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InvisibleJim
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Registered: 04/07/04
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Re: Rolling Stone Pickard Article [Re: motaman]
    #3803248 - 02/19/05 02:45 PM (16 years, 5 months ago)

here is to entertain those waiting for my slow ass....


After Pickard had been at the spot for some time, apparently cooking acid by the kilo, neighboring businessmen reported smelling chemical odors. Agents of the BNE moved in. "It was a huge lab," says Ron Brooks, special agent in charge of the BNE'S San Jose office, who was on the scene that day in Mountain View. "He was making windowpane, microdot and blotter.'' And it was a diversified operation. ?Pickard was making not only LSD but a synthetic mescaline, which is very difficult to synthesize, and a bunch of other stuff. He was an excellent chemist.?

Excellent and prolific, on par almost with Owsley himself in terms of output. Bear, as he was known, claimed to have turned out a total of three or four kilos during his storied career. Agents found a beguiling note tucked inside a brown vial in the Mountain View trailer, which seemed to be addressed to one of the chemist?s distributors and to describe the scale of his operation. ?As I prepare my third kilogram of LSD,? it said, ?I think with amusement of our last conversation three weeks ago, when you called me a liar, and I had to walk you down the hall to get you the very first gram that was supposed to be offered to you preferentially. Since July of 1984, our friend has taken thirty grams in that year, thirty grams in the second year and seventy-five grams in the last six to eight weeks. The recent change indicates that someone close to you has accessed an existing system as well as its potential problems. I hope you can monitor these proceedings in some way, since you come from the finest psychedelic heritage, prior to being seduced by some sleezy cocaine and qualude {sic}nightmare.? Whether Pickard wrote this note, and who the intended recipient was, have never been made clear.

A kilo of drugs might not sound like much if you?re talking about pot or coke or heroin, but a kilo of pure LSD is enough, DEA estimates, for 10 million trips. One of the criminalists who donned protective gear to process the trailer crime scene, Lisa Brewer, counted 89,802 tabs of acid and 123,278 acid pills, a form of acid rarely seen in 1988. Only Pickard knew how much product had been already mailed to middlemen. ?This was not the big one,? Brewer says of Pickard?s laboratory. ?Nobody sees these.?

Later, when Ron Brooks consulted Darryl Inaba, a leading drug expert at the Haight-Ashbusy Free Clinic, he mentioned the fact that he?d collared a guy making synthetic mescaline. ?No fucking way,? Inaba replied. ?That?s just too hard to make. There are only a few people in the whole world that might have the capability.?

?It was a beautiful, pure white, needlelike crystal,? recalls Brooks. ?Aparently, it was only synthesized several times, ever, and Pickard was a guy who knew how to do it. That was the only time we ever saw it. Guys like him do that just as a challenge, just to prove they can do it. I don?t think there?s a market for it. It probably cost him way more to make than he could ever sell it for.?

Not surprisingly, a BNE search for Pickard accomplices proved fruitless. ?We followed up leads in Daly City and in San Francisco,? says Brooks, ?also out in the southern East Bay, but never had anything solid. He was very good about covering his tracks, and he and his circle of friends were all the masters of using multiple identities and blind mail drops and phones forwarded to other phones.?
?I recall Mr. Pickard back in the interview room,? says BNE agent Tresmontan. ?He played a lot of things close to the vest. I remember him sitting there with his legs crossed, very calm, very friendly, somewhat guarded. My thought was, ?Here?s a very intelligent individual, maybe slightly eccentris.??

When agents first encountered Pickard in the warehouse, he warned them not to dismantle the lab. ?This is all bad stuff,? Pickard advised. ?If I were you, I?d burn this place to the ground. I wouldn?t process this scene. Somebody?ll get hurt.??

Pickard proved to be right. One BNE agent on the scene, Max Houser, somehow got dosed upon entering the lab, even though he wore a full-body protective suit and a respirator. Whitin an hour or two, Houser went into convulsions. An article about the case in a California forensics journal describes what happened next: ?The agent was taken to the hospital, where they administered Valium by IV to calm the anxiety. A few hours later, he was discharged and went home. He was in the shower when the Valium began to wear off and he began convulsing again. This time he was taken to the Haight-Ashbury clinic and treated.

