The Dragon*Con Boycott and why Don Murphy and Nancy A. Collins Can Shove it Up Their Asses

Posted: February 27, 2013 in Dragon*Con, Entertainment, Life, News
Tags: , , , , ,

DCon

Edited on 3/25/2013 to switch the resource links at the bottom to the blog’s D*C link page.

Edited on 4/4/2013 to expand and clarify the information on the events around the HWA and SP Somtow in 2000.

Nancy A. Collins has long made her desire to have no part of Dragon*Con clear to all;  sometimes fanatically so. Her stated reason was that Ed Kramer, one of the original founding members of Dragon*Con, was arrested in 2000 and charged with engaging in three counts of child molestation against two brothers as well as another child who would later come forward. Nancy’s reaction was a very personal one. Nancy had a working relationship with Kramer, a well-known editor in the genre fields, throughout the 1990s as well as a personal one. Collins would later claim that Kramer was “grooming” both her and her then husband in order to get closer to their younger family members and speak of her feelings of personal betrayal.

It’s now 2013, and soon to be going on 13 full years later, and Kramer has still not stood trial.

The reasons for this are many and complicated as well as long in the telling. But they will have to be told for both those with no knowledge of what Dragon*Con is and those who are aware of the boycott but only know the portions of the story that the boycott’s most public mouthpieces choose to tell.

Dragon*Con is a for-profit, multi-media genre convention held annually in Atlanta, Georgia. It was launched in 1987 and run by John Bunnell, David Cody, Robert Dennis, Mike Helba, Pat Henry and Ed Kramer. This core group formed the original Dragon*Con Board of Directors. Attendance in the first year was estimated to be 1,400. The 2012 attendance is believed to have been just over 50,000 people. It now puts an estimated $42 million into the pockets of Atlanta businesses each Labor Day weekend and the convention itself receives coverage in local media like the Atlanta Business Chronicle all the way up to national coverage on channels like CNN.

Kramer was a significant part of Dragon*Con’s growth from its 1987 start until he stepped down after his arrest in 2000. This was due in large part to his connections in the genre community. He had worked with some of the biggest names in SF and Horror literature and was able to convince many of these people to be guests and/or to convince others to be guests. As the celebrity numbers grew, so too did the convention’s attendance and reputation.

It was actually during this period of growth that Ed Kramer began to acquire a following known as “Ed’s Kids” by local convention goers. Ed’s Kids were usually older children to young teens who would follow Ed around like an entourage and assist with various small projects. Some questioned the group and their ever present position by Ed’s side and some, such as Roland Castle, longtime local convention rival and founder of the now defunct Atlanta area Magnum Opus convention, made open and public comments about any questionable or negative rumor surrounding Kramer and the Ed’s Kids. Others who knew Ed Kramer paid it no mind. He was known at the time for being a dedicated volunteer at the DeKalb children’s shelter, a mentor to numerous troubled boys, straightening out a lot of kids who had drug problems and as a surrogate father to children of single friends.

It was also during this period that the first known official allegation and charges were made. In 1997, a 16-year-old boy told police that he had met Kramer through Dragon*Con when he was only 11-years-old and that Kramer had been molesting him ever since. Kramer was arrested, but the charges were dropped when the 16-year-old recanted his account of events and stated that nothing had actually happened. After this arrest, some would state that where there is smoke there is fire. However, for many who knew Ed Kramer, the recanting of the accusations and the dropping of the charges were vindication of their belief that Kramer was an innocent man unjustly accused.

Then in 2000, Kramer was charged and arrested on three counts of child molestation. The two young teens who made the claim were the children of a woman that Kramer had been dating for going on three years at that point. The two met through a telephone dating service, but the mother of the two boys later stated that she and Kramer had never had sex during the entire time of the relationship.

The responses in the genre and convention going community were immediate. Some, such as Roland Castle, declared the arrest as an “I told you so” moment, but his response was written off by many as that of a man with an ax to grind. Many more who knew Kramer, from the other Dragon*Con co-founders to noted writer and critic Harlan Ellison, reacted with disbelief. Some were in perhaps stunned disbelief while others simply did not believe Kramer to be guilty. And then there were the small few who seemed to be moved to almost fanatical actions.

One such person who has been described thusly was Nancy A. Collins. Collins had by then been a longtime associate of Kramer. Kramer had met Collins and then husband Joe Christ in the early 1990s. At that time, Collins was becoming well known in the comic book community for writing The Swamp Thing and in the book world for having written Sunglasses After Dark. Christ was at that time known primarily for indie film work that leaned towards the vulgar. Kramer would book both Collins and Christ at Dragon*Con. While there was no pay involved, this gave the two of them an opportunity to promote themselves, sell books and make new industry contacts while strengthening old ones. It was also at this time that Collins and Kramer began to collaborate on collections of erotic horror stories. Their big score was getting a Stephen King story, Dark Love, for their second volume of works.

Kramer was also working with White Wolf, a then small, locally based gaming company, as an editor for their books and hooked Collins up with them as a writer. White Wolf would in short order strike gold in the gaming community with their Vampire: The Masquerade line. White Wolf would go on to become a major vendor at Dragon*Con and regularly rented out large portions of the dealer area. Years later, Kramer would launch a lawsuit against them over royalties that he claimed had not been paid to him.

Collins and Christ ran into money troubles in 1999. Kramer offered to get Collins a clerical job with Regional Technical Service Agency, where Kramer worked as a technical advisor and wrote grant applications, if she would move to the Atlanta area. Kramer also arranged for Christ to have a small job with Dragon*Con. Both Collins and Christ continued to have professional associations with Kramer as well as borrowing money from him during their time of financial struggle. When Kramer was arrested in 2000, Collins left the job he had secured for her and began an almost immediate crusade against him. Collins claimed that she had had no knowledge of the 1997 charges at this time and only learned of them after his 2000 arrest.

Collins would then turn her attention to finding anything and everything she could to accuse Kramer with. She fanatically went over every blog and posting that she could find discussing Kramer and copied and pasted select court documents online. She went to acquaintances of Kramer and asked them about anything and everything that might give her tidbits that she could pass on to Gwinnett prosecutors or to any interested press. She and her then husband Christ would also make fliers to hand out containing anything they could find that was negative about Kramer and that were, in some cases, seen as being borderline anti-Semitic in nature by many. Many of her actions during this time made it easy for those who then defended Kramer to subscribe to the idea of ulterior motives for her actions. One such thing was Collins pitching a book deal on the events to a local publisher. Collins has since stated that she had abandoned such plans. Other reports indicated that her agent refused to represent it and then released her as a client.

Another such action not only brought questions about her motives and actions, but in fact brought threats of legal action against her.

Almost immediately after Kramer’s arrest, Collins sent a three paragraph message to Brian Keene. Keene at that time ran the subscription only Jobs In Hell newsletter. The message was directed to “friends and associates” in the entertainment industry and was published in Hellnotes as an open call for information about Kramer. The problem was that it didn’t stop there.

Nancy ended the second paragraph by implying that she had privileged information. She stated that all should be aware that the situation was “far bigger, and far nastier” than anything anyone had read in the papers or seen on the news. She then immediately followed that by making claims that the police were also interested “SP Somtow and his involvement with minor children” and would like information from anyone who “witnessed any suspect or inappropriate behavior by Ed Kramer and/or SP Somtow with young boys” for their investigation.

S.P. Somtow, for those who do not know, was the then President of the Horror Writer’s Association. This caused a stir among the Hellnotes community. This then leaked out and had others curious as to what was being discussed. At this point, someone copied the letter and posted it onto a public forum. At this point, all hell broke loose.

The firestorm of responses in the community was swift and not very flattering to Collins. Kramer had only just been arrested and many still believed him to be innocent. For some, seeing someone that Kramer had so often worked to help in the previous decade acting in such a manner caused a powerful and negative backlash against Collins. Others who were not pro-Kramer also reacted badly to the letter. Some questioned what Collins thought she was doing and some were upset that she was taking apparently privileged information, information not yet in the public media, and making it public. By making such information public, Collins was seen as either dragging Somtow’s name into the public square when those actually behind investigation did not want it there or possibly damaging the investigation’s ability to gather information from now forewarned subjects.

And then there was the response from Somtow and his lawyer. Interestingly, in questioning the authorities about the claims being made by Collins, they discovered that there was no such interest or investigation was underway. The response was to threaten Collins with legal action if she did not retract her statements. On October 12, 2000, not even a full two months after Kramer’s arrest, Collins issued a retraction where she stated that she had no knowledge of any such investigation into Somtow.

