Saturday, April 19, 2008

Two Bodies, One Coffin?

I was utterly shocked this week when a post from one J.Q. Binder landed in our comments section. Mr. Binder is the grandson of Haskell Binder, partner in the now defunct Parish & Binder Funeral Home of Los Angeles, the mortuary that handled the preparations and funeral for "Honey Vicarro" star, Kim Carlyle.

In his comment, J.Q. mentioned a very troubling practice that may have been par for the course during a few select funerals overseen by Parish & Binder partner, Rudolph Parish. Because of possible Mob ties, and what has been alleged to have been a gambling addiction that left Rudolph in debt to the "wrong people," it has been asserted by J.Q. that perhaps there were certain burials that took place under Rudolph's supervision that entailed burying more than one body per coffin!

I found this revelation to be extremely troubling since, as I have stated before on this blog, my grandfather, Otis "Pop-Pop" Weaver (one of the cemetery workers at Hillside Memorial Park), told me years ago about how inexplicably heavy Kim Carlyle's casket was at burial. It is my belief that this was due to the fact that it was not actually Kim Carlyle's body in that coffin, but an almost perfect wax figure, kept cool and in good repair during the services by the discreet use of a refrigeration unit hidden within the lower, closed off, confines of the casket. But now we hear directly from an actual descendant of one of the mortuary's partners that there may have been skullduggery at work, in the form of an extra body being secreted within the coffin.

I find this possibility to be utterly appalling, and I plan to do some digging to find out if indeed such an outrage may have happened in this case. I will update as soon as I have researched the matter further. Until then, I beg your patient indulgence.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

There's a Clue In The Theme Song

See if you can find it...

(Composer: Lalo Schifrin, Lyrics: Gavin W. Hurrell)

She's quick, she's cool,
She's nobody's fool,
She's Honey Vicarro,
Honey Vicarro,
Silky, slinky private eye.

Skin-tight suits
And naugahyde boots,
A razor in her garter,
Man, nobody's harder.
Honey V., she's cold as ice.

Her Caddy Eldorado's cherry red.
That cat behind the wheel's her chauffeur, Chad.
(Chad is bad.)

From California to Kalamazoo,

Cheap thugs shake and quake in their shoes,
When they hear her name,
Honey Vicarro!

© Copyright 1966, Gavin Hurrell Productions

Look for the answer here soon!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Frazetta's Inspiration?

In 1971, world-renowned fantasy artist, Frank Frazetta, created a piece of cover art for a mass market paperback novel called, "Black Emperor". This cover caused such a stir, because of the highly charged nature of its content, that the book was later recalled. It is not hard to see why, given the positions and racial make-up of the cover's subjects, that this book would cause controversy. But I ask my readers to set aside their collective outrage over the obvious, for a moment, and take a closer look at the man and woman gracing this cover. Do these figures look at all familiar? And upon such reflection, I ask, does anyone else think it is possible that Frank Frazetta may have been influenced by or been paying homage to, "Honey Vicarro's" own Honey & Chad... or even the real life couple, Kim Carlyle and Cliff DiMarco?

Pulp fiction author, Stuart Jason (one of the many pseudonyms of writer Michael Avallone), published "Black Emperor," the third book in his "Black Lord/Black Master" trilogy, in the early seventies. These books were part of the controversial plantation/slavery genre, and followed in the footsteps of such novels as "Mandingo" and "Drum," published over a decade before. Both "Mandingo" and "Drum" later went on to become films of the 70's famous "Blaxploitation" era, but the "Black Lord/Black Master" trilogy was not so lucky.

Gavin Hurrell pushed this same racial envelope when it came to his series, "Honey Vicarro". The interracial love aspects of the show have often been cited as contributing to the series' abrupt cancellation. Of course, the rumors that the onscreen sexual heat shared between the characters of Honey and Chad also extended to an affair, offscreen, between the principle players, Kim Carlyle and Cliff DiMarco, probably did not help the cause much, either. (For some small proof of this whispered-about relationship, fans may want to watch this lost backstage footage, called "A Private Moment," recently posted on YouTube.) It would seem that this "amour interdit," between Carlyle and DiMarco, was one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood. Unfortunately, their relationship gave even more fire to the small-minded moralists who pressured ABC to drop "Honey Vicarro" after its first episode.

