A well-established East Coast doctor travels to a small university town and distributes flyers asking students to participate in a sex experiment he’s conducting. Police are called to investigate when one suspicious student thinks the information on the flyer sounds an awful lot like soliciting prostitution.
Lieutenant Scottis a 31-year veteran of law-enforcement. Scott has worked at a variety of assignments from patrol, SWAT, Detectives, and Special Operations, to gang enforcement, Internal Affairs, and Special Investigations. Lt. Scott is also a forensic artist.
Yeardley [00:00:02] Hey, Small Town Fam. How are you? How are you doing? I hope you’re holding up during these tumultuous times. So, we thought with everything going on, just in the world, that we would give you a bonus episode this week because you guys are the best. And we could not do this without you, nor would we want to. So, please settle in for science fiction.
When a serious crime is committed in a small town, a handful of detectives are charged with solving the case.
I’m Yeardley, and I’m fascinated by these stories. So, I invited my friends, Detectives Dan and Dave, to help me gather the best true crime cases from around the country and have the men and women who investigated them tell us how it happened.
Dan [00:00:56] I’m Dan.
Dave [00:00:57] And I’m Dave. We’re identical twins from Small Town, USA.
Dan [00:01:01] Dave investigated sex crimes and crimes against children. He’s now a patrol sergeant in his police department.
Dave [00:01:07] Dan investigated violent crimes. He’s now retired. Together, we have more than two decades’ experience and have worked hundreds of cases. We’ve altered names, places relationships, and certain details in these cases to maintain the privacy of the victims and their families.
Dan [00:01:22] So, we ask you to join us in protecting their true identities, as well as the locations of these crimes out of respect for everyone involved. Thank you.
Yeardley [00:01:39] Today, on Small Town Dicks, we have the usual suspects. We have Detective Dave!
Dan [00:01:45] Happy to be here.
Yeardley [00:01:46] Happy to have you! (chuckles) And we have Detective Dan.
Dave [00:01:50] Glad to be back.
Yeardley [00:01:51] Glad to have you back. And we are so pleased to welcome back one of our original guests on the podcast, Lieutenant Scott.
Scott [00:02:00] Always excited to be back. Thank you.
YEARDLEY [00:02:02] So, Scott, you always bring us really interesting cases. Tell us how this case came to you?
Scott [00:02:07] Sure. So, this case happened in 1989. I had been a cop for three years. I was a relatively new police officer. I’m doing the math in my head. Oh my gosh. So, I started as a police officer at 12. That’s the math.
Yeardley [00:02:25] 12 years old?
Scott [00:02:26] Otherwise, it sounds like you can’t still be alive after that. So, anyway, but, yeah, 1989. So, I was working as a patrol officer in my town, and we have a university that is in our city. At the time, policing for the university was a security function. So, the university contracted with the city to provide police service and I carried a vintage beeper pager, and when they needed me, they would send me a message on my beeper for a number and I’d call them. So, that’s how this started is that I got called to the Department of Public Safety at the university campus to talk with them about a flyer that a student had brought into the Office of Public Safety concerned that there was some sort of scam afoot. And so, the letter you have.
Yeardley [00:03:21] Okay, Small Town Fam. Scott gave me his phone before we sat down to record today, and it’s got this letter on it. So, I’m going to read that out to you.
Scott [00:03:32] This is how it all started.
Yeardley [00:03:34] Here’s the letter. “I am one of a small group of volunteers engaged in a research project evaluating the sexual potential of the mature female. This project is to determine the response in the human female to intercourse with one or more male partners, as evaluated by the number of orgasms that the male or female are able to obtain in a two-hour period. The male subjects are limited to 5 to 10 for each female researcher, to be chosen by her to be between the ages of 18 and 23, physically active and unknown to the subject. A stipend to the male volunteer of 10 US dollars for each orgasm achieved by either party will be paid at the end of each session.”
“Each male candidate in the study will be known by his first name and last initial. He will be questioned and examined by a physician to ensure that he is not a carrier of any sexually transmitted diseases and his physical parameters will be recorded. The physician will be present throughout the encounter and will determine the number and quality of orgasms by each individual involved.” This is disgusting. “And at his discretion,” Oh my God! “photographs and audio recordings may be made. Every effort will be made to maintain anonymity. If you wish to be considered as a candidate for this project, talk to Pamela S.” And then, the hotel name and phone number.
Dan [00:05:09] It seems to be a merit-based program that they’re running.
Dan [00:05:14] $10 per orgasm.
Scott [00:05:15] Research.
Dan [00:05:16] Yeah.