Collins resigned from the HWA in short order. Her stated reasons being that she could not be a part of any organization that remained silent on such matters or defended an alleged child molester. These statements were met with derision and scorn by many in the horror community. The HWA had certainly not defended Kramer. Their only statements at the time was that they as an organization would neither defend nor attack the man publicly in what was a still young case. Beyond that, her own actions in the matter had isolated her from the group, so her stance was seen as a joke by many.

These actions all had an impact on how Nancy A. Collins was seen by others during this from day one and The way Collins was perceived to be acting was seen by many as like that of a zealous crusader who fit any facts she could find to her narrative, actions she continues to greater or lesser degrees to this very day, and only created a greater divide in the fan community and among the professionals that were later to be taking sides in the matter. Collins and Christ were essentially ostracized by much of the horror community after that and, unfortunately, they even received death threats from some of the extreme fringe.

But for those close to Kramer who still at that time fully believed in the man’s innocence, Collins was pointed to as an example of everything wrong with those who were attacking Kramer. In Collins, they had a person who was clearly intent on warping anything she could find into something negative about Kramer and those who supported him whether what she found was actually negative or not and now had handed them the ability to point to her as someone with no regard for having the facts behind her accusations.

But Nancy A. Collins was not the only public problem that the people who wanted Kramer tried and convicted had to put up with in the early years of Kramer’s incarceration. Unfortunately, the local criminal justice system seemed determined to provide every opportunity to the pro-Kramer side to point to fraud, injustices and abuses in the system and the possibility that Kramer was in fact an innocent man. If someone were to write a script based on the events of the first few years of the case, but did not tell anyone that it was based on real events, and tried to pass it off as a serious drama; no one who read it and read what was happening with the courts and jails during this period would see it as believable. In the first few years after his arrest, the legal system in the Gwinnett area did everything it could, both with matters directly relating to Kramer as well as matters related to others, to give the people protesting Kramer’s innocence all the ammo they needed and more.

In the first few years after Kramer’s arrest, he was assaulted and inured in jail by a guard. His injuries were not properly attended to and he was not allowed proper treatment for pre-existing health issues. He would later undergo surgery for problems that Kramer claimed were related to the injury sustained in the assault.

He was moved to house arrest to deal with some of these issues and others. He was then almost immediately brought back into court on the charges that a neighbor had reported seeing a young boy who was an associate of Kramer’s and the star in the Kramer produced Terror at Tate Manor entering his home; a violation of the terms of his house arrest. Kramer’s team claimed that the visitor was a woman and had a 34 year old female Marine testify that she was the visitor on the night in question. They further had testimony from the man who dropped her off, an MP, and testimony from the child in question and the child’s mother that the child was nowhere near Kramer’s home that night. Despite this, Kramer was still returned to jail.

Maneuvers by the prosecution only added to the belief by many that Kramer was innocent of the charges. Early on, a warrant was obtained to search Kramer’s house. The warrant was so poorly and so broadly written that it was, after the fact, found to be unconstitutional by both Georgia’s standards as well as federal standards. Some of the “evidence” collected from Kramer’s home also caused eyebrows to be raised. Word was sent out that over 200 video tapes of a pornographic nature, many depicting questionable acts between men and boys, had been seized in Kramer’s home. This particular “fact” became a talking point about the case in the local area over time. Over a year later the tapes were deemed to be of no use as evidence or relevant to the case. The reason for this is that the vast majority of them could have been bought off of the local Walmart shelves and included such titles as Gladiator, The Blues Brothers, Saving Private Ryan and Conspiracy Theory. There was a delay from another legal challenge that involved the jury pools for every case getting ruled invalid and delaying every case in Gwinnett including Kramer’s by months.

Defenders of Kramer were also able to point to other things in and around the local legal system and jails to bolster the idea that corruption and abuses were rampant and to try and reinforce the position of Kramer’s innocence. The Sheriff’s Department was investigated for falsifying arrest records and overtime reports, the jails were in the news for abuses that included the deaths of at least two inmates and the health care provider used by the local jails, Prison Health Services, was starting to face multiple complaints and lawsuits over failure to provide proper care for inmates in multiple jails; a complaint that Kramer had lodged as well. At one point the cases, all cases and not merely Kramer’s, were delayed by an investigation around the courts. Things were then delayed again when the DA’s office put the case on hold in 2003 to seek new evidence and file more charges. And one delay, a perfectly excusable and acceptable one, was caused by the death of the mother of one of the prosecutors.

And through all of this, Kramer himself also created delays. Many of his claims of having problems with long appearances in court and of issues in the jail revolved around his health and pre-existing medical conditions. He and his legal team used this to keep him out of the GwinnettCounty jails and courtrooms as much as they possibly could. But these were neither as noticeable to Kramer’s supporters just yet nor seen for how blatant that they would later become perceived as.

But all of the delays not related to Kramer himself and more gave the friends and acquaintances of Kramer who believed in his innocence all the more motivation to help a friend that they believed was wrongly imprisoned and suffering abuses at the hands of an inept, if not downright crooked, system. Almost everyone who knew Kramer, from people he worked with at Regional Technical Service Agency to professionals in the fantasy, science-fiction and horror community began to seek out ways to help Kramer with his legal troubles. A website was set up to assist the cause of helping him and the idea of a charity auction suggested. The charity auctions would eventually come to pass with donations of items for sale from many in the genre community. At least one auction was organized by Eric L. Watts, the now former organizer for Dragon*Con’s Trek Trak.

But as the case dragged on through 2002 and into 2003, some people began to take a different view of Kramer’s legal maneuvering. While perhaps not yet ready to declare a belief of Kramer’s guilt, some started to question some of the delays Kramer was creating while simultaneously declaring that he wanted to clear his name. Others saw taking steps to create additional distance between Dragon*Con and Kramer as a good idea.

Pat Henry approached Kramer about selling his shares in the convention to Henry. Reportedly, the fellow Dragon*Con founder managed to convince Kramer to sell 2,050 shares of his stake in the convention over time. Kramer would not sell all of his shares however, but this move allowed Kramer to be fully minimized by the convention. Dragon*Con essentially cut ties with Kramer. It was reiterated by Henry that Kramer, while still a part owner due to his shares, was no longer a controlling partner and had nothing to do with running, planning or organizing the convention. Later, Kramer would launch a lawsuit against Dragon*Con and Henry over, among other things, these shares and claim that he was conned into undervaluing the shares he sold and that the other Dragon*Con founders had been trying to illegally leverage/force him out.

In 2004 and 2005, Kramer supporters started threatening a boycott of Dragon*Con over the convention declaring that no auctions would be held to raise funds for Kramer or his legal defense fund either through or at Dragon*Con or with the Dragon*Con name attached to the auction. Talk of the boycott was shot down by Eric L. Watts and others who stated that such a boycott was foolish and that the growth of the convention during the Kramerless years was already enough to make such a boycott by Kramer supporters meaningless to the convention’s bottom line.

Kramer’s actions in the following years would drive away all but his most loyal supporters. He even lost members of his legal team; some not even fully paid. While many were still not yet ready to declare Kramer guilty, some still citing the concept of innocent until proven guilty, many were beginning to view Kramer as equally responsible, if not more so, for the delays in the trial than Gwinnett County’s legal system. Public support for Kramer would further erode as the next few years passed.

Kramer would continue to get placed on house arrest over claims of abuse in the jails and for medical reasons. Kramer and his lawyers repeatedly stalled any attempt to set a trial date by presenting evidence that Kramer was physically incompetent to stand trial. They said that Kramer suffered from a degenerative spinal condition and chronic pain, pain they claimed was aggravated by the jail assault early on in his incarceration, that would make it impossible for him to remain alert and assist in his own defense. But these claims were often contradicted by Kramer’s other requests. Kramer would request permission to travel to take care of his ailing, cancer stricken mother. Interestingly, the court would grant him such a request without apparently questioning this seeming contradiction in his abilities. He would continue to meet with people to work deals to involve Kramer with low budget independent productions during this time period as well. And Kramer played games where he deceived the court.

During this time, the other owners of Dragon*Con were taking what legal steps they could to remove Kramer from the convention. They would continue to pressure Kramer to sell his remaining shares as well as withholding some of the annual dividends that Kramer’s remaining shares would earn him. This last action would make up a part of the legal actions Kramer would in later years launch against Dragon*Con. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kramer claimed that Henry’s management of the convention cost him revenue and that Henry had deceived Kramer, convincing him to sell his majority stake in the convention, and withholding money owed to him. According to court documents, between 2004 and 2006, Henry tried to buy Kramer out, eventually offering as much as $500,000, but Kramer refused to sell without seeing a balance sheet. So Henry simply withheld Kramer’s dividend until Kramer threatened legal action. Kramer again sued to obtain what he claimed was his withheld 2011 dividend.

