What do John Edwards, Rielle Hunter, and former Westminster winning French Bulldog owner, Marion Hulick have in common? Well, hold on to your proverbial hat.
First we should start with the world of south Florida. This area attracts many people -- some quite wealthy and some quite scandalous. Living in Minnesota, I can definitely see the allure to having a year-around climate for outdoor cavorting, and especially for showing horses.
The now Rielle Hunter was formerly known as Lisa Druck, (born 20 Mar 1964) is one of four daughters (In addition to Lisa, they had three other daughters, Roxanne Rae, Jennifer Ann and Melissa Sue.) born to James Druck (1934–1990) and Gwen Druck, who owned Eagle Nest Farm in Ocala, Florida, where they raised show horses.
In addition to being a wealthy attorney -- who ironically specialized in defending insurance companies -- James Druck had a private jet that may have made flying around to meet and teach Tommy "The Sandman" Burns how to electrocute horses easier. (He was all ready known by the Sandman moniker because horses would mysteriously die when he showed up at shows.)
At the time he was flying high as an attorney, little Lisa Jo had a winning horse called Henry the Hawk. Unfortunately for Henry the Hawk, he was owned by the Druck family and although in the prime of his life he was found dead in his barn. To be fair, James Druck had Tommy "The Sandman" Burns do the deed, but he taught him how so I find his behavior equally reprehensible.
Why did Henry need to die? Well for the $150,000 in insurance money, of course. In a 1992 Sports Illustrated interview, Burns claims that James D. Druck showed him how to electrocute Lisa's horse using a stripped extension cord and a wall socket. Burns was arrested in 1991 which created a fair amount of national attention. James Druck died of cancer in the Tampa, Florida area in 1992.
Burns and accomplice Harlow Arlie, both of the Chicago area, were held at the Alachua County jail after their arrest. There are some implications with these folks and the disappearance -- likely murder -- of the Brach's candy heiress, Helen Voorhees Brach.
Helen Brach, the vanished candy heiress whose name was on the ledger with Rub the Lamp, Belgium Waffle, Rainman, Roseau Platiere and Empire -- Thoroughbred horses that had been murdered for the insurance. Brach's body has never been found.
Shortly after the electrocution, Lisa Jo Druck fled from the tropical climes of Florida and headed to New York City. Once there, she dated 'Brat Pack' novelist Jay McInerney, who used her as the basis for the lead character in his steamy 1988 novel, 'Story of My Life.' McInerney claims her part is played in the novel by character Alison Poole and he further claims that Hunter/Druck's behavior was both intriguing and appalling. Based on what I have discovered about him, that is really saying something!
After New York, Lisa Jo Druck moved to California and married attorney Alexander M. "Kip" Hunter III (born April 14, 1959) in 1991. She changed her name to Rielle Hunter in 1994. They were divorced in 2000. Somewhere in that general neighborhood of time she started her own production company which leads us to John Edwards.
In 2006 Druck/Hunter was hired to produce a series of campaign trail behind-the-scenes videos of Sen. John Edwards. In October 2007, The National Enquirer leaked word of the affair and the fact that Hunter was pregnant. The candidate eventually dropped out of the race and admittedto cheating on his wife, but denied siring the child -- of course we know that changed too.
Now let's bring it home! Tommy "The Sandman" Burns was hired by French Bulldog fancier Marion Hulick when she was the horse trainer who helped this low-life, animal hit man kill one of her charges in the Putnam Country town of Brewster 20 years ago at the behest of her boss, cellphone heir George Lindemann Jr.
You can learn much more about the seedy side of the horse business in Hot Blood by Ken Englade. He covers all these folks and more.
All about Helen Brach, by Mark Gribben — Hatcheck Girl to Heiress — Crime Library on truTV.com
Edwards' mistress raised in Ocala