Sunday, November 22, 2009

Murderess Chic

[Continued from previously]

Lane Dahlquist picked up men and killed them.
She wrote about her kills as if they were fiction,
in unpublished pulp fiction-style novels.

A Haunted Detective

     Ventura County Sheriff's Deputy Ray Vogler hadn't seen it all.
     But he'd seen quite a bit.
     "It would be a cliche to say I'd never seen anything like it. But, I'd never seen anything like it," Vogler said about the several decade old unsolved crime, sitting at a bar while chain smoking Lark cigarettes after pulling off the filters.
     Ray is no longer with the department, having left about five years after the murder of a young surfer who had been a friend of his nephew. There has also been the alleged killing of a witness.
     "Ray Vogler" is not the detective's real name, which has been changed for use in this article. For several reasons.
     "That case was controversial. Because I'd been on scene, and saw how this kid was left, it stuck with me. I wouldn't let it go. (And) the kid was a friend of the family. When the case wouldn't come together to satisfy the DA and brass, I wouldn't let go. It was personal," 'Vogler' says after his fourth filterless Lark in 30 minutes.
     Personal is where it shouldn't go for a cop. When Vogler wouldn't accept the case could not be brought, "I started to get treated like a bad character out of a TV movie. Started with the brass. (But) by the time I left I'd had it. Even the new kids had heard of me. I'd become the last thing you want on a PD. That crazy guy who's haunted by the case that got away."
     'Vogler's one condition in speaking for this piece, written in 2006 and published here for the first time, was to not use his actual name.

Her M.O. was to kill during sex. In this case
a surprise spiked surgery tool into the base
of the skull during intercourse. Her victim hadn't a chance.

A Haunting Case

     From the moment Vogler first saw the 23-year-old local Ventura surfer's body, he promised himself he'd solve the case.
     "I failed. Let him down. My nephew, was the kid's surf buddy. Sure, they smoked a bit of weed. Threw back a six-pack or two on the weekends. But he was a good kid (and) didn't deserve to die like that," Vogler says, ordering his second scotch and soda of the evening to go with his mutilated Larks. We sit on an outside patio, where smoking is still permitted at bars in California.
     "In this state (California) they'll let the rich, the connected, kill people like that kid. But a former detective can't smoke inside in a bar. That screwed up, or what?" the former detective says, letting out some of the bitterness remaining after all these years.
     Asked to describe the crime scene, and the subsequent information about the killing from forensics, Vogler orders another double scotch soda. Even though the one in front of him isn't finished.

     "Talk about your sick stuff. It was like a sacrifice. Some kind of ritual. But neat. Pretty. Wacko.
     "I knew a few guys who'd been at the Manson murders back when. (I) saw some of those photos. That was savage. But somehow this was worse. Crazy people on drugs going crazy is one thing. But sacrificing a kid nice, neat, thought out, like that's what he'd been born to be used for. Fries my brain. My soul, if you will."

     Vogler takes a moment's rest to rip the filter off another Lark before lighting it. Finish his scotch soda before starting on the double that awaits, in front of his heavy body, still solid for a man in his sixties.
     Asked about the specifics of what he saw, and the forensics info, he grimaces as if feeling pain from an old injury.
     Then he braces with a drink, and goes into it.
     "Okay. first there's this kid. Coulda been my nephew. laying there naked on the bed.
     "No sign of struggle. That was the first signal of something up. Relaxed. Eyes closed. Almost a smile on his face. Like he's at peace with whatever happened to him.
     "Blankets' pulled back. Dried something on the sheets around his, you know..."

Sheriff's Det. 'Ray Vogler', a man traumatized by
the murder of his nephew's surf pal. Killed during sex
with, he says, an attractive blonde surgeon twice the kid's age.