?During his time in the emergency room,? the article continues, ?he reported a loud, buzzing and distressing sound that totally drowned out all the other sound. The hospital people were talking to him, and he could see people were talking to him, and he could see their lips move but could onlu hear the loud noise. He was finally able to determine the noise was coming from the automatic door that leads to the emergency room.

?The agent is starting to feel better but still has bouts of depression and anxiety.? These bouts continued for months.


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afoaf said:
Jim, if you were in my city, I would let you fuck my wife.


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Offlinedelta9
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Re: Rolling Stone Pickard Article [Re: motaman]
    #3803252 - 02/19/05 02:47 PM (16 years, 5 months ago)

You guys rock :thumbup:


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delta9


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Offlinetheocean06
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Re: Rolling Stone Pickard Article [Re: KingOftheThing]
    #3803254 - 02/19/05 02:48 PM (16 years, 5 months ago)

A big thanks to both of you guys.  I would give you 5 shrooms GJ, but I already have :grin: and I will certainly rate you KOTT :sun:


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The story of life is quicker then the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello, goodbye.            - Hendrix :bow:


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InvisibleJim
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Registered: 04/07/04
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Re: Rolling Stone Pickard Article [Re: Jim]
    #3803274 - 02/19/05 02:56 PM (16 years, 5 months ago)

The guy who wrote this article needs to be fired, or sent to remedial school. His punctuation skills suck.


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afoaf said:
Jim, if you were in my city, I would let you fuck my wife.


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Invisibleoneducktwoducks
Registered: 12/13/02
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Re: Rolling Stone Pickard Article *DELETED* [Re: Jim]
    #3803285 - 02/19/05 03:01 PM (16 years, 5 months ago)

Post deleted by oneducktwoducks

Reason for deletion: .


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Offlinedelta9
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Re: Rolling Stone Pickard Article [Re: Jim]
    #3803289 - 02/19/05 03:01 PM (16 years, 5 months ago)

Yeah, I've read a lot of articles in magazines where I wonder, "Should I become an editor? These guys sure do miss a fuck load".


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delta9


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InvisibleJim
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Re: Rolling Stone Pickard Article [Re: delta9]
    #3803293 - 02/19/05 03:03 PM (16 years, 5 months ago)

For the sake of copyright infringement, I am typing it exactly.


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Use the Fucking Reply To Feature You Lazy Pieces of Shit!

afoaf said:
Jim, if you were in my city, I would let you fuck my wife.


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InvisibleJim
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Re: Rolling Stone Pickard Article [Re: Jim]
    #3803330 - 02/19/05 03:19 PM (16 years, 5 months ago)

picking up on the article.........................


Pickard expressed only limited sympathy for Houser?s plight. ?I regret his difficult moments,? he told me, ?although I suffered he same effects without the benefit of protective suits? ? a statement in which Pickard seems to admit, for the first time pulicily, that he was indeed an acid cooker, or at least spent time around LSD labs. ?Anxiety can spin out of control when taken to the ER with a mind-set expecting psychosis and surrounded by people who are inexperienced. Ideally, a talk-down should suffice. A meadow and friends would be a completely different experience than guns, radio, and fear, I am told.? Even now, it?s almost impossible to study overdose phenomena like these. ?Sustained exposure to unkown but massive dosages of LSD,? Pickard pointed out, ?as experienced by the few unkown individuals worldwide who are responsible for its distribution, has no parallel in clinical settings. I understand various psychiatrisrs and pharmacologists would like to interview them, but they are, necessarily, unavailable.?

In 1988, Pickard was sentenced to eight years in California?s Terminal Island Prison. Released early, in 1992, he went to live at the Zen Center, on Page Street in San Francisco, and came under the wind of the center?s spiritual leader, Blanche Hartman, better known as the Abbess. ?She took me hand when I left prison,? Pickard said. ?I lived there for two years as a monk.?

