Not so very long ago, I signed up for Google news updates on Deborah Jeane Palfrey. Most of the updates have been articles simply invoking her name so that the site posting it got more hits, but nothing of any substance. Mission accomplished on both counts. This is just one more example of suited turds making a living off of air. The National Law Journal published an interview with former DC AUSA (Asst. US Attorney) Allison Leotta on June 11th.Leotta's a professional woman (it's unclear to me at this stage whether she's married or not) who left her secure, good paying job (benes too) of over a decade as a federal prosecutor of sex crimes and domestic violence cases in the District of Columbia to pursue a career...in literature. Hell, I'm sure I write better than her, but never would I have the temerity to refer to what I write as that. And, sure, right, we all do that in the middle of the biggest economic crises in American history, we do an abrupt career change that would wreck the average working person's life--and believe me, I know the dynamics of this, I cannot be shitted about it. But no, there were no silver spoons there whatsoever--not even her getting into Harvard, all bootstraps, a Horatio Alger wet dream fantasy--and even if it's not true, it sounds good on an author's bio and resume. Did I mention that her very first novel was with a subsidiary of Simon & Schuster? Keep in mind here that on average it takes two years simply to get the chance to speak with a genuine literary agent, so forget it mom and pop, self-publish if you ever want that pet project to see the light of day, or to ever get paid.Somehow, I don't think Leotta's ever going to have worry about either. Fixers get that assistance, and that's a huge part of the job being a federal prosecutor in DC.What's the point of all of this? She worked in the same offices as the DC Madam's prosecutors and considers one of them a "good friend," which says it all for me at least. I'll get to who that friend is in a moment. OK, so former minor Inquisitor writes a first thriller for Simon & Scheister, must have sold well, or she still knows the right people, and she's got another one being made from shattered forests somewhere. I've never read her writing, but it's unlikely that a cop lover or a prosecutor is going to write something as good as a Hammett short or novel, ain't gonna happen, wrong side of the tracks. I don't see Leotta ever making the hard choices he made, ever, not really. That, after all, would require genuine conviction that doesn't come easy, no pats on the back, much of a wrong-headed society disagreeing with you--doing the right thing is rarely ever rewarded. Luckily, her bank account will never have to worry about this. Do I have to point out to the reader that she's part of a monstrous criminal justice system that's used to solve social problems mainly through punishment, the wrong way, not proactively? Maybe in her next incarnation she can drive the trains to the new death camps, maybe sell whiskey to the next unfortunates who get their land stolen from them...So, she's writing a novel that contains some elements of the DC Madam case, because she was "following it closely," which would have been pretty easy working in the same offices with the AUSAs that were on the case, like Daniel Butler, Catherine Connelly, William Cowden, other delusional assholes, yadda-yadda, and their interim appointed boss, Jeffrey A. Taylor. Her novel drops on July 3rd, so rush out and get it before the system she protected in her job takes a crap and dies, finally, belatedly, out of all of the contradictions created by power relationships and an abundance of cowards in these here U-nited States. The novel is going to be titled Discretion, which at least makes sense when you're covering a prostitution ring. Someone's going to have to remind me about this book an hour from now, I'm already forgetting it. Yes folks, ascendant police states produce writing outside of the standard government forms, it's true, behold it yourself on July 3rd.Leotta has created an alter-ego of a prosecutor in the character Anna Curtis...oh, never mind, here's what they said about the DC Madam in the interview that garnered a solid plug for the upcoming membrane of cellulose:The remarks below have been edited for length and clarity.The National Law Journal: This is your second novel, both involving a fictional federal prosecutor of sex crimes in D.C. Your first book, Law of Attraction, focused on a domestic-violence case. This novel delves more into the uniquely political world of D.C. Why did you decide to center your second book in this part of D.C.?Allison Leotta: Part of it was I'd seen this really interesting case that happened around the time I was writing Law of Attraction. It was the D.C. Madam case — a woman in D.C. running a large-scale, high-end escort agency, and there were all these reporters speculating that her black book held names of powerful men in D.C. I was fascinated by it — by both the woman running the organization and the women who chose to work for her. They came from all different walks of life and did it for different reasons.I was fascinated as to why they would take these risks and the effect it would have on their lives going forward. In the D.C. Madam case, she was convicted but before she was sentenced, she committed suicide. There was a lot of speculation that it wasn't suicide, but murder. That got the crime novelist side of my head thinking, "What if? How would somebody do it? Who would do it if it was really a murder?"[The body of the accused madam, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, and a suicide note reportedly were found in Tarpon Springs, Fla., in 2008.]NLJ: Did you work on the D.C. Madam case?A.L.: Someone in the office did. She was a good friend of mine, so I was following it pretty closely. ...That friend was Catherine Connelly, an AUSA on the case. It could be no one else. Why she didn't bother mentioning her is odd since it's in the public record and press coverage, but whatever.Question: when is Leotta going to grab a shovel and dig Jeane up to pose for photographs? I wrote the author of the piece--Amanda Bronstad--a letter voicing my concerns, I don't expect a response, so here it is, and long to annoy the lazy reader:to: email@example.com
date: Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 9:39 PMsubject: Leotta interviewmailed-by: gmail.comAnd that's that.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Former AUSA Allison Leotta writes a novel including elements of the DC Madam narrative