Scott [00:05:17] So, we later found out that Pamela S is the third wife of Dr. Allen.
Yeardley [00:05:24] And Dr. Allen is the name of the physician conducting the research?
Scott [00:05:27] Yes. He was a prominent physician. He was a department head and on a board of a prestigious East Coast hospital. He was a member of an exclusive neighborhood and Country Club. He owned a 50-foot yacht. He was worth millions.
Yeardley [00:05:51] How does a physician have a 50-foot yacht? I mean, I know doctors can make good money, but yachts are really expensive.
Scott [00:05:57] He was a leading anesthesiologist, and he was the head of anesthesiology department. He and his wife, Pamela S, decided to take a work vacation, and they ended up in our university town. But it was not the first stop along the way on their scientific research project.
Yeardley [00:06:20] On their work vacation?
Scott [00:06:21] Yes, and again, this is prior to electronic distribution. And so, we found out later that in talking with this young man who brought this flyer to the security office, he had been at a fraternity on campus, and there’s several on this campus, and Pamela S, had walked up to him in front of the fraternity and struck up a conversation with him, handing him this flyer and she said, “You look athletic. What’s your age?” She’s looking for a specific age group between 18 and 23 for the study. She asked him about his sexual experience, and if he had a girlfriend, and she asked about the ratio of boys to girls in this campus community, and he said she was not, in his words, unattractive. he thought it was a joke at first. But she said if you want to spend some time, she had pinned her hotel name and room number and a phone number on there and welcomed him to call and then give him a stack of these flyers and encouraged him to circulate them amongst the fraternity.
Yeardley [00:07:28] So, is she the female subject?
Scott [00:07:31] She is the female subject.
Yeardley [00:07:32] Ah, oh, my gosh!
Scott [00:07:34] She is Pamela S.
Yeardley [00:07:35] Wow. So, not only is she the point of contact, she’s the female subject that these multiple male subjects are going to be having sex with?
Scott [00:07:44] Yes.
Yeardley [00:07:44] And I’m assuming her husband is the one who’s doing the research, watching and taking notes?
Scott [00:07:49] He’s the physician. He’s the scientist that is going to be present during the encounter.
Yeardley [00:07:54] This seems fishy.
Scott [00:07:55] It did to us too.
Yeardley [00:07:57] Do you know if their particular fishing ground was universities?
Scott [00:08:00] Yes, it was, that was their target. So, at the time, I was working with an officer, Officer Matt, who was a reserve police officer, and we’ve talked about that Reserve Program.
Yeardley [00:08:13] Um, yes. But actually, would one of you fine detectives like to remind me what the Reserve Program is? Thank you.
Dan [00:08:24] Yeah. Typically, what we see is somebody may have a job already. And they are interested in becoming a police officer. A reserve program allows these officers to keep their other job and their volunteer police officers at our agency, and they have to put in so many hours every month, they have to go through a pretty stringent hiring process and background check. They have to do all the testing we do. They have to maintain training. They have FTOs. They just don’t get paid.
Yeardley [00:08:52] Oh, like police interns?
Dan [00:08:54] Yeah.
Yeardley [00:08:55] (chuckles) Got it.
Dan [00:08:56] It’s a valuable program. I’m glad I didn’t have to do it.
Scott [00:08:59] Right. So, Officer Matt was about 22 years old at the time. And he just retired, I think, last year. And Dan and Dave know Matt. And he to this day sounds like he’s going through the change. He sounds like he’s going through puberty. He just has that kid voice. He can’t maintain octave. And so, his field training officer suggested that he be the guy who calls Pamela S and participates in an interview with her to see if he can get to the bottom of what’s going on. So, what we did is we called the number and Officer Matt posing as Jeff.
Yeardley [00:09:38] The college student?
Scott [00:09:40] Yes. Right. Called Pamela S. And so, he talked with her and she asked him questions about his sexual history.
Dave [00:09:50] Prowess.
Scott [00:09:52] She was very flirtatious. She was very promiscuous. But she was also a professional. She was trying to at least by the conversation, keep the scientific umbrella over this research. And ultimately, at the end of the conversation, she just said, “Would you like to come and meet the doctor and have some fun?”
Yeardley [00:10:11] And how old is Pamela, roughly?
Scott [00:10:13] Pamela was at the time 42.
Yeardley [00:10:19] Okay. And her husband?
Scott [00:10:21] Her husband was in his 70s.
Yeardley [00:10:23] Oh!
Scott [00:10:23] Yeah.
Dave [00:10:24] Huh, right. Got it. I got it.