Pickard claims he tried to chart a new course: ?I lost contact with a large early portion of my life ? after the prison years.? He paid about $350 a month for one of forty small rooms at the center. With the other students, Pickard rose with the 5AM bell, sat in meditation for an hour and a half, chanted, helped clean the temple and then ate breakfast. ?Monastic practice involves twenty-four hours a day,? says Hartman. ?The bulk of the day he did whatever he was doing, and I have no idea what it was.

?I never felt fully invited into his personal life, Hartman adds. ?There was always an air of mystery about him. I assumed he had some money left over from his earlier days dealing, but I have no idea.

?He was trying to change,? she continues. ?I don?t know if I want to say ?live more constructively.? I don?t know how he felt about his manufacturing LSD, whether he thought it was good or bad. I never asked him about it. My guess is, even though it?s illegal, he didn?t think it was wrong to make LSD, because he thinks there?s something beneficial about making it, or he wouldn?t have done it.?

Leonard Pickard returned to school during his two years on Page Street to study neurobiology at the University of California at Berkeley with David Presti, an authority on addiction and the way that drugs- from stimulants and depressants to psychedelics and steroids ? affect the brain. Under Presti?s guidance, Pickard focused on drugs of abuse rather than his old area of interest, the possible therapeutic applications of controlled substances. (Though Presti has described Picakrd as a ?dear friend,? he was unwilling to discuss Pickard?s work at Berkeley, missing an appointment for a planned telephone interview before backing out entirely.)

From Berkeley, with Presti?s backing, Pickard arrived at Harvard in 1994 and found work as a neurobiology research associate at the medial school?s Division on Addictions. There he met Mark Kleiman, a junior member of the faculty who was already a leading authority on social drugs and drug policy. Following the lead of Robin Doblin, another member of the Harvard drug research crew, Pickard applied the Kennedy School of Government?s master?s program. Kleiman oversaw Pickard?s master?s project, a second year paper that focused on drug problems in Russia, discussing the extent to which the emergence of a free-market economy had led to a proliferation both of drug consumption and of drug production and traffic. ?Leonard spent some time talking to people in Russia,? says a Harvard source. ?He was obviously very good at that. He made contact with various figures in law enforcement, including the FSB, which is the successor to the KGB.?


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afoaf said:
Jim, if you were in my city, I would let you fuck my wife.


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OfflineRandolph_Carter
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Re: Rolling Stone Pickard Article [Re: oneducktwoducks]
    #3803343 - 02/19/05 03:23 PM (16 years, 5 months ago)

A quick google search indicates well over 10 different routes and over 3 busts related to mescaline.
as always, the main problem is precursors and reagents to transform them.


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"..all those molecules thrashing their kinky little tails, hot for destiny and the street."  Gibson


Nuke baby seals for Jesus!

(This has been a +1 production.)


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InvisibleJim
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Re: Rolling Stone Pickard Article [Re: Randolph_Carter]
    #3803418 - 02/19/05 03:45 PM (16 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Randolph Carter said:
A quick google search indicates well over 10 different routes and over 3 busts related to mescaline.
as always, the main problem is precursors and reagents to transform them.




too bad a quick goggle search couldn't save me from typing this.


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Use the Fucking Reply To Feature You Lazy Pieces of Shit!

afoaf said:
Jim, if you were in my city, I would let you fuck my wife.


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OfflineRandolph_Carter
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Re: Rolling Stone Pickard Article [Re: Jim]
    #3803428 - 02/19/05 03:48 PM (16 years, 5 months ago)

Yeah yeah yeah....back to typing! :whip:


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"..all those molecules thrashing their kinky little tails, hot for destiny and the street."  Gibson


Nuke baby seals for Jesus!

(This has been a +1 production.)


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InvisibleJim
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Re: Rolling Stone Pickard Article [Re: Jim]
    #3803438 - 02/19/05 03:53 PM (16 years, 5 months ago)

continuing from where I left off........................

