John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Brynn had Issues: The murder of Phil Hartman

Brynn had Issues: The  murder of Phil Hartman

In the course of his tragically short life, Phil Hartman had a remarkably successful career. He was a star on NBC’s "Saturday Night Live" and "NewsRadio," and a popular voice-over artist on Fox’s "The Simpsons."
Hartman married Lisa Strain in 1983, but the marriage failed after two years. Then, in the mid-’80s, Hartman met an aspiring actress Brynn Omdahl who already had a history of addiction to cocaine and alcohol. Regardless, Hartman married her in 1987.
After 11 years, the couple had two children, Phil Hartman’s career skyrocketed but the marriage was troubled. 

Brynn became hooked on narcotics and alcohol and entered rehab several times. On Mother’s Day 1997, Brynn high and Hartman insisted she enter rehab which she did but left after several days. She almost immediately backslid into heavy alcohol and cocaine use. Her mood swings increased and the Zoloft she was prescribed only seemed to agitate her, possibly because she was mixing it with alcohol. The fights increased and Hartman would arrive on set with scratches on his face or disheveled after staying the night on his boat after another epic argument with his wife. Shortly before he was murdered, Hartman told his mother he was “out of my mind” with concern about Brynn and said that he told her if she returned in that state again, he would take their kids and leave.
Hartman's friend and former SNL colleague Jon Lovitz accused Hartman's former NewsRadio co-star Andy Dick of re-introducing Brynn to cocaine, causing her to relapse and suffer a nervous breakdown. Dick claims to have known nothing of her condition. Further, Lovitz said that in 2006, Dick had approached him at a restaurant and said, "I put the Phil Hartman hex on you; you're the next one to die."

Lovitz and Hartman

Andy Dick

But it was more than the addiction that tore the marriage apart. Brynn had mental health issues and she was extremely insecure and easily thrown into fits of hysteria.
A friend alleged that Brynn "had trouble controlling her anger ... She got attention by losing her temper".
Cassandra Peterson, better known as "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark” said that Hartman and Brynn “….fought a lot. I don't know what the problems were. I have suspicions." and added that she tried to discourage Hartman from marrying her, calling Brynn "a very troubled person with a lot of problems."

Cassandra Peterson

A friend said that “something was wrong with Brynn and her husband knew it. She was a failed actress who deeply resented [Phil's] success, and as he became more and more successful, their relationship became more and more contentious."
Hartman's second wife, Lisa Strain, alleged that Brynn was pathologically jealous of other women. When Lisa sent a congratulatory card to Hartman and Brynn on the birth of their son, Brynn sent back a four-page letter blasting her for trying to steal away her husband and threatening to kill her. Lisa called Hartman, who joked about it "You should have seen the letter she wanted to write."
As Hartman’s fame grew, Brynn became more jealous and controlling, even erupting with anger when he received fan mail, and threw violent, “object-throwing temper tantrums.” Increasingly, Brynn would time her arguments to explode just before Saturday “SNL” dress rehearsals.
On the evening of May 27, 1998, Brynn met a friend for drinks, discussing her career disappointments while downing two Cosmos and half a beer. At 10:15, she went to the home of an old friend named Ron Douglas. She complained about Hartman’s frequent absences, saying his preference for hanging out with other friends made her feel like “dirt” and bemoaning that his constant marijuana smoking left him “out of it” much of the time. She also drank three more beers. When she left at 12:45, Douglas felt she did not seem especially intoxicated.
When she arrived at her home, at about 1:00 AM, she got into a loud and heated argument with Hartman which ended with Hartman telling her that he would leave her if she was taking drugs again, and at that, he walked out of the room and went to their bedroom and eventually fell asleep. Hartman's lawyer said the couple had a conspicuous "pattern of arguing at night" and that Hartman "would go to sleep and everything would be OK in the morning."
At about 3 AM Brynn, coked-up and drunk, took the couples .38 caliber pistol…. Hartman had an affinity for guns and had a large collection….walked into the bedroom and standing less than two feet away from a sleeping Hartman, she shot him. Once between the eyes, once in the throat, and once in the upper chest. He died instantly from the last shot.
About an hour later, at 3:23, still drunk and high, Brynn called her longtime friend Ron Douglas and told him that Phil wasn’t home, that she didn’t want to be alone and that she would like to come back over.
Twenty minutes later she arrived at Douglas home wearing a long-sleeved pullover T-shirt, white pajama bottoms, and light-colored argyle socks and no shoes. She stumbled into the house, tried to sit on the couch but slipped and fell to the floor where she stayed. She babbled about having killed Hartman and then passed out. Douglas woke her, walked her to the bathroom where she vomited several times. In one of the time frames when she was awake she told that she had killed Hartman and how she did it. They two eventually drove over to the Hartman where Douglas found Phil Hartman's bloody body and called the police. The police arrived at about 7:00 AM and escorted Douglas and the Hartman’s' two children from the premises, by which time Brynn had locked herself in the bedroom with Hartman’s corpse.