Scott [00:10:28] So, we made this call and agreed upon a time to meet at the hotel. And it was on about the fifth or sixth floor of this 12-story hotel in downtown and so not knowing necessarily what we were dealing because before I think we called it human trafficking at the time, but we didn’t really necessarily know what we were dealing with. So, we brought a contingent of officers up the stairwell, and had what we call a takedown team, just basically a team that would follow “Jeff.” Officer Matt would follow officer Matt into the room once he gained entry.
Yeardley [00:11:05] How do they follow him into the room and not be seen?
Scott [00:11:08] So, we had staged our takedown team, a group of about four officers. And we carried with us not knowing what we were going to encounter. We had some tools with us, we universally in law enforcement called the key, our little battering ram. And at the time, I worked with members of the SWAT team, I was a member of the SWAT team and so, we worked on patrol teams together. So, we were a tactically response ready kind of group, so we had some of our tools with us. And so anyway, we had these guys staged in the stairwell, away from the room but within close proximity to the door when it would open. So, the plan was to go in and take control of the room like we do, and then figure out what we have.
Dave [00:11:45] Because basically, once you arrange this meet, we’ve got a crime. So, he doesn’t have to go through with the whole act. And then at the end, you’re like, “Oh, ta-da, you’re under arrest, committed a crime.”
Yeardley [00:11:54] Wait, is he getting a hotel room and then she’s meeting him in that room, so you guys are stashed in the bedroom in the bathroom? Or is he meeting Pamela S in her room?
Dave [00:12:04] He’s meeting at Pamela’s room.
Scott [00:12:05] Right, they’ve set up their research room.
Yeardley [00:12:08] And you guys are just closed by ready to pounce when you need to?
Scott [00:12:11] Right. And the letter that you read “The Meet Pamela S” letter basically establishes what we and our state would call probable cause that they’re soliciting prostitution. So, sex for money. And in our state, like many states, both participants in a sexual encounter where money is exchanged can be charged with prostitution. So, in other words, if I’m the soliciting party, I can be charged with prostitution, if I’m exchanging sex for money, and if I’m the John, I can also be charged with prostitution for frequenting the solicitor.
Yeardley [00:12:49] Got it.
Dan [00:12:50] And just because I’m aware that sometimes the verbiage that we’ve used on this show, people sometimes have a problem with, prostitution is the legal name of the law in our state. That’s why we’re using that. I know in vogue term to use for these women is sex workers. But they actually refer to themselves a lot of the time as prostitutes, “I’m a prostitute.”
Scott [00:13:14] Correct.
Dave [00:13:14] Yeah. And the sex worker label is for these women who don’t have an out, they don’t have any options, that they’re being coerced and forced into these situations. Certainly, in Pamela’s situation, this seems very consensual for her. And in this case, she’s committing prostitution. It’s also the label of the statute in our state is that it’s not compelling sex worker, it’s compelling prostitution. So, we get feedback from people that are upset with the terms that we use, just understand that we use terms that are common to our profession.
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Yeardley [00:14:59] Okay, So, Matt/Jeff goes up to Pamela S’ room with backup in tow?
Scott [00:15:06] Right. And this is high tech at the time for us, but we used what we refer to and these guys will remember the VARTA alarm. We use this alarm system that’s sort of portable and you can set it up with a panic button, different things. And it’s just a way of sort of remotely and directly communicating an alarm, a crime, or, in this case, we used a panic button sort of set up with Matt. So, when he went in the room, if he got inside and the door shut, he was instructed to just sort of play it out with this couple if it is what we think it is and it’s just, for lack of a better term, a kind of a benign sex setting, that he can go ahead and go in and just push the button when he has what he thinks is enough to constitute a crime.
Yeardley [00:15:52] Are reserve officers permitted to carry a firearm?
Scott [00:15:56] Yes.
Yeardley [00:15:57] And is he carrying one?
Scott [00:15:58] Yes, he is. So, he’s a sworn police officer. He’s in plainclothes obviously. And he has a backpack that he’s got quick access to his firearm if he needs to. But he’s also got this sort of a garage door opening style panic button that he can utilize to call the calvary if he runs into trouble.
Dave [00:16:15] In case he gets in there, and then all of a sudden, there’s a leather mask on him and he’s handcuffed or strapped to something where he’s– you don’t know what you’re walking into. Honestly, what are they into? Obviously, this is going to be more of a clinical-type environment than a sex dungeon.
Scott [00:16:31] Right.
Yeardley [00:16:32] Well, you don’t know.
Dave [00:16:33] You don’t know until you break the threshold.
