Virginia. Go read for yourself but I’d advise you not to follow the some of the links in the articles I link to unless you don’t mind male nudity and more at your computer.

What caught my eye in the locally-oriented NCC article was the last paragraph and I’ll quote it here:

Sources tell The North Carolina Conservative that Drake volunteered on several Republican campaigns in western North Carolina, and was an associate of Congressman Patrick McHenry. Gonzalez is also believed to have been associated with McHenry in the past. Since being elected, McHenry has attempted to insure that all elected officials in his district are his supporters and cronies. This has caused a very nasty political war of attrition in the 10th District. Sources say that Drake worked on these campaigns as a surrogate of McHenry.

Pat Go Bye Bye readers will recall that I wrote of the McHenry connection last Friday. I have two off-the-record sources tying Gonzales to McHenry (and one wacky dude.) At the time I didn’t have the information that Drake had worked in or had family ties to Rutherford County. (I’ve since read where he was coming there to be buried but can no longer find the link.)

For those of you who didn’t follow those links for the Florida Gonzalez/Abrami/Drake murder/suicide story’s details, I’ll just sum up the political part of the story for you:

Gonzales (as Georgia Republican Party Executive Director) has close ties to Ralph Reed and the dirty tricks that defeated Senator Max Cleland in Georgia. Never forget they employed the confederate flag wedge issue hysteria. Never forget that Ralph Reed took over the Georgian Republican Party using Abramoff-forced Choctaw “donations.”

And never forget that Abramoff knows all these guys. (Ever wonder why McHenry defends Charles Taylor so often and vehemently?)

Ralph Gonzalez also worked as now-Representative Tom Feeney’s campaign manager who created a smear site against his Democratic opponent, Clint Curtis. Gonzalez was also Feeney’s campaign manager when he ran for Florida state house to become it’s speaker. He stayed on as a strategist and spokesman. There the ethics scandal involving influencing software purchases. He’s tied to another indicted legislator, former Rep. Sheri McInvale.

Drake’s history is less obtainable on the internet unless you follow blogs to porn sites which I have no interest in doing. Since he’s from Rutherford County it’s not hard to believe NCC’s story that he worked on local campaigns.

But all of this will give you some taste of what we’re dealing with here. Even if the call boy Republican client list/gay porn movie actor/homosexual lovers triangles stories turn out to be completely fallacious, we’re steal dealing with some ugly customers. And they’re friends of Pat McHenry’s.

Now, we know why, even though he’s never bought or sold property (except for twice when he used a power of attorney), McHenry still perpetuates the myth that he’s a real estate small businessman. He really really doesn’t want anyone to know what he’s been doing all these years. He wouldn’t have won the primary if people knew. And he wouldn’t get reelected.


[One thing adding to the confusion: The police call him Robert Jason Drake, his ex-wife calls him Jason Robert Drake. I went with the woman.]

UPDATE: This text has been updated in two places from the original due to new information from a reader. Originally I  had written that Jason Drake was “coming home” to North Carolina. See comment number 5. –DQ

Comments

  1. Gordon Smith says:

    What a tangled web, DQ.

    Drake worked on McHenry’s campaign, eh? Was he one of the staffers who stayed at McHenry’s house? What does McHenry’s office have to say about their relationship? Did McHenry attend any of the funerals?

  2. Drama Queen says:

    When I call, they either tell me spokesman Aaron Latham will call me back or that I should email him.

    One day I’ll use a false name and get through . . . Either the CharO reporter who hasn’t a clue or the Sleuth from the WaPo who hasn’t a clue.

  3. delirious says:

    Great work with this piece DQ.
    Is any of this coming to light in McHenry’s district? Any local press?

  4. Drama Queen says:

    Now delirious,

    Is that a serious question?

    Even if he danced naked on Capitol Hill with these unfortunate men’s corpses, they would print his press release that compared my allegations to the Duke lacrosse case and rewrite history into some story about a cultural event with a high school marching band .

    But I’m pretty sure a few of the papers will print this stuff if we get some hard evidence or an on-the-record witness.

    And I’m working hard to get national bloggers to pick up on this. Right now everyone is obsessed with Larry Craig. It might be why that story leaked. Nationally, Republicans would rather deal with one bathroom story than all the threads coming out of this one. There’s rumors of client lists (with Republicans) from that call boy operation that supposedly Drake was using to threaten the victims into giving him money. He was asking for money apparently to help his video porn actor boyfriend, Harlow Cuadra, who is facing a death penalty trial in Pennsylvania. They needed money in desperately and quick because the legal proceedings are ongoing but Virginia seized their assets over the porn/escort operation.

