Westword connects the dots: Hancock, Prostitutes, Break-in


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A few days ago a few rumblings started about Mayor-Elect Hancock possibly buying services from a prostitute.  While the story didn’t have all the proof, it was covered by Westword, which I believe is still the 2nd biggest newspaper in town.

If that was the only coverage, it probably would have died there.

A few days later, however, another credible media outlet covered a break-in at the home of a former pimp (escort service operator, but let’s call a spade a spade).

From there it got more interesting

So we have a newly elected government official accused of criminal activity, and a known criminal has his house broken into and files stolen.

The 7 news piece doesn’t quite make the connection though…who might have been in that little black book?

Re-enter Westword, who has always been more willing to go out on a limb with a scandal than some other Denver media outlets.  Westword decides it’s time to lay it out on the table, putting both stories together along with more on the twisted tale:

Michael Hancock’s election took place against a bizarre backdrop. A Complete Colorado piece alleging a link between Hancock and the Denver Players prostitution ring that brought down Judge Edward Nottingham was ignored by mainstreamers, but it blew up on talk radio. On Monday, KHOW’s Peter Boyles met the story’s source: ex-Denver Players owner Scottie Ewing, whose records-filled computer was reported stolen later that day.

Did I mention these files were allegedly stolen the day before election day?  

So it’s clear at this point that this isn’t just a one day story.  Where it goes from here, however, is still debatable, and probably dependent on a couple things: was there a back-up copy of the files?  Who has the originals?  

The logical answer is that if the prostitute story is true then someone tied to the Mayor-Elect swiped them to protect Hancock, but could it be the case that someone else swiped them to blackmail him?  Also, who else was on that list?  Could another “customer” have decided it would be a good time to make it disappear when the attention would logically turn to Hancock?

Regardless of the exact details on this story, the recent break-in and continual coverage around the periphery of the story make me think of the old adage — where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Polsters — your thoughts?  (Poll follows)

Where does this go from here?

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44 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ClubTwitty says:

    The logical answer is that if the prostitute story is true then someone tied to the Mayor-Elect swiped them to protect Hancock…

    where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

  2. John Tzekara says:

    I say as much when I say “if the prostitute story is true.”  I gave a poll option for it not being true for just that reason.

    Given the multiple stories on the issue, I think it’s totally appropriate to speculate.  There are facts we can extrapolate from.  Isn’t this a website for conversation about news topics of the day?

  3. RedGreenRedGreen says:

    Did you notice how oddly the major outlets covered the break-in story? Some of them even put “stolen” in quotation marks, the supposition being that the “burglary” was staged. There are any number of outlandish scenarios we can imagine, and Hancock “stealing” the files the day before the election is probably one of the least likely. But it sure is an interesting development.

    • droll says:

      or whatever it was supposed to be. They couldn’t break the story because the source wasn’t readily available. I don’t know if they didn’t want to be identified, or if they were busy running from the unicorns and evil elves in their imaginary world where imaginary people live.

      Anyway, the only way left to really verify it was to get Ewing to cough it up. So as an investigative reporter, I might be skeptical.

      All that being said, I’m still not sure of the motive. For the initial (this year anyway) leak so close to the election. The blogger walking away from it while saying it’s a big deal. For a fake theft. Either we’re too stupid to see the big picture, or this is the worst conspiracy to take down a mayor evah. Or it’s just random shit.

  4. Leonard Smalls says:

    The “source” trashed the “evidence” so the story can never be confirmed or disproven.

    The Hancock story brought the existence of the lists to the attention of an enterprising individual who thinks some cash can be made by possessing it.

  5. Whiskey Lima JulietWhiskey Lima Juliet says:

    And wouldn’t all this be in police files from the Nottingham case?

    • droll says:

      But then I started researching it. Nottingham was never charged. If he had been, soliciting prostitution is a misdemeanor in Colorado. It almost certainly wouldn’t have been enough to impeach him. He stepped down because it was one scandal too many.

      The two “johns” caught up in this case originally were outed by leaks from someone close to the business. Just like Hancock allegedly was. And FWIW, this does seem to be the second time it’s been suggested he was on the list. Whether that adds credence or just suggests that he has a longtime enemy is anyone’s guess.

      The pending case isn’t for prostitution at all, it’s for tax evasion. As far as I know the business is still running as a flat “escort” business, strip club, or something. The little black book and its copies belong to the business and ultimately have little to nothing to do with the IRS case. DPD has been done with it for a long time.

      I’m not aware of knowing anyone who frequents prostitutes and tend to connect it with Colfax stings. In my mind it’s kind of a big deal. Like how these people are always arrested on COPS. Apparently that’s just my quaint worldview.

      • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

        It should not be dismissed by anyone, especially not by liberals who claim to value women’s rights. If Hancock is indeed connected to the Denver Players it is very serious for him.

        This burglary is very, very suspicious…

        • droll says:

          That doesn’t make it a magical felony. The major “john” here was a Bush appointee. So go complain to him.

          Also, fuck off. I’m not the one “dismissing” a prostitution charge. I believe, in the post you responded to, I said I think it’s a big deal.

        • nancycronknancycronk says:

          completely agree with you, Arap. In real life, I just organized to support the  John’s bill which will now attach a $5000 fine to soliciting a prostitute, or give the john an opportunity to go to a class to learn about human trafficking, instead. The sexist days of wink-wink prostitootsies is over. Young girls get kidnapped, addicted to drugs, and forced into the industry in alarming numbers (we had many provide support for, and sometimes testimony for, the bill). Slavery is not sexy.