Experts in this field have to be careful about their reputations. Researching the use of illegal drugs is regarded with suspicion by many in law enforcement and on the right wing, who worry that by not demonizing these drugs, researchers tacitly advocate their use. Everything, as Rick Dolbin says, needs to be done with the ?permission? of the DEA and other government agencies. When another of Pickard?s teachers at Harvard, Mark H. Moore, Guggenheim Proffesor of Criminal Justice Policay and Management, heard vague details about Pickard?s prospective funding sources in Russia, he felt uncomfortable. ?I didn?t know their reputations,? recalls Moore, who knew nothing of Pickard?s criminal record. ?They were unfamiliar to me then and have remained unfamiliar with me now.? One Harvard source calls Pickard the kind of student who was more talk than action. ?He presented himself as a person who was well-connected and could see what was happening in the drug scene, but he was never able to make much out of that or demonstrate the truth of what he was observing. I ended up regarding him with a great deal of skepticism. Nothing ever happened with him.?

Pickard received his master?s in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government in 1997, and when Mark kleiman moved to California a short time later to head an influential drug-policy group at UCLA, Picakrd followed. Pickard?s work was not funded by the university. He took trips to Russia to seek funding, and on one of them he met his current wife, Natasha, a lovely pre-med student in her late twenties whom Pickard brought back to the united States with him. Pickard, Natasha and her father shared a small apartment. Kleiman was impressed enough with Pickard to name him as his deputy. Pickard gave Kleiman his word that he wasn?t cooking any drugs in the United States.

Again, the subject matter of Pickard?s research involved drug use in the former Soviet Union. This time, Pickard concentrated on evaluating a deeply flawed Russian system of estimating the extent of its drug problem. Working with Kleiman in California, however, Pickard seemed to grow lazy. ?Even though it wasn?t our money, he didn?t actually produce much,? says a UCLA source. ?We fell for the story, the he was a brilliant guy with sort of an outlaw past that he was now trying to transcend.?

During this period, Rick Doblin socialized with Pickard back in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a Sasha Shulgin?s home in Northern California. But Dolbin says he never trusted Pickard: ?What can you say about somebody who always wears a suit and tie to meetings that are usually more relaxed? He wanted to pass in a lot of profeddional circles or responsible circles, even anti-drug-abuse circles. It felt like he was playing the role.

?He?d tell these shadowy stories that were somehow connected to Russians who had made out in privatization in perhaps less than completely ethical ways and who wanted to help out their country by studying drug abuse issues. I didn?t know what to believe. I always felt there was more going on than he was saying. There were some major missing pieces in what he was sharing.?

A Brand-New Friend

In the psychedelic community, the graying tribe gathers several times a year, in this country or in Europe, to discuss new drugs and drug research, to burn incense and chat about Native American art. It was at one of these gatherings, devoted to the study of psychedelic mushrooms, in 1997, that Pickard met a man who impressed him with his generosity, intelligence, humor and charm. His name was Gordon Todd Skinner.

Like Pickard, Skinner is a big, rangy man, though Skinner is the bulkier of the two at 240 pounds, bald, with a ZZ-Top type beard. One acquaintance describes his look as a cross between an Amish man and Bozo the Clown. To Pickard, Skinner was something of a fellow traveler. ?When I met him, he was using exotic structures every week or every few days,? Pickard says. ?He loved to eat ayahuasca [a hallucinogenic plant] and its various analogues.?

Skinner told Pickard he was an expert in international finance and boasted about various celebrities he supposedly knew, including Warren Buffet, the Omaha, Nebraska, superinvestor. In the beginning, at least, Pickard says he believed Skinner, especially when Skinner told him that he could raise money from Buffet to fund his drug research. The Buffet money, Pickard figured, would be a ticket back to Harvard. Skinner struck Pickard as somebody who had access to large amounts of money, often receiving electronic transfers but always cash poor. ?He probably couldn?t draw more than $3,000 out of his accounts at one time,? Pickard says.


