Profile of a Predator

Tennis pro Paul Edwards hustles both on and off the court

After their divorce, Theresa Edwards says, she has watched plan after plan, promise after promise, and dream after dream go wrong. Sometimes, Theresa says, she has wondered if her ex-husband suffers from bipolar disorder. In court documents filed in October 1991, she complained that he reneged on promises he made at their divorce. She paid $6000 to keep the Oakland Park condo out of foreclosure as well as $4900 to SunTrust Bank to avoid a lawsuit over credit-card debt. Other creditors were threatening action, Theresa Edwards says. In addition, Paul was behind in child-support payments by more than $10,000.

In a spasm of remorse, Paul vowed to the court in November 1991 that he would pay $9000 before the close of the year. He even suggested punishment should he fail: "the debtor of the said money is to be executed with AIDS in the Broward County Jail. So help him God," he wrote in his response to the complaint.

Although he didn't have a full-time job, Paul Edwards had found a calling of sorts in the late 1980s, caring for an elderly disabled man, also a Czech native. Anthony Mach assigned Edwards power of attorney in January 1987, when the retired office clerk was 81 years of age. After his divorce, Edwards moved into Mach's apartment. Theresa Edwards remembers how gentle her former husband was with Mach. He bathed and fed him, she says. To her, Paul described it as a father-son relationship. "He does have a very sensitive side to him," Theresa says.

At 78 years of age and hobbled by a stroke, Luise Buettner spends most of her time in an apartment at the Noble surrounded by a collection of dolls and smiling gnomes
Colby Katz
At 78 years of age and hobbled by a stroke, Luise Buettner spends most of her time in an apartment at the Noble surrounded by a collection of dolls and smiling gnomes

Details

Dramatis Personae

Luise Buettner
motel owner

Heinrich
her son

Paul Joseph Edwards/Pavel Josef Placek
Buettner's "caretaker"

Theresa Edwards
lawyer, Edwards's ex-wife

Susan Cerny
Heinrich's ex-girlfriend and mother of his three daughters

At the time Edwards took over Mach's affairs, the elderly Czech had paid off a Fort Lauderdale apartment that today is appraised at $145,120. He quitclaimed the property to Edwards in 1988 (although Mach would retain control until his death). According to Broward County records, Edwards and Mach then took out a $50,000 loan on the property in 1988 and a $55,000 loan in 1989. In 1990, the then-84-year-old Mach remarried. His chosen: Paul Edwards's mother, Eliska, then age 68. When Mach signed his name granting power of attorney to Edwards, Eliska served as a witness, and Mach's handwriting wobbled. When Mach signed the marriage certificate, he was unable to find the line on the page and scrawled parts of his name sideways on the signature line.

In October 1991, the same month that Theresa Edwards filed her complaint with the court, Edwards remarried. This wife was also a local attorney. Paul Edwards's marriage to Kathryn Ann Keating lasted from October 1991 to June 17, 1993. Keating could not be reached for comment.

On September 22, 1992, Mach died in the Czech Republic. By that time, the banks had foreclosed on Mach's property for lack of payment. After Mach's death, Edwards's mother began receiving a $500-per-month Social Security check as Mach's widow.

On September 13, 1994, Paul Edwards married again. In March 1996, Carol Ann Ready sought a divorce from Edwards "based on repeated deceitfulness, lack of financial support and verbal abuse," she wrote the court. Ready also sought a domestic-violence restraining order against her husband. The day after she broached the subject of divorce, Ready wrote, Edwards threatened her, "in front of my mother, he said that 'he is trained by the KGB to use his hands to kill' and plans to kill me.... I believe he plans to kill me."

In a response to Ready's complaint, dated May 7, 1996, Edwards characterized his bride as jealous, deluded, and unable to control her bodily functions. He alleged Ready assaulted him in a jealous rage after an ex-girlfriend telephoned. Edwards said that Ready jumped on him as he sat in a recliner in the condominium the couple shared and "grabbed my neck and tried to twist my head in an effort to break my neck...." Then, he said, she "urinated on me, which she always does when she is excited." He added: "She once managed to urinate in my face just to disturb a special moment between us." A judge issued a restraining order and granted a no-contest divorce on April 25, 1996.

Allegations of violence trailed Edwards into his next relationship. A year to the month after his divorce from Ready, Edwards met Susan Pasos at the Bimini Boatyard in Fort Lauderdale, according to a bizarre narrative of the relationship contained on a computer diskette that Edwards left at Buettner's motel. The document's purpose seems to be to absolve Edwards of responsibility for any physical injuries Pasos suffered during the relationship. It is not signed.

Dated September 15, 1998, the statement provides a doubtful description of how Pasos was injured. In one incident, for instance, it states that she fell down and hit her head on a glass table. Police arrested Edwards on a charge of domestic violence on September 10, 1998, at the couple's home in Boca Raton. Accompanying the statement is a second narrative, apparently by Edwards (though also unsigned), detailing his debt to Pasos: $10,000 in credit-card bills, $3781 in furniture purchased from Rooms to Go, stolen Social Security payments, and food stamps. Edwards acknowledges he failed to buy Pasos a $145,000 car he promised her and a $340,000 house. To settle the matter, Edwards agreed to pay Pasos $100,000.

At the close of his inventory, Edwards gives himself an out. An addendum reads: "Dictated by Susan Pasos to Paul Edwards on Tuesday, September 15, 1998, at 10 p.m., under the threat that if he would not type everything exactly as she said it, she would call police and tell them that Paul assaulted her and tried to kill her."

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