Unmasking The Ed Buck They Thought They Knew
In the week since news outlets across the globe picked up a
story WEHO TIMES broke last Monday about the death of a 26-year-
old Texas youth at the home of a politically influential West
Hollywood resident, a disturbing picture began emerging of a man
who evidence suggests is equally comfortable mingling among
America’s uppermost-echelon citizenry, as he is rattling the
nerves of sex workers by way of alleged coercion, heaps of cash,
piles of illicit drugs and allegedly involuntary injections of
A growing mountain of evidence obtained by WEHO TIMES —including
multiple eyewitness accounts, smartphone images, background
interviews, on-the-record interviews, court documents, hospital
bills and text messages—reveal a pattern that depicts a well
heeled politico named Ed Buck as a man with a history of
allegations that he pays young, good-looking African American
men anywhere from $500-$3500 to inject, smoke and otherwise
ingest potentially fatal doses of crystal methamphetamine and
GHB during allegedly paid sexual encounters.
But the sex takes a back seat to Buck’s alleged primary fetish,
according to several sources, who say his first interest is
getting young, black men to take dangerously large doses of
“My situation [with Ed Buck] was always, ‘how long do you want
to see me for and we’ll come up with a number that we both can
agree on,” said a 28-year-old, part-time sex worker who asked to
be identified by the alias, “Damar Love” to protect his full-
time job as a security guard.
“When I get there, I always want my money up front, and that’s
how it always started,” Love told WEHO TIMES during an interview
Saturday. “Initially, when I got there I understood that he was
already well under the influence because he told me he had
already been up for two days and was still doing drugs as far as
liquid GHB, shooting meth—crystal meth, and smoking it. When he
insisted that I get high and continue to get high, that’s when I
started to do my research on him.”
Damar Love believes that Buck was unaccustomed to his level of
concern for his own safety as a potentially vulnerable sex
worker in another man’s home environment. Buck, he says, did not
like his unwillingness to turn off his smartphone, which he used
to ensure his girlfriend knew where he was. Nor did Buck like
him using his phone to shoot photos inside the apartment. He
didn’t know the young man was also using his smartphone to
research his host a little before letting his guard down.
Says Love, the money Buck paid was incredibly good, but the
scene was unsettling.
“I was like, ‘why are you insisting that I be high?'” he said,
recalling his thoughts during the first of three visits he says
he made to Bucks apartment.
Indeed, WEHO TIMES has confirmed that photos of Love in his
underwear were taken inside Ed Buck’s apartment in West
“‘Why are you insisting I shut my phone off and I don’t have any
contact with the outside world while I’m here with you alone in
your place,'” Love continued. “At that moment I knew it was time
to forget about pleasing the client and start asking questions
for my personal safety. That’s when I wanted to know what he did
for a living and when I wanted him to know that I had people who
knew where I was.”
Damar Love says he had never seen anyone as intoxicated as Buck
allegedly was during that first encounter.
“Being under the influence to the level that he was and the idea
that he was trying to get me to that level was—let me put it
this way, the only thing I could think of that was not about him
wanting to get me that high so he could do something bad to me
that I didn’t want done, was maybe he just didn’t want me to
remember anything,” Love said.
“Either way, I couldn’t see myself letting him get me that high.
First of all, GHB? The only thing you’re supposed to take with
GHB is water. It doesn’t mix with anything, not meth, not
alcohol, not poppers—not anything. You can die if you start
mixing that shit.”
The July 27 death of Gemmel Moore at Ed Buck’s Laurel Avenue
apartment near Norton Street in West Hollywood was quickly
classified by the Los Angeles County Coroner as accidental and
methamphetamine-caused. Multiple sources who have known Buck for
several years say, while they were shocked by the tragedy of
Moore’s death at the home of the Democratic Party donor,
activist and organizational heavy-hitter, they weren’t totally
Allegations of a Violent Temper and Requests for Restraining
When former West Hollywood City Councilmember, Steve Martin ran
again along with a slate of candidates that included Ed Buck in
2007, the two were friends and allies. Yet according to Martin,
by 2011 Ed Buck had become openly hostile and unstable, both in
his public demeanor and in his personal interactions with Martin
and others when they disagreed with Buck.