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afoaf said:
Jim, if you were in my city, I would let you fuck my wife.


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InvisibleJim
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Re: Rolling Stone Pickard Article [Re: Jim]
    #3803518 - 02/19/05 04:26 PM (16 years, 5 months ago)

I think I will save now, to prevent me from losing my work.............


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Use the Fucking Reply To Feature You Lazy Pieces of Shit!

afoaf said:
Jim, if you were in my city, I would let you fuck my wife.


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InvisibleJim
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Re: Rolling Stone Pickard Article [Re: Jim]
    #3803598 - 02/19/05 04:43 PM (16 years, 5 months ago)

continuing....

Besides Warren Buffet, Skinner also claimed to know Sting. In October 1999, when the star hit San Jose, California, on a tour stop, he attended a party Skinner threw at a house he was renting in Stinson Beach, a home formerly owned by Jerry Garcia. Chris Malone, who installed a stereo system in the house for Sting?s visit, says Skinner and Sting acted like old friends. Pickard was there, too. Through his publicist, Sting acknowledges attending the party, where he met some ?very charismatic people,? but would comment no further.

By Tulsa standards, Skinner?s family was well-to-do. His father Gordon, operates the Skinner Clinic, a chiropractic office. His mother, Katherine Magrini, one of ?Tulsa?s leading hostesses,? according to the Tulsa World, runs Gardner Spring, for many years a manufacturer of standard and custom-made industrial springs, with sales of $5 million to $10 million annually. She also started a ?gourmet? candy company, Katherine?s Supreme Gourmet Chocolates, and sits on a wide variety of Tulsa benefit comities. After divorcing Gordon Skinner, Katherine, in 1981, married Gary Magrini, an agent with the Criminal Enforcement Division of the IRS. For a time, Magrini was assigned to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, in the Northern District of Oklahoma.

As a boy, Todd Skinner loved math. He attended Cascia Hall Prep, a Catholic boys? high school in Tulsa, and thou he never earned a college degree, he says he studied for a while at the University of Heidelberg, in Germany. ?There is no way for me to describe the depth of Todd?s knowledge,? says Moise Seligman, a retired Army major general who has been a friend of the Skinner family for twenty years. ?I?ve never met anyone who could sit in the same room with Todd Skinner, as far as brain power is concerned.?

All along, Skinner would tell Seligman that he loathed drugs. ?He was bitterly opposed to the whole dope process. He would never stick a needle in himself, he would never sniff something, or whatever you do to take it.?

On and off through hi twenties, Skinner worked at his mother?s spring plant. Other times, he wandered around California and the Caribbean, sometimes with a friend from Holland who described himself as a ?manufacturer of ?powdered milk.? Skinner, like Pickard, used a number of aliases, telling different people in different places that he was Dwayne Miller or P.C. Carroll or Gerard T. Finegan. He also developed a nose for trouble. After leasing a seventy-eight-foot oil-field utility vessel for use off the coast of Louisiana, Skinner installed fancy electronic gear on the boat, then wrecked the craft, which he had failed to insure, off the coast of Jamaica in a hurricane. Custom officials in the Cayman Islands boarded the boat and gave Skinner an hour to leave the country. Skinner?s friend Mo Seligman ended up getting stuck for part of the $80,000 in unpaid lease bills.

By 1989, Skinner was in the pot business. He made a poor showing with that, too. When he and a friend from Tulsa tried to move forty-two pounds of weed in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, undercover cops nailed them and indicted Skinner on conspiracy charges that left him facing life in prison as a drug ?kingpin? and held him on $1 million bail. Waiting for trial, Skinner spent about a year in prison in New Jersey. Then, from behind bars, he cut his teeth on another business, one he would return to during his friendship with Leonard Pickard: the unclean business of being a snitch. Skinner struck up a friendship with another inmate, John Worthy, and mentioned he had thirty pounds of pot to sell. Having piqued Worthy?s interest, Skinner went straight to the D.A> and laid out the deal. His bail was reduced to $500,000, and he returned to Tulsa, where, at the behest of the New Jersey prosecutors, he had taped some calls to John Worthy. These calls are almost comical. On the tape, Skinner pleads with Worthy, who can barely scrape together $2,000, to meet him at a hotel in Vineland, New Jersey, and take possession of $34,000 worth of weed.


