Archive for the ‘Stolen Boy’ Category

“Today is a good day to die.”
Native American saying

One day Four weeks ago I walked into the neurological recovery room at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Beverly Hills for the second time, only to find my Dad playing Cone Head in his bed. The surrealism was unfathomable because that was my father’s head we’re talkin’ about, and he’d just had major brain surgery performed by the renowned Dr. Keith Black, who not long before that had told me that the surgery was a success, that he’d gotten all the tumor out, and I felt like a million bucks. Because everything was gonna be all right, as soon as the swelling went down, that is. And so it did, and within the first 24 hours of surgery, Dad was moved from neuro recovery to neuro ICU to the sweetest suite of the hospital, and we were well on our way. Someone was taking real good care of Pops, and he and I exchanged thumbs up because we had done it. We had gotten through this major issue of brain surgery, and you see, that hadn’t always been the plan.

mik mehas

My father came out here on May 14 because he’d had major swelling in the brain. That nasty glioblastoma multiforme was acting up, and Dad was on his way out, but we just didn’t know it at the time. He’d been first diagnosed back in January ’08 and was given 30 days to live back then. It ruined my dad’s trip to South Africa for the croquet championships, but Pops had an important decision to make, and he’d made the right one. He decided to stay and battle this new life situation, which turned out to be the beginning of the greatest transformation these senses ever witnessed. My father bore down with exploring all the alternatives to traditional treatment. He probably tried them all, some of which seemed to help, and he pushed hard toward recovery. But, of course that all changed come May.

The “Bad Boy of Croquet” was getting beaten up pretty badly by the toughest foe he’d ever encountered, and he was suffering as a result thereof. Disorientation set in as did the nasty side effects of the steroids, of which my father affectionately equated physically to “Buddha belly” and “no dick.” So this is how I found him, and we went to work right away. Our first stop was with the incredible neuro oncologist Dr. Timothy Cloughesy at UCLA who reiterated the urgency of the situation, and the need for immediate surgery.

By a sheer stroke of dumb luck, one of my friends referred us to a neurologist who referred us to a cardiologist who then referred us to Dr. Black. So when my dad was back in the hospital suite the day after surgery the reality that the battle had just really begun began to set in. The easy part was over, and the serious stuff was about to begin. We needed to immediately battle this grade 4 cancerous residue that had spread from my father’s right frontal lobe to the left. In a week’s time, Dad would begin an aggressive campaign of chemotherapy, 42 straight daily doses, and radiation for six weeks. Joy.

Dad wanted to continue the alternative supplementation to his therapy that might give him a chance. I’m not sure he had ever totally realized how grave his situation was, but my personal denial was beginning to wither away. I was starting to realize that my time with my father would be limited. This Super Man in my life was subconsciously preparing his bed for checking out for good.

Mik Mehas

During my father’s three weeks of intense therapy, we both experienced amazing personal transformation. The things that seemed so important only days or weeks before really meant nothing anymore. My father and I began to put things in their proper order. Fifty years of wasting each other’s time had come to an end. I worked hard with my father, and pushed him in his new regimen. We didn’t have time to waste, all we had, at all times, was right now. Each moment was precious, and many were very difficult. I fell off my father’s oak tree. I was as difficult to deal with as was he. Yet, the façade of ego had begun to melt away, on both ends. There came a time for mutual admiration and respect that had never been there in either of our lifetimes.

My father taught me the virtues of wheatgrass juice twice a day, and vegetable juicing twice a day. He introduced me more deeply to the virtues of tai chi and qi gong. My girlfriend introduced us to her family’s chi practitioner, and my father – and I – were introduced deeper into the reality of chi flow through the physical body. We did exercises three times daily to rid the body of negative chi, and then each day after chemo and radiation, on our way back to Ventura (these grueling daily five-hour trips did take their toll) we would stop at my alma mater, Pepperdine in Malibu, California, and work on an exercise to fill the body with energy from the sun and earth, and using the earth to help suck the negative chi out of the body. And you know what? This stuff was beginning to help. I don’t know how much it helped my father in the overall scope of things, but he would always say that the time at the dine was his favorite part of every day. And then my migraines stopped visiting.