     Vogler, a hardened detective, used the term "you know" for a murder victim's sex organs. Vogler wasn't the kind of guy that would cringe at using stronger terms. Few detectives were. But he had been traumatized by this case.
     "Anyone who wasn't a virgin could see this kid had been fucking someone. There was dried blood that had come out from behind his head. He had a mess of tangled hair that was dried together in the spot where he'd been...where she had..."
     Vogler crushes out a Lark. Tears off the filter to another. Lights it and continues.
     "He'd been punctured in the back of the head with something. No sign of struggle. Anywhere. Pretty obvious what went on," Vogler said, pausing to get lost somewhere in his mind while splashing some scotch and soda down his throat.
     Vogler didn't follow up on what "obvious" meant. He figured it was...obvious. But I asked anyway.
     "Guess you had to be there to understand. Whoever he was with, which I came to, came to know, was Dahlquist. She had nailed him in the back of the head while they were doin' it. No struggle. No ruffle to the sheets. (He) never saw it coming.
     "She left him just like that. Those were the days before DNA. I think a year or so later was the first conviction using it. Our department wasn't set up with any kinda procedure (for it)," Vogler said.
     "DNA regarding?" I asked.
     Vogler looked at me like I wasn't following along. I was, but had to nail things down.
     "The dried liquids. You know, the kind during sex? It was all over his (genitals)...soaked and dried in the sheets. Today they'd have that analyzed and ready to convict. Back then I don't think our guys had even taken a class on that stuff (DNA) yet."
     Vogler sits, reflects for a second. Drinks. Considers another cigarette, but passes. Then speaks.
     "I'm not ripping our department. Hey, we were a small jurisdiction. That was before DNA was happening. Anyway, forensics did corroborate what I already knew. The dried liquid on and around the kid's body was from a broad. What'd they call it? 'Vaginal discharge.' (While) fucking him. Not the technical term in the report, which was, if I recall, 'intercourse'.
     "Basically, she spiked him while she fucked him. Guess that's getting double fucked, huh?"

The killer was older now. But still beautiful. And smart.
Perhaps too smart to have been discovered until
after her own death.

Another Victim

     If there's one thing about the case former Det. Ray Vogler can live with, it's that the Ventura County's crime lab was not cutting edge enough in 1986 to collect, handle and preserve DNA in the case. Really, just before DNA evidence came into it's own.
    What Vogler says he can't live with is the system's failure given other evidence in the case.
    "We had a witness. We didn't protect him like we should. She got him. I'm sure of it. Once he was gone, that was it. Point. Game. Match. Lady walks."
---Res Cane


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Don't Worry Baby"

[Continued from previously]

Lane Dalquist wrote of a murderess in sunglasses who
picked up a young surfer to kill. It is believed the character
was actually herself.

A Strange Pleasure

     Lane Dalquist allegedly enjoyed killing men. During sexual intercourse.
     Aside from that idiosyncracy, she had a life as a respected surgeon. Was the charming wife of a Hollywood producer. And, Dalquist enjoyed writing.
     Writing about the murders she is alleged to have committed.

     An unpublished short story from the estate of Lane Dalquist was brought to light five years after her death in the mid-90s, It was part of the tapestry of evidence come to light after her death that turned faint suspicions among a very few while she lived, into quiet certainty for many in the aftermath of her contradictory life.

     It involves, as most of the stories Dalquist wrote, a heroine huntress looking for men. Most noticeable is that, while her main character is a serial killer, the character's murders, the way she conducts them, and the protagonist herself, are held in implicit approval.
     As a journalist and editor I had to admire the immaculate editing job Dalquist did on her own work, if not the source material for what is now believed to autobiographical.
     In exerpts from this untitled writing, we see romanticization of the murderess as she seeks a slight divergence in the victims she has heretofore been selecting.
     "Bret" was the perfect man for the purposes of her main character, Olympia, a mid-forty-something class act lady from the La Jolla area of California.
     From the manuscript:

     "Olympia only went by her full name in circles she normally ran. But slumming along surf bar row in Oceanside, on the prey for the right young man, she called herself 'Pia'
     The parking lot of the Hodaddy, a beer bar decorated with old surfing boards, did not offer hope finding what she was after this day. 'Pia' had up until recently, not chosen to play in her own backyard. She had also preferred the clean cut, middle-thirties businessman or playboy type for her needs. However, as she matured into the forties, she became more daring, playing closer to home, and, seeking a different caste of male.