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Use the Fucking Reply To Feature You Lazy Pieces of Shit!

afoaf said:
Jim, if you were in my city, I would let you fuck my wife.


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Offlinedelta9
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Re: Rolling Stone Pickard Article [Re: Jim]
    #3803809 - 02/19/05 05:48 PM (16 years, 5 months ago)

Woo!  Keep up the good work.

:handth:


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delta9


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InvisibleJim
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Re: Rolling Stone Pickard Article [Re: delta9]
    #3803825 - 02/19/05 05:54 PM (16 years, 5 months ago)

If Worthy wasn?t satisfied with the quality, Skinner assured him, he?d take the load back. ?I can sell it the next day. You?re not gonna be stuck with anything with me. I?m not in the business of screwing someone over. I?m too fuckin? busy. I want you to find a product that you can get rid of in a hurry.? Anyway, a man in Skinner?s position never stuck people with bad shit. ?The big weed dealers don?t do that,? Skinner tells Worthy on tape.

?Skiner was a motherfucker,? says Brian O?Malley, one of Worthy?s lawyers. ?He got friendly with my client and said, ?Hey, we can make a million bucks,? giving my guy visions of the life of Riley, whoever the black Riley is. This guy wove a web. The way he saw it, he had no choice but to screw somebody else, pass the weight on.?

The day after Worthy?s arrest at the Vineland hotel, Skinner pleaded guilty to one reduced count of conspiracy and was back on the street, with a three year term of probation, which was terminated in less than two. Years later, an appeals court would throw out John Worthy?s case, ruling that Skinner?s taping of phone calls from Oklahoma violated New Jersey?s wiretapping laws.

Owing hundreds of thousands of dollars to various lawyers and other creditors, Skinner filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tulsa in 1992. He didn?t fold his tent in the face of adversity. He simply relocated. He meandered north to Kansas, and in 1996, through a trust, took control of an abandoned Atlas E missile base on Say Road, in Wamego, and moved in. Decommissioned Atlas E and Atlas F sites ring the city of Topeka. The last nuke left the state in 1986, and since then these eerie monuments to the Cold War have been snapped up by people looking for unusual places to live. One former nuke base serves as part of a Kansas high school. Most consist of vast, multilevel underground chambers, connected by metal ladders. Built to withstand the blast from the world?s most powerful nuclear weapons, the Wamego base provided Skinner with 15,000 square feet of underground space on a twenty-eight acre plot of land. Why would Skinner be attracted to such a place? ?I have no idea,? says his mother, ?and I don?t give a damn.?

Skinner offered her a deal. ?Todd said to me, ?Why don?t you move your manufacturing up here in Kansas??? says Magrini. ?And we did.? This arm of the company, went the word around Wamego, would manufacture springs for NASA?s Space Shuttle program. Some Gardner employees arrived from Tulsa. Skinner also hired a few local people to work a small spring-making machine. Big rolls of wire would arrive from Tulsa about twice a month, the wire would be wound, and the springs would be shipped back to Oklahoma. Skinner employed local cops to work around the base as security officers and gardeners.

Drawing on what seemed like an unlimited budget, Todd set up about sprucing up the base interior. Computers were installed, as well as a new kitchen and a twelve-line phone system. Skinner mounted his oak bed on a pedestal and installed a bathtub lined with marble. Baskets of massage oil sat in the corner of another room. Young women, local girls in their twenties, were in and out of Skinner?s tub. From an audiophile shop in Sacramento came an 800-pound, $120,000 Dynaudio Evidence stereo system. The speakers, one of only five pairs in the United States, went for eighty-five grand. Connecting cables alone cost $10,000. ?Todd would buy CDs and never listen to or even opn them, just leave them scattered around the floors,? Pickard recalls. His tastes didn?t compare with his equipment. According to Chris Malone, who installed the system, Skinner mostly listened to Seventies pop ? Cat Stevens and Styx. Outside the underground chamber, Skinner parked his latest automotive purchase: three late model Porsches, including a 4WD Boxster, which sells for about $225,000.