“It was clearly obvious after 2007 that this guy had a serious
personality disorder,” Martin told WEHO TIMES, noting that after
an effort that Buck helped lead to saving a local historic
resource didn’t go exactly as he planned, the activist became
“erratic and unpredictable.” Asked if he and his colleagues
suspected drug abuse as a potential cause of Buck’s allegedly
hostile behavior the former councilman was definite in his reply.
“Everyone knew it,” Martin said. “It’s bullshit if they say they
didn’t. It was like a family; you know, everyone in the family
knew it. There were people who embraced it and they were,
frankly, members of city council. They knew Ed had a lot of
problems; they knew Ed was a controversial member of the
Although John D’Amico was the Councilmember who sponsored the
ordinance that led to the ban on retail fur sales, everyone
familiar with the story knew the fur ban was Buck’s baby. It was
an advent that not only enhanced his reputation in WeHo, but it
also put him on the map nationally as a progressive who can get
things done. USA Today quoted Buck as saying, “This is
monumental…a sea change in the [animal rights] movement.”
The fur ban wasn’t universally supported in West Hollywood. The
fact that one of the world’s largest fur trade associations, the
Fur Information Council of America is based in West Hollywood
may not be a coincidence either.
Buck, whose list of friends, acquaintances and “picture-with”
photo opportunities includes some of California’s most powerful
and popular Democrats, such as West Hollywood City Councilman
John Duran, Congressman Ted Lieu, Gov. Jerry Brown and even
former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, scared some people
during the fur-ban debate in 2011.
Says Martin, Ed Buck’s interest in politics wasn’t any less
sincere than anyone else’s. His love of animals is real, Martin
The former Councilmember points out that Buck’s first success as
a political operative was in leading the push to impeach and
oust Arizona’s 17th governor, the late Evan Mecham, who was
convicted of obstruction of justice charges and misuse of
That was 1988, not long after Buck had sold “for a million-
dollar profit” his Phoenix-based tech company, according to the
Arizona Republic. The Arizona Republic, the state’s largest
daily paper, reported in a Page Two story that Buck had changed
his name from Edward Buckmelter and built the company while
sleeping on a mattress in a storeroom of its office.
“I don’t think initially Ed was cultivating political
relationships for anything but personal affirmation,” Steve
Martin said. “But he soon learned there was an upside to it,
that it did give him a certain amount of protection, a certain
amount of buffer when it came to acting out in ways that were
Martin, the former WeHo mayor, City Councilmember and
participant in the founding of West Hollywood, believes meth has
distorted Buck’s native personality, and that while the city and
the local community has done a great deal to try to mitigate the
ravaging affects meth has had on the local gentry, the community
continues to be hammered by the drug.
Ed Buck, says Steve Martin, is no more immune from West
Hollywood’s long-running meth epidemic, than anyone. According
to a PBS Frontline report, which cites a prominent UCLA study,
meth use can lead to brain damage as well as “psychotic
behavior, including paranoia, insomnia, anxiety, extreme
aggression, delusions and hallucinations, and even death.”
Martin, who was opposed to the fur ban, recalls how Buck
allegedly tried to bully him into changing his position.
“He really got up in my face,” Martin said. “It was really
peculiar. I remember thinking, ‘does he really think I’m going
to be afraid of him and change my mind?’ I mean the idea that
you’re going to somehow frighten someone with physical
confrontation into changing their political position is to me
“The death was shocking news, but not surprising news,” Martin
said. “You can quote me on that. – If there was ever anybody in
West Hollywood whose bed you expected a dead body to turn up in,
it was Ed Buck.”
Purported reputation notwithstanding, there’s very little
documentary evidence of Buck’s below-the-radar alleged penchant
for erratic and temperamental behavior. Background reports and
other searches yield little more than his names, previous
addresses and age.
One exception to the dearth of legal documentation regarding Ed
Buck’s alleged threats of violence is a copy of a petition for a
restraining order filed by a marriage and family therapist who
Buck came to see in 2002.
“…He talked of narcolepsy and seemed to want amphetamines,” the
therapist, James E. d’Jarnette testifies in the court document.