And in 2011, Kramer was for all intents and purposes a free man. In 2009, the presiding judge, Judge Beyer, the second on the case so far, had allowed Kramer to sell his home and move to Chamblee to care for his mother. The sale of the house was to in part to address Kramer’s finances. Kramer was in debt and facing creditors by this time as well as owing money to his lawyers. Other reports indicate that his house may have been foreclosed on. His ankle bracelet was removed as well, although most saw this as minor given that the man’s publicly stated physical condition was so poor. He was however given three bond conditions with this new freedom. Kramer had to stay away from minors, he was allowed no travel without prior authorization and he was required to call the DA’s office every Monday to confirm his whereabouts. In 2011, Judge Beyer even granted permission for Kramer to travel to New York to further aid his sick mother. One fact that Kramer neglected to tell the court was that Kramer’s mother had died six months earlier.

In September of 2011, Kramer was arrested in Milford, Connecticut. He was there without the knowledge of the DA’s office and it was discovered that the phone that Kramer was using to call in each Monday was in fact a cell phone and not a landline. Kramer was in Milford to help film an independent movie. Milford Police were called to the hotel that the indie production was using to investigate a complaint that Kramer had an underage boy in his hotel room. When police arrived, Kramer was found to have a 14-year-old boy with him in his room. He was arrested on the spot for violations of the terms of his bond.

Kramer claimed that he was the guardian of the child; a claim in part corroborated by the mother. In questioning, Kramer, the boy and the boy’s mother stated that Kramer had had no inappropriate contact with the child. This was beside the point to Gwinnett authorities and anyone else following the case. Kramer was now known to be in multiple violations of his bond and had been shown to have been deceiving the GwinnettCountyDA’s office for a sustained period of time. They made it clear that they wanted Kramer returned to them promptly. Kramer sat in jail in MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison in Suffield, Connecticut, one of the only facilities in the state that was equipped to deal with Kramer’s medical demands, and fought extradition for as long as he could, mostly citing his usual claims, but lost his fight. Kramer’s extradition process started in December of 2011.

Gwinnett DA Danny Porter was at the time of the extradition confident that he could win a guilty verdict but he worried about Kramer’s incarceration. After watching Kramer spend the last decade frustrating and manipulating the state’s legal system to avoid his trial, he voiced fears that Kramer would soon have a new objective to play games with; a medical reprieve.

“If Ed Kramer’s convicted tomorrow and sentenced to twenty years, what’s the Georgia prison system going to do with him?” Porter said. “The chances of him serving significant time, given the costs of maintaining him, are negligible. That’s the elephant in the room and he probably knows it.”

Kramer is still, going on two years later, awaiting trial while now finally, as of January 2013, back in jail in Gwinnett, Georgia. He is also still engaged in legal actions against Henry and Dragon*Con.

And that brings us to 2013. Nancy A. Collins took the most recent news about Kramer as well as the most recent legal actions surrounding his lawsuit with Dragon*Con to launch a boycott drive against Dragon*Con using the forces of social media. Her claim is that Dragon*Con is funding Kramer’s legal fight via his ownership of the shares he still holds. My problem with Nancy A. Collins is that she has spent over a decade becoming a blind crusader. She certainly made it clear in the early years that much of her anger was at what she saw as a personal betrayal and violation of trust and she shows all the signs of someone who has had that little switch flipped and decided, consciously or not, that the cause is more important that the facts. As such, she tends to say things that are either not true or simply asinine. Unfortunately, these things are often repeated by those who don’t know any better and now support the boycott.

One of the things that she repeatedly states is that the most recent lawsuit news has let the cat out of the bag with regards to Kramer’s continued financial ties to Dragon*Con. Her claim is that Dragon*Con has lied and tried to hide the fact that Kramer was still receiving money from his connections to Dragon*Con while publically stating that Kramer no longer has any part in organizing or running the convention. This is simply not true. There are statements from Dragon*Con on the matter as far back as 2002 and running all the way up to 2009, or 2011 if you count new articles citing 2009 quotes, where they identify Kramer as someone who still owns shares in the company.

Nancy is also fond of saying that the people running Dragon*Con have dragged their feet for 12 years with regards to doing anything to remove Kramer from Dragon*Con. This is, again, untrue. And this is something that she herself must know to be untrue since she herself will cite passages from articles or court papers that also include information regarding the efforts that the other owners of Dragon*Con have made to push Kramer out; efforts that, as noted above, occasionally skirted the line of illegality enough for Kramer to launch at least partially successful legal action against them.

Nancy also likes to mindlessly repeat the line that Dragon*Con knows what it needs to do and should do it. One of the options that Nancy and the supporters of the boycott suggest Dragon*Con should do is just simply dissolve and reform under newly formed ownership that no longer includes Kramer. Because we all know that it’s just that simple in real life.

The problems with such a suggestion just on the face of it are fairly substantial. Dragon*Con can’t simply dissolve and reform as a new business entity and just start working again like nothing happened. They’re a major business entity at this point and they’ve made long term contracts with other businesses. This wouldn’t be like filing for bankruptcy. They would be on the hook for those contracts and there is no guarantee that they would be able to obtain new contracts later after walking out of the old ones. There’s also no guarantee that this wouldn’t bring legal action from other businesses against Dragon*Con. There’s also the little matter of Kramer and his lawyers. If the owners of Dragon*Con were to dissolve the business entity and reform it again with the sole intention of cutting Kramer out of his due, then Kramer and his lawyers would be lining up for the payday of a lifetime. At the very least, even if he couldn’t make a successful suit on the basis of them defrauding him out of his fair stake in the business, the ongoing litigation would likely freeze any further business operations and possibly put Dragon*Con out of business. Plus there’s the little matter of the various legal action that Kramer has been launching at Dragon*Con already.

See, Dragon*Con is, again, a for profit business in Georgia. That means that Dragon*Con is restricted in certain things it can do by Georgia law. One of the things that Georgia law prohibits is for any business with active or pending legal action against it, such as the kind that Kramer has launched, to dissolve. Dragon*Con cannot, by the laws that govern that state, dissolve at all; let alone with the sole intent of cutting Kramer out.

But, of course, Nancy has an easy answer for that as well. Dragon*Con, she will tell you, makes millions on memberships alone, that kind of money can buy you some mighty good lawyers and Dragon*Con just needs to finally set about finding some. Except Dragon*Con has already found some lawyers. They had to since Kramer started suing them. But even if Nancy feels that their present crop of lawyers aren’t good enough at their job, what does she think that really good lawyers are going to tell Dragon*Con’s owners to do? In all likelihood, they’re not going to tell them to flagrantly violate the law since doing so would only end in Kramer and his lawyers getting a massive payday at the convention’s expense.

And that would be a problem, one would think, for the boycott supporters. The actions they say that they most want to see done, Dragon*Con cutting ties with Kramer no matter the illegality of the method, would actually be counterproductive to the goal they claim that they’re striving for with the boycott of cutting off the funds that they say Kramer receives from Dragon*Con and uses to avoid trial.

And, of course, Nancy has an equally mindless answer to this whenever this inconvenient fact is placed before her. She just points out that Kramer is up to his ears in creditors and unpaid lawyer fees and that any huge settlement wouldn’t last long enough to do Kramer any good. This is rather stupid for two reasons. First, it ignores the damage that this would do to Dragon*Con. Second, it pretty much contradicts the primary talking point behind the boycott.

The supposed point of the boycott is to cut off Kramer from the approximately $150,000 dividend (a number that is somewhat in dispute at this time) that she states that Kramer receives annually from his shares. This figure, which would be pre-tax and pre-living expenses by the way, supposedly gives Kramer the ability to afford lawyers of amazing legal ingenuity and allows him to swan about enjoying his life. But then she says that a high seven figure payout would be gone faster than a puddle on a hot summer’s day due to the creditor debts and unpaid legal expenses he has.

But at this point, many have stopped expecting coherent arguments from her or points that aren’t contradictory of other points she presents.

And then there’s Don Murphy. Don Murphy is a producer in Hollywood who has had his name attached to things like Shoot ‘Em Up and the Transformers film franchise. Don Murphy is also infamous for acting like a ranting idiot and cyber-bully on the internet over the years. Don Murphy has decided to become the Hollywood face of the call for a Dragon*Con boycott. Unfortunately, he won’t keep it to just interview blips in Hollywood trade websites and has decided to approach this with the same mentality that he has used on the web for years now.