I couldn’t go to LA the second day after my father’s surgery because I’d suffered a three-day migraine that floored me til Father’s Day. But I haven’t had one since. I never missed a day of taking my dad to LA for his treatment. But the joy I experienced in my physical transformation dissolved in the midst of witnessing the quick deterioration of this incredible Human Being I’d come to learn to love like no other. Dad was suffering all sorts of indignities as his body began to fade. It was difficult for my father emotionally, and I still rode the denial train believing that we would have some more time together, to do things like we used to, to do things the right way.

Pops wanted to be the poster boy for this nasty kind of fight he was in, but it didn’t turn out that way. But some things are amazing in other ways, and so was this process. Two new people were born unto this planet, and one of them remains. On that last day, this past Saturday night, I witnessed the total surrender to all that is by my father. I saw and heard and felt him settle into his ultimate destiny.

It was only a week and a half ago where Dad told me of his meditation where he’d asked God to tell him what his mission was. I may not have been sure of it at the time, but I know now what it was. My father’s mission was to change the lives of those closest to him, and he accomplished this in an amazing way. By dying my father saved my life. I’m a much healthier person now, who no longer suffers from migraines, and my life’s purpose has been dramatically altered in a very positive, high-vibrating way. And you know what, something else completely amazing took place. During these last two months together, my father and I learned to love each other. We learned to respect and admire the people that we were. We had never done this before, not to this extent anyway. My father was an incredible person who I really never gave myself the chance to know. My father was a tough sell, there’s no question about that. But when the mask of the ego was removed, the remaining Being was filled with so much compassion and so much of that all-important high-vibration we call love. My father was an amazing individual who not a lot of people really understood. But if they ever got the chance, they would find an incredible spirit who possessed a vibrant feel for life. For me, I’m a much greater person for having found this out.

It appears now that justice may finally be served in the Jesse James Hollywood case. He was convicted for a crime in a trial in which he never really stood a chance. And now comes the next dose of this heavy real-life drama: the sentencing trial.

Beginning this Monday the prosecution and the defense will trade the swords of guilt or innocence in for new weapons of mass destruction. They will be trying to influence the jury into making the decision for life or death of a young man who made terrible mistakes so long ago. Below, please find a piece that ran in the Ventura County Star that I believe is more poignant and relevant today than it was back then regarding my thoughts when this case reached this stage.

The piece was written by the multi-talented Bill Locey and ran Thursday, July 19, 2007.

Mehas’ ‘Stolen Boy’ tale of boys gone bad

For Ventura novelist Michael Mehas, the hard part is over.

He endured and enjoyed the laborious process necessary to write a book and now all he has to do is write his name, which he will do multiple times at several local book signings, the first being Saturday at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Ventura, at 10:30 a.m.

It’s all a thinly veiled attempt to sell a few million copies of his debut effort, “Stolen Boy,” a fictional account about a real crime involving the guy with the cool name in that place where the great state of California pays your rent.

Now, research and common sense have proved that boys, stolen or otherwise, are clearly annoying, so who’d want to steal one? Read and learn.

By now you may know that Mehas’ book is about Jesse James Hollywood and several of his pals, who murdered 15-year-old Nicholas Markowitz in the summer of 2000.

It’s a tale of boys gone bad to the level of “The Last Detail” meets “Lord of the Flies,” Santa Barbara style. All involved are in jail — the trigger man is on death row — and Hollywood, the guy, awaits trial in Santa Barbara, the place.

Briefly, the story so far: After the murder, all the usual suspects were rounded up, especially those responsible, except the alleged mastermind, Hollywood, who skedaddled to South America.

Now prosecutor Ron Zonen wanted Hollywood, not just for his own legacy but also for the family of the victim. To that end, he gave unprecedented access of his files to Mehas, who along with his childhood pal Nick Cassavetes co-wrote the screenplay for the recent movie “Alpha Dog” — and now Mehas has the book.

