WEHOville

Porn, Needles, Drugs and a Dead Body — What the Coroner Found in Ed Buck’s Apartment

Sat, Nov 18, 2017   By Staff    10 Comments

Gemmel “Juelz” Moore (left) and Ed Buck (Facebook)

A gay porn film was playing and a cabinet was filled with sex toys, syringes and what paramedics described as “suspected methamphetamine” while 26-year-old Gemmel Moore lay naked and dead on a mattress in the living room of Ed Buck’s apartment.

That’s the scene described in the Los Angeles County Coroner’s report about Moore’s death on July 27 in the Laurel Avenue apartment of the 63-year-old prominent local political donor. It was reported this morning by the Los Angeles Times, which got access to the coroner’s report.

The Times story, which can be accessed online, notes that some names have been redacted from the report. For example, it says that someone (name redacted) “is suspected to be known to exchange drugs for sex,” which is what Buck has been accused of in entries in Moore’s journal and by other young black men who have been interviewed by Jasmyne Cannick, a communications and public affairs strategist. Cannick has worked with Moore’s family to press for an investigation into his death and has published revealing pages from Moore’s journal, which was found in Buck’s apartment.

ed buck, methamphetamine

Photo from “Black” showing him with Ed Buck in Buck’s Laurel Avenue apartment (Courtesy of Jasmyne Cannick).

The story also quotes Capt. Chris Bergner of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau as saying that the investigation in August, remains active and that witnesses are being interviewed.

The Coroner’s Office initially ruled that the death of Moore, a black sex worker, was an accident. Buck’s attorney, Seymour Amster, continues to make that claim, saying that Moore was a friend of Buck’s and died after administering methamphetamine himself.

Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon, pushed for the investigation to be re-opened, appearing in August at a vigil in front of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station and later at a West Hollywood City Council meeting. She got the support of West Hollywood City Councilmember Lindsey Horvath and Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin.

The death of a young black man in the apartment of an older white man who is known for his donations to local and state Democratic candidates, and for his successful campaign to get the West Hollywood City Council to ban the sale of fur products, has put some in a difficult position.

For example, Councilmember John D’Amico, whose 2011 election campaign focused in part on his support for the fur ban, has been asked to return donations from Buck, who was a major supporter. D’Amico has declined, noting that the donations, which totaled $1,000 for two City Council races, already have been spent on campaign expenses. D’Amico did join with Mayor John Heilman and council members Lindsey Horvath and Lauren Meister at an Aug. 21 City Council meeting to voice their support for Nixon and her family.

Councilmember John Duran also has been criticized. At the Aug. 21 City Council meeting at which LaTisha Nixon asked that other young sex workers be granted partial immunity for coming forward with information about their relationship with Buck, Duran, a lawyer, warned them to be careful, saying that such grants complicated. Anyone testifying without immunity from the District Attorney’s office could be prosecuted for prostitution or drug dealing, he said, suggesting that such sex workers seek advice from a lawyer first. That suggestion by Duran was interpreted by some as an effort to discourage witnesses from coming forward and was brought up at this past weekend’s #MeToo March against sexual harassment, at which Gemmel Moore’s death was addressed.

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10 Comments

  1. RandyWed, Nov 22, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Michael, I’m giving the Councilmembers the benefit of the doubt here. When you say “know” someone, you don’t know what they knew. Why are people so quick to tag blame on their elected officials? One thing I do know: you don’t know what they knew.

  2. MichaelMon, Nov 20, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Shawn, Buck gave $24,700 in donations to John Duran, $2,500 in donations to Lauren Meister and $2,000 in donations to John Heilman.

    Any savvy person in politics knows that you don’t get large amounts without knowing the person. Especially for small city politics. It seems to me; someone should ask the questions of what these politicians knew about Buck and his M.O. for operating what appears to be a local hook-up center for drug addicts with his drug paraphernalia in his apartment.

    Also, there’s Duran, and his free legal advise warning possible witnesses they could be charged by the D.A. while the LA County Sheriff and D.A. seem to think Buck’s drug “retreat” is the norm.

    Or is it because Buck has “white folk” friends in high places who would like this buried.

    It is all so sleazy for the “Creative City” soon to be known as the “Gateway” to drug addiction with local pot shops connected to hotels like the Standard offering “get high” room service.

  3. Shawn ThompsonMon, Nov 20, 2017 at 7:51 am

    So just out of curiosity since your so focused on D’Amico in this story. How much did Heilman and Duran take from Buck over the years? Or does that matter in how you keep spinning this story?

  4. 90069Sun, Nov 19, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Buck is in bed w the John’s.. so little money to return.. but so little integrity on the city council.

  5. PeterSun, Nov 19, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Thank you SE for bringing up the concept of moral failings. Mr. Buck failed to look after this young person, discourage him from drug use, and harbored his addiction. We cannot rise above the problems of this world if we continue to fall prey to its trappings.

  6. fine7760Sun, Nov 19, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Again we see those on the left attempting their own get a pass for their sexual indiscretions and this time murder while they jump at the chance to indict and pass sentence for those on the right. Perhaps, just perhaps if they, the left, would clean out their closets of the low life they support without question like the Clinton’s and Buck this world and the United States would be a lot better off. But know, instead all we hear is how Hillary was cheated out of the Presidency although she violated the law as Secretary of State and how it was OK for Bill to screw every female he could lay his hands on. Allegations about sexual misconduct decades ago that for some reason are just coming to light when the republican candidate is leading in the senate race in Alabama has been judges and convicted everyday in the news media yet Senator Al Franken is shown in a photograph mauling the breasts of a sleeping female on a plane and is being given a pass because he said it was all in fun. Disgusting, truly disgusting!!

  7. erikSun, Nov 19, 2017 at 3:33 am

    I just don’t understand this one. I have been working in civil rights for over 30 years. The only way to get to the answers is to file lawsuits, but the family won’t do it. The “Discovery” phase of a lawsuit is very powerful. The Plaintiff can subpoena documents, videos, bank accounts, e mail/phone accounts, They can conduct depositions, interrogatories and admissions. The Family should sue the two City Council members, Ed Buck, The Sheriff’s Department, The City and the County. I went to the Community meeting and listened to the Family. I contacted The National Action Network and reported this crime because it is in part, racially motivated, but the Family did not follow up. It’s as though they don’t want to hold people accountable.

  8. michael derek mccoySat, Nov 18, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Agree with you SE.

  9. MichaelSat, Nov 18, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    The three “Johns” on the West Hollywood City Council knew everything about Buck and how he operated. He gave too much money not to have D’Amico, Duran and Heilman know the details about Buck’s dogooder actions for the young African-American community who can’t afford to live in WEHO. If Buck is arrested I’m sure he might reveal info about the three “Johns” that might not be helpful for their “pay for play” careers.

  10. SESat, Nov 18, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Even if it is discovered that no crime was committed, I am so saddened by a 63 year-old “elder” in the gay community thinking it’s okay to keep syringes and methamphetamine accessible to a 26 year-old “friend” struggling with drug addiction. There are typically no laws against moral failure, but I do hope Mr. Buck gets the help he needs because his moral failure in this situation is truly tragic.

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