“When I told him I am not a medical doctor and could not
prescribe medications, but could talk to him about his feelings
and interpersonal relationships, defendant leaned forward
aggressively, began shouting and behaved irrationally…”
D’Jarnette’s 2002 complaint further states that Ed Buck
continued for days to harass him by posting strange fliers
defaming him throughout his building, and by phoning him,
allegedly at one point threatening to make the therapist feel
his (Buck’s) pain.
According to Steve Martin, Ed Buck’s neighbors have, for years,
allegedly experienced similar bullying.
“But no one wants to do anything about it because they all know
Ed is politically well connected,” Martin said.
‘Shot up Against His Will’
LaTisha Nixon says she got a disturbing phone call from her son,
Gemmel Moore a couple of years ago when he was still living in
L.A. “He said he had been shot up against his will by this man,
this rich white guy,” Nixon told WEHO TIMES. “He was terrified.”
Damar Love’s last visit to Ed Buck’s home allegedly ended with a
“I’m a security guard for my real job, and I work sometimes 10-
or 12- or 13-hour shifts,” Love said. “I was at Ed’s house and I
fell asleep. I woke up because I felt a prick on my arm. My arm
was tied down and it was red. I got myself untied and I grabbed
a taser Ed had on his table. He had two tasers and we both had
one pointing at each other. He ran to the back of the apartment
and I used his phone to get an Uber and got the hell out of
“I called 911 in three different police jurisdictions from the
Uber that day,” Love said. “I called West Hollywood, Hawthorne
Grieving Mother Awaits Apology, Expects Investigation
LaTisha Nixon, a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier who lives
in Humble, Texas, a suburb of Houston, wants to know if her son
was still alive when first-responders came to Buck’s house. She
wants to know who called 911. She wants to know who the first-
responders were—what agency arrived on the scene first.
Was it the Sheriff’s Department or the L.A. County Fire
Department? What did they see when they arrived? Who was at Ed
Buck’s apartment when they arrived? Where was Gemmel’s body?
“So far, no one at the sheriff’s station will tell me or provide
me with a report,” she says. “I leave messages and no one
provides information. I think there’s something they’re not
telling me. It’s like they’re hiding something.”
Nixon told WEHO TIMES she wants a proper toxicology report, a
full accounting of the events surrounding her son’s demise and
an apology from Ed Buck. She’d like to know more about why there
are so many reports that her son and other young, African
American men were allegedly injected with dangerously large
doses of methamphetamine by Ed Buck.
If such an investigation uncovers wrongdoing by Buck that led to
her son’s death, she also wants him to serve time behind bars.
Nixon can’t help but wonder if there’s another reason that
authorities, including the sheriff and the coroner have
dispensed so quickly with her son’s case.
“I do not play the race card, but can you imagine if this was a
white young man, and my black son was the one whose apartment he
died in?” Nixon said. “But because it’s a young, black man who
died at a wealthy, white man’s apartment who has powerful
friends, you have a coroner’s report that says he died of an
accidental meth overdose—end of story, no investigation.”
Buck’s own attorney told WEHO TIMES that he is dubious about the
coroner’s claim that Moore died of a meth overdose. The attorney
said he doesn’t believe the coroner’s report reflects even
accurate terminology, nor that one can die of a “meth overdose.”
The attorney, who asked not to be identified by name because
there are currently no charges against Buck in the Gemmel Moore
case, also doubts is LaTisha Nixon is Moore’s mother.
According to LaTisha Nixon, Gemmel Moore flew back to L.A. the
same day he died. He had been back at her home near Houston for
about three months after a few years in the Los Angeles and West
Hollywood area, some of that time spent at Ed Buck’s apartment.
She says Ed Buck bought her son’s plane ticket to L.A.
A “homegoing” memorial service is now being organized by friends
and family for Gemmel Moore, also known as Juelz Carter,
Saturday, Aug. 19 at 2:30 p.m. at 5138 S. Broadway in Los
Angeles. Anyone who cared about the deceased is invited, keeping
in mind that seating capacity is 200.
A GoFundMe page has been established to assist Gemmel’sfamilyy
with funeral expenses. For more information:
The highly influential Stonewall Democratic Club, on whose board
and steering committee he sat until late last week, has asked
Buck to step down. According to their official statement, Buck
agreed to resign.
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