    If national bloggers pick this up, who knows what kind of informants will come out of the woodworks. So, I keep posting stuff in hopes of attracting even more information. Every time I do, I get an email or hear from someone who had access to some new information. Hopefully, it will snowball.

  5. Drama Queen says:

    I’ve received an email from an address that appears to be that of Jason Drake’s exwife. Here’s the text:

    Hi. I’ve been reading all the blogs, and I wanted to correct something you said. Jason was not born in NC. He was not from NC….he has family ties to the state, but not actually FROM there.

    I made changes in the text to reflect that information. I didn’t keep the original text and do strike-outs because it was around link and an asterisk, and was getting way too messy and confusing.

  6. delirious says:

    Wow, DQ…

    This thing gets stranger with every post.

    Once the Craig scandal blows over (no pun intended) this story may get more attention. And why shouldn’t it?

    I know that it takes a lot to shock Republicans nowadays. They’ve raised the bar for scandals. I mean, no one bats an eye any more about Gay Sex (Craig et al), Porn Stars (Jeff Gannon), and Extortionists (do I really need to list these guys?). I’m not sure about associations with Murderers – seems like there was something in the Abramoff scandal about that.

    But to have all of this in one story – Murderous Republican Gay Porn Star Extortionist – along with associations to McHenry, Abramoff, and Republican Leadership……..

    All you have to do is find a connection to some pages and your story will look like it’s been pieced together from last year’s newspaper headlines.

    It will be interesting to see what else you’re able to uncover. Your diligence and research prowess are impressive. Keep digging!

  7. Drama Queen says:

    I’m hanging in there. But it will be nice to take a break for a while and see how things pan out . . .

  8. Arratik says:

    And through Abramoff you’re able to toss Charles Taylor into this as well. And it’s not like he hasn’t had his own share of scandalous behavior

  9. Karen Parker says:

    Ol’ Paddy is my congress critter. Up until last week, he’s been doing a lot of local meetings with the sheeple at churches and schools and such.

    I wish I had known about all these linkages then. I would have risked being struck down by His wrath and going into a church just to have the opportunity to ask ol’P.McH about his dear departed friend and what he thinks it was all about.

    I’ll keep my ear to the ground for the next opportunity. Unless (finger’s crossed) this gets bumped upstairs and goes to the majors.

  10. Drama Queen says:

    Thanks, Karen. Email me anytime. I keep a whole website on the slime over at http://www.patgobyebye.com

    Check me out sometime!

  11. judy says:

    Visit Orlando Sentinel website for an archived article from April 9, 1999 with a profile of Jason Blake when he served in Kosovo. It is available with the recent articles so no need to pay.

  12. Dunkin says:

    “Sources tell The North Carolina Conservative that Drake volunteered on several Republican campaigns in western North Carolina”

    Jason never voted in his life. He had nothing to do with politics…EVER. He did not live or work in western North Carolina, or in any part of North Carolina, period.

    Jason was a laborer working in the tile floor industry in the Orlando FL area.

    These are facts, not speculation.

  13. Drama Queen says:

    The problem with dunkin’s comment is that Jason Drake’s ex-wife has confirmed to me from an email (from her blog’s web addy) that Jason Drake does have ties to Rutherford County.

    Hi. I’ve been reading all the blogs, and I wanted to correct something you said. Jason was not born in NC. He was not from NC….he has family ties to the state, but not actually FROM there.

    I emailed her back, asking for her to let me know if anything else is inaccurate. This was her reply:

    Yes, I am in in fact his exwife. Let me look it over again, and I’ll let you know. Thank you.

    I know he did a horrible thing, but I am just trying my hardest to make sure the facts that I am reading are correct. I feel like it’s the least I can do. Thanks again.

    She hasn’t gotten back to me or confirmed any ties to the Pennsylvania murder or an escort service or the gay porn industry.

    However, McHenry’s office has confirmed the tie with Drake to Howie Klein, so unless Klein is a blatant liar, dunkin is looking an awful lot like someone who has some reason to comment here other than a deep concern for accuracy.
    And if Drake’s tie to McHenry is nonpolitical and only personal (say, through Ralph Gonzalez in Florida at, for example, Spence’s engagement party), then why would McHenry’s office know all about it?