Murphy has taken to the web and decided that his job is to harass people that don’t agree with him. Through his official Facebook profile for example, Murphy took his ranting and insults to the Dragon*Con Group page and proceeded to attack anyone who disagreed with him. In between throwing around accusations of everyone who disagrees with him wanting to provide pedophiles with victims, Murphy took to sending harassing PMs to some of the board members where he felt the need to insult their personal appearance. He also felt it his duty to report the profiles of various cosplayers in the forum on bogus Facebook TOS charges because their character names weren’t real names. When not doing that, he followed some off of Facebook to personal blogs and did things like filing nuisance DMCA Takedown Notices to harass those who disagreed with him. That was something that happened here on this blog and with one claim of ownership made against a picture of a Facebook popup window containing no image of Don Murphy or of anything that Don Murphy has the legal right to claim as his.

There are already people speculating as to why Murphy has jumped on this with such glee. Some speculate that Murphy, himself accused of inappropriate activities involving underage boys in the past and a past vocal supporter of Roman Polanski’s fleeing justice, is reacting much like the former smoker who zealously crusades against the vices of smoking. Most feel the answer is far simpler than that though. Most feel that it’s as simple as this allows Murphy to do what he seems to most enjoy doing. He can scream, he can yell, he can bully those he thinks he can get away with bullying and, a bonus for him that he can’t find on his usual forum stupidity, he can shine his ego with the publicity around his supposedly fighting pedophilia.

But my major objections to this boycott are not (only) based on the two major faces of it being an almost fanatical, blind crusader and a somewhat hypocritical asshole. No, my objections to this boycott are based on the simple concepts that it’s stupid and a waste of energy and effort as well as being pointed at the wrong target.

For one thing, boycotts are, by their nature, designed to get someone or something who is acting in a manner that the boycott supporters don’t like to change their actions to one that the boycott supporters see as acceptable. The people running Dragon*Con right now have been doing everything that they legally can. They’re trying to do the right thing. Boycotting Dragon*Con right now is like disliking a particularly toxic talk show host and then boycotting the radio station because they carry him after they’ve already announced that they’re releasing him. The other Dragon*Con owners want to have this albatross removed from around their necks. They’re not out there happily supplying Ed Kramer with tons of support and pouring millions into defending him.

Boycotting Dragon*Con to try and get at Kramer is stupid; it’s beyond foolish at this point. And it won’t really hurt Kramer in the least or speed up the process of his going to trial at this point. All it does is go after and hurt the people connected to Dragon*Con who have been trying to distance Dragon*Con from Kramer and the pro-Kramer people around it. All it does it hurt the people connected to Dragon*Con who didn’t do the vile garbage that Kramer is accused of. All it does is hurt the people who look forward to attending Dragon*Con and love the convention and what they feel the convention has given them. All it does is hurt the people that own and work for the business in downtown Atlanta that look forward to Dragon*Con coming to town and are helped each year by the huge increase in revenue and tips that come with it in what have been economic hard times.

But Kramer? No. From everything I’ve seen of the case via publicly accessible legal documents and their local news coverage; Nancy could get her wish and Dragon*Con could be destroyed and in ruins by the end of 2013 with Kramer now cut off from even a single penny of profit from it and Kramer could still put off a trial for easily another five or six years with the aid of a semi-competent public defender since every other part of the equation will still be the same.

And there, with Kramer likely being able to play games like this with an appointed public defender, lies my problem with were this is directed as well.

Maybe the problem, despite Nancy’s claims with her boycott push, hasn’t been the lawyers that Kramer can hire, but rather the seemingly incompetent criminal justice system in the Gwinnett area. I’ve dealt with people on various forms of house arrest in both my personal and professional life over the years. Do you know what they do in areas with a competent criminal justice system and courts? They actually check up on you randomly, nice little surprise visits, especially when you’re a known problem child, to make sure that you’re actually at home like you’re supposed to be. Do you know what else they do? They actually check ahead of time to verify that the number you’re suppose to call in from on a daily or weekly basis is in fact a land line attached to the residence and not a cell phone. And why do they take these steps? Gee, maybe to make sure that the person on house arrest can’t go swanning about the country for weeks at a time while fooling you into thinking that they’re sitting at home like Kramer did.

People from a competent system don’t get search warrants written so poorly and so broadly that they’re ruled unconstitutional by both state and federal standards. They also don’t seize in a raid with that warrant evidence and declare to the press that the evidence is around 200 videos of a pornographic nature, some including questionable acts between men and boys, and publicly push that narrative for almost two years before not actually entering the tapes as evidence because the tapes are not in fact pornographic and include such steamy stuff as The Blues Brothers and Gladiator. Do you know why you don’t do this if you’re part of a competent system? Because you’ve just handed even the dimmest defense team the ability to cite this and other acts and claim that the jury pool has deliberately been fed false information to create a bias and place into the minds of prospective jury members the idea that the evidence of the prosecution is actually stronger than it really is and create a delay by moving that the prospective jury pool now be ruled to be tainted and invalid.

Do you only want to pretend that you’re actually doing something? Feel free to keep going after Dragon*Con. Do you only want to pretend that you actually care about the victims? Feel free to keep going after Dragon*Con. Do you want to actually do something useful? Leave Dragon*Con alone and focus your efforts on shining a spotlight on the legal system and the court that has acted so stupidly and allowed this to drag out for going on 13 years now. If Collins, her longtime supporters and new to the boycott screamers like the ever obnoxious Don Murphy actually gave a damn about the victims or seeing Kramer actually see a trial before he dies; they might actually be using this attempt at getting social media and other forces behind the boycott to instead shine a spotlight somewhere useful. Because maybe if the legal system down there had felt that it was getting more scrutiny, if they felt like the eyes of a nation were watching them and waiting for them to get their act together, this might not have dragged out for so long. And maybe if an active movement makes them feel like they’re being watched a little more closely now, they will finally get their act fully together and not let this go on for another 13 years.

But if you just want to feel like you’re doing something without actually doing anything? Feel free to follow Nancy in her damned fool crusade.

Do you want to actually do something? Again, focus a light on the legal system. Focus a light on the trial. Put them under scrutiny and let them know that they’re being watched. Maybe then we’ll actually see Kramer in trial and facing a verdict before another 12 years goes by. And that’s a movement that I’m sure Dragon*Con supporters would get behind in large numbers. But Nancy, being the ever blind crusader, would rather ignore this fact and raise a troop when she could be raising an army.

As for the three obvious questions that might be asked that have what should be very obvious answers –

At this point I certainly believe that Edward Kramer is guilty. I do not support this idiotic boycott. My family and I will be attending Dragon*Con this year.

Links to news sites, blogs and other websites documenting the history of this case so far can be found on the blog’s link page made specifically for this issue. That page can be found by clicking the link at the top of the blog or by clicking this link – https://jjchandler.wordpress.com/the-dragoncon-boycott-link-madness-page/

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Comments
  1. […] The Dragon*Con Boycott and why Don Murphy and Nancy A. Collins Can Shove it Up Their Asses. […]

  2. jjchandler says:

    I’m not typing a blog post this long again for a long, long time…

  3. Nancy A. Collins says:

    I don’t know who you are, save that you seem to take the word of a man who lied about his own mother’s death as gospel, and that you don’t appear to understand that the profits from DragonCon, along with Kramer’s deceit, is a huge part of what has kept Ed Kramer from being brought to trial.

    My decision to make a call to boycott DragonCon was inspired by reading a message posted by one of Kramer’s victims (there are 4 on record, by the way) on the article posted at ATLANTA MAGAZINE, calling out Kramer and his enablers for the liars and cowards that they are. Although this person is now a man–and a Iraq war veteran–I was deeply moved, for I still envision him as the 13 year old boy I once knew. I thought if this boy could stand up, speak out and sign his name, demanding justice, the least I could do was do the same. Of course I knew that meant I would once more leave myself open to personal attacks by fan boys those venerate DragonCon the exact same way rabid Penn State fans worship Joe Paterno.

    DragonCon may have no choice but to give Ed Kramer money, but that does not hold true to anyone else.

    P.S. And if DragonCon *really* wanted to get rid of Kramer, they would let him look at the books, as he requested.

    • jjchandler says:

      I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you are Nancy A. Collins because (1) you could have simply linked back here from the several forums we’ve both posted on this topic in, (2) your email used and (3) your ability to display the same level of stupidity here that Nancy A. Collins is displaying everywhere else. We’ll start at the top.

