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Crazy as a Tape Worm Eying Kate Moss

What's Their Excuse?

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, January 31, 1996.

Here’s a story with just about everything: implied sex, salacious sex, insanity, money, lots of money, and shining American ideals as exemplified by the ethics of American sports. What more could American Journalism ask?

Not much. Here we have rich boy John DuPont, an insane closet gay who constructed an entire sports complex for Olympic wrestlers so he could, essentially, hang around the locker room. Du Pont recently shot a wrestler in front of that poor soul’s wife, hid in his mansion until the police nabbed him in one of the more implausible scenarios yet forwarded. Surrounded by swat teams and hundreds of flatfeet, the police cleverly turned off the heat to De Pont’s mansion. Ignoring the seething army, Du Pont left his house to fix the boiler and --- it’s too absurd.

Anyway, Jane Pauley became extortionist of the year while interviewing Du Pont’s brother and sister in law. Are the Du Pont’s gonna buy off the widow with a cash bequest, she essentially asked? Charming.

The in-laws seemed eerily normal: they always knew their brother was paranoid and had a thing about guns. He lived with his mother till that maven died, married his physical therapist for, literally, a few days, hung around athletes of which, admittedly, he was one, nearly qualifying as a Pentathlon contestant in the Olympics for the US.

And now, of course, the stories emerge about homosexual advances, crazy behavior, and premonitions. There are even furrowed brow opinions about how Du Pont, in earlier decades, could have been committed by family to an insane asylum. And there are reluctant articles about how the rich are called eccentric rather that criminally insane and........

What crap. Du Pont is and always has been famously crazy, but nobody cared with their mouths puckered and attached to the money teat. DuPont is insane and that’s a legal state and explanation, if not an excuse. But greed and manipulation are not legal outs. So what about all these people who willingly lived on DuPont’s estate, trained at his camp, soaked up the benefits, and slithered away, saying - only if cornered - that they always knew and tried to help and what a shame! Of course, the shame is that the money train is gone and America’s amateur wrestlers may have to find less plush training quarters.

It is a great story - about how the very rich love amateur athletics like they love art, provided they can manipulate the system so that they are essential cogs and can append their name to something. Of course, that’s not the story. The story is sex, drugs, and insanity. Not the hypocrisy of amateur athletics or the fine arts.