But remember, Kim Carlyle had long been cherished by not only the Hollywood community, but within the art community, as well. Carlyle had spent several years working as an artist's model and remained friends with many of the fine artists whose circles she frequented. And while Frank Frazetta does not use models, instead pulling the astounding visions that characterize his work straight from his own imagination, there are enough similarities between Kim and Cliff, and the characters on the cover of "Black Emperor," to make one wonder if this painting was not a very pointed "F*ck You!" to the usual hobgoblins of censorship and prejudice. If so, all this humble blogger can add is, "Let 'em have it, Mr. Frazetta!"

For a closer look at this cover art, for comparison, please see below.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Kim Carlyle Quatrain from Nostradamus?

In the season of hell stirred shelter
Panicked lepus surround the dead
Jochebed's pain, quietus becomes her
Lo, she stays though she has fled

-- Nostradamus
Century XI, Quatrain 24

The above was sent to me by a friend whose professor at Berkeley is a member of The Mabus Project. Professor X has speculated that this particular quatrain by Nostradamus may be alluding to events surrounding the death of "Honey Vicarro" star, Kim Carlyle. After several long discussions with both my friend and the good professor, I believe we have settled upon the most likely interpretation of this prediction, written by the renowned seer, Nostradamus, over 450 years ago. We think you may find the information gleaned from this quatrain to be eye-opening, to say the very least!

Line 1: In the season of hell stirred shelter

We believe the phrase “hell stirred shelter” is actually a misinterpretation of the words “Helter Skelter” – the title of a famous Beatles song and also the infamous calling card of Charles Manson and his “Family”. This line refers to the nights in August of 1969 when Manson instructed his followers to kill seven people, including 18 yr. old Steven Parent, actress Sharon Tate and her unborn son, hairdresser Jay Sebring, Folger’s coffee heiress Abigail Folger, aspiring actor/writer Wojciech Frykowski, supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary. The murderers, Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Leslie Van Houten, at the behest of their leader, Charles Manson, invaded the property and homes of these victims – in other words, their “shelter” – and proceeded to slaughter everyone they found there with bloodthirsty abandon. In referring to this as the “season” of hell stirred shelter, Nostradamus is giving us a period of months surrounding these terrible murders as a time frame for the rest of the quatrain.

Line 2: Panicked lepus surround the dead

The word “lepus” refers to jack rabbits or hares.

It is a well known historical fact that residents of Los Angeles, most especially those in the entertainment industry, who lived close to the Benedict Canyon home of Roman Polanski and the late Sharon Tate, were in a total panic during the weeks following the murders. Celebrities of all levels of fame lived in dread that they might be the next victims of this psychotic “family” who painted their horrific graffiti of “Helter Skelter” and “Piggy” on walls in human blood. Many packed up their belongings and headed for parts unknown. As author Dominick Dunne recalled, “The shock waves that went through the town were beyond anything I had ever seen before. People were convinced that the rich and famous of the community were in peril. Children were sent out of town. Guards were hired. Steve McQueen packed a gun to Jay Sebring’s funeral.”

It is not unreasonable to believe that Nostradamus would interpret the people he envisioned in this state of fear as rabbits running terrified among the dead.

Line 3: Jochebed's pain, quietus becomes her

According to the Bible, Jochebed was the mother of Moses. With her son facing certain death by way of the Pharoah, who had decreed that all newborn Hebrew males should be drowned in the River Nile, Jochebed took her chances and set Moses adrift on the river in a basket made of bulrushes. Moses was later found by Pharoah’s daughter, Thermuthis, and was raised as part of the Egyptian royal family, a situation that led to the Exodus.

The first part of this line surely refers to a mother’s pain at having to give up her child in order to save its life. Could this be our first hint that Kim Carlyle may have done likewise?

