Editor's note: All charges relating to this case against John Birdwell were dismissed in May 2012.
Let this be a lesson to all you online daters out there...Always run a records check on the people you choose to bring home, and if their name turns up nothing at all via Google, be afraid. Very, very afraid.
According to a criminal complaint filed over the weekend, an area woman failed to perform that due diligence on 48-year-old West University-bred ex-con John Edgar Birdwell, and now she is out two rings, two necklaces and an anklet valued at $1,900.
According to the complaint, the woman met Birdwell, who identified himself as John Blidwell, on an online dating site in mid-November. (A search of the name "John Blidwell" turns up zilch on Google, at least in the way of a person alive today in Texas.)
The woman met Birdwell in person on December 17. On December 19, he spent the night. Perhaps he sold her with some version of this allegedly autobiographical malarkey that he has posted on his Facebook page:
I am 6ft 210lbs dark hair brown eyes hard body work out 4 to 5 times a week dont smoke Cut down on the drinking and in import sales and master trainer LMTherapist and other internet and helping my good friend doctor Jeff Chementi with his independent movie and locating a major studio and producers for the next big box office motion picture im really laid back now grew up in west university and have lived in this area off and on all my life looking to write a autobiography and a ultimate work out book and video never been married i have one daughter in the woodlands and waiting to find the love of my life have had alot of relationships and they were good and some bad its time to set some goals and make a mark and travel and have the time of your life but in all reality im a real person and a manly man
At any rate, the woman would later tell police that after their first night together, Birdwell had commented on what a hard sleeper she was. She would not find out the full import of that remark until New Year's Eve, when Birdwell would allegedly take full advantage.
That was when the couple went out for dinner and drinks and then returned to her apartment to watch the ball drop in Times Square on TV. The woman said she went to bed shortly thereafter because she was on call for her job as an air hostess. Nothing seemed amiss.
But when she woke at 5:30 a.m., she noticed that Birdwell was gone, as was almost $2K in gold jewelry. Alarmed, the woman tried to call Birdwell, but he had deleted (almost) all traces of his contact information from her phone and the Web site through which they had met.
Fortunately for the woman, Birdwell had missed a text message, so she still had a number she could turn over to police, which she did.
After fruitlessly searching for a "John Blidwell," a Houston cop dialed the number the woman gave him, and someone named "John" answered. The cop stated his business and Birdwell admitted that he knew the woman. He repeated several times that he had met her through a dating service and wanted nothing whatsoever to do with her. Birdwell did admit that he had been at the woman's apartment on the night her jewelry had leapt from her body and walked out the door, but waxed sarcastic when the cop asked him if he had anything to do with that.
"Yeah, right," the complaint has Birdwell saying. "How could I take her jewelry while she was sleeping?"
The cop then asked Birdwell to furnish his last name, whereupon Birdwell hung up. The cop called back twice more. Birdwell did not pick up, and neither did he return the cop's recorded message.
Meanwhile, the woman remembered that Birdwell had once used a credit card to pay for a dinner at Ling's in the Kingwood area. The cop called the restaurant manager, who furnished him Birdwell's true name. The cop then pulled Birdwell's driver's license photo and an array of mugshots from Birdwell's very lengthy criminal history. The woman picked Birdwell's photo out of the array the cop presented her.
A warrant for his arrest has been sworn, and he faces a charge of felony theft.
Also according to the complaint, another woman once filed a similar jewelry theft complaint against Birdwell, but that's just the tip of the iceberg for this guy. In 1994, when the Lamar High School grad was known as Juan Edgar Birdwell, he was sent to prison for eight years for peddling crack.
In 2004, he got 15 years in prison for dealing cocaine again, but he was out again by October of 2009, which is when there was another ugly incident involving theft from a lover. (Possibly the same incident referenced in the most recent complaint.)
In that case, Birdwell knocked on the door of his then-girlfriend's Midtown apartment and, according to the report, grabbed her by the throat when she opened it. The report further states that he snatched the same pinky finger on her hand that he had snapped weeks before and bent it back so far that the woman could no longer straighten it. After snatching some jewelry and a set of car keys, Birdwell reportedly slapped and squeezed the woman's face on his way out the door.
Although he was on parole, the DA's office downgraded that case from felony assault to class A misdemeanor trespassing, and Birdwell was sentenced to six months in county jail. Almost exactly a year later, he was arrested again -- this time for DWI.
Though he had a previous conviction for same, and again, even though he was on parole, this case was only prosecuted as a first offense, and Birdwell walked after time served (three days in jail) and fines of $532.
And then there was this New Year's mess.
We don't know what John Birdwell has been up to since that alleged theft, but at least according to Facebook, John Birdwell has been having himself a high old time this past month, posing behind the wheel of numerous expensive sports cars, corresponding with a very young, very pretty Russian girl and posting lots of racy pics.
And then there's all the party stuff...
"AFTER THE GAME WE ARE HAVING A PRIVATE PARTY CALL ME FOR LOCALE AND IF YOU NEED DIRECTS SEND A MESS HERE ON FB JB," he posted a few days later. (He initials all his status updates, and loves to like his own posts.)
"Dinner at flemings fri, sat ufc , sundae texans party here we go again JB," he posted a week later.
"JB is at tommy bahamas, on the water and then crush on the roof afterwards ooooooooh yea fun night on hump day hmmmmmm JB" he gushed on January 18.
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He went to a Rockets game on January 25 and "liked" "Phonesex." (He is unabashedly into porn and strippers and has been known to post softcore porn in his photo pages.) Two days later, he had this to say: "Flyn out be back sun friends and familia JB."
Perhaps not so coincidentally, that was the same day the warrant went out for his arrest.