Life at the missile base resembled some sort of kooky Sixties idyll. Every few days in the course of a year or so, Skinner would call Pickard in California and regale him with tales of psychedelic drug trips. Pickard, of all people, understood where Skinner was coming form. ?He was in his early thirties,? says Pickard. ?I guess he was exploring. He had nothing else to do.? Livestock, including llamas and chickens and rabbits, and even Clydesdale horses and a mule, roamed the property. A vegetable garden thrived. Fruit, nut and pine trees were planted, and a water-pumping windwill was installed. Skinner employed a number of local people, at around $7 an hour, to clean, paint and garden, paying them with checks drawn on the Tulsa accounts of Gardner Spring Inc. Much of the time, it didn?t seem to matter what work got done or how quickly. One woman, who baby-sat Skinner?s two young children once in a while, spent three days digging thistles, for which she received a $235 bonus.


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afoaf said:
Jim, if you were in my city, I would let you fuck my wife.


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InvisibleJim
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Re: Rolling Stone Pickard Article [Re: Jim]
    #3803949 - 02/19/05 06:47 PM (16 years, 5 months ago)

Men, friends of Skinner?s, would arrive from California and other points west and stay for weeks at a time, guys with long beards and long hair who looked like zombies. One spent hours cutting up apples for oatmeal; another urinated in a glass jar and carried it around with him wherever he went. These guest smoked weed freely. Morning beers were available. Strange deliveries were common: a dozen pressure cookers here, a truckful of acetone there. Todd and his friends worked at night. ?Some of them would still be there in the mornings when I?d arrive for work, but they didn?t stay around long,? says Janice Eichen, a Wamego resident who worked at the base for a year. ?You?d ask them their name, and they would only tell you their first name.

?Todd thought he had all the money in the world,? Eichem says. ?He could buy anything in the world he wanted ? to hear him tell it.?

One day in April 1999, the party turned deadly. An employee of a Tulsa computer company, Paul K. Hulebak, 41, slumped over in front of a computer screen. Pickard, it turns out, was sort of a witness to Hulebak?s death. ?Skinner was on the phone to me, describing his latest drug episode,? Pickard says, ?at the time Hulebak overdosed on narcotics.?

?I?ve got a problem,? Skinner told him. ?Call you back.?

An autopsy turned up track marks on Hulebak?s body and listed the cause of death as a multidrug overdose ? methadone and hydromorphone, a methadone derivative. Sheriff?s deputies investigated but found no drugs or needles. ?The base,? Pickard explained, ?had been sanitized of fentanyl, dilaudids, et cetera.?

Several rooms underground, always locked, remained off limits to all except Skinner and jis right-hand man, Gunner Guinan. The son of a carpet-industry executive from Hoboken, New Jersey, Guinan, like Skinner, loved computers but didn?t seem to have an extensive employment history. Gunnar?s sister, Dr. Eva Guinan, director of the Bone Maroow and Stem Cell Transplantation program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institue in Boston, says her brother had lived in Kansas for a while but that she had seen him only twice in the last ten years, at family gatherings. She says she knew nothing of the DEA investigation in Wamego and had never heard the name Todd Skinner.

Residents of Wamego, a down-at-the-heels village of 5,000, wrote Skinner off as a spoiled rich kid and Gunnar Guinan as his loopy factotum. But coffee-shop conversation often came around to the question of what was really going on at the missile base. What was the spring-plant story a cover for? A few locals figured the base for a methamphetamine lab. The county sheriff called the DEA, but nothing came up of it.