The victim in Lane's story was picked up at a surf bar.
The victim in real life was picked up at a surf bar, picked up
by Lane herself, it is now believed.

     At 3:30 in the afternoon the only car in the parking lot of the Hodaddy was a dirty red Chevy pickup truck with an old surfing board, browned and beaten from ocean use. Pia could have moved on, but was thirsty. It was not likely the Hodaddy served the dry chardonnays she preferred, but even a light beer would do fine at this point.
     Additionally, something suggested the owner of the truck might be exactly what she was slumming for. The bar was empty except for a bartender watching the sports channel, an old, disheveled man who appeared too old to lift a beer mug, let alone solvent enough to pay for a drink, and the owner of the surfer truck.
     Pia would learn the young man's name was Bret, and that he surfed every day. With not a lot of prying she found he was willing to spend the evening with a good looking  woman barely old enough to be his mother.
     It was easy for Pia to imagine what a naked Bret would look like. All he was wearing in the bar was a pair of surfer trunks with odd colored fish prints on them, flip flops, loose shoulder-length golden locks, and a darling smile on his youngishly handsome face."

A Story Inspired by Murder

     The narrative reads no worse than any slightly mundane, noir romantic novel of the time. Except for the graphic and erotic sexual violence that comes later.
     Had the prose limited itself to romantic dry rot, it could have succeeded as published middling fare. The element of jagged eroticism and pungent, horridly sexual violence, would give the writing a depth perhaps beyond the author's own intent.
     Artists often create because they must exorcise demons, not because they are geniuses at knowing how to make something into a piece of worthy art.
     Lane Dalquist has been dead for some 15 years, and we will never know if she had the abilities to bring banal romantic writing to another level via Tarrantino and Scorcese-like violence. Or if a simple need for catharsis created what some call brilliant works, despite herself.
     We do know that Dalquist had demons to dispel.
     It is a convention of legal niceties that the term "alleged" is attached to the murders Lane Dalquist is thought to have committed. The narrative above, typical lady book romanticism, diverges as "Pia", Lane's assumedly autobiographical protagonist, moves on to sex with her pickup surfer. And then, beyond sex.
     More from the manuscript:

     "Pia knew how this evening would end, but getting their was almost half the fun.
     Pia told her surfer manboy that she had to worry about her anonymity, and would appreciate not to be seen leaving with him. Pia would depart first, drive to a local chain grocery market, park, and wait for Bret to pull into the lot. Then she would get into his truck and accompany him home, taking a cab later that night back. The young surfer with the darling smile was more than amenable.

The car in the story was a Chevy surf truck with a board
in the back. Above, the real car of the real victim. Lane
changed the brand, but not much else about the killing.

     Before leaving, Pia reached into his baggie surfer trunks, grabbed ahold of his masculinity, and squeezed in such a way as to bring an instant erection. "Fuck! You sure know the body lady," Bret inelegantly said. Pia smiled. She had reached under his scrotum, far enough back to also exert pressure on the prostate, as well as the testicles. She had enough sexual ability to accomplish the desired effect, but eight years of medical school and close to 20 as a practicing surgeon gave her more than enough knowedge to know where to touch a man to get almost any reaction, let alone make him stiff in an instant.
     "I want you to be sure you'll know what you're missing if you don't show at the parking lot for me," the beautiful Pia whispered.
     "Woa mam. Don't you worry. Get on over there because I can't wait to leave and pick you up." Pia did just that."