      “save that you seem to take the word of a man who lied about his own mother’s death as gospel,”

      Really? That’s what I do? Funny, but in the piece that I’ve written above I mention that Kramer has gamed the system, lied about his mother’s death, conned the DA’s office, repeatedly played games to stall trial and that I think he’s guilty of the charges. I even provide links, news links, that cover the facts that he lied about taking care of his dead mother and bullshitted the DA.

      But, after seeing your fanaticism over Kramer and the personal betrayal you felt after his arrest warp everything you’ve seen on the issue over the years; I’ll accept that you certainly see it that way in your world. The rest of us live in the real world though and in the real world I don’t take Kramer’s word as anything but worthless and am quite clear on that.

      “and that you don’t appear to understand that the profits from DragonCon, along with Kramer’s deceit, is a huge part of what has kept Ed Kramer from being brought to trial.”

      Well, I certainly understand that you can’t read even as well as my five-year-old. I devote a good chunk of the above blog post citing the fact that Kramer has played games and been deceitful to avoid trial. I know, I did make the mistake of telling the other half of the story and that’s something you try to avoid at all costs on this issue. Sorry, but the other side of this story, the stupidity that’s come out of Gwinnett’s system, is just as important if not more so to why dragged out for going on 13 years now.

      I also understand that you actually know less about the dividend he receives from the shares than you often make out that you do and that the dividend he earns is not as significant to his legal games as you like to make out that it is.

      “My decision to make a call to boycott DragonCon was inspired by reading a message posted by one of Kramer’s victims (there are 4 on record, by the way) on the article posted at ATLANTA MAGAZINE, calling out Kramer and his enablers for the liars and cowards that they are. Although this person is now a man–and a Iraq war veteran–I was deeply moved, for I still envision him as the 13 year old boy I once knew. I thought if this boy could stand up, speak out and sign his name, demanding justice, the least I could do was do the same.”

      So you’ve said.

      Frequently.

      Everywhere.

      Wanna know something? I don’t care.

      Your emotional response to something matters not one bit if the actions you’re taking are either wrong, misdirected or foolish. And you have been pretty much covering all three bases on this matter over the last decade-plus.

      “Of course I knew that meant I would once more leave myself open to personal attacks by fan boys those venerate DragonCon the exact same way rabid Penn State fans worship Joe Paterno.”

      Yes, yes, yes… Turn the record over already. This “poor little me the martyr” complex of yours gets old really fast and you’ve been wearing it out for years now.

      I think Kramer is guilty. I want to see Kramer do time. I want anyone who hurts children like that to do time. I’m fine with anyone who wants the same.

      My problems with you is that you seem to have reacted to Kramer being charged all those years ago by going just a bit batshit crazy and that you tend to love the half truth and the untruth more than the whole truth if it helps you with your blind crusade to get Kramer. And that’s where you and I part company. i don’t like blind crusaders and fanatics to a cause because blind crusaders tend to all share the same defect. Blind crusaders and fanatics to a cause seem to not care who or what else they destroy so long as they can get their target. Blind crusaders and fanatics to a cause are the type of people that would without so much as a care, if not actually happily, blow up someone’s house to kill the snake they’ve discovered is living in the eves of the house. That’s what you are here.

      I don’t blame the people who knew Kramer not believing the charges when they were first made or defending him in the early years. It’s an admirable, if sometimes unfortunate, trait in humans that we believe the best of the people close to us and sometimes refuse to believe the worst until we absolutely have to. As a matter of fact, I find people who immediately throw someone to the curb and start attacking them at just the first charges of wrongdoing to be repellent and pathetic.

      But I will also so that some of those people that attacked you on the sole basis that you joined the voices accusing Kramer owed you an apology when even they walked away from defending the man. As I said above, even I feel that the man is guilty and that you are at least correct in that charge. Are you owed an apology for acting crazy and promoting rumors, speculation and half truths as facts though? No.

      People can promote a good idea or the idea of doing the right thing in the wrong way. Those people don’t get to claim victim status because their told that they’re acting like an ass if they are in fact acting like an ass.

      “DragonCon may have no choice but to give Ed Kramer money, but that does not hold true to anyone else.”

      Right, absolutely. People that want Ed Kramer gone and have been trying to push him out but are stuck with him until the end of various legal actions, the various businesses around downtown Atlanta that look forward to the boost to their bottom line that Dragon*Con helps provide them once a year and their employees, and the people that enjoy Dragon*Con, a Kramerless Dragon*Con, for what it is and what it now means to them should all be punished because Nancy has a blind crusade to push. You know that bit I mentioned about blowing up the house to kill the snake? Look in the mirror.

      “P.S. And if DragonCon *really* wanted to get rid of Kramer, they would let him look at the books, as he requested.”

      You don’t know that. Or are you now deciding that you’re going to take the word of a man who lied about his own mother’s death as gospel? Gee, Nancy A. Collins using a bit of logic that directly contradicts the point she made only moments earlier. Who would have seen that coming? Well, anyone who has followed your blind crusade really.

      You don’t know that that’s true anymore than I know that it’s false. Given Kramer’s penchant for using stalling tactics and making requests that have questionable ulterior motives; who knows why he really wants to see the books? Maybe he;s telling the truth. Hell, it’s got to happen from time to time. Then again, maybe he’s fishing for more to play games with for his various legal actions and games.

      Again, we’re in agreement that Kramer is guilty and a snake. But I have some experience with the legal system, likely much more than you, because I have to work in it. As such, seeing the incompetence that was displayed for so long down in Gwinnett makes me cringe. I call what you do a damned fool crusade and you a blind crusader because you can’t see clearly. Kramer could have been cut off from every single penny that his dividends earned him back in 2005 and he would still likely be dragging this matter out and playing games because all the other players would be the same. And those are the players that the spotlight should be focused on.

      If you took the blinders off of your eyes for long enough to use the brain in your head you might realize that you’re throwing away an army in order to raise a troop.

      Gwinnett County’s criminal justice system has fucked this up for years. Put a spotlight on them. If you raised a stink about getting then under scrutiny and made it clear that we didn’t want them continue to screw up getting this slimeball in court and on trial any longer… You could easily have everyone who likes and supports Dragon*Con on your side and spreading the word.

      No one in this equation is supporting a pedophile or wants to see him continue to delay and play games. And right now, he’s closer to going to trial than any time in the last five years. No one wants to see hims walk away from this free and unpunished.

      You could have an army supporting the cause of getting his ass to trial. You could have an army larger than anything that will come from your boycott push. But you’re too blind in your crusade to back up and look at the fact that you just might be focusing on the wrong target or that your aim might not be all that true.

      But feel free to go ahead and target Dragon*Con. Go ahead and try to hurt the people who didn’t hurt children. Go ahead and let Don Murphy harass people who disagree with your boycott. Keep doing what you’re doing. And if you have your way, we’ll be talking about Kramer still not having stood trial, barring a miracle, five years from now and maybe even ten.

  4. Mitchell Berger says:

    Despite your protestations to the contrary I was immediately put off by your version of the Ed Kramer saga when you referred to the group of young boys that Ed Kramer openly kept around him as “Ed’s Kids.” You site to a contemporarily written article where this group was referred to as “Ed’s boys.” The full quote, again from an article you appear to be relying on is this,

    “Mike Dillson, who served as Dragon*Con’s head of operations and security for nine years and oversaw a volunteer staff of 135, says Kramer “always had a legion of little boys following him around. ‘Ed’s boys’ — that’s what we called them.”

    Has this statement been retracted or successfully refuted? If not, why take this damning statement about the culpability of Dragon Con management soften it into harmlessness? To me “kids” means boys and girls not just boys as was apparently the case. If this was an oversight on your part, perhaps a correction is in order.

    I am also doubtful of putting so much blame on the Gwinnett County prosecutor (poor old Button must be spinning in his grave). Some child molesters are very skilled and practiced liars and can be very litigious ( see “The Socially Skilled Child Molester: Differentiating the Guilty from the Falsely Accused”) I think Ed Kramer fits that bill. The fact that he was able to physically travel to Connecticut after he had convinced at least one doctor that he was painfully disabled, is proof of his ability to tell a convincing lie. And if Mr. Kramer had actually recovered from his disability, he was under a legal obligation to inform the criminal court – he acknowledged that obligation when he opposed his extradition to Georgia.