Zonen hoped the movie would help catch Hollywood as some sort of a global wanted poster.

Now, whether Mehas sells a single copy of “Stolen Boy,” it’s already a hit with two target audiences. The prosecution as well as the defense both want it for different reasons. (You can have it for yourself for any reason involving $19.95, according to the author.)

“One side wants the book; the other side wants the notes. One costs $19.95; the other is priceless,” Mehas said in an interview this week. “The book is based on my 239-page story chronology based on my unprecedented research and access to confidential case files and key interviews with crucial witnesses.

“My goal was to create a psychological thriller based on what these 15- and 20-year-olds were personally experiencing during the three days of this hellacious ordeal — the real emotions, the real panic and the decision-making process under the incredible stress of alcohol, of pot and of parental misguidance. It’s fictional, but truth in character and truth in motivation resonate throughout.”

About the writer

Mehas has lived in Ventura for 10 years, or long enough to want the hillsides to stay the same and pay parking downtown to stay away, but he grew up show-biz style in the Hollywood Hills. He was a typically underemployed actor when he went to law school.

It’s tough to fight genetics. His mom, Donna Santo, is a Ventura family law attorney and the one you want on your side against that evil ex. So lawyer Mehas has become writer Mehas and, these days, it’s the solitary job for him.
“It’s you on your butt in that chair by yourself,” he said. “Writing is an incredible ability for me to explore humanity and who I am, where the law was an incredible ability for me to discover the law — who it would hurt and who it would benefit.
“I’d much rather write about it than be in the middle of that battle.”
 
About the writing
 
To Mehas, the process of writing is a matter of focus, inspiration and motivation. In short, amass information, assemble it into some sort of rational order, concoct witty transitions to connect the dots, then edit it down until it makes sense.
“There’s nothing else in my life when I’m actually in the writing phase; there is nobody else in my life,” Mehas said. “To me, the whole thing about writing is your preparation. To me, it’s a major outline, a major story outline and a major character profile, then nailing those beads in whatever formula you decide to write it.”
Then, after the writing comes the unwriting process.

“I spent nearly the last year editing my book,” he said. “It was a difficult process because I had so much information to condense.”

In the end

So as to the best-case scenario, hidden agendas and spiffy conclusions ?

“My goal was to get the book out before the movie and Jesse James Hollywood’s trial,” Mehas said.

“The best-case scenario is that my book sells 8 million copies, which I believe it’s going to do.

“I hope that the reading of the book helps to expand the mass consciousness toward my real concern here and that’s the death penalty and that people recognize the value of life — all life being important — and that Jesse James Hollywood should not be given death and Ryan Hoyt, the confessed shooter, not be given death.

“He’s presently on death row and I’d like to see him taken off death row,” the author said. “He does not deserve to die and I think the death penalty, in its intent, is not meant for someone like him.”

Jesse James Hollywood’s defense attorney James Blatt has done an amazing job attacking every aspect of the prosecution’s case. He’s done a wonderful job at helping keep known perjurers like Hollywood co-defendant Jesse Rugge off the stand. This case is winding down brilliantly as Mr. Blatt attempts to perform the impossible: convince the jury that his client Jesse James Hollywood had nothing to do with the murder of fifteen-year-old Nicholas Markowitz.

For the latest update on Alpha Dog Jesse James Hollywood, check out Los Angeles news radio station KFWB’s Lisa Osborne as she questions Stolen Boy about Jesse James Hollywood’s battle to the death.

Jesse James Hollywood’s defense attorney James Blatt considers the prosecution’s witnesses to be made up of liars and half-truth tellers all in the name of immunity. Judge for yourself. For the latest insights into Alpha Dog Jesse James Hollywood’s battle against death, check out Los Angeles news radio station KFWB’s Lisa Osborne as she questions Stolen Boy about who’s doing what to whom, and why they’re doing it.