It was widely reported that in late 1968 Kim Carlyle had entered a sanitarium in order to kick a serious drug addiction. But what if that was only a cover story? What if Kim Carlyle had actually gone into hiding during the last months of pregnancy and secretly given birth?

There have always been a number of rumors surrounding Kim Carlyle’s death that hinted that she was involved with powerful men of influence who would have liked nothing more than to have seen her silenced. And yet, we have never been given sufficient answer as to why these shadowy figures would want such a thing. Perhaps, at this point, we should ask ourselves, what if she had become pregnant with the child of one of these highly placed, possibly married, political figures? On the other hand, what if she had conceived with one of her many paramours within the entertainment industry? Or worse yet, what if the man she lived with, Gavin Hurrell, knew himself to be impotent? (As has been hinted at by multiple sources.) How would Kim falling pregnant have affected her relationship with him? And what if, by some miracle, Hurrell believed the child to indeed be his own? What if Kim did not know for certain whose child it was she carried, and what characteristics the baby might bear that would give away its true paternity?

In 1968, any of these reasons (being as Roe vs. Wade was still several years off), could certainly have motivated most women to take desperate action. Not to mention that Carlyle, having been raised a Catholic, may have found abortion - whether done legally in Sweden or illegally here in the United States -- to be a thoroughly unacceptable option.

Friends have stated that Carlyle was especially upset after the Tate/LaBianca murders by the fact that actress Sharon Tate had been only weeks away from giving birth when she was killed. Certainly, the monstrous brutality of that fact made Tate's death that much more horrifying to most women. But was the thought of such a merciless abomination made that much worse for Kim Carlyle, who may have given up her only child for adoption less than a year before? And was this what finally drove the desperate actress to stage her own death? The second part of the line “Quietus becomes her”, i.e. Death becomes her, would seem to indicate that Nostradamus saw this convergence of upheaval as a motivation for Kim Carlyle to consider the ultimate protection that her own death might finally afford her.

Line 4: Lo, she stays though she has fled

And here we have perhaps the most important clue. Notice how it asks us to behold the one who death becomes. And yet, Nostradamus tells us she has “stayed” although she appears to have “fled”. This, above all in the quatrain, would seem to indicate that Kim Carlyle actually did fake her own death. Nostradamus gives us the time period – August to November of 1969. He gives us the circumstances surrounding that period of time – a city filled with fear and in panic over a series of ghastly murders. He gives us Kim’s motivation – the pain of having given up a child in order to save it from some terrible circumstance we can only guess at. And he describes the nature of what she did – creating a situation where she appeared to be dead when, in truth, she had used this morbid charade as a method of her own escape.

This quatrain certainly gives us a lot to think about, doesn’t it? Personally, my head is still reeling.

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Misty Monday Morning Miracle!

Congratulations and big thanks to Belinda Durkin at the Dover Souls Tribute Website!

Belinda was gifted by a friend with an extremely RARE original vinyl pressing of the Dover Souls hit single, "Misty Monday Morning". And she has very generously chosen to share it with all of us in Mp3 form.

To hear this wonderful recording, please visit the Dover Souls Tribute Website and click on the link in the Breaking News section.

Then sit back and enjoy the dulcet tones of Kim Carlyle's "Honey Vicarro" co-star, the late Anthony Smithe-Jones, performing what is perhaps his most famous song.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why do I believe Kim Carlyle is still alive? Part II

Over the years, my grandfather, Otis “Pop-Pop” Weaver, told me many stories concerning Kim Carlyle’s funeral, and of his long, soul-bearing talk with actor Cliff DiMarco. To begin, please allow me to relay a startling revelation concerning Kim Carlyle’s famous gunmetal blue coffin...

It seems that when Pop-Pop’s crew tried to lower Kim’s casket into the ground, they were shocked at the extra weight they unexpectedly found themselves wrestling with. Most empty caskets weight between 200 and 300 pounds (perhaps a little more, depending on the materials used). Judging from photographs, Kim Carlyle may have weighed all of 118 pounds at the time of her “death”. So, at most, her casket should have weighed approximately 325 to 425 pounds, with her body inside. And yet the crew found itself handling a casket that they estimated weighed an incredible 650 pounds!