Dan [00:16:36] I mean, Matt doesn’t know if he’s walking in and he looks to the left, and there’s the bathroom right there and there’s somebody waiting for him. And there’s plastic laid out on the floor. Like you just really have no idea what you’re walking into there because this isn’t normal.
Scott [00:16:49] Yeah. And speaking of prostitution, how many times has prostitution turned into a robbery, right?
Dan [00:16:54] Quite often.
Scott [00:16:55] Very often, especially in hotel rooms because if you’re dealing with a situation where you have a prostitute, and somebody who’s compelling prostitution, then you have a john, well, John isn’t going on book about what he’s up to and so he’s a vulnerable target and easy target because you hit him, and you take his money, and he’s not going to call the police and report that he got robbed during a prostitution sting.
Dave [00:17:18] Yeah, when they do, they call us and say, “Hey, this female just came in and robbed me and she took off in a car with this guy.” And we all recognize those circumstances at these motels. And you say, “What else is going on? Because you’re going– there’s more to the story here, how’d they get in your room? Really, just two randoms knew what room to go to, to get this 300 bucks in cash? Come on.” They still don’t have the right to rob him, but these guys are in kind of a precarious spot. Do I report the robbery, or do I just cut my losses and eat it?
Scott [00:17:50] Exactly. And usually, that’s what happens. But as Dan points out, you don’t know what you’re walking into. The reality is when you do undercover work, which is what this would be, you literally don’t know what to expect.
In this case, Jeff knocked on the door and they were waiting for him. And so, Dr. Allen opened the door. He was nicely dressed, a well-kept gentleman. And he had a 35 mm camera around his neck with a macro lens. And he introduced himself and opened the door and in the background was Pamela S, and she was wearing a pink negligee and the bed was turned down. There was a cassette recorder with a microphone situated on the nightstand. So, we made the door. And what I mean by that is he went in, we were caught up to him to get right in behind him and we just sort of hastily took over the room, caught them by surprise. Of course, they are surprised by the fact that Jeff has friends. We come in and we take control of everything, render them safe and secure and check that it’s just the two of them. And it was, it was just Pamela S and Dr. Allen, and then things got interesting.
Yeardley [00:19:03] Oh, do tell.
Scott [00:19:04] When we went inside, after we secured them, we started taking in what we were seeing or what was available and everything was pretty much in plain view and, again, before digital age, so all of their filming was 35 mm. So, there were rolls and rolls and rolls of undeveloped or unprocessed film.
Dave [00:19:22] Jeff wasn’t her first patient?
Scott [00:19:24] Wasn’t her first subject. Yes.
Dave [00:19:26] Gotcha.
Scott [00:19:26] Yeah, patient.
Yeardley [00:19:27] Conquest.
Dan [00:19:28] Research subject.
Scott [00:19:30] Yes.
Yeardley [00:19:30] Well said.
Scott [00:19:31] Yeah, lab brat.
Scott [00:19:35] So, there’s rolls of film. There’s cassette tapes that are labeled, and that obviously have material on them. There are condoms situated in a little tray. There’s a fabric tape measure for measuring dimensions of their subjects.
Yeardley [00:19:54] Oh.
Dave [00:19:55] You’re talking about their biceps?
Scott [00:19:57] Exactly. Athletic, young men. Dr. Allen was sort of aloof, he was surprised, but he was indignant. He said, “What is this all about? Why are the police here? What is going on?” We explained, well, we have your letter and we hold it like this is evidence. And he said, “Yes, I broadly distributed that material on campus to fraternities, we are conducting research. This is a research project. This is my wife. Pamela S is my wife, and she is helping me with my research. We are trying to determine the sexual capacity of the adult female, and we thought Jeff was a participant.” We explained, well, actually, the way we look at this is that this is prostitution, and we explain how we talk about that this is sex for money.
Dave [00:20:46] Dollars per orgasm. I’ve got to ask, is there a scoreboard on the wall, like Home and Away? She’s up eight to three?
Scott [00:20:53] Interestingly, he hands me, were labeled, on the top, it said, just like the note, “Meet Pamela S.” And then, they were completed performance evaluations. And they did have tallies and fees that were paid. And they had first name, last initial, and they had dimensions. But he handed that to me as a credential like these are performance evaluations. This is proof that we are doing research. And he told us this is one of the stops on our way. We’re on a West Coast trip.
Dave [00:21:24] Tour.