          • AristotleAristotle says:

            it wouldn’t be slavery.

            As usual, the best option is to go against the moral scolds who want to control adult behavior.

            • droll says:

              Anyway, it’s a bit of a thread jack all around. :)

              Seriously though, in many cases we’re talking about children. Very often we’re talking about at-risk individuals. As long as you have violent people clearing clients, it’s going to be violent slavery. Even now if you approach a police officer in hopes of getting away from a pimp they’ll help you, not arrest you. The problem is that ultimately this person will track down their “property” and make an example out of them.

              In Canada the type of prostitution you’re probably talking about is legal. Just two people meeting and agreeing on a price, back to the privacy of their own space, no problem. They still have all the joys of the symptoms that we do.

              I don’t know what the answer is, but just saying “legal” isn’t really fixing a problem. Unless you’re the john apparently. But strippers usually have similar problems and that’s nice and legal…

              To summarize my babble; legalization fine, but won’t “free” a significant number of prostitutes. For that we need education. It’d be nice if it could be done BEFORE people become prostitutes/drug addicts/whatever. Is it too ironic to say make lawyers, not whores? You know what I mean.

              And certainly we all support a society where children are not lost. In this way or any other.

              • AristotleAristotle says:

                and even with legalized and regulated prostitution, the illegal kind likely would still be around. And of course, I didn’t say what my vision of legalized prostitution would look like.

                The solution for that would be to bring back all the social services the right hates because they’d rather sit in judgment than lift a finger to help at risk youth, as well as have a large coordinated police task force dedicated to finding and breaking those rings. But I think allowing legalized prostitution would go a long way toward alleviating the situation as well.

                One thing that’s largely forgotten is that illegal immigrants, usually Asian women (but I believe women from former Soviet republics are well represented too) who are smuggled in after being kidnapped, sold, or tricked into it, are also victims here. You can’t provide them the same services and opportunities that American children, even those living in desperation, have (even if those opportunities and services may be more theoretical that real). Don’t know what the solution there might be, other than law enforcement.

                • droll says:

                  Sigh. My solution is to make everyone be decent. <— My first officially political stance. It fixes everything and I have no way to make it so.

                  Anyway, everything else I have just runs us back to here. So sigh again.

                  BUT if I find out Hancock really did hire a prostitute, I’m going to his office every single day to yell loudly about his shit policies through the door. Every event will be heckled. Sometimes these things are personal decisions and that’s that. Sometimes crappy people run as the Nice Guy and refuse to discuss policy whatsoever. If the latter is you, don’t hire hookers. It’s just not nice.

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          but Denver isn’t likely to ever have a Republican Mayor in either of our lifetimes . . . just sayin’.

          Now, have you got any concerns about the Japanese whaling fleets . . . ?

  6. ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

    Or maybe he faked the break-in to avoid having to provide them to someone.

    Or maybe someone thought they were a map to buried treasure.

    I’m disappointed in Hancock as a candidate, but I’m hoping he’ll pleasantly surprise me as Mayor. The “document” released didn’t strike me as proof of anything if unauthenticated and since the original is now stolen it seems unlikely that it ever will be.

    • droll says:

      He made me dislike Romer less and look forward to Arkansas.

      But to the authentication… How would anyone anyway? I could make a book tonight with every politician I wanted in it. Unless Hancock admitted it, like Nottingham did, it’s unlikely that this would ever go anywhere. Unless a prostitute showed up with a very nice baby and a DNA test.

      • ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

        There are non-baby options, phone records, a credit card used unwisely once, testimony, dirty underwear inexplicably saved for several years… but probably all of those either didn’t exist in the first place or were destroyed when things started coming out.

        Not to mention that seeing an “escort” isn’t illegal. Even if he got nailed to the wall having definitely had one in his company, he could claim he just needed a massage or something. He’d still look like (and be) a giant sleazeball for getting a massage from an escort instead of a massage therapist, but that’s not a crime.

        I think it’ll either come out to be a lie or just fade away.

        • MADCO says:

          The “dots” are not connected.  Just a bunch of names of colorful characters who make a living in, around or on the edge of the sex industry.   Facts should emerge from the IRS investigation and trial, but probably not the kind of facts Westword and Boyles are hoping for.  

          It’s been fifteen years and Boyles is still trying to convict Patsy Ramsay even though she died.  

          He’s trying to exonerate Cory Voorheis and by extension the Beauprez campaign for breaking the law.  He’s still trying to embarrass Ritter for the hungarian stalker dude or whatever other rumors he’s got.

          In fifteen years, Boyles will still be trying to find the escort who could positively id Hancock and speculating wildly with or without facts.  

  7. ohwilleke says:

    is that the Denver Police Department has, at least on the surface, made an all out effort to investigate this with DNA evidence and CSI work worthy of a homicide.  This is not the typical response to a run of the mill burglary.

  8. ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

    Interesting.

  9. Ray SpringfieldRay Springfield says:

    She has agreed to plead to tax evasion in July.The US Justice department filed a racketeering case against her. They plead out the pimp to testuiy against her if she would go to trial.That charge stll stands until she goes to court.She was indicted one week after the elections last year after a Federal Grand Jury returned it’s findings many months before.

    This isn’t just a local police matter.

    The burglary and the announcement of the plea deal for Stewart are just “coincidental.”

    There are a lot more dots tban just Hancock. He’s the side show.

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