    See, dunkin, why I’m having a hard time taking you seriously.

  14. delirious says:

    Also, DQ, dunkin has been trying to douse the fire on this for several days now. He commented on Drake’s ex-wife’s blog on Aug 30:

    “Everyone just stop! I am sorry you all have to wait to learn what happened. But wait you will have to.
    There IS an ongoing investigation. The facts WILL be released when the case is offically closed. Which will be when the FDLE is done with balistics and toxicology.
    EXACTLY Because it is NOT some twisted, political, evil republican, gay mofia, Bourne-like incident; IS the reason it is at the bottom of the to do pile at the crime lab. It is a simple answere.
    The truth however is sadder, and much less spectacular than all your useless guessing.
    But it will be known.

    Comment by Dunkin — August 30, 2007 @ 10:52 pm”

    I guess he could be local law enforcement just trying to educate us about an ongoing investigation. But do you really think your average detective would give a rat’s a** about what bloggers think? Come to think of it…..I do smell a rat.

  15. Dunkin says:

    Dear Drama Queen,

    What kind of ties did Jenn say Jason had to Rutherford county? Cause if it was anything more than that his Grandfather was born and raised there, then it would be false. But then again Jenn only knew Jason for a very short time, they met in the military, they were young, and had a short lived marriage. Jason joined the Corps and Left the Corps after three years and some months, both as a single man. That said, She is a better source of information for that time period than I, as I can only tell you what Jason told me.

    I have known Jason considerably longer. Before and after the Corps. And believe me there are very few people in the world that want to figure out what happened that night more than I do. I don’t mean to thwart your investigation. I was trying to help. It seems to me that you are hell bent on tying Jason to McHenry. I don’t want to call anyone a liar, I don’t know who Howie Klein is, but WHEN exactly did Jason work in NC as they claim? What did he do for McHenery? What address did he live at?
    Because if the time frame wasn’t when he was in the military, then I am sure that information strand is in error.

    I have much more to say, and share. But I am waiting to see what the Sheriff is going to say first. That’s when the case will be closed, that’s when ALL the evidence will be released. And that’s when I will come forward, either way, if the facts as I see them add up or not. You see I have told the detective everything I know, but I know he told me only things he thought I should know. Some of the details in what I THINK happened, are hurtful to people still living, and to the memories of those no longer with us. So I wait for the official story. Let them say it. But if they don’t, I will.
    And by the way, if the truth turns out to be even remotely to what I expect, there will still be lots of juicy tidbits for you to latch on to.

    So Please, keep poking around for a connection to something other than what the official story out so far has been. I have. And will continue to do so. You see as well as I thought I knew Jason, I did not see this coming. The shock and sadness is overwhelming.

    I leave you with a tidbit that may bear better fruit than the NC connection. Before he decided to become a grunt and float to KOSOVO, he was stationed at 8th & I.

    I have to go now, it is time to make the doughnuts!!

  16. Drama Queen says:

    Thanks, Dunkin’. I have seen the Orlando Sentinal article that mentions 8th and I and have wondered if he met some people involved in this story there.

    Obviously, from my post, I have no primary sources on a McHenry disinformation campaign. I may be totally wrong that McHenry’s people are behind the comments. But why would anyone else bother? But that’s how it looks to me and that’s why I posted Kruezer’s comments about the situation. IT’s not the first time I’ve had people come around to a blog I wrote for and pretend to be different people and write a bunch of stuff that looks suspicious and insincere.

    I have twice now quoted Kruezer. Both times because I have thought similar things on my own or have off-the-record sources saying similar things and he’s the only one on the record. You’ll notice the emphasis of my posts on him are of his analysis of the situation, not his facts. That’s something no one seems to get. The bottom line is that the police have spoken strangely about this case (prematurely and unprofessionally) and that the traditional media is suspiciously silent.

    Of course this Damon Kruezer blogger could be a liar. Anyone can be a liar. But referring to him as a gay porn blogger certainly gives a good idea to my readers to take what he says as the words of someone who writes about gay porn videos. Do I really need to say more? It’s not an industry with the reputable reputation, you know.

    And I think “hellbent on tying Jason to McHenry” mischaracterizes the facts. I’m have only tied Jason to Mchenry through two sources. (I originally tied McHenry to Gonzalez, not Drake, from off-the-record sources.) A few days after I posted that Gonzalez and McHenry were colleagues, the North Carolina Conservative tied McHenry to Jason Drake. I posted on the NCC’s post and that got linked nationally. When Howie Klein said they’d been lovers and linked to my post, I then wrote on his blog that he should not use me as a source for a sexual or social relationship. My information from NCC was that he was a political colleague in smaller races in the 10th.