Scott [00:21:24] Yeah. So, they had been in another state to our north, a neighboring state. And they were working their way down the Coast. So, we were along the way. That was their contention was that they were conducting research. And Pamela S was a willing participant. And she was sort of embarrassed, it seemed, but indignant as well. And, again, my impression of these people was that they were indeed affluent, and, I think, upper crust. That’s how they impressed me was that they just felt like we were disturbing their scientific research.
Dave [00:21:59] Bunch of knuckle-dragging cops.
Scott [00:22:00] Exactly. Yeah.
Dave [00:22:02] We’re smarter than you. “This is a clinical. This is scientific research. How dare you.”
Yeardley [00:22:06] This is above your head, above your paygrade.
Scott [00:22:09] Yeah. And of course, to us, it was just amazing that it was actually what it was described as. When we went in there, we didn’t know what to expect, and then we find out it’s just as exactly what they were proposing that it was. And so, we collected all of our evidence in the room. Some of the film had not been processed. They had index files with photographs that had been processed with these research pictures, which were pornography basically. We started playing the cassette that was in there, and it was just bedroom sounds. So, we recognized that we were going to have to do some research in order to discover what’s on film, and how broadly they had conducted their research in our town. How many kids had been involved? Because they’re talking 18 to 23 but as we know, some college kids are under 18, and so that was a concern of ours as well.
Dave [00:23:00] So, you guys doing paper, rock, scissors, draw straws? Who has to watch all this stuff? Or do you split it up?
Scott [00:23:05] Well, an investigator became interested in our big case, it was pretty sensational at the time. Our local newspaper covered it and it became AP interest right away.
Yeardley [00:23:18] AP? Associated Press, yes?
Scott [00:23:20] Yes, Associated Press. And it was tabloid interest because this guy’s status in his town. So, I think that became contagious in the department. And how sometimes, as we’ve talked about before, it’s a seniority thing about the kind of shit jobs we’re going to pass off to the junior guy. But then, there’s the other guys that are like, “I’m going to cherry-pick that case, I want to see what that’s all about.” And so, we had a detective that wanted to get involved.
Dave [00:23:47] I’ll help you guys with this.
Scott [00:23:48] Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Dave [00:23:50] How many days were they in town before Officer Matt or Jeff showed up at the door?
Scott [00:23:55] It looked like they had probably been in town for two days.
Dave [00:23:58] How many performance evaluations did they have on hand?
Scott [00:24:00] It looked like there were somewhere between eight and six.
Dave [00:24:04] So plenty of volunteers.
Scott [00:24:06] Right.
Yeardley [00:24:06] So, they got right to work.
Scott [00:24:08] They got right to work.
Dan [00:24:08] I guess my question regarding this would be, they’re videotaping and they’re taking photographs and everything. So, what makes this illegal versus we’re documenting a sexual encounter for money? Like making a porn video or doing a porn shoot?
Scott [00:24:25] Right. That’s a good question. It does come pretty close to the line, I suppose. And maybe if you can go back and determine that they’re actually working with a network and it’s a publication and they’re working towards some sort of outcome.
Dan [00:24:39] I mean, it’s kind of a gray area there.
Scott [00:24:41] Yeah.
Dave [00:24:41] And I think that’s probably part of the doctor’s cover, is that it’s not gratuitous. This isn’t about sex. This is about scientific research. So, he’s got this plausible deniability. Like, “I’m not committing a sex crime. I’m not trafficking my wife. We’re trying to do this for science.”
Yeardley [00:24:58] For who though? For what science?
Dave [00:25:01] Well, I’m guessing the doctor, given his age, isn’t bringing the heat anymore. I’m guessing that he has some sort of–
Yeardley [00:25:10] Erectile dysfunction?
Dave [00:25:11] Maybe or he just is one of those who likes to see his partner with somebody else. And then, the wife, it sounds like she might have somewhat of a voracious appetite as well. And they’re soulmates. They find each other like people find each other. And at some point, I’m curious as to how this idea got legs, but at some point, wine inspired, maybe the wife or the doctor brings up “Hey, you know what we should do? Let’s take our show on the road.”
Scott [00:25:39] Right.
Yeardley [00:25:39] Yeah.
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Yeardley [00:27:48] Scott, if there hadn’t been any money exchanged, would it have been a crime?
Scott [00:27:54] Good question. I think because there’s no money exchanged, I don’t think it’s criminal. I don’t think there’s a crime attached to it.
Dan [00:28:03] I think there has to be a transaction. So, drugs, drugs are common that we deal with, people trade drugs for sex.
Yeardley [00:28:10] And that’s a crime?
Dan [00:28:11] That is a crime. Consideration.
Dave [00:28:13] Something of value.
