In the mid-1970s, 21-year-old Ed Buck left his home state of Arizona for Europe where he began his career as a fashion model. After returning to the U.S. in 1980 he bought a courier company that turned him into a millionaire.
In 2007, Ed Buck, while residing in West Hollywood, California, became a prominent donor to democrat politicians like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. About this time, the high profile political activist in the LGBTQ community ran for city council and lost. He continued, however, to line the pockets of his favorite democrat politicians.
On July 27, 2017, police were called to Ed Buck's West Hollywood apartment in the 1200 block of Laurel Avenue. The officers found, lying dead on a mattress in the 63-year-old's living room, a 26-year-old black escort named Gemmel Moore. The apartment was littered with 24 hypodermic needles, five meth pipes, and a variety of sex toys. A gay porn video was playing on the television.
The forensic pathologist who conducted Mr. Moore's autopsy found that he had died from a crystal methamphetamine overdose. The Los Angeles County Coroner ruled that Gemmel Moore's death had been an accident caused by a self-administered overdose. As a result, Ed Buck was not investigated to determine what role he may have played in Mr. Moore's death, or if he was operating some kind of drug den for gay, homeless men.
Gemmel Moore's mother, LaTisha Nixon, as well as others, voiced their outrage over the Los Angeles coroner's accidental death finding. The district attorney's office, aware of writings in Gemmel Moore's journal detailing how Ed Buck had injected him and other gay men with methamphetamine in order to facilitate Buck's sexual fetishes, apparently ignored this evidence in deciding not to authorize an investigation. One of Buck's sexual fetishes involved photographing men wearing tight underwear.
LaTisha Nixon accused the Los Angeles District Attorneys Office and the county coroner of protecting the wealthy political donor. By some accounts, Ed Buck had given the Hillary Clinton campaign $500,000. He had also given large sums to Barack Obama.
On January 12, 2019, the police were again summoned to Ed Buck's West Hollywood apartment. This time they found 55-year-old Timothy Dean dead from a methamphetamine overdose.
Mr. Dean, a six-foot-five black man, had worked at Bloomingdale's and SAKS Fifth Avenue in Los Angeles as a fashion consultant. He had also worked on and off as an actor in gay adult films. As a younger man, Timothy Dean had been active in the Lambada (gay) Basketball League. He had once participated in the Gay Games in Paris, France. At age 52 Mr. Dean had earned an associates degree from Santa Monica Community College.
According to Mr. Dean's family and friends, it had been years since he had used drugs. Nevertheless, as in the Gemmel Moore case, the Los Angeles Coroner ruled his death accidental due to a self-administered methamphetamine overdose. Once again, in the face of evidence to the contrary, the Los Angeles District Attorney's office decided not to file criminal charges against Ed Buck. This decision outraged Timothy Dean's family and friends who considered him a victim of sexual foul play.
In February 2019, LaTisha Nixon, emboldened by the second overdose fatality in Ed Buck's apartment, filed a wrongful death suit against the wealthy political donor. The plaintiff alleged that Mr. Buck was a drug dealer who had injected her son with a fatal dose of crystal meth. According to Jasmyne Cannick, a political consultant and spokesperson for the Nixon family, Ed Buck had received special treatment from the prosecutor's office because of his political connections and wealth. This was a view shared by many in Los Angeles's gay community.
In June 2019, Ed Buck met a black, 37-year-old homeless man later referred to in court documents as "Joe Doe." Following a brief exchange on Adam4Adam, a web site designed for men to meet other men "for friendship, romance, or a hot hookup," Buck drove to LA's skid row, picked up the homeless man, and brought him back to his apartment in West Hollywood.
In Buck's apartment, before he had sex with Joe Doe, Buck injected him with crystal methamphetamine. Ed Buck injected this victim every day up to September 4, 2019. On that day, when Joe Doe left the apartment, he sought medical help on the belief that Ed Buck had overdosed him.
A week after receiving medical treatment for the overdose, Joe Doe returned to Ed Buck's apartment. On that occasion, Buck injected him with a double dose of meth. Thinking that he might die from that shot, the homeless man asked Buck to call an ambulance. When Buck refused, Doe asked for a Klonopin pill, medication for seizure disorders and panic attacks. Ed Buck refused that request, and when the heavily drugged man tried to leave the apartment, Mr. Buck tried to stop him.
Notwithstanding Ed Buck's efforts to restrain him, Joe Doe managed to escape from the apartment that day. At a nearby gas station, Doe asked a passerby to call 911 on his behalf. As he was being treated at a local hospital, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputies responded to Ed Buck's apartment. It was there officers discovered, in addition to drug paraphernalia, hundreds of photographs of men in tight underwear in various sexual poses.
On September 17, 2019, officers booked Ed Buck into the Los Angeles County Jail on one count each of battery causing serious injury, the administering of methamphetamine, and maintaining a drug house. If convicted of all three counts, the suspect faced no more than five years, eight months in state prison. The prosecutor in charge of the case asked the judge to set Ed Buck's bail at $4 million.
At a press conference, the Los Angeles District Attorney told reporters that Ed Buck used drugs to lure gay men to his apartment where he manipulated them into participating in his sexual fetishes. The D.A. painted Mr. Buck as a depraved, hedonistic sexual predator.
Two days after Ed Buck's arrest on the Joe Doe related charges, the United States Attorney in Los Angeles, in connection with the July 27, 2017 death of Gemmel Moore and the January 12, 2019 death of Timmothy Dean, charged the suspect with the federal offense of drug distribution resulting in death. This offense carried a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The United States Attorney, in speaking to reporters, said FBI agents had identified nine more gay men Ed Buck had lured to his apartment for the purpose of injecting them with methamphetamine.
Gemmel Moore's mother, LaTisha Nixon, praised the United States Attorney who, unlike the Los Angeles Coroner, didn't believe that Mr. Moore had injected himself with the deadly dose of methamphetamine. Others who had been seeking justice for Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean were also pleased with the federal charge against Ed Buck.
On July 27, 2021, following a two-week trial in a Los Angeles federal courtroom, the jury found 66-year-old Ed Buck guilty of killing Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean by injecting them with crystal meth and the date rape drug GHB during "party and play" encounters held in Buck's West Hollywood apartment.
During the trial, Ed Buck's attorneys portrayed the defendant's accusers as untrustworthy drug addicts and male prostitutes who sold themselves for drugs.
The federal district judge sentenced Ed Buck to life in prison. When the sentence was handed down spectators in the room cheered loudly.