Deadly Charades: Double Lives, Extortion and the Suicide of a Respected Professor

A respected A&M prof with secrets to hide commits suicide and implicates his alleged blackmailer in a case where no one was really who he or she seemed to be.

"He's just doing what is best for you," Aune wrote. "He is clearly a good man and he loves you. We can't talk anymore."

Digging further, investigators found an e-mail dated December 20, 2012, indicating when the blackmailing began.

"Ok Karen. I'm taking a big risk here...On Thursday, your dad texted me and I responded thinking it was you. He then called me and told me he was going to turn me into the police. I answered and said I would do whatever he wanted, and he said...after two phone calls that he would turn off your laptop and wanted something like $5000 from me to pay for further therapy from you. I sent him $1000 and then promised more in January. I am shit-scared about this, and can't figure out how to come up with more money."

Daniel Duplaisir kept a Facebook profile...
Daniel Duplaisir kept a Facebook profile... "Danielle Mosvoni." "Danielle Mosvoni."

Miriam Aune confirmed to investigators that her husband was being blackmailed. She said he had told her the week before. She provided receipts from the Green Dot card purchases, which led the investigators to the Lowe's outside New Orleans and some very helpful security-camera footage.

The camera caught Duplaisir wearing a white ballcap backward, a white T-shirt and a rope necklace. He was wearing a similar outfit on a Facebook page bearing his legal name.

However, according to Duplaisir's "Danielle Mosvoni" page, he had already begun the surgery necessary for his transformation.

He had apparently been looking forward to this for some time. He created Facebook and MySpace pages as Danielle Mosvoni in 2009 but was not consistently employed and could not afford surgery. He chased work in New Orleans, ­Biloxi and West Palm Beach.

He'd been estranged from his immediate family for years. His brother Larry described him to the Houston Press without elaboration as "a piece of shit." He had few close friends; judging from interviews with those who knew him, his social life seemed limited to people he met playing inter­active video games. They all knew Duplaisir as ­Danielle.

Duplaisir would play his games for hours, and the rich fantasy universes seemed to occupy his time even when he wasn't playing. One former friend, who asked not to be named, found a notebook Duplaisir had kept in which he jotted down ideas for games, as well as short fantasy stories.

"He doesn't live in reality," the friend told the Press. "He's always somewhere else."

In the first few months of 2011, Duplaisir was living in Amite, Louisiana, with relatives of the one person he professed to love: a 16-year-old girl born to a single mother who had once had a fling with Duplaisir — a mother who claimed that Duplaisir was not the father.

But Duplaisir called the girl his daughter, and she called him "Dad." She began living with Duplaisir, off and on, when she was 13. Then, in October 2011, she called him her rapist.

Duplaisir had left the girl and moved back to Metairie by the time the girl, whom we'll call "Lisa," told authorities in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, that her father had sexually abused her for years.

According to Allen's affidavit, Lisa also claimed Duplaisir had photographed her nude and that they created a profile on a Web site called Mocospace in order to "scam men." She told investigators that Duplaisir "kept a list of the guys' names and numbers." She said they could find pictures and videos on Duplaisir's laptop.

By the time Lisa was explaining everything to Tangipahoa Parish authorities, Duplaisir had started on what he thought was a path to a new life. He had somehow found the money to undergo surgery.

On August 20, 2011, Duplaisir wrote on his Mosvoni page that he had "rhinoplasty, brow lift, adam apple shave, cut muscle that causes frown lines, fat injections in lips, cheeks, laugh lines, etc and to soften area where adam apple was shaved. Lipo to abdomen and waist line."

For Duplaisir, it was to be a rebirth.

"Weird dream about having to let go of my cares that tied me to another life," he wrote. "Spent my life caring for others it's hard to let go, but I have to if I am to succeed in my new life. I deserve this."

He had slimmed considerably. In presurgery pictures, Duplaisir looked tough: Years of lifting weights and housepainting gear gave him bulging biceps, which he liked to show off by wearing sleeveless T-shirts. The muscular physique contrasted with a nickname he had inexplicably adopted as a kid: "Smurf."

"The thing about Smurf is, he's always being very macho," a friend told the Press. "And very, like, 'I'm a man'...He always said the same thing — he said, 'I'm an asshole and I'm proud of it.'"

In November 2011, Duplaisir's plans for a new life were interrupted: He was arrested and charged with aggravated incest and oral sexual battery. Sheriff's deputies searched his Metairie apartment for the laptop, but some of Duplaisir's acquaintances told the Press that he had arranged for his roommate at the time to take the laptop and split for Mississippi. All the deputies would have found was an apartment strewn with wigs, stockings, high heels and cosmetics.

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I couldn't keep myself from commenting on this article because I am the tranny that Jim had an affair with. He actually told me about this blackmailing business shortly before he killed himself. Jim visited me in austin around 2007 but I had been chatting with him for ages. I believe I first met him in 2004 or so when I was about 22 years old. it took him forever to tell me he had two autistic kids and claimed that Miriam was his ex wife and had multiple personality disorder. 

Jim thought he had lost his sex drive forever after he got the prostate cancer operation, so around that time he decided he was done with me. I'm convinced there was no one with whom Jim was fully honest, and while this blackmail shenenigan was the straw that broke the camel's back, there were many more underlying issues. Jim was extremely depressed, avoidant and a liar to the core. To say he was not a happy man is a tremendous understatement. Its like he didn't want to believe he was the victim of a scam so that he could do what he had probably contemplated many times before.

I found out he committed suicide about an hour ago, and I still don't even know how I feel about it. my first reaction was not grief but rather an inexplicable sense of dissociation from reality.

I have several conversations with Jim archived in my email. I feel compelled to read every email exchange I ever had with him and to think about it in this new light that his suicide has shone. 


Being transgendered myself, I read the article with a certain sadness.  TG or not, there is no excuse for Duplaisir's actions.  It is really sad that most news about TGs is negative.  Please understand that wearing women's clothing doesn't make a man anymore of a criminal than it does a woman, well not anymore since the laws have changed.


Doesn't seem like there are any innocent victims in this--would-be pedophiles I can find no sympathy for,  if anything "blackmailera' is doing a good service bringing these freaks out in the open.

Meredith Rogers
Meredith Rogers

I had Aune as a professor and it pains me to see this story progress.


If Duplaisir was living with "lisa's" relatives, how did she come to "live with him off and on?" 

I guess there was one last text you didn't want, or Miriam didn't want to disclose? That wasn't very clear.

Do you realize you mention at the beginning that he died at the hospital later that day, and at the end of the article, you say he died 40 minutes later?

These were things I didn't quite understand.  I hope Miriam recovers from this painful experience...


He should have killed the blackmailer, not himself.

Frankly I couldn't read beyond the first page. I love Ayn Rand heroes, not homosexual zeroes.


Again the Houston Press just loves to Kill Trees with these long overdrawn articles about subjects that really don't mean a whole lot to the average busy Houstonian.

Ok I grabbed a typical article from the Atlantic  - 1200 words

 Your "Charades" article ran 4600 word, which is  to the length of a maxed scientific research paper.

Melanie Pena
Melanie Pena

Wow. Unbelievable. Well written through all the twists.

Danielle Stillman-Diederich
Danielle Stillman-Diederich

This article was really confusing because the term you need to use is "transgender woman" for MTF trans people. If the professor was looking for transgender men he would be talking to FTM trans people (women making a transition to male). This is in sore need of a correction.

Richard Tew
Richard Tew

Both of these guys are sick and deserve everything they get both here and the hereafter.

Bren Ke
Bren Ke

Oh my goodness! You went and committed Journalism again! :)

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