     As far as "Bret" is concerned, the final scene is at his beach house, where Pia prepares to do what she always seems to do. And, allegedly what Lane did in real life:

     "Young Bret was naked on his own bed, and more splendid looking undressed than Pia had imagined. For herself, Pia had removed her designer jeans and white silk blouse, leaving her only in stiletto heels, a black bra, and the sunglasses she had not removed since picking up her surfer at the bar.
     Bret's nine inch masculinity was straight up, his eyes yearning for this woman who had arrived into his life from nowhere. Pia had convinced the surfer to be a bit kinky, and she'd tied his naked, ocean-honed body to the posts on his bed so he could not escape the delights he expected.
     She had doubled the pillow over and put it under his golden wild hair so she could ravage and savage his mouth with her tongue and lips as she fucked him into delirium. And then, as she did what else she had planned.
     Pia slipped out of her heels, mounted the bed, and then mounted Bret. Sliding down onto his erect flesh, slowly, letting it seep into her own body, until they both ached to be one. Only Pia truly knew how to render that conclusion. To bring them to unity. And she would soon do so.
     Bret had not seen, nor needed to see, Pia's instrument. As a surgeon she had her pick of paraphernalia. Her favorite of current days was spike shaped. She had fashioned a comfortable handle for what was normally an operating room instrument. It now sat poised next to the pillow on which Bret's sweet head lay. Unseen by him.
     As her ritual began, Pia and her male's mouth became one, tongue's wrapping around each other like wrestling or mating snakes. His yearning flesh filling her deeply with each up-down motion she made, bringing them both slowly to rhythmic pulsations of ecstasy. His moans urged on her own soft, sweet 'oh's, and 'aaaahs'. But, what she would do next to her darling, was anything but sweet. But necessary. Oh, so necessary, for him to be her's forever.

The victim in Lane's story was a handsome young surf kid.
The real victim, murdered during sexual intercourse was, not
surprisingly, a handsome young surf kid.

Murder During Orgasm

     She waited for Bret to build to a crescendo. Pia was a sexually skilled woman who could time her own eruption to her partner's. However, there was a third element to the evening's pleasures. Pia's nipples hardened as she thought of it, and brought her spike to rest behind her surfer's head. Ready for entry, much as he had penetrated her with his own tool. Pia always smiled at the irony.
     Sweet Bret built to the moment he thought he wanted, and which she wanted more than anything, and Pia built with him. Excited beyond imagination at what was about to happen, as it had happened many times before for her with other men.
     She lowered herself again, slowly with all deliberation, and thought, "Yes, this must be the moment." She was correct. As her body's opening swallowed Bret's flesh for the last time, to the base of his pelvis, she heard his utterance of orgasm. And felt it.
     "Aghhhhhhhhhh..." he cried in total pleasure. Pia felt his ejaculation like a liquid shotgun blast into her loins. Then, she let go of herself, her moan mingling with his cry of pleasure. Then, and only then, she proceeded.
     Into him, with expert skill of 20 years as one of the world's best surgeons, her instrument penetrated deep into the base of the young, beautiful surfer's skull. So quickly, and perfectly, that he normally would not feel it. But, during his orgasm, even had Pia's skill been off, he would have been unaware.
     Still, her trajectory was true as always. His body twitched with the pleasure of sexual release into the beautiful woman atop him, but as she too shook with satisfaction and her own release, he was already a dead man, though still breathing and conscious.
     In a few precious moments the internal bleeding in his brain would overtake him. And, still as the pleasure swarmed over him, Bret would feel himself mysteriously losing consciousness. Wondering why? Not hurting, but nevertheless falling into a deep, forever sleep with only pleasure vibrating through his superb body. Pia, had made sure his death would be sublime for him, as well as for her. She thought, "How exquisite to feel your lover die as he reaches the greatest joy of his life. With you. What greater favor can you do a man than give him the death all men dream about? To slip away in sheer delight while united in the flesh with a beautiful woman whose love is so strong it must consume you?"
     Pia watched as the pleasure lingered, but a look of questioning crept into Bret's pretty eyes. That look of questioning, like that of a small boy seeking his mother's reassurance when something feels not quite right. Her wet mouth gently kissed those eyes, and then she pulled her sunglasses off, for the first time, letting him see her own piercing, lovely eyes, eating him, drinking him in, much as her own flesh had swallowed his manhood whole.

Lane painted the protagonist in her story as some
sort of idyllic love priestess who sacrificed the young
surfer during the pinnacle of sexual intercourse.
Story details matched the actual murder.