Scott [00:28:14] Right. Now, the only exception that brings up another point, I guess, is that now most states have laws and criminal codes that address pornography. And in some states, in our state, they have what they call encouraging sexual abuse or child sexual abuse. So, there would have to be a child, you’d have to establish the age and then that they were engaged in sexually explicit conduct. And certainly, sex study and still photographs of sexual activity would probably constitute a crime of some sort there.
Dave [00:28:47] 100%, if some of them was under 18 years of age, we’d have crimes regardless of the money. But in this situation, you’ve got college-aged men, not boys, a consenting female, and there’s nothing exchanged of value other than she’s getting what she wants, and presumably the males are getting what they want, and they got no exchange of something of value. How do you prosecute that as a crime? That’d be a difficult one. Who’s getting hurt here, right? Where’s the harm?
Scott [00:29:17] Yeah, no, I think it’s one of those where we have to walk away from it.
Dave [00:29:21] Yeah, the advertising online for sexual contact, that might be an avenue to go after that. But, again, there’s got to be some sort of exchange of something of value.
Yeardley [00:29:33] Interesting. So, they said they advertised online, or they did the flyer, but there was no money exchanged, that would really create a gray area for you?
Scott [00:29:40] Well, I think when you’re talking about online advertisement for sex trade, the authors of those advertisements are very careful and deliberate about not mentioning money, but that’s always the bottom line when the transaction occurs, so that loophole allows people to advertise those services. But I think you could literally if you advertised a fee bracket with it, it would constitute a crime.
Dave [00:30:06] Yeah. But now you’ve got apps like Tinder where you’re agreeing to hook up with somebody else. So, I think they’re good. It’s the exchange of something of value throws into the criminal realm.
Yeardley [00:30:17] Right. So, you’ve upended their scientific study and determined that this is, in fact, prostitution. Is that what they’re charged with?
Scott [00:30:28] In a nutshell, we charged her with prostitution, Pamela S, and we charged him with promoting prostitution. And it’s just a statutory difference, but also promoting prostitution is a felony. Prostitution in and of itself is a misdemeanor. And that’s the status of the law at the time.
Yeardley [00:30:47] Why are they different? Why is it promoting the same as compelling?
Dan [00:30:51] Promoting, if you think about the pimp relationship with whoever he’s got working for him, typically young females– in this case, she’s 42. But they’re really trying to concentrate on that relationship with the pimp because they’re in such a leverage position. And they’re not doing the work really.
Yeardley [00:31:11] Right. It’s not the pimps doing the work. It really is the women.
Dan [00:31:15] Yeah. It’s these women, sex workers who are being forced into these positions, typically. And that’s why that particular crime promoting prostitution carries a little heavier sentence. It’s a little higher on the grid. What’s interesting in this particular case is, it’s atypical. Pamela S and Dr. Allen, the money is going the opposite way of what we normally see. The money is going out from them to a subject, so it still ticks the box for soliciting prostitution.
Scott [00:31:46] Exactly. It was close to the line. It was a unique situation. Anyway, there was a lot of conjecture in their community because after they were released from jail, in our city, they went back to the hotel, and they’d been evicted, and so they collected their belongings and then they traveled back to their hometown. And he actually attended a board meeting the morning when he got back.
Yeardley [00:32:11] Like nothing had happened?
Scott [00:32:12] Like nothing had happened. Yeah, in fact, one of the tabloid stories notes that when the reporter talked to, I guess, the general manager of the hospital, they were shocked and said, Dr. Allen was just at a staff meeting this morning, “I have to say, I’m a little bit suspicious of the fact that you’re saying this happened.” Shocking. And so, the conjecture was, is he causing her to engage in this activity? But the overwhelming opinion, at least in this community, was that she, the younger woman, Pamela S, her lust was creating this and causing him to do this. So, that was an interesting aspect of it.
But once we finished our initial investigation, and they were arrested and then released, we started going through the evidence, the film, because we wanted to try to identify victims. And so, it was a little bit of shoe leather sort of an investigation because what the investigator ended up doing is going through and finding images of participants that were identifiable. And then, he went to the fraternity with these images. In the fraternity, they have a roster with photographs of all their current membership. I went with him. And he literally said, “I need to talk to this guy, and this guy, and that guy.” And so, they brought these guys down and they all acknowledged that they had been involved in the study and had collected various fees.
Dave [00:33:39] Who got first place?
Scott [00:33:41] They noted in one of the tabloid stories, “One young lad collected $70 in an hour, and was given a $20 tip.”
Dave [00:33:52] A tip!