Update #1

Update #2

Update #3

The pressure continues to build as the Santa Barbara, California prosecutor and Alpha Dog Jesse James Hollywood battle it out in the courtroom for the right to Jesse’s life. Los Angeles news radio station KFWB’s Lisa Osborne caught up with Stolen Boy for the latest updates on Hollywood’s battle to the death.

Update #1

Update #2

Update #3

With the trial grinding away in Santa Barbara, people continue to ask questions regarding which characters from Stolen Boy match up with which characters from Alpha Dog. The below chart should help.

CHARACTERS
Stolen Boy Alpha Dog Actor
Mickey Youngblood Johnny Truelove Emile Hirsch
Dick Youngblood Sonny Truelove Bruce Willis
Luke Ridnaur Frankie “Nuts” Ballenbacher Justin Timberlake
Bart Prey Elvis Schmidt Shawn Hatosy
Bobby Leblanc Zach Mazursky Anton Yelchin
Rick Leblanc Jake Mazursky Ben Foster
Max Leblanc Butch Mazursky David Thornton
Sharon Leblanc Olivia Mazursky Sharon Stone
Vegas Parsons     Keith Stratton Chris Marquette
John Barbados Tiko “TKO” Martinez Fernando Vargas
Hank Zitelli Bobby “911” Kaye Alex Solowitz
Denver Mattson Cosmo Gadabeeti Harry Dean Stanton
Rosy Kinski Susan Hartunian Dominique Swain
Nicole Babbette Angela Holden Olivia Wilde
Jasmine Violeta Wanda Haynes Heather Wahlquist

The feeling is stacked with a cocktail of emotions brandishing their wares on a daily gut-wrenching basis. The trial is finally here and so many seem to have forgotten its many lessons, while others have jumped back aboard this amazing trail of tragedy and redemption. For me, it’s been a flashback into presence and past, and a future that will dictate the fate of so many. Jesse James Hollywood’s trial is still being talked about in all corners of the globe, not only for its sensational reality, as depicted in Alpha Dog and Stolen Boy, but for it’s painful messages built into the fabric of human consciousness.

There are no winners as the Santa Barbara County District Attorney seeks to put Jesse James Hollywood to sleep for good. Right now, there are only losers. But history will play the ultimate medium in telling whether the many necessary lessons were learned by the celebrated masses who needed them most.

In the meantime, Los Angeles news radio station KFWB’s Lisa Osborne caught up with Stolen Boy for an update on the Jesse James Hollywood death penalty trial.

Since the start of the Jesse James Hollywood trial, needless to say, we have received some amazing letters and notes and comments. Some have been filled with hatred, while others have been amazingly positive and upbeat. Some, such as the one I have attached below, were so thoughtful, I felt the need to sit down, read it thrice, and tap into the many energies and emotions is stirred within. Please read what this amazing woman has asked, and let us know if you think we’re on the right track.

Dear Mr. Mehas,

I am a mother of several children biological and step and I have been reading your web site for quite sometime and I have to say that you are a great writer. But I have a few questions for you. These young men who kill because of something that embarrassed them or upset them in one way or another do you really believe that as they got older that maybe it still wouldn’t have happened? Do you believe that the young man who killed Larry King wouldn’t have killed later in life if a gay man had flirted with him? Do you believe Jesse James Hollywood wouldn’t have killed someone else’s loved one over a drug debt? Do you really believe that these young men no matter the age they were or are at the time of their crime deserve no jail time? I understand that the young man who killed Larry King walked through the school and class rooms to shoot him in the head; some would say that this is premeditated murder because at any time before the shooting he could have stopped and thought about what he was getting ready to do and not have gone through with it. I believe the same applies to Mr. Hollywood, at any given time he could have stopped the kidnapping and the murder of that young man. I also understand that both these young men had a bad childhood, but as we get older we can’t keep blaming our past on what we do in the future. I can say this because my childhood was not very good either. I was beaten on a regular basis by a drug and alcohol addicted mother, who also would pimp me out in order to get her drugs. But I did not let it effect my future. I have made some bad choices in my life with men, but I have lived and learned. But those bad choices were of my own doing and not anyone else’s. I have a mind of my own and know the difference between right and wrong; that is how the good Lord made us; to have a conscience to know the difference. I can also say all this because in 1996 my step son was murdered by his dad’s nieces’ husband because he (my son) called him a smart ass. And just recentl y my natural mother was murdered. I believe that in both of these instances that they could have been prevented if either of them would have searched their conscience. That is what separates people who can kill another human being and those who might think it, but never act on it. (Self defense excluded) So the way you believe is that as long as these people had bad upbringings then they should be spared any retribution. So since I had such a rotten upbringing I should be able to murder someone if they embarrassed me or someone owed me money. Please explain to me how this is right.