    “The petitioner based his second challenge to the legality of his fugitivity arrest under the governor’s warrant—the claim that he is not a fugitive from Georgia because all once-pending charges against him in that state have been effectively dismissed—upon the contention that the demanding state of Georgia has surrendered to him all control over the future prosecution of this case by ordering the indefinite continuation of his trial until such time as he moves the court to commence the trial based upon proof that he will be physically capable of getting through it despite his difficult medical condition.”

    http://www.jud.ct.gov/external/supapp/Cases/AROap/AP139/139AP74.pdf

    (In that regard you inaccurately state that Kramer lost his extradition fight in 2011, he actually lost in December of 2012. He avoided trial for another year by opposing extradition. That’s not on the state of Georgia at all.)

    While ED Kramer will doubtlessly use the legal system to avoid or delay going to trial, he will be doing so from inside a jail cell, so now he will suffer for every delay he causes. People who violate the terms of pre-trial release rarely get let out again. And now Mr. Kramer is likely facing a new criminal charge as a result. My quick and dirty research indicates that he could be sentenced for a five year term for that charge alone.

    http://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-16/chapter-10/article-3/16-10-51/

    Finally, if Ms. Collins seems over-zealous to you. I can’t imagine how I would react as a parent (I have no children) if I had pretty good evidence that a child molester had been “grooming” my kids so that he could rape them at some future time.

    Since there is strong evidence that the management at Dragon Con knew about Ed Kramer’s use of the con to prey on kids, I think Ms. Collins can be excused for not being too concerned about the financial hit they might take. As a lawyer, I do see another way to skin this cat. If the corporation that owns Dragon Con donated all its net profits from the con to a suitable charity as penance for Ed’s past acts, good public relations, or whatever you want to call it, Ed Kramer would get no share of the profits because there wouldn’t be any. He could sue, but good luck to him on that. The other shareholders could (if they’re not doing it already) pay themselves salaries for the work they do running the con. Donation boxes could be set up so fans attending the show could show their solidarity with victims of child sexual abuse.

    Would you support that?

    In closing i would like to mention that anyone who puts money in Ed Kramer’s pocket by buying artwork or other collectibles that he may have accumulated over the years, is beneath contempt.

    I hope you support that view too.

    • jjchandler says:

      “I was immediately put off by your version of the Ed Kramer saga when you referred to the group of young boys that Ed Kramer openly kept around him as “Ed’s Kids.” You site to a contemporarily written article where this group was referred to as “Ed’s boys.” The full quote, again from an article you appear to be relying on is this,”

      There are also multiple sources where people refer to them as “Ed’s Kid’s” as well. Actually, from what I’ve seen, there are quite a few poeple doing so.

      One such source is the very same article that Nancy A. Collins herself links to with every opportunity.

      In the Shadows
      http://www.atlantamagazine.com/features/2012/09/01/dragoncon-ed-kramer-child-molestation/page/1

      “As time went by, Dinsmore’s classmates began teasing him about spending so much time with a man twice his age. The sleepovers became less frequent. Then, when Dinsmore was fifteen, he moved to Tennessee to live with his father. He was eighteen when he returned, but Kramer made little effort to reconnect.”

      “Ken Johnston, a Georgia Renaissance Festival veteran who gave sword-fighting demonstrations during DragonCon’s early years, remembers Kramer as “a typical promoter”: promising big, sometimes following through, sometimes not. He also heard the salacious whispers about “Ed’s kids” but brushed them off as gossip.”

      From the Comments – “One Sided posted on 01/29/2013 03:32 AM
      Everyone seems to “forget” some of the history of things when they write these articles.

      Like how the accuser from 1997 recanted and those charges were dropped. That the search warrant executed on his home was so open ended and vague it violated State and Federal Constitutions.

      I was one of “Ed’s kids” and nothing inappropriate happened. My younger brother was also one, and nothing untoward ever happened with either of us, nor any of our regular friends who spent time with Ed. Be it spelunking with Dave, or time at Chattacon running the D*C booth. Believe me, if anything like that were going on, I would not have let my brother be around him, much less myself. And in case anyone was wondering from the article above, the man could not hypnotize a chicken. (yes go look it up, you might learn something, it is called “tonic immobility”)

      One Sided – How about a name? posted on 01/29/2013 10:40 PM
      @One Sided I like how you say you were one of Ed’s Kids, but do not give your name or any evidence you were one. You could be just any old jokesters behind a keyboard.
      f”

      From the Comments – “bob posted on 02/15/2013 06:28 PM
      I just want to state that I was an “Ed kid” for many years between the ages of 10 and 16-17-ish. I spent a lot of nights at his house/con hotel rooms and went on many caving/camping trips with him. Absolutely nothing inappropriate ever happened to me or, to my knowledge, any of the other “Ed kids” that were around. While it seems pretty shady for him to violate his bond conditions the way he did, I mostly see it as him trying to get back to his way of life before the accusations. Which, if he’s innocent, would make for far less shady circumstances — relative to his usual behavior, anyway.f”

      I guess Nancy, who actually responds to an “Ed Kid” in the comments, must be wanting to push propaganda that makes Ed look less guilty then. Or you’re full of it. One or the other.

      “I am also doubtful of putting so much blame on the Gwinnett County prosecutor (poor old Button must be spinning in his grave). Some child molesters are very skilled and practiced liars and can be very litigious ( see “The Socially Skilled Child Molester: Differentiating the Guilty from the Falsely Accused”) I think Ed Kramer fits that bill.”

      You can be as doubtful as you want to be. It doesn’t change the fact that anyone who works in or around the legal system who looks at the early years of what happened around the Gwinnett jails and courts just smacks their head in disbelief.

      Out here in the real world, on the other side of this little computer screen, I’m a cop. I’m a cop from a family of cops and, duh, because of my job I have a lot of friends and some family who are cops, deputies, lawyers and clerks in the local and state courts. There’s a pretty big chunk of fandom in all of those professions and I’ve introduced some of them, the ones who were not already going, to Dragon*Con and a good number of them have gone and enjoyed it. With this boycott flap really got going last month, I supplied a bunch of them with links and information to start their own research. You know what? Every single person that has looked into this and continues to look into this just shakes their heads and wonders about how retarded the people running the courts down there are. Not a single one of them thinks that Kramer is more than 50% responsible for the delays in this. One of the lawyers I know said that the way things look from what he’s been able to look up about it that the dimmest public defender he knows could have that court dancing in the palm of his hand.

      “Finally, if Ms. Collins seems over-zealous to you. I can’t imagine how I would react as a parent (I have no children) if I had pretty good evidence that a child molester had been “grooming” my kids so that he could rape them at some future time.”

      Read again. She did not say that he was grooming her kids. She said, as I cited above, that Kramer was “grooming” her and her then husband in order to get closer to younger family members.

      Nancy A. Collins • a month ago −

      Ed Kramer spent a great deal of time grooming me and my ex-husband (we’ve been divorced nearly 10 years, and he’s been dead almost 4) in order to gain access to my younger stepsons as well as other family members (all of whom were 10-12 year old boys at the time).”
      http://www.themarysue.com/dragoncon-boycott/

      It’s a comment she’s discussed and addressed elsewhere as well.

      And I don’t need to imagine what it’s like. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen a lot of people dealing with such issues. Most, despite the anger and the pain, can still focus their anger at the proper target and only the proper target. Some get a little fanatical and end up hurting people other than just the person that hurt their kids or loved ones. As I told Nancy, blind crusaders and fanatics to a cause are the type of people that would without so much as a care, if not actually happily, blow up someone’s house to kill the snake they’ve discovered is living in the eves of the house. Nancy kinda reminds me of that.

      “Since there is strong evidence that the management at Dragon Con knew about Ed Kramer’s use of the con to prey on kids”

      Bullshit, bullshit and bullshit on your part. There is no such evidence. There is no link to any such evidence. Had there ever been any such “strong evidence” of that, we would have seen them charged and in court by now and/or a civil case brought against them I’m sorry, but you’re talking out your backside here.

      “In that regard you inaccurately state that Kramer lost his extradition fight in 2011, he actually lost in December of 2012. He avoided trial for another year by opposing extradition”

      Please reaad better before complaining. I said – “They made it clear that they wanted Kramer returned to them promptly. Kramer sat in jail in MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison in Suffield, Connecticut, one of the only facilities in the state that was equipped to deal with Kramer’s medical demands, and fought extradition for as long as he could, mostly citing his usual claims, but lost his fight. Kramer’s extradition process started in December of 2011.”

      I did not say he lost the extradition fight in 2011. I said that the extradition process started in December of 2011.