Why would the coffin be so much heavier, you may ask? Well, not that anyone dared to open the casket to find out for sure, but Pop-Pop always wondered if there wasn’t some sort of refrigeration unit hidden inside. He said that, strangely, the foot of the loaded coffin was much heavier than the head. This is very unusual, as the heaviest part of a body (the torso), would be more centralized to the container. He also said they could definitely hear a sound at one end, like a heavy, squared-off piece of equipment shifting back and forth, ever-so-slightly, buffered by the thick satin lining. According to Pop-Pop, the crew had to struggle for all they were worth to keep the overburdened coffin from hitting the floor of the grave hard enough to do it damage.

Unfortunately, once the casket was lowered, no one on Pop-Pop’s crew was interested in extricating it once again to see if there were any more anomalies with its design. Though Pop-Pop’s long time co-worker, Reggie McAfee, swore he saw a plug-in socket subtly worked in among the coffin’s silver handles.

Which brings us to the question: why would a refrigeration unit be necessary in a casket? I mean, if Kim Carlyle was dead and embalmed, and on her way to burial, there was no reason to keep the body refrigerated for the amount of time it would take to accomplish the average viewing and funeral service. And if we want to proffer the ludicrous idea that Kim was alive and somehow capable of controlling her breathing long enough to get away with posing in her own casket for the required ceremonies, there would still be no reason for a refrigeration unit to enter into the equation. Bottled oxygen, perhaps, but not refrigeration! This leads me to the one and only logical conclusion.

I believe that Kim Carlyle faked her own death for reasons that I will go into further. I believe she contrived, through her contacts in the art world (including Salvador Dali), to have a perfect likeness of herself created out of wax and placed in the casket. This wax figure would require a certain amount of refrigeration to survive the California heat (even in November), in order to preserve the perfection of the likeness. It is for this reason that I believe a very cleverly disguised, cutting-edge, nearly silent air conditioning unit was placed within Kim’s casket to keep her wax likeness looking fresh and believable throughout the services.

Remember, the funeral director responsible for Kim’s body was no doubt bought off, paid handsomely for his continued silence, as were key members of his staff. The body was roped off from the viewing line, and none of the guests were allowed to get too close to the casket while it was open. (Though it was reported that security officers had to physically restrain Gavin Hurrell from giving Kim one last kiss. They later had to remove him when he threw himself onto the closed casket during the graveside service.) All this, plus the din of the crowd, was probably enough to muffle whatever soft hum might have been heard coming from the refrigeration/air conditioning unit -- though Rona Barrett complained later to friends that she was irritated, during the viewing, by a high-pitched whine that she attributed to John Carradine’s hearing aid.

As for the cemetery crew? Well, I’m sure no one gave them or their work much thought. The coffin, after all, would be unplugged and sealed when the time came for it to be lowered into the ground. By then, the invasive press and the weeping throng would be gone, and Kim Carlyle’s terrible secrets would finally be laid to rest. If not for a wonderful old man regaling his beloved granddaughter with stories of Old Hollywood, the actual truth might have been buried forever.

More to come in Part III…

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I read the news today, oh boy...

In 1969, Kim Carlyle was laid to rest with a simple brass and stone grave marker bearing her name and the dates of her birth and "death". But in 2007, that marker was replaced by a far more elaborate black marble monument that bore the image of an angel in flight and the words "I'd love to turn you on..." The question is, who replaced the headstone and why?

The replacement of Kim's headstone was a cause for some initial alarm in our "Honey Lives" community. Many took this as a sign that Kim Carlyle may have actually died and someone close to her had changed the monument to reflect her genuine passing, thus the angel taking flight. My sources tell me that the truth may be just the opposite.