Scott [00:33:54] It’s just a bizarre story, right? I mean, that kind of leaves you going, “Man, I don’t know what to say about that.”
Yeardley [00:33:59] Yeah, what the hell?
Dan [00:34:00] Yeah. And you want to be appropriate, but at the same time, say, “What the fuck?”
Yeardley [00:34:04] Yeah, it is.
Dave [00:34:06] Yeah, Scott.
Scott [00:34:06] You got me there.
Dave [00:34:07] I don’t know what to do with that.
Scott [00:34:08] (laughs)
Yeardley [00:34:09] Do they ever say for whom the scientific research– Who is it supposed to benefit?
Scott [00:34:15] Well, that’s the thing is that in one of the media reports, there was a sex expert that was consulted by a reporter and he said, “No bona fide research occurs in a hotel room,” boom!
Yeardley [00:34:29] Right. Well said.
Scott [00:34:31] It’s not going to be published in a journal, and if so, where is this journal? Because that’s your excuse, so where’s the journal? Where’s these other groups in that Pamela S letter, it’s like she’s one of a group of women who are going to engage in this study. But as it turns out, it’s just them.
Dan [00:34:49] I mean, quantitatively, you would need more than one woman, you’d need a sample group. If you’re trying to challenge the legitimacy of this study, you need a bigger sample group.
Scott [00:34:59] Sure. Right. So, I mean, I think it just makes it so painfully obvious that it just isn’t bona fide. So, when they get back to their town, they, of course, face ridicule and rumor, and he loses his job. They suspend his license pretty much immediately. They put him on suspension from the hospital. It seems like among the society there, that she had already been looked upon with suspicion because she was his third wife and I think one of his other wives anyway, was still in the community. And so, there was sort of a– she was outside the group, I guess.
Yeardley [00:35:41] Pamela S was?
Scott [00:35:42] Yes. What ended up happening is that they decided, “All right. Well, look, we need to just get out of here. Let’s relocate.” And so, they left, and they went to a coastal town close by and decided that they were just going to have to do something else. This isn’t working. And Dr. Allen fell into a depression and he ended up killing himself.
Yeardley [00:36:04] Oh, dear!
Scott [00:36:04] Yeah. He ended up killing himself. He was wealthy and he had an estate. And so, Pamela S and the other ex-wives, and there were children. As many times happens, the estate became the target of, I guess, of his demise.
Yeardley [00:36:20] It was contentious? They’re fighting over the will?
Scott [00:36:23] Sounds like it was very contentious. One of the contentious issues was, Pamela S wanted him immediately cremated and to put his remains on his favorite lake. And the other family involved said that he would never want that. I don’t recall how it all ended but the big thing was his finances and his estate.
Dan [00:36:43] Kind of sad. I mean, Dr. Allen’s a bit of an enigma. He’s complex.
Scott [00:36:48] Very. Yeah.
Dan [00:36:49] And it’s sad that obviously, this thing took off, and it sprouted like a weed, this whole situation. And then it caused him from shame and depression to end his life.
Scott [00:37:02] Right. And we’ve talk about this. Everyone has a redeemable quality of some sort. Here’s a guy who’s been otherwise successful has never experienced trouble. He may be perverted, but it’s a closet perversion that nobody else has heard about. And then, it comes out in a big way, and it is a sad commentary. One common theme that I think we always talk about, and that I’ve emphasized when I even talk to youth about the suicide epidemic is that suicide, although it’s always complicated for everyone who’s involved in it and there’s no way you can get in somebody’s head and figure out what was troubling them, but it’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem. And this would have been a temporary problem. It’s not something you couldn’t come back from.
Dave [00:37:43] It impacts everybody in the family that is close to that person, suicide, and in this case, the shame of this scandalous case that he has with Pamela. And I’m sure that’s partially what he’s feeling, is that now he’s smeared his good name. It’s probably also why they went states away to commit this research rather than doing it in their own backyard.
Scott [00:38:05] Right. Exactly.
Dan [00:38:07] Suicide doesn’t– The pain doesn’t disappear. It just gets transferred on to your family and your friends. It doesn’t go away.
Scott [00:38:14] I’ve always noted it’s always a very private thing. But like we’ve talked about, somebody’s left to pick up the pieces, sometimes literally, and it creates a stigma, and sometimes we’ve seen generations that repeat it, because it’s an out. Kids feel like that’s an option and it should never be. Even though we are lighthearted about this whole story, the ending is there’s no satisfaction in it and it is sad.
Yeardley [00:38:39] And what about Pamela, was she brought up on charges, or were they dismissed?