      Do note that several of the links, that I organized for the most part by chronological order, include –

      DragonCon founder still fighting extradition to Gwinnett (January 10, 2013)
      http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/2013/jan/08/dragoncon-founder-still-fighting-extradition-to/

      Edward Kramer, co-founder of Dragon*Con, jailed in Gwinnett (Jan 21, 2013 )
      http://www.11alive.com/news/article/273381/40/DragonCon-founder-jailed-in-Gwinnett

      DragonCon co-founder booked into Gwinnett jail (January 21, 2013)
      http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/2013/jan/21/dragoncon-co-founder-booked-into-gwinnett-jail/

      I will admit that looking back at that bit that I left a sentence out stating that he was finally returned to Gwinnett in January. Hey, I had to work as my own editor. I filled in a chunk of info in the rereading that I knew but was nor actually there.

      “As a lawyer, I do see another way to skin this cat. If the corporation that owns Dragon Con donated all its net profits from the con to a suitable charity as penance for Ed’s past acts, good public relations, or whatever you want to call it, Ed Kramer would get no share of the profits because there wouldn’t be any. He could sue, but good luck to him on that. The other shareholders could (if they’re not doing it already) pay themselves salaries for the work they do running the con. Donation boxes could be set up so fans attending the show could show their solidarity with victims of child sexual abuse.

      Would you support that?”

      Would I support an essentially stupid act of legal suicide? Uhm… No. You wouldn’t need to wish Kramer luck with that lawsuit. He’s already been partially successful with lawsuits where he felt Dragon*Con withheld some of his due dividends. I think he could make a fairly reasonable case that the others giving themselves nice salaries and cutting the dividends out was an attempt, based on past actions already documented in the courts, was furthering an ongoing pattern of trying to force him out and cheat him of his due. Besides, some of the profits from one year are used to pay for the next You can’t cut them out all together.

      Plus, I find the rationale behind that idea to be silly. Why the hell should the people who did not do what Ed did have to pay penance for it? That’s asinine. As a lawyer, do you also tell parents, relatives and friends of convicted felons that they should consider paying penance for the act of the felon?

      “In closing i would like to mention that anyone who puts money in Ed Kramer’s pocket by buying artwork or other collectibles that he may have accumulated over the years, is beneath contempt.

      I hope you support that view too.”

      Not really. Here’s why.

      Nancy herself has mentioned, when attempting to explain why a giant payoff/payout to Kramer wouldn’t last, that Kramer is up to his ears in creditors and debt. It’s one of Nancy’s classic bits of not thinking her various arguments through to see if the one contradicts the other or not. One such example –

      “Nancy A. Collins thequack • a month ago −
      He’s up to his ears in creditors, including a raft of former attorneys he neglected to pay. Whatever buy out he would get wouldn’t be his for long.”

      http://www.themarysue.com/dragoncon-boycott/

      Unlike some of her arguments and claims on this matter though, this one happens to be true.

      I don’t see why the people that he owes money to should get screwed as well. The only caveat I have on the issue is that there needs to be some control on where any money he earns from the sale of such things go if there is not in fact some system like that already in place. I can’t imagine that there hasn’t been some action like that taken by the various creditors by now, but then his personal finances are not covered by the press in the same way his court case has been.

      But, no, I don’t think that he should be able to sell anything like that and retain 100% of the sale. I’m just not quite sure what Georgia law allows in that matter as I haven’t had occasion to look it up.

  5. Mitchell Berger says:

    Since much of your response is centered around what the rest of Dragon Con management knew about Ed Kramer’s affiliation with young boys, here’s another quote:

    “The stories about Kramer, the sidelong glances and eye-rolling, the snickering behind his back were there almost from the start. What chum is to sharks, fantasy conventions are to teenagers, especially those who consider themselves misfits. Youngsters fill the gaming halls at Dragon*Con and are underfoot anywhere Magic cards are being traded. But for many that didn’t explain why Kramer had a constant coterie of boys seemingly wherever he went.”

    If the apellations “Ed’s Boys” or “Ed’s Kids” had any meaning it wasn’t a flattering one. Yet you say that Kramer’s Dragon Con partners did not know or even suspect that anything wrong was going on. For that to be true, they would have to be the only ones who never saw Mr. Kramer surrounded by little boys, even though everyone else did. I will use your term; Bullshit.

    As for my proposal, study corporate law, and then get back to me. But to put it simply, corporations make charitable donations all the time to enhance their public image. That’s a day-to-day management decision that minority shareholders are rarely, if ever successful in challenging. (It’s called the “business judgement rule”)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_judgment_rule

    Other board members could pay themselves salaries because they presumably perform work putting on the show that Ed Kramer no longer does. Paying themselves for work they actually do is wholly proper and lawful.

    I can’t escape the feeling that you’re misdirecting the effort and anger that is rightfully aimed at Ed Kramer’s partners, who at best turned a blind eye to actions that anyone who runs a business that attracts kids should be even more aware of. And that ties into how the criminal Justice system dealt with him. During my time as a civil prosecutor I occasionally ran into people like Ed Kramer, the wronger they were, the louder they were, the more expensive lawyers they hired. But even though I dealt with some pretty scummy characters, I never handled someone who lied about their mother’s death in (or to) court. Because of that lie and his apparently able-bodied presence in Connecticut, from here on in nothing Ed Kramer says will be given an ounce of credibility. Maybe a public defender – in my experience some of them are the best lawyers you’ll find anywhere – might be able to delay things, but Mr. Kramer will be in jail while they do. After a bail violation, the chance that he’ll get released pre-trial again is nil.

    I think the rest of your response speaks for itself.

  6. jjchandler says:

    “Since much of your response is centered around what the rest of Dragon Con management knew about Ed Kramer’s affiliation with young boys, here’s another quote:”

    Yes, very nice quote. it was written for wonderful editorial/dramatic effect. It also comes from one of the sources that I linked to.

    http://clatl.com/atlanta/the-wizard-of-dragoncon-stands-trial/Content?oid=1235454&showFullText=true

    That same article contains this as well.

    “But while the rumors attained near- ubiquity, most people laughed them off or kept their suspicions to themselves rather than risk angering the master of Dragon*Con.

    Dorman remembers: “Ed never offered any explanation as to why he had all these boys with him and no one was willing to ask him about it.”

    Pat Henry says his former business partner never felt the need to explain himself. Kramer was a dedicated volunteer at the DeKalb children’s shelter, a mentor to numerous troubled boys and a surrogate father to children of single friends — the people who mattered to Kramer knew that about him, Henry says.

    “He’s straightened out a lot of kids who had drug problems,” he explains.

    Still, Henry adds, one should always strive to be above suspicion when dealing with children. Does that mean he was aware of the rumors about Kramer? No, Henry is quick to answer, he never heard a thing.

    Celebrated sci-fi writer and pundit Harlan Ellison has been a Kramer pal for 30 years. During his several visits to Dragon*Con, he never heard scuttlebutt about Kramer’s sex life, he explains in typically direct style.

    “I’ve seen Ed around young people in unguarded moments and there was nothing about his body language that suggested anything inappropriate,” Ellison says. “Frankly, I can’t imagine any child not running in fear from this creature who looks like he stepped out of an EC comic. Fact is, picturing Ed in bed with someone is like imagining Jerry Falwell fucking Eleanor Roosevelt.””

    There are multiple other sources and links where the people who knew Ed Kramer for years before the 2000 charges speak of either not being aware of the rumors or not believing them because they “knew” that Edward Kramer wasn’t that kind of person. And, certainly, that does not make them unique. Over the years I’ve heard the same types of comments and rumors thrown at people involved in things like Outward Bound, Boy Scout leaders and older Scouts that took a strong interest in mentoring younger boys, coaches, church members and cops who volunteer time with youth volunteer organizations and the people who run such organizations. Usually, the people that know these people ignore the garbage or never hear it.

    You may have also noticed that I addressed both sides of that in the post.

    “It was actually during this period of growth that Ed Kramer began to acquire a following known as “Ed’s Kids” by the local convention goers. Ed’s Kids were usually older children to young teens who would follow Ed like an entourage and assist with various small projects. Some questioned the group and their ever present position by Ed’s side and some, such as Roland Castle, longtime local convention rival and founder of the now defunct Atlanta area Magnum Opus convention, made open and public comments about any questionable or negative rumor surrounding Kramer and the Ed’s Kids. Others who knew Ed Kramer paid it no mind. He was known at the time for being a dedicated volunteer at the DeKalb children’s shelter, a mentor to numerous troubled boys, straightening out a lot of kids who had drug problems and as a surrogate father to children of single friends.”