Five cops, weapons drawn, waited outside the bedroom where Brynn is moaning, crying and screaming into a pillow. She called her sister Kathy and asked her to watch over her children “Just let them know how much I love them. Tell Mom . . .”
One of the cops in the hallway called on her name and she whispered into the phone “I gotta go” and hung up.
She sat upright in the bed next to her husband’s corpse, leaned her head back on the headboard and placed the Charter Arms .38-caliber and inserted its two- inch barrel into her mouth and fired, killing herself.

About Balitmore

Regarding this political spat between the President and Elijah Cumming over Baltimore, like anyplace else, there are two sides to Baltimore.  I’ve lived in DC for three decades and I’ve come to know Baltimore over the years. My brother Dan lived there for many years and grew to love the place.   
Baltimore, unlike DC, is a hometown. People are born and raised there, live out their lives there and are buried there. They jokingly refer to themselves as “Baltimorons” and take fierce pride in their city.  Baltimore ain’t fancy, it's largely a working man’s town and the Baltimore accent has to be heard in person to be appreciated (Roof is pronounced “ruuuoof” and so on)  
Like DC, Baltimore is a mecca for history buffs. Fort McHenry, where the Star Spangled Banner was written, is wonderfully preserved and well worth a trip.   The sad Bostonian Edgar Alan Allan Poe lived there, and his house is open to the public. He died there as well.  
The city is also filled with culture. It has a respectable number of fine museums, theaters and large parks and the architecture, second to Chicago, is some of the finest I’ve ever seen in the States. It’s also the home of John Hopkins University and John Hopkins hospital, one of the best in the world.  
Water taxis can jut you from one end of the city to another at extremely reasonable prices.  Baltimore is a sports town. For me, there is no better place to take in a ball game on a summers night than Camden Yards, in the center of the city. For decades, when DC didn’t have a team, we drove up to Baltimore and cheered for the O’s.
Fell’s Point is an eclectic, fun neighborhood filled with bars and restaurant and has a progressive music scene. Little Italy is probably one of the best areas to eat in the entire state and there are other trendy neighborhoods as well, however, it’s probably a good idea to avoid large parts of the city at night and a traveler should be careful what neighborhoods they wander into. But, I could say that about hundreds of other cities in the US as well. There are slums, large, large slums and there are enormous working poor neighborhoods. However, Baltimore primary trade is finance and there is astounding wealth in the city.    
Baltimore combined with outlaying Baltimore County is a political (Democrat) powerhouse in the state balanced somewhat by Montgomery County (also Democrat) just west of DC. The late Mayor Donald Schaffer loomed large over the city and the state for decades.    
Maryland is essentially divided into two spheres of influence. Working-class Baltimore holds enormous influence, geographically, over large parts of the state, with the understanding the western counties are sparsely populated. That influence makes the Baltimore Sun the most widely read paper in most of the state. Upper income, upper-class Montgomery county, loaded with federal government workers holds sway over the three most populous counties in the state, making the Washington Post the top newspaper there.  

In other words, they're a pain in the butt

People who constantly point out grammar mistakes typically have “less agreeable” personalities, are less open, and more likely to judge you for your mistakes.

Well that punishment didn't work.

On July 31st in 1703, Daniel Defoe (who wrote Robinson Crusoe) was put up on a pillory for public humiliation for writing a satirical pamphlet. Instead of getting hit by fruit, he was pelted by flowers.

If you haven't read Franny &Zooey, you really should read it.