STOLEN BOY’S RESPONSE

Hello… Wow, what a letter!!! Thank you so much for taking the time and energy to address these very important questions. I want you to know that I was so impressed by your letter, in fact, that I’m going to run it in my next newsletter.

You have asked me much, and I will try to address your thoughts. I believe in energy. There is a whole energy pie out there, but we only consider what we see, feel, hear, and touch in the physical world. We don’t take into consideration the whole pie of man’s evolution, existence, and his return to the world of spirit. We only see what we see, and act upon it.

I don’t believe life bears any true accidents. We reap what we sew. Our present consciousness equals our ultimate reality. We are conditioned in life to deeply disturbing energies that create misery for ourselves. But these crisis can be jewels in life. They force us to look for a way to end the suffering. They force us to look inside, and to dwell on why we bring so much misery. If we look deep enough, we will begin to touch base with the negative spiritual unconsciousness that pervades us. This is what creates misery that surrounds us.

But let’s throw in the collective consciousness, and the collective pain of the egoic mind. Women bear much of this, as do the African race and those of Jewish origin. As do Native Americans and many cultures that have been raped and tortured and brutalized through the eons. This adds to our collective dysfunction that is seen running rampant throughout the planet. This is what we must overcome, one person at a time. You and I can change the collective pie by taking care of our business. By spreading consciousness from its divine source, instead of filtering it through the egoic mind (thought and emotion), we not only expand our positive consciousness and influence, we deplete the collective negativity on the planet. I don’t need to worry about putting Brandon McInerney in prison for the rest of his life. The universe will take care of Brandon. But I do care about you, and all the others out there in search of answers. This is who I’m trying to reach.

And, last, but certainly not least, there is a fine line between victim hood and perpetratorship. The negative energies that go into both conditions attract the negativity of the opposite energies, feeding off of each other. Have you read Eckhart Tolle? He very well explains all of this.

Hope this helps to build a bridge of understanding, and I do feel all the suffering you have experienced in your life. But as you sit here, right now, this very moment, your consciousness can recognize the bliss. And if you do this 24/7, your egoic mind will stop bringing negativity from past and future into your most powerful moment, right now.

Love and Blessings,

Michael

We sit down and we go through life and we make observations. Based on what we see or hear or the way it makes us feel, we have been conditioned to make judgments upon others, to label people and things in our minds’ eye. Our egos need this to classify what we perceive, to shelve it in the drawers of our brains, and to be able to separate us from everything that surrounds us. This is what egos are good for; they like to separate. We are all guilty of this, because this is what we’ve been conditioned to do. We love or hate, agree with or disagree with, appreciate or don’t appreciate something and this is what colors our view of this thing or that person forever in our minds, until we change it.

This is exactly what the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office has done with the Jesse James Hollywood case from its inception. They’ve labeled Jesse as a drug kingpin, a kidnapper, a street hood, a cold-blooded killer. And now, he’s being called a coward by people with an agenda, by public servants who don’t really know who this kid was or is, who have a staked interest in where he goes. And, I must tell you right here and now, there is much more to Jesse James Hollywood and his story than can be put in a six-letter word.

