Amnesia Victim's Possible Scam Restores Hero Curmudgeon's Lack Of Faith In Humanity

In a story you read first on Hair Balls, local rocker and Bookstop warehouse manager (and occasional Press contributor and full-time curmudgeon) John Cramer helped Houston police crack the case of the mysterious amnesiac woman.

Since then, the woman's identity has been made public. Her name is Janene Luttrell Nicewonger and she is 33 years old, and it appears that her unfortunate surname is not the only part of her checkered past she might want to forget.

Both her ex-husband Brian Nicewonger and her mother Diana Luttrell claim that Janene is running game on both HPD and the hospital staff at St. Luke's. (For the record, both St. Luke's staff and HPD homicide detective C.P. "Abbey" Abbondandolo are still in her corner, as is her estranged second husband Henry Lamkin.)

Brian Nicewonger told the Chron that Janene is a "habitual liar" who abandoned their three children, owing $7,000 in child support. "To me, this is all hoodoo," Nicwonger told the Chron. "She's just trying to escape her past. She's an abandoning-type person." Luttrell said that nothing her daughter says is to be believed and that her family has "written her off."


We asked Cramer about his thoughts on the new developments in the case.  "She might be lying, she might not. There are reasons to see it both ways. Have I had my doubts? Sure. I fucking hate people after all."

Cramer says his girlfriend was skeptical about Janene's story from the get-go. "We debated it for about two hours right after I made my initial call to [Abbondandolo]. She looked at the released photo and had a hard time buying the amnesia angle based entirely on the look on the girl's face." (Come to think of it, there was what looked like a very mischievous twinkle in those eyes...)

Even if she is scamming, Cramer says he is still thrilled to be part of the story. "I imagine this girl planting her car in the lot, hoping it would be noticed by some dumbass who thinks they're on to something," he says. "I am thrilled to be that dumbass if she is indeed a seeming working-class version of New York's hipster grifter."

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John Nova Lomax
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