With all the Boca-based financial fraud lately, one's liable to wonder about the characters who occupy that town's upper crust. But with Father's Day coming this month, let's consider exempting one member of that society from our suspicion: Kenneth Blum, Sr.
The 82-year-old co-founder of United Health Care and former chairman of Rent-A-Wreck, the used car rental company, Blum's a rich man. But Blum had the misfortune of crossing paths with a reprobate named Bill Bond, the subject of Sunday's Washington Post Magazine cover story.
For those not registered, or who don't want to click through a long article, suffice to say that, as a teen, Bond murdered his father and that, based on the article, he seems to be approximately as narcissistic and shallow as Patrick Bateman, the American Psycho character. Here's an excerpt of the Post article:
Bond now stands 5-feet-8 and is a sturdy 180 pounds, with thickly muscled calves and forearms chiseled by biweekly boxing workouts, distance cycling and Ping-Pong lessons with a former Soviet national team coach. He has a round face with a sharp nose and piercing blue eyes that disappear behind wrap-around Oakley sunglasses when he guns his high-performance BMW M3 sports car on the curving roads north of his home.
Forty-five and balding, he no longer flaunts the flowing blond locks that once made him look a bit like the tennis star Björn Borg. He has a sardonic wit and a confiding way of smiling that suggests he has a secret to tell. He flirts habitually.
Hmm. Sounds loathsome! But wait till you hear what happens when Bond meets Blum's daughter.
Rather than go the traditional route of asking Blum's permission for his daughter's hand in marriage, Bond introduced himself with what appears to be an extortion attempt:
In March 1996, Bond sent Blum an extraordinary letter -- later disclosed in court -- asking for a "dowry" before he would marry Alyson. Along with the dowry, Bond asked for a studio apartment, a salary to compensate him for helping Alyson with her family problems and the promise of a severance package if the marriage broke up. "You can pay me now or pay me later," he said.
Dick! Anyway, go on.
All this would be "a safeguard," Bond wrote, "to ensure that all parties are operating with the premise of true love and commitment." He described his future wife as "still very much a child ... ill-suited to work for herself, or to be in charge of three needy children who are adept at manipulating her." He also wrote that he "had a past" that makes "interesting reading."
That last part a reference to Bond's manuscript in which he describes killing his father, an act he ascribes to his own "vanity."
Blum told the Post, "At best, I would say he's very strange."
In a very strange effort to defend himself, Bond told the newspaper that he was merely mocking what he claimed was Blum's slugging the last son-in-law. Good dad that he is, Blum hired a private investigator, according to the article, and discovered Bond's gruesome past. But it was too late to head off the wedding.
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Despite her father's fury, Alyson married Bond on May 8, 2001. Around that time, the investigator hit pay dirt. He acquired a copy of the manuscript from the widow of Bond's former attorney. That discovery, along with the investigator's acquisition of Bond's Ohio juvenile record -- which Bond says should have been kept under seal -- set off a chain of events that has played out in Maryland courts ever since. The grudge match between Bond and Blum has cost Bond more than $600,000 in legal fees and threatened his financial stability.
A costly investment, to be sure, but to the extent this article revealed Bond's true character, it seems Blum got the last laugh. Happy Father's Day!
Predictably, Bond is getting divorced from Blum's daughter and is presently looking for more matrimonial prey.
Mrs. Right would resemble the wife of agent Ari Gold on the HBO show "Entourage" -- "minus the temper," Bond says. Or, maybe, the Playboy model and actress Shauna Sand "sans the insecurity.
"When I put all these qualifications into Match.com, I had zero matches for the entire United States, which made me laugh very hard, then cry," Bond says. He didn't put "father killer" into his Match.com profile. But he knows that label is with him forever.