According to a close personal friend of the singer, after former Beatle Paul McCartney's heart attack scare, and before his subsequent secret angioplasty in 2007, he reached out to Yoko Ono, the widow of estranged fellow band mate, John Lennon. McCartney feared that he might die of complications due to his heart procedure, leaving certain personal property at the mercy of his soon to be ex-wife, Heather Mills. For this reason, McCartney sent a packet of photos and other memorabilia to Yoko Ono "for safe keeping," feeling that Mills and her solicitors would consider Ono to be the very LAST person to look toward as a recipient of such property.

Contained within this packet of memorabilia was photographic proof that Kim Carlyle had fled to England after her alleged "death", and been protected by the newly wedded McCartney and wife Linda Eastman. Upon learning the truth about Kim's faked death, a brief and secret meeting was arranged between Ono and her long lost friend Carlyle in NYC. It is believed that a deeper peace between Ono and McCartney was urged by Carlyle during that meeting. And it was shortly after McCartney's recovery from his secret surgery that the new headstone appeared on Carlyle's grave.

This lyrical monument is believed by some to be a gift from Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono, in honor of the lasting reconciliation Kim Carlyle encouraged between the two. The line "I'd love to turn you on..." was included from the Beatles song "A Day in The Life" as an inside joke concerning the "Paul's dead" conspiracy theories that have been floating around for years. The irony being that many people believe that Kim Carlyle is also dead when, the truth is, she is still very much alive.

UPDATE: The Truce Continues...

According to This Is London, Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney's daughter, fashion designer Stella McCartney, embraced warmly at the funeral of "the Fifth Beatle," business manager Neil Aspinall.

As a wise man once sang, "All You Need Is Love..."

Photos: (above) Yoko Ono with Stella McCartney. (Below) Yoko Ono with Barbara Bach, wife of Ringo Starr.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Why do I believe that Kim Carlyle is still alive?

Because of the stories my grandfather told me...

For over 30 years, my grandfather, Otis "Pop-Pop" Weaver, was a cemetery worker at the Hillside Memorial Park in Los Angeles. He began working there in 1951, the year Al Jolsen's body was moved from Beth Olam Cemetery and re-interred under the soaring domed memorial at Hillside. Pop-Pop always spoke of the wonder of the "Moses and the Tablets" mural above Jolsen's sarcophagus, and he spent as many moments as he could strolling the grounds near its peaceful waterfall.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of the weeks I would visit Pop-Pop over the summer and share orange Popsicles with him on the swing that hung from his wide back porch. He would sit me on his knee in the early evenings and tell me stories of all the rich and famous people he'd watched be carried to their final resting place. He'd been there to see off Jack Benny and Moe Howard, Eddie Cantor and Jeff Chandler. But he said the funeral he would always remember most was that of "Honey Vicarro" star, Kim Carlyle.

According to the mourners, Kim had never looked more beautiful. It was as if the masters at Tussuad's had captured her in a moment of perfect youth and radiance, and preserved it for all time. The waves of her long strawberry hair (so like my own, Pop-Pop would remind me with a wink every time he told the story), framed her face as if she were a sleeping princess, and there seemed to be no hint of death that clung anywhere about her.

As I grew older and was better able to understand the ways of adults, Pop-Pop told me more details about the funeral. He told me that never before had he seen so many grown men cry over a woman's grave. Celebrities, politicians, captains of industry, they all came to say their final farewells to their beloved "Honey". He said that Kim's ex-lover, Gavin Hurrell - who looked as if he'd been drinking heavily for days - even threw himself on the casket, at one point, inconsolably crying, "I'm sorry..." and calling out for his "Bunny Love," over and over again.

But no man cut a sorrier figure, Pop-Pop said, than Kim's former co-star, Cliff DiMarco. He stood alone and at a distance from the other mourners, chain-smoking, watching the service with a look my grandfather described as both bewildered yet haunted. Pop-Pop would find him later, totally bereft, staring at the waterfalls near Jolsen's memorial. It was there that these two men, who would prove to be so important in my life, would strike up a fateful conversation that would put me on a path of discovery and lead me to the creation of this website.

More to come in Part II...