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Jaco Incorporated

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To Rutherford, the issue is too important to leave in the hands of a corporation he sees thwarting every grass-roots celebration of Jaco's life. "It's been 19 years, and they've done nothing."

Mary counters, however, that JPI is "100 percent for... dedicating a park in our father's honor. The notion that JPI is against the proposed Jaco Pastorius park is absurd."

But Holly Spillane, Julius and Felix's aunt, who spent years with the family before and after Jaco's demise, says: "The corporation has the responsibility to control decisions about the park, that's understood. But they're not really collaborating with the project, so it seems like they're trying to prevent it."

Constantine still hopes for success. A park mural painted by a local artist with images of Jaco. A dedication ceremony and concert with the Pastorius kids reunited. "I know when we do this event," she says, "all four will be here."

The Martial Artist
For the first time, the man who ended Jaco's life speaks about it.

Last year, in a web forum, a Jaco Pastorius fan revealed that he'd tracked down Luc Havan, the man whose punch killed Jaco and who subsequently served only a few months in prison for manslaughter.

Now a real estate agent in Palm Beach County, Havan says he is occasionally contacted by the curious and the angry. "I had people ask me if I was the guy," he says over the phone from his office. "I didn't want to add fuel to the fire, so I just disregarded [them]."

But Havan says he doesn't get harassed, despite the notoriety of his past. "In all these years, I've never run into anyone who's come up and said, 'You're him.'"

Earlier on the night of September 11, 1987, Pastorius had climbed onstage during a Santana concert and was escorted outside. According to Bill Milkowski's biography, Jaco: The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius, the bass player had also engaged in a drunken confrontation with his ex-girlfriend, Teresa Nagell. Later, he was in Wilton Manors, stumbling into the Midnight Bottle Club.

"I just said, 'Listen, you're too drunk. You can't come in,'" recalls Havan, who says he also extended a peace offering. "But come back tomorrow night, not all drunk like tonight, and everything is on me."

Havan says he told employee Cristy Eaton to cover Jaco's tab the next time they saw him sober. "Because I knew who he was, and I'd heard how he gets when people don't recognize him and things."

With that, Havan says he turned around and walked away. "But he started to hit me, and I had a knee-jerk reaction, and I hit him. I tried to tell him to leave it on a good note, but, you know..."

At the time, Jaco had made himself unwelcome at almost every other watering hole in the area. "That's probably why he got mad at me telling him I couldn't let him in," Havan guesses. "I'd heard he was living on the street."

Havan remembers throwing a punch that hit Jaco's left temple. "That's where I admitted to hitting him, and that's where he got hit. But his major fracture was on the right side when he fell. The other side of his head hit the ledge by the door."

It's the story Havan has maintained from the beginning. But another witness told police Havan had actually pummeled Pastorius, and the man's injuries — his teeth had come through his lips — were too ferocious to have come from a simple fall.

Jaco was hospitalized in a coma for days before he died on September 19. Havan faced a second-degree murder charge, which could have earned him 25 years in prison. "At the time, I was 25; I'd never been in trouble, so it really scared me." Havan instead got two years for involuntary manslaughter. He explains that he spent just under eight months behind bars, then served five years' probation.

"A person who wasn't an alcoholic or drug addict but was of average health would have recuperated, because it wasn't that bad of an injury," Havan says. "But because he was in bad health living on the street and not eating a good diet, it made it worse."

Havan hasn't made an attempt to apologize to the family since his time in court, saying he doesn't want to bother them after his first attempt was rebuffed.

"The apology is as much to apologize to them as to make me feel better," he says. "Dealing with life after being involved with this is as important as their loss."

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Jeff Stratton
Contact: Jeff Stratton