Two years ago, Skinner abruptly evicted his mother?s business from the missile base. ?One day he tells me to move out, at enormous cost,? Magrini recalls angrily. ?You?ve hit a subject here that I?m not going to relive. I brought everything back to Tulsa, and that?s where it?s going to stay.?

In the course of the last year or so, neighbors noticed Ryder trucks rumbling along Say Road almost twenty-four hours a day and then disappearing behind a locked gate. ?You?d see all these rigs from Oklahoma, Missouri,? says Linda Lada, who runs a beauty shop near the base entrance. ?I couldn?t figure out why, because the spring factory was supposed to have been closed.?

Security, always tight, included a sophisticated camera monitoring system, motion detectors and infrared sensors. ?One day I was driving a pickup that had New Mexico tags on it,? recalls Janice Eichem. ?And, boy, as soon as I pulled in there and walked up to the Quonset hut to clock in, here comes Gunnar: ?Whose pickup is that?? I said, ?I?m driving that. It?s my ex-husband?s?. And he said, ?You?re the only one in it, then?? I said, ?Yeah.?? Finally Gunnar relaxed.

Pickard and Skinner ? and an entourage that included Skinner?s mother and Moise Seligman ? spent a few days in Las Vegas last June. Seligman came along to talk with Skinner about a solenoid valve that Skinner was sure could make them millions: ?I was out there to discuss this valve with Todd, and I met Pickard. I came home from there and told my wife, ?I met a man named Leonard Pickard, and he was a distinguished gentleman. I?ve never met anybody who?s impressed me as favorably in recent years.??

Katherine Magrini, there at Skinner?s invitation to celebrate Mother?s Day, was less impressed by her son?s new friend. Pickard, she say, introduced himself as Leonard Thiessen. ? ?This Leonard is a real sleazeball, whatever his name is. He sounds like a bag of crap.? I was immediately suspicious of him.?

Pickard alleges that Skinner, in Vegas, had more on his mind than solenoid valves. Skinner, he claims, also engaged in some ?smurfing,? or money laundering, buying $200,000 worth of chips, gambling a bit and then redeeming the chips for the casino?s cash. Why Skinner was doing this, if he did, remains unclear. Skinner, thorugh his Topeka attorney, Thomas Haney, declined to be interviewed for this story.

Renovating the base, Skinner did business with several local contractors and for a while paid his bills promptly, or at least his Kansas sidekick Gunnar Guinan paid them. ?Gunnar was the one who would call on us when he needed work done or wanted to buy parts,? says Toni Stremel, office manager at Thermal Comfort Air, which installed a hot water pump on the property. ?He would come in with his shirt unbuttoned, the hair on his chest sticking out, and he?d be bragging about how he had to go to Kansas City to pick up a bride that he?d ordered out of a magazine.? Guinan would lay a briefcase fill of cash on the desk and flip it open. ?He?d take out what he owed us and walk away.?


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Use the Fucking Reply To Feature You Lazy Pieces of Shit!

afoaf said:
Jim, if you were in my city, I would let you fuck my wife.


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InvisibleJim
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Registered: 04/07/04
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Re: Rolling Stone Pickard Article [Re: Jim]
    #3803951 - 02/19/05 06:48 PM (16 years, 5 months ago)

Break time :smile:  again, I need to go smoke a cig.....  Ill commence work in a minute.


--------------------
Use the Fucking Reply To Feature You Lazy Pieces of Shit!

afoaf said:
Jim, if you were in my city, I would let you fuck my wife.


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Offlinegarbage

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 316
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Re: Rolling Stone Pickard Article [Re: Jim]
    #3804017 - 02/19/05 07:13 PM (16 years, 5 months ago)

i havent even begun to start reading the article, but thanks in advance.


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  Vaporbrothers :smile:


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OfflineTheDudeAbides
Livin Off FrostyBarley Pops andPork Soda
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Re: Rolling Stone Pickard Article [Re: garbage]
    #3804180 - 02/19/05 08:10 PM (16 years, 5 months ago)

I can't wait.....Your the man JIM!


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