Scott [00:38:45] They ended up dismissing the charges. I think that reveals some heart with the prosecutor. The damage is done and in a lot of ways this story grew legs. Locally, it was a reportable that because it’s unique. And in some ways, it certainly didn’t do him any favors, and he didn’t think that it could end away.
Dan [00:39:06] I think what Dr. Allen and Pamela S maybe didn’t realize at the beginning of this is, like you said, there are 17-year-old young men on a college campus who are freshmen or there are guys with fake IDs that are roaming college campuses. And the potential for one of these underage kids to be involved in this is significant. And I don’t think that Dr. Allen and Pamela as were probably aware of that. They probably thought 18 to 23 were good. The problem is we’re used to dealing with people who aren’t always honest about their age, people have fake IDs, and there’s a ripple effect to that.
Scott Yeah, it’s fraught with problems.
Dave [00:39:46] One of our officers just on a mere encounter-type stop, casual contact, pulled a 15-year-old girl, homeless, runaway, out of a 59-year-old male’s car, sex offender, and he was doing the grooming. It took her several hours for the switch to go on that this guy was taking advantage of her and that it wasn’t a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, that there was some issues with that. That’s a total tangent, but it just reminds me like, just going out and stopping a guy and you remove a 15-year-old from almost 60-year-old man’s car.
Scott [00:40:22] Traffic stop, a letter, opening a hotel room door, you really don’t know what you’re going to come up with on the other side.
Yeardley [00:40:28] That’s unbelievable. There’s a voyeuristic quality to the amount of interest the public took in this crime with Dr. Allen and Pamela. And I think it’s because in this country, certainly, and maybe in the world, that if you have money and you do something wrong, there’s a kind of, “Aha! We caught you” aspect to it. As though just because you’re wealthy, you should be above that, when God knows that’s just not true.
Scott [00:40:57] Right. Yeah, it makes you wonder, would it really be that big of a news story at the time?
Yeardley [00:41:02] You do wonder.
Scott [00:41:03] Sure, that’s a good observation.
Dan [00:41:05] But how viral it would have gone if it was now with social media?
Yeardley [00:41:09] The news would have raced them back to their small town and been waiting for them there.
Scott [00:41:14] Absolutely.
Dave [00:41:15] I think there’s an aspect to this where it shocks the community conscience, it’s below community standards. Like, “No, you’re not doing this in our town. That’s got to be illegal.” Somehow that starts to get traction. Now all of a sudden, word of mouth is hit. But I think in a big city, does this even land on the radar? But in a smaller town, it shocks the community’s consciousness.
Yeardley [00:41:39] Like back in Dr. Allen’s town, it just was beyond the pale. This isn’t how we operate in our community.
Dave [00:41:46] Yeah, or even out here where it happened. If this happens in LA, or New York City or a huge metropolis, does it even–
Yeardley [00:41:54] Does it even register on the radar?
Dave [00:41:57] Correct.
Scott [00:41:58] Right. And I think that there’s the aspect of a university town also. I mean, I think the university town aspect is– I suppose it’s present in not only the level of consciousness in the community. Also, you have a young population that questions authority, or just generally questions subject matter. And so, when you come at me with this note, I’m suspicious of it. And it turns out it’s a college kid who is like, “No, this smells fishy. I’m sending it to the police.” Maybe you don’t get that in another community, but in a university town, I think that is a characteristic, that’s sort of unique, that age bracket.
Dan [00:42:41] Well, how many people on these other campuses that they visited took that flyer, and just threw in the trash? Didn’t go to the police.
Yeardley [00:42:49] I swear sometimes the things people think of in the middle of the night that they then think are still good ideas in the light of day are just big fat headscratchers. Thank you.
Scott [00:43:01] Always good to see you guys. Really good time. Thank you.
Yeardley [00:43:04] Come back soon.
Scott [00:43:05] I’ll find more stories.
Yeardley [00:43:06] Please do.
Dave [00:43:07] I appreciate that. Thank you. Good job.
Scott [00:43:09] Thanks, man.
Yeardley [00:43:14] Small Town Dicks is produced by Gary Scott and Yeardley Smith and coproduced by Detectives Dan and Dave. This episode was edited by Soren Begin, Gary Scott and me, Yeardley Smith. Our associate produces are Erin Gaynor and The Real Nick Smitty. Our music is composed by John Forest. Our editors extraordinaire are Logan Heftel and Soren Begin. And our books are cooked and cats wrangled by Ben Cornwell.
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Dave [00:44:22] So, thanks for listening, Small Town Fam.
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