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.

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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.