“ What happened was, I got the idea in my head–and I could not get it out–that college was just one more dopey, inane place in the world dedicated to piling up treasure on earth and everything. I mean treasure is treasure, for heaven’s sake. What’s the difference whether the treasure is money, or property, or even culture, or even just plain knowledge? It all seemed like exactly the same thing to me, if you take off the wrapping–and it still does! Sometimes I think that knowledge–when it’s knowledge for knowledge’s sake, is the worst of all. ” 

Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger

….and the Beat (ings) go on

….and the Beat (ings) go on

A personal representative of two dead foster children is suing the New Mexico State Children, Youth and Families Department and several of its employees, supervisors and an approved foster parent alleging, among other things, the wrongful death of a child in December 2017.  (The other things are negligence and causing the “physical injury, pain and severe emotional distress” of the deceased child’s two siblings, 11-month-old Ariza Barreras, and her two siblings, identified only as 2-year-old T.B. and 1-year-old F.B.)

The kids were tossed into foster care after being taken from their biological parents in May 2017 because the parents were homeless and drug users. The kids were placed with a couple that an independent home study said should not have been granted a license. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the children were  then dumped….yes, dumped is the correct word here….. from time to time in a “respite” (Meaning short term care) foster home that did not have adequate bedding for the children, was dirty and in disrepair, and where the homeowner had a history of criminal activity and alcohol and drug abuse.
It was in a respite home in Valencia County belonging to a woman named Stephania   Crownover, that the child was found dead. Crownover had an extensive criminal history which included arrests for aggravated battery, as well as en equally long record of alcohol and drug abuse and associating with dangerous social groups who were involved in criminal activity.
Crownover’s home lacked adequate bedding for the children so one of the kids, Ariza Barreras slept strapped into a car seat that was set on the floor. When Crownover awoke on the morning of December 31, 2017,  she found the child cold, not breathing, and unresponsive, with her head “slumped forward and her left arm caught in the shoulder strap.”

The officers on the scene described the house as being in disrepair and dirty and filled with a foul odor which was in direct contradiction to a CYFD report in which an investigation concluded that “no safety threats” were identified.
Four days after the child’s death, the primary CYFD social worker assigned to the case updated the CYFD’s computerized logs, making about 25 separate entries “documenting her contacts and observations from the previous 13 months.”
Eighteen days after the child’s death, a supervisor made about 10 separate entries, documenting her contacts and observations from the previous year. The supervisor “repeatedly wrote throughout 2017, ‘No concerns noted with the Crownover home,’ ” according to the lawsuit.
Crownover was arrested and charged with one count of abuse of a child resulting in death, but the charges were eventually dropped.


Michael Reynolds, 55, a foster father for two decades from Slidell Louisiana has been arrested on 51 counts of possessing pornography involving juveniles under the age of 13, 20 counts of producing pornography involving juveniles under the age of 13, 2 counts of first-degree rape of a juvenile under the age of 13, five counts of molestation of a juvenile under the age of 13, and one count of oral sexual battery of a juvenile under the age of 13.


Daniel Spurgeon , a foster parent in Florence Alabama was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleaded guilty to child abuse, sexual abuse, and torture. The son of a bitch cannot be paroled or receive time off for good behavior.
The children he beat up, raped and tortured, however, get a life sentence of self-loathing and mental illness.

Spurgeon wife will be tried for the same crimes this fall.

The couple is charged with 700 counts….700 hundred counts…..of child abuse and other crimes against 11 children they adopted from foster care or fostered. Victims ranged in age from toddlers to teenagers.
Daniel Spurgeon is charged with 115 counts of first-degree sex abuse, 122 counts of child abuse, four counts of first-degree sodomy, four counts of sexual torture, three counts of domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation, six counts of first-degree rape, 115 counts of enticing a child for immoral purposes, six counts of incest and 11 counts of first-degree human trafficking and 2 counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12.
Jenise Spurgeon is charged with 100 counts of child abuse, one count of domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation, 11 counts of first-degree human trafficking, 100 counts of endangering the welfare of a child and 100 counts of enticing a child for immoral purposes.

 Well the US isn’t alone in the campaign to sexually assault children in foster care. It turns out England has the same problem for decades, (Sexual assault, rape, and voyeurism) and like the US, the issues goes on and on because officials are unable to tackle the problem.  One survivor of the abuse told a government panel that the experience “ruined my life” and caused long-lasting issues. “I count myself lucky in some ways, as many survivors are still battling alcohol or drug addictions, have seen the inside of a prison cell, or, devastatingly taken their own lives because of what these animals did to us,” the person said. “I just hope that this won't be a flash in the pan and that this remains in the public eye until the whole system is cleaned up.”

 It's your foster care system, America. You own it, you run it, you finance it.  If the clowns who run it assume you don't care, kids will continue to be raped and murdered.