     Bret could not speak now. 'They' never could. Once penetrated, they would just die. And quickly. She had only moments to reassure him. To love him, and let him die happy and cared for.
     "Don`t worry baby, everything will work out all right. Don`t worry baby."
     And he didn't, worry. Bret died softly with a smile on his lips, and with thankful eyes. Never knowing she had killed him, or really what had happened to his young life.
     While his eyes frosted over, glazed in the expression of gratitude to her, Pia kissed his forhead gently, lovingly. Then, she turned cold. Ready to leave this dead but still warm piece of flesh that was of no more use to her. She lifted up from him, his still hard and warm cock pulling easily out of her wet insides, dropping unceremoniously onto his now dead thighs.
     Pia was a Goddess. She had taken the spirit of the surfer manboy and made it her own forever in that one moment of savage lovemaking. In the future she would masturbate, thinking of how he would always be hers in that moment. Like she had masturbated over the others she had taken. Concerning his now dead flesh, she had no use for it and would leave it to be found by others who could never understand the true nature of the love she and the boy had enjoyed.
     While Pia dressed, she smiled at the double entendre. Proud of it. A little joke she would enjoy the rest of her life.
     Normally, as she reassured her males, she would tell them, "Don't worry, it's going to be okay." But Bret was a surfer and she had modified her words to him.
     After all, how appropriate to kill a surfer during lovemaking and whisper words from "Don't Worry Baby." The Beach Boys."

Did She Do It? One Detective Says Yes

     What is one to think of the writing? It's self-absorption. Self-importance. Presumptions of grandeur and a right to kill for pleasure?

The actual murder was committed by Lane Dalquist, according
to the belief of the Ventura County Sheriff's detective who
investigated the case those years ago. Though, the case was never proven.

     It is too absurd, too pathetic and psychotic to take seriously. Unless it is a brilliant attempt to portray insight into the literary character of a deluded killer. But in retrospect now, it appears to be uncontrollable self-revelation rather than brilliance.
     While Lane Dalquist was alive, and not suspected of actually doing these deeds, her writing was in fact seen as brilliant, if, however, too suggestive to be published as the work of a renowned surgeon.
     A beautiful female surgeon writing about a beautiful female surgeon who is a killer.
     Both the screenwriter who rewrote her prose into the erotic sexual murder scene in the film 'Lassiter', and Nina, the publishing editor who thought the work too close to home to publish, were impressed. Had they known what the work was based on, they most likely would have been shocked.

     One man, however, was not blinded by the lights of Lane's so-called brilliance. By her reputation as one of the world's finest surgeons. The gorgeous wife of a Hollywood producer. The paradigm of an accomplished woman.
     "I never could prove a damn thing. And sometimes I wasn't sure myself. But when it came down to it, I couldn't shake the feeling. She did it."
     Ventura County Sheriff's Det. Ray Vogler, who had an ID on a car matching that of Lane Dalquist's in the surf bar's parking lot, and an hour later, in the grocery store parking lot, getting out of her Mercedes and into the surfer, and murder victim's, truck.
     However, the body of a surfer was found in Ventura, not Oceanside. In his Ventura bungalow a week after his murder.
     The surf bar was the Surf Vu in Ventura. The truck not a Chevy, as in Lane's piece, but a red Ford Bronco.
     Dalquist's written story took place in Oceanside, almost 200 miles down the coast. Aside from that discrepancy, a different name for the surf bar, different model truck, and different victim's and murderer's names, there were no differences between the murder Det. Ray Vogler was investigating, and the one Lane had "created" for her story.
     "The one witness in that was circumstantial...he saw the broad with the guy (victim). (He saw them together) in the right spots (to corroborate Dalquist as the perpetrator). But...(he was) a local beach bum. Woulda been an uphill battle to get the DA to run with this," Vogler recalls, some 20 years after the fact.
     "But what really killed the case, if you pardon the expression, was (when) our witness turned up dead," several weeks after talking to police, Vogler said.
     "Can't prove anything. But I know, in my gut, she killed the surf kid. And, what's more, (I believe) she got the witness too."
---Reston Cane

[To be continued]