So what does it take to get people's attention in Broward County nowadays?
Apparently, a lot more than dumping a corpse in your backyard.
The Broward Sheriff's Office says Samuel Nesbitt and Richard Isaac, housemates at 2844 NW Sixth Ct. in unincorporated Broward, got into a fight in June resulting in Isaac's death. No big deal. Nesbitt allegedly dragged Isaac's body into the backyard and went on with his life. According to sheriff's detectives, Nesbitt went to and from work and spent the ensuing weekend socializing as the body of his murdered roommate decomposed in the backyard.
How was your weekend?
Ah, same-o same-o.
You stayed home and vegged?
Sorta. I killed my roommate.
Groovy. Whadja do with the body?
Nothing, really. Dumped it in the backyard.
But, of course, Tailpipe, as is this cynical car part's habit, extrapolates.
BSO detectives believe it all started on Thursday, June 12, with a physical altercation related to drugs. The fight escalated, detectives say, and the 48-year-old Nesbitt stabbed the 54-year-old Isaac. The next day, one of Nesbitt's co-workers, Johnny Johnson, 61, stopped by to pick Nesbitt up for work. Isaac's body, on its right side, with the head pointing west, was in full view. A BSO news release says Johnson saw the body but "didn't think anything of it."
Johnson returned Monday morning — five days after the murder — and saw Isaac's body again. It hadn't moved since Friday morning.
Hmmm. Something's not right there.
Johnson, who told the cops he thought the body was just a homeless guy sleeping out in the yard, finally called 911. Police say that by the time they got to the scene, the blazing summer sun had expedited the decomposition and the left side of Isaac's rib cage was already exposed.
This past Sunday morning, a couple sat in front of the white box house where Isaac and Nesbitt had lived. There was a "For Rent" sign on the lawn.
The man, who declined to give his name, said he had no knowledge of the crime. But the woman said that it was, in fact, her cousin who had summoned authorities after noticing a powerful smell emanating from the backyard. She said that the cousin had come to take Isaac, not Nesbitt, to work.
"I hear Richard [Isaac] was a big-time cook at one of the hotels," she said.
What about Nesbitt? "He never had a job," she said.
Court records show Nesbitt with a lengthy criminal record going back more than 20 years and including charges of assault, grand theft, burglary, and cocaine possession.
After exhaustive crime-scene analysis, Nesbitt was arrested for the murder. This was two months after Isaac's death. Detectives believe Nesbitt had been selling Isaac's belongings to buy drugs. Now you're attracting attention, son. Nesbitt has been charged with murder.
But Wait! There's More!
Who says South Florida has lost the spark of creativity?
A dentist from Delray Beach put on his thinking cap recently and came up with a solution to a stubborn, embarrassing problem. His invention is a kind of mouth guard. You know. Football players use them. So do boxers and teeth grinders. They're soft plastic devices that keep your teeth from smashing into each other, coming loose, or plain falling out.
Practical, right? Now, imagine one of them with a tab that protrudes in front of the lips. Inside this tab, our dentist/inventor has inserted a tiny vibrating cylinder. Imagine the oral possibilities for this little novelty item if used properly in the bedroom.
Kinky? Well, duh. In Tailpipe's book, it's one kinky million-dollar idea.
Dr. Joe is a bona fide dentist with a practice in Palm Beach County. Because of the sexual nature of his vibrating invention, Dr. Joe asked the 'Pipe not to publish his last name. But he's happy to explain how the idea came about.
A few years back, Dr. Joe had a female patient with a special problem. Her upper and lower dentures rattled when she performed oral sex on her boyfriend. Dr. Joe suggested she simply take the dentures out. "He'll love that!" the good dentist remembers saying in an encouraging tone. But the suggestion left the poor woman distraught. Her boyfriend, she said, didn't know that she wore false teeth.
The ever-helpful Dr. Joe made her a soft night guard to fit over her false teeth. The patient — and her love interest, Tailpipe assumes — were thrilled with the results.
As time went by, though, Dr. Joe couldn't get that interaction out of his head. Think of the lewd permutations. Think of the oral possibilities. Why not mass-produce a sex toy, throwing in a little vibrating action? Dr. Joe christened his fellatio aid "Blowguard" ("taking the job out of blowjobs"). Brilliant. Dr. Joe and his wife have each left the vibrating object in place for 30 minutes at a time, and their fillings and caps are intact. The swinger crowd, especially the geriatric subset, has embraced the product, Dr. Joe says.
"This is a unique, revolutionary product," he says in his best sales-pitch mode ($27.95 at www.blowguard.com).
So right here, let's dispel the notion that South Floridians spend all their idle time playing beer pong, lying around in tanning salons, or getting their breasts and penises surgically enlarged. People are thinking. Big problems are being solved in your own neighborhood.
Lies. All Lies.
Consider the story of Cain and Abel, the world's first murder. In the Bible, there's no description anywhere of precisely how Cain killed his brother (though, God knows, the Good Book has never been known for its attention to details like that).
Now flash-forward to the 1930s. A little boy's father dies during a robbery. In this case also, no murder weapon is ever retrieved. To cope with his fear and loss, the little boy retreats into his imagination, where he conjures up the idea of a bulletproof man. The boy's name is Jerry Siegel, and he goes down in history as the inventor of Superman.
Here's where your imagination really has to step up. Consider that these elements have something to do with each other and that common themes — the search for murder weapons, the quest for ancient knowledge, the genesis of superheroes — collide in, of all places, modern-day Fort Lauderdale. That's right — an epic showdown between good and evil begins somewhere near Broward Boulevard. Now you're sort of getting the gist of best-selling author Brad Meltzer's latest novel, The Book of Lies.
Meltzer gets what you're probably thinking: "If that doesn't sound like a ridiculous premise, I don't know what does."
But the Hollywood resident, a master of mixing the real with the fantastic, knows what he's doing. He has written seven novels; written scripts for Buffy the Vampire Slayer; authored comic books; penned story arcs for Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Green Arrow; and even invented his own bad guy (Dr. Impossible!). The man knows how to spin a preposterously engrossing tale.
Meltzer let the 'Pipe pick his brain during a recent coffeeshop rendezvous.
Tailpipe: Your writing has some very concrete imagery. Like, in the first chapter of your new book, the mom slips and slits her neck on the broken mayonnaise jar; then you cut to the scared little kid, and a trickle of urine runs down his leg.
Meltzer: Yeah, it's a movie in my head. I can see every scene. I story-board the whole thing in my head. I don't see words; I see pictures. About half my books are dialogue. I've always done that — if I had to write a paper about Freud and Erickson, they'd be talking to each other, having a picnic, getting in a fistfight. My teacher at Highland Oaks Jr. High School [in North Miami Beach] — Mrs. Spicer — let me write like that. To be myself.
For The Book of Fate, you interviewed former presidents to find out about the real-life tunnel system under the White House. What Fort Lauderdale locales are in Book of Lies?
Fort Lauderdale Beach, restaurants on Las Olas.
One of your main characters is a dog. John Grogan sold a gazillion copies of Marley & Me with a really cute picture of a dog on the cover.
Now you tell me.
Your protagonist is a homeless advocate. Is that based on anything?
I spent a lot of time going around Fort Lauderdale in a van with a formerly homeless guy named Courtney — one name, like Madonna! These people doing homeless outreach are saving lives on a daily basis. They are our superheroes — only they don't wear underwear on the outside of their pants.