    Then, Howie Klein reported that he called McHenry’s office where spokesman Aaron Latham admitted at least that they knew Jason. They didn’t mention social versus professional but all of my information has been that Jason did work for candidates McHenry wanted to get elected in NC’s 10th.

    So perhaps my sources are lying. You can never completely trust any source, particularly people off the record. Perhaps the NCC is being lied to as well. I don’t know his sources. Perhaps they’re the same as mine! Who knows? But then you have to add in that Howie Klein is lying, too. The three of us may not be perfect in every way but none of us, that I know of, have a history of lying for any reason, or sensationalizing anything for personal profit. And you can be sure we will do our best to follow up on this information but also on the many other pieces of information we have been getting.

  17. ema says:

    I wonder if the recent death of U.S. Rep. Paul Gillmor (died of blunt head and neck trauma consistent with a fall down stairs) is in anyway related.

  18. Drama Queen says:

    ema: It sure makes me wonder. But I have never heard Gillmor’s name come up in all my McHenry investigations.

    I certainly have no faith in this statement.

    Police have assessed the scene and found no evidence of foul play. The medical examiner’s investigation will be finalized once chemical and ancillary tests are complete, Caldwell said.

    If it Gillmor’s death does turn out to be suspicious and if there is a tie to Yang or Feeney or McHenry, this wouldn’t join a list of deaths associated with the software company and their political buddies.

    Check out this one.

  19. ema says:

    Very interesting link, thank you.

    I have no idea if there’s any link between Gillmor and the others. It’s just that the circumstances (and, in retrospect, the timing) of his death are odd. A 60 something healthy, alert and active male…blunt head trauma…fall down the stairs (could he have been pushed?).

    And from the link, a seasoned investigator…working on a major case…2 months before his daughter’s wedding…commits suicide by cutting his arm in the antecubital fossa (I’m not a forensic pathologist, but that just sounds off to me).

  20. Dunkin says:

    I was wondering if there was any info on the time Jason spent in DC. That would make more sense to me; if Jason got involved in this crap when he was at 8th & I. Look into it.

    Thanks

  21. BONGJUCE says:

    Ok,this gay GOP thing is out of control.Can you guys possibly tie this Jeff Gannon fellow into any of this stuff?I’m curious as to how deep this infection is.I have a bad feeling it starts way down at the bottom and slowly winds its way right through the Shrubhouse.The only thing the GOP is good at is keeping secrets and hiding behind closed doors.I’m counting on you folks to try and change all that.Are you up to it?

  22. Drama Queen says:

    BONGJUCE

    I’ve been following the Jeff Gannon story and it’s potential tie to kidnapped newspaper boy Johnny Gosch and Nebraska GOP operative Lawrence King for years now.

    I don’t know if this has strong ties to those stories but I do have (and haven’t posted yet) an insider who gave me a brief glance into a university where Ralph Reed wannabes are gay sexual predators basically controlling the campus.

    We’ll see. It’s not a coincidence that these stories die before fully investigated. They must be linked to people with a lot of clout.

  23. ptt says:

    “Can you guys possibly tie this Jeff Gannon fellow into any of this stuff?I’m curious as to how deep this infection is.I have a bad feeling it starts way down at the bottom ”

    hahhh…

    “and slowly winds its way right through the Shrubhouse.The only thing the GOP is good at is keeping secrets and hiding behind closed doors”

    closet doors no doubt.

  24. Arratik says:

    “Can you guys possibly tie this Jeff Gannon fellow into any of this stuff?I’m curious as to how deep this infection is.I have a bad feeling it starts way down at the bottom ”

    hahhh…

    i was wondering when someone was going to go there.

  25. Drama Queen says:

    I’m not up on Jeff Gannon’s call-boy service. Sorry. I’ve heard from some people since I wrote my comment above that the Johnny Gosch connection is extremely unlikely.

    If so, then Jeff Gannon was just involved in an escort service that may or may not have ties to Republicans in general. We do know he had some kind of ties to the White House, however. How else did he get credentials?

    And if you saw Bush call on him at one of his press conference, Georgie sure has a twinkle in his eye I’ve never seen before. I need to dig up that video for laughs.