BEING AFRAID IS NOT THE SAME AS BEING A COWARD

One of the biggest pulls I felt in needing to write Stolen Boy, was the fact that I believed the labels that had been placed on Hollywood and his five co-defendants during five years of media oriented mass demonization (while Hollywood had been on the run) had been inaccurate. My feelings were based on all the incredible materials I had received from Santa Barbara County Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen (while I worked on the movie Alpha Dog) and all the interviews I had conducted in following up with Stolen Boy. After finally going through the volumes of materials I had accrued, including those from law enforcement officials, I understood immediately that this case was not what law enforcement had portended it to be.

Unfortunately, this realization had not really formulated in my mind while working with my childhood best friend Nick Cassavetes on Alpha Dog. It probably didn’t really begin to gel until the amazing afternoon sessions I’d spent with Nick Markowitz’s brother, Ben. This is when I really began to understand why all this took place. Why six families’ lives had to be destroyed. Why Jesse James Hollywood was facing death squarely in the face. And this was what drove me to write Stolen Boy. I hoped to better clarify the record, to make available to the public eye more truth in who these kids were and what motivated them to do what they did.

Whatever Jesse is ultimately found to have done, I believe the jurors will realize that these crimes were not committed through cowardice. These guys all acted through the negative primordial emotion of fear. Fear for self. Fear for life. Fear for family. And, maybe most importantly, the fear of discovering the truth of who these kids really were.

Any idea what your most powerful moment is? Was it yesterday, last week, the day you were born? Or could it be in the future: tomorrow, next year, or the day we return to our maker? Jesse James Hollywood never really figured out the answer to this question. Nor do most others. You can tell by the problems they have, the difficulties under which they tread through life.

I don’t believe Jesse’s alleged victim, Nick Markowitz, had the answer either. Nor did alleged fourteen-year-old child-killer Brandon McInerney or his alleged victim, fifteen-year-old Larry King. Nor did their families or the major influences in their lives. They didn’t realize something that took over four decades for this author to recognize. And that is this: that our most powerful moment, at all times, whether considering the past, future, or present, is right now.

POINTLESSNESS OF PAST AND FUTURE

At this moment, we have no control over the past. It is a mere pond of memories, energies stored in the world of form and mind. The future? That’s all it is. It is the future. It is not right now. The world of energy and God-consciousness swirls around us at all times, but we act as if we don’t realize this. Because our minds love to identify with form, and the thought forms of negative past or stressful future often prove too enticing to let go of.

We tend to bring into the present too much thought of negative experiences that have colored our past, shaded our present, and often destroys our futures. Jesse had this problem. He couldn’t get over the fact that his former best-buddy, Ben Markowitz, would punk him around. It ate him up. It deflated his ego. It required him to seek a violent end to his internal conflict.

Same for Brandon McInerney. His mind had been so inflated with negative feelings about the type of person Larry King was, and the actions Larry King made, that he supposedly shot Larry in the head twice at point-blank range in their morning classroom. These poor souls, and so many others like them, never figured out how to enjoy life. But you can. And here’s how.

TIPS INTO THE NOW

Use every moment you get to experience in life to count your blessings. Put the energy and thoughts and feelings into what you do have, what you presently maintain control over, not what your mind says is missing. Be appreciative of those many blessings life provides at all times that we so often take for granted. Feel the warmth of the sun upon the face, the smell of flowers and love in the air, the internal grace and beauty of each person who has shared the love – and issues – with you in life.

Sure, you’ve probably had problems in the past with many of these people, but so what? Right now is all you have. So make the best of it. Look at them, all of them, and let the grace from within emanate from every pore of your existence. Recognize that, Yes, we are created from the same thread of life. That we are both born into the world of form, and we shall both one day expire into dust and earth. Yet, we are eternal creatures fruited from the same vine of godly manifestation. That we are connected to all that is, and this will never change. That we were put on this planet to create and to generate and to learn the universal lessons that form and life bring into our Being. That we are here to love and to cherish, not destroy the love that surrounds us. That we are here to share in life’s blessings, not generate the pain and suffering that emanates on a planet so badly in need of balance.