    People talk about other people. Some talk out of their asses while doing it. Other’s who now better, or think they do, often either don’t hear it because the talkers won’t say it around them or they blow it off because they know better.

    Hell, when I was in my late 20s and early 30s, I knew a guy, and still know him actually, who is my age who volunteered time at the local elementary school. It was the school he and I both went to and it was having budget issues. He was/is artistic and enjoy reading as well as enjoying outdoor activities and educational field trips. He was also at that time unmarried and not dating much for a while due to being burned a bit from the ending a relationship. No one that knew him questioned it. He liked helping kids and he felt bad about the problems our old school was having. I even helped him out a few times when he asked. A year or so after he moved and wasn’t able to help the school out anymore, I discovered that there was a small group of people not in our immediate sphere of friends discussing the large chunk of time he volunteered at the school in the same negative rumor way that some discussed Kramer. He was being discussed by some as “questionable” and “having a thing” for kids.

    Neither is or was true and many of us never heard that talk from anyone for the two or three years he was putting in time helping the school out.

    But, of course, because some people talked about it and said it it has to be true, right? Tell me, do you also believe that the President of the United States is a Kenyan born stealth Muslim who has carelessly worn a ring with Muslim inscriptions on it since college and who was stripped of his law license VS just surrendering it when venturing into his political career? Hey, there are a ton of people saying it and entire books, websites and organizations promoting it. It must be true, right? And, likewise, the Bush Administration was behind 9/11, right?

    The truth is, I take each side’s later comments with a grain of salt. I know from my job, as you should from yours, that people who never had a clue prior to an event are the first to volunteer information and testimony or talk to the press about what they “knew” all along just as some of those who defended something/someone will become more adamant in their public statements. And very few people want to believe negative comments or charges about longtime friends that they’ve known and, sometimes, trusted with their own families for years.

    Given that, I covered both sides and went with what I knew to be true of human nature. As I said to Nancy above, I don’t blame the people who knew Kramer not believing the charges when they were first made or defending him in the early years. It’s an admirable, if sometimes unfortunate, trait in humans that we believe the best of the people close to us and sometimes refuse to believe the worst until we absolutely have to. As a matter of fact, I find people who immediately throw someone to the curb and start attacking them at just the first charges of wrongdoing to be repellent and pathetic.

    “As for my proposal, study corporate law, and then get back to me. But to put it simply, corporations make charitable donations all the time to enhance their public image. That’s a day-to-day management decision that minority shareholders are rarely, if ever successful in challenging. (It’s called the “business judgement rule”)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_judgment_rule

    Other board members could pay themselves salaries because they presumably perform work putting on the show that Ed Kramer no longer does. Paying themselves for work they actually do is wholly proper and lawful.”

    Because, with all the various legal sites on the web, real professionals in the field cite the ever so reliable [sarcasm] Wikipedia.

    Dragon*Con does give to charity. Dragon*Con is a huge supporter of the ALS Association in the area.

    http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/atl/ticketing/dragoncon.jsp

    http://webga.alsa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=GA_1_about_als

    They’ve long been holding blood drives for LifeSouth through the Dragon*Con Blood Drive and in 2011, the last one I attended and donated blood at, they collected 3,448 units of blood for LifeSouth.

    http://dailydragon.dragoncon.org/in/dc2012/charity-events-2012/

    They also give to the Hero Initiative (http://www.comicbookbin.com/bubble149.html) and other causes and allow various Traks at the show to collect for other charities as well. So that’s something they already do and have been doing for years.

    However, none of that addresses the issue of Kramer having pre-existing and ongoing legal action against Dragon*Con revolving around the complaint that Dragon*Con and Henry have tried to do him out of his just due and, successful or not, he could likely tie them up with litigation that this would be just a part of the ongoing pattern to screw him out of his due or force him out. And that was something that a corporate lawyer I know said is a plausible outcome (with the caveat that he isn’t as up to date on Georgia law as he should/could be) with regards to Kramer’s actions.

    And it doesn’t change the fact that your statement that there’s “strong evidence that the management at Dragon Con knew about Ed Kramer’s use of the con to prey on kids” is without any true support or that your statement that Dragon*Con needs to go with your charity idea as “penance” for Kramer’s deeds was asinine.

    “I can’t escape the feeling that you’re misdirecting the effort and anger that is rightfully aimed at Ed Kramer’s partners, who at best turned a blind eye to actions that anyone who runs a business that attracts kids should be even more aware of.”

    Not at all. One has to assume that they were in fact aware of his activities and there is no evidence of this. There is evidence of rumors being known, but rumors of some sort or another are ever present about everyone and not always fact. Hell, if they were I would be both gay and unmarried right now. I’m straight, married, have two kids and my wife can attest to my heterosexuality and my friend who helped out at our old elementary school would be in jail by now.

    You keep claiming to have been a lawyer, but not many lawyers I know of any quality subscribe to the idea that some people after the fact saying that “we knew it all along” is strong evidence.

    “And that ties into how the criminal Justice system dealt with him. During my time as a civil prosecutor I occasionally ran into people like Ed Kramer, the wronger they were, the louder they were, the more expensive lawyers they hired. But even though I dealt with some pretty scummy characters, I never handled someone who lied about their mother’s death in (or to) court. Because of that lie and his apparently able-bodied presence in Connecticut, from here on in nothing Ed Kramer says will be given an ounce of credibility. Maybe a public defender – in my experience some of them are the best lawyers you’ll find anywhere – might be able to delay things, but Mr. Kramer will be in jail while they do. After a bail violation, the chance that he’ll get released pre-trial again is nil.”

    I’d like to at this point say one thing.

    THANK YOU FOR AGREEING WITH ME ON THESE IMPORTANT POINTS.

    You just addressed some of the major problems I have with the boycott brigade doing this now.

    As you say, an appointed public defender could delay the trial easily and likely could have before given what we’ve seen happen in that court over the last decade. Kramer has burnt out almost any trust that anyone has ever given him to the point that even some on his legal team are leaving him. After this last event, an event that would never have happened if the Gwinnett courts and DA’s office had been more competent in their handling of him, he isn’t seeing the outside world in any way other than the jail windows and the TV. Also, he is now closer to having his excuses ignored than any time in the last ten years and seeing an actual trial start.

    Want to see him do time? Use the energy being wasted to put the national attention and focus on the DA and on the courts down there and let them know that they’re being watched and stop wasting time with the sideshow stupidity that is Nancy’s personal crusade and the Dragon*Con Boycott. Again, such a boycott at this time does nothing to hurt Kramer or help get Kramer to trial.

    It will however hurt the people who had nothing to do with his crimes, the businesses in downtown Atlanta, the people who work for those various businesses, vendors, performers, artists, the people who have come to enjoy and love what a Kramerless Dragon*Con is LifeSouth, the ALSA and the various other charities that Dragon*Con has been donating to and helping for years now.

    But Kramer? Not so much.

    “I think the rest of your response speaks for itself.”

    That I’m capable of using common sense and reason? Yes it does. Thank you.

  7. Doug says:

    Ding dong, the Witch is dead. And Nancy Collins still isn’t happy.

    http://www.themarysue.com/dragoncon-separates-kramer/

  8. Eric L. Watts says:

    “Talk of the boycott was shot down by Eric L. Watts and others who stated that such a boycott was foolish and that the growth of the convention during the Kramerless years was already enough to make such a boycott by Kramer supporters meaningless to the convention’s bottom line.”

    Mr. Chandler, what evidence do you have to support your claim that I made any of these statements?

    • jjchandler says:

      The general poo-pooing of such an action was from the old defense fund forums.

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DefenseFund/message/365

      The comments that the growth of the convention would make such an action by a relatively small group of people meaningless came from a forum page that turned into a dead link back in April. it wouldn’t even come up in the Wayback Machine so I just junked the link when someone mentioned that it no longer worked. You were quoted in it and not the actual poster. The posting itself contained a link that supposedly cited the source, but that link was apparently dead some time ago.

      If these were not your positions, I’ll happily edit the piece and make a note that the original information I saw with regards to your position was not accurate. Is it that you never disagreed with a proposed pro-Ed boycott at all and neither of the links have/had comments that are from you or was it just the reasons given in the dead link that you quote that are not in line with things you actually said?

      Miss seeing you hosting a number of the events connected to the Trek Traks by the way. Fun times.

    • jjchandler says:

      Although looking at how I worded that, I think some of the reasoning given belonged to the “and others” more than you. May have been sloppy writing. But, as I said, I’ll happily insert an edit note clarifying it if you want.

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