So... I use to know this guy. We were roommates, briefly, down in New Orleans in this giant haunted (heh) house on St. Charles Ave. He was quite the odd fellow, with modest pride. Toby.
I met him on the front porch of a mutual friend over on Constantinople St. He was staying with the chick, who's name I now forget, but not Toby. If I recall correctly, he had just moved back to New Orleans from Seattle. (He liked to go back and forth between the two cities.)
He looked like a filthy surfer dude from California (Northern, not Southern) - chin length stringy beach blonde hair, blue eyes, perpetual tan. He had a wicked smile, but with no actual evil intent. He wouldn't even kill a roach. He did, however, have a passion for the evil. Mainly - serial killers. He collected their art. Wrote about them. Befriended them. He even created a board game - Let's Play - http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/visualart/348657_deadlygame25.html !!!
He and I clicked over the common focus we shared on the West Memphis Three (WM3.org). He was "friends" (prison type pen pals), with Damien Echols. Eventually, he would make introductions between Damien and myself, which was much appreciated and correspondence between us, for a time, commenced.
I always had the morbid interest in serial killers... Toby was just someone who took it many more steps further than I. He collected their art. He corresponded with them. He took calls from them, visited them, pursued them. His top three conquests - Charles Manson, Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer. He was planning to go up to try and see if he could get a visit with Dahmer, but... well, we all know how that story ended soon after his incarceration.
Anyso, he and I took refuge in this old house on St Charles Ave. It use to be a gentleman's quarters for traveling salesmen types to there were a few residents. Anne Rice made a big stink about us because apparently she grew up across the street from it, and it inspired her to write some stupid Memnoch vampire book, and she didn't want a bunch of neredowells inhabiting what she considered a sacred landmark.
Here's the house:
It wasn't this nice and polished up when we lived there. It was 1000$ a month for the whole thing. It was mainly kept within the same concept as it was first used, but chicks were living there as well. During the few months I lived there (yes, only a few - I couldn't handle that life style for very long), there was a new face almost every week that lived there.
John Wayne Gacy and Richard Ramirez (the Night Stalker) use to call him collect. I answered the phone a couple of times for each. Gacy always had this creepy way of bellowing out his name when the recorded prompted him *Inmate, state your name,* like it pissed him off that he had to do as told or something. Ramirez has a thing for Asian girls, and Toby took it upon himself to lead him to think I was Asian. I think that was even creeper.
Ramirez use to draw cartoon characters on his letters to Toby. Once he told me he would send me a drawing... I (fortunately?) never got it.
Anyso, to get to the point of this part of my tale, Toby had this painting that scared the bajebus out of me. He and I shared a bedroom (no... we were always Just Friends), and this face would stare at me as I slept - the background and the eyes glowing in the dark at me:
Elvis by John Wayne Gacy
I'm not 100% positive this is the exact painting... but I am 97.3% positive it is. I remember the background to be a more orangy color... but the computer image could play trick with my eyes or what have you.
Ok... so, I believe it was around summer of 1998 that Toby picked up and moved back West to Seattle. We lost touch, which isn't all that surprising. It's been 10 years.
However, when I was on my travels in 2000, I did hunt a bit for him... and have done so on and off (mostly off) over the years.
In 2000, a documentary came out called The Collectors came out about Toby and his friend/partner Rick Stanton (whom I believe I met once when he came down from Baton Rouge to hang out with Toby), and their art collecting and exhibition. (I've not been able to get my hands on this documentary, but would love to.)
This was the last I ever saw of anything pertaining to Toby.
Years passed... every once in a while, I would try and find him thru Myspace or google searches or whatnot. But, never could get anywhere. All I would come across was the Collectors sites.
This morning, for no real reason, I decided to do a google search for Tobias Allen. The third link read:
Should the Mariners Be Charged with Manslaughter? | Slog | The ...
Sep 12, 2007 ... According to the Seattle Times, police identified the body as Tobias Allen, whose death authorities will attribute to suicide. ...
In the above link was a link to the following page containing the following:
FRIDAY, AUGUST 31  The week continues with an exceedingly well-documented Seattle suicide, first noted around 11:00 p.m. last night, when 911 dispatchers received a call about a body seen floating in Lake Washington. According to the Seattle Times, police identified the body as Tobias Allen, whose death authorities will attribute to suicide. According to his MySpace profile, Allen was a 39-year-old single Libra with a penchant for the Mariners, existential drama, and exclamation points. "Most days it feels/seems that most people are mindless fucking sheep," wrote Allen in his MySpace blog on June 15 [sic throughout]. "I'm talking about the people that actually waste presious oxygine talking about Paris Hell-ton. Who gives a fuck? Vapid little bitch... look, now I'm doing it! Thank the powers that be that the aurora bridge is only minutes away. I may need it soon!" By August 4, things were looking up: "Just when I was ready to give up on another summer.... my sweet sweet M's start kicking ass! I'm about to grin, or cry, or something. This has been one of THEE LAMEST summers of my life, to date. I was really going nuts. Then the mighty M's start kickin some ass! I guess, if they can do it, so can I! I have to see the end of the season! Maybe I will turn 40...." He didn't. RIP Tobias Allen, whom interested parties can see in the 2000 documentary Collectors, chronicling the nation's premier serial-killer enthusiasts. (In addition to Mariners and MySpace, Allen appreciated art made by serial killers. Go figure.)
So... wow. Dead. Gone.
I don't find it all that far fetched of Toby to commit suicide. I find it somewhat hard to believe that he would do it over a baseball team, tho. Not going to expound much on who he was, personally and privately. He was a wonderful person with a great heart. But... he, like many, had his own issues, that are not my business to tell others.
All I know is that it kinda sucks having this confirmation that he ain't around anymore. Though it wasn't a big mission, the fact that I've attempted to find him over the years, despite my failure every time, kept him going in my life, even if I hadn't seen him in a decade.
And, at least three times since his death, he was still alive as far as one person was concerned. Now that I found him (sort of), I could say *Ok, done.* But, it just leads me to wonder what kind of send off he was given by his friends.
Hmmm... maybe I should contact his old buddy Rick?
Anyso... there you go. Toby Allen. Sorry.