Multiple sources close to the case, including Rachel Brown's divorce lawyer David Brown, are telling us that Michael Brown died after he was taken off life support Thursday. Will have more soon.
A Brown obit:
When defense attorney Dick DeGuerin told the jury in Michael Brown's 2011 assault case, in which he was accused of assaulting his fourth wife Rachel -- and for which he was acquitted -- DeGuerin told the jury he was honored to represent Brown. (Update: See the last page for some thoughts from other lawyers).
It was remarkable theater. We're still not sure what DeGuerin could have meant. Which part was he most honored by -- when Brown beat his then-pregnant wife Darlina's face to a pulp in a drunken rage; when he wrote letters to his infant daughter, telling her how to sexually please her future husband; for spending money on bedding strippers a third his age instead of paying child support; for losing his medical license to continued drug abuse; for allegedly following a lawyer representing his ex-wife out into the parking lot and threatening to kill her; for choking flight attendants; for threatening to destroy perceived enemies and ultimately costing dozens upon dozens of hardworking employees their jobs?
Or was DeGuerin, like every lawyer who chomped at the bit to tap the Brown Piggy Bank, simply but eloquently full of baloney? Did DeGuerin really know Brown? Did he understand how tortured and self-destructive this self-described bipolar man was? Did he or anyone else -- including Rachel Brown -- try to save him from himself, or were they simply parasites attaching themselves to an extremely wealthy host? Could no one see that giving Brown 30 days to surrender to authorities, instead of shuttling him to federal prison straight from court, was flirting with disaster?
In addition to his endless litigation and bizarre, often criminal, behavior, Brown left a cache of writings that offer a window into his mind, which he described as "brilliant" and "bipolar." He wrote of constantly having to balance the "tray of marbles" in his head.
His was a mind that could confess weakness and beg for forgiveness and then, a split-second later, blame all his problems on others. His writings reveal a man who lived in constant fear of abandonment but whose violent behavior repelled those closest to him; a man with suicidal ideations and paranoid fantasies who somehow got a prominent River Oaks psychiatrist to give him the all-clear when he was still monitored by the courts. His writings paint him as the consummate victim; an honorable, if flawed, man who was simply trying to follow Christ's teachings, but who was deceived by a disrespectful wife who did not understand his "brilliant bipolar mind" and who failed wifely duties by not spreading her legs on command.
Although he was ostensibly writing to his daughter Sophie -- whom he was certain inherited his bipolar disorder, telling her she'd probably be on lithium by her late teens -- the letters come off as if he's writing to a younger version of himself; a kid plagued by an undiagnosed mental illness who needed someone to tell him that everything was going to be alright.
Here are some excerpts from his writings, many of which were penned between 1999-2001. In some cases, the excerpts have been edited for spelling and grammar.
From one of his seven hunting memoirs, Kilimanjaro: Safari in Tanzania
Over the last ten years, I have had a hunting odyssey. I have hunted all over the world and pursued all kinds of game. What it took me a while to realize was that I was experiencing an odyssey of life and in my search for trophy animals, I also undertook a search fro some truths and meanings in life. This occurred not only because of my interaction with nature and animals, but my interactions with different peoples and different cultures all over the world. I am not sure why I started writing about my experiences. There are probabl;y a lot of reasons. I think the main reason, though, was to help me make some sense of all of it one day. Hopefully, that is what I am doing now. I am not sure if the answers apply to anyone else or not. Probably some do and some don't.
Months had passed since Dr. Brown returned from his Botswana safari and he longed daily to go back despite having acquired first hand the knowledge that lion hunting was potentially lethal business. Perhaps it was the exhilaration of looking death in the face and surviving that was so overpowering. Make no mistake, Dr. Michael brown did not have a death wish, he simply had an overpowering lust for the hunting life.
Mike once again found himself hunting lion with Allistair McFarlane at his side. He took aim and squeezed the trigger, and he got a momentary glimpse at the lion falling to the ground as he recovered from the recoil of the big Weatherby. He knew the overpowering will to live possessed by a big black-maned male, so he quickly chambered another round, and to his horror, the lion was not only back up on his feet, but closing at an alarming rate. All hell broke loose then, Allistair and Mike were both pumping lead into that lion but it didn't really seem to phase him. He just kept coming and coming and coming, roaring that bone-chilling guttural bellow that seemed to emanate from hell's gate itself.
From "Letters to Sophie"
A bipolar in separation can barely move or function or think. Getting out of bed, bathing, eating, Breathing, is all a struggle. Pain and anguish is enormous -- like 2 tons of weight bearing down on their chest continually and they physically feel the weight, the pain in every muscle. A minute of this pain -- pain akin to a Japanese or Nazi torturer slowly pulling out fingernails, plunging needles in eyeballs, pulsing electric shocks through the testicles -- a minute of this pure hellfire and brimstone agonizing pain is like an hour.
Letters to his then-wife, Darlina.
Darlina I am 41 years old and have success and confidence in business but I am an utter failure in personal relationships and have no self-confidence in that regard whatsoever. I feel sometimes like a helpless child because despite my deep love and good intentions I mess things up.
Darlina, I think you are Regal, my Queen, like Nancy Reagan who always protects and defends her husband.
Letters to his newborn daughter.
Dearest Sophie, Daddy has to do something -- honor my father and mother. My daddy died yesterday and I've thought staying around for you. Your mother is a good woman. Her heart is full of love. If such a good woman sees so much bad in me -- more bad than good, then I need to go be with both of my Fathers in heaven. Maybe I'll be more help from there.
My body's cells are deteriorating. My body is dying. There's no cure for what I've got but there is a treatment...'triple S therapy they call it. If I'm going to make the best of the time God guives me I'll need your help with this 'SSS' therapy. It's simple really -- 'sex, sleep, & something to eat.'
I am sitting beside my dog Cocoa's grave. I loved that dog....Cocoa loved me unconditionally -- no matter what I did or did not do. I miss her very much. She died about 6 weeks ago. When God chose the time, I had tried to help her out of her misery, but God is in control, not us. After 10 times the lethal dose of sleeping pills, she lived. A few days later I was petting her in the sunshine. She liked it. She nosed my hand to continue. After a while, I picked her up and took her back in the well house. I went in the [illegible] and was watching the movie Patch Adams and when the nasty guy died, I looked at the clock and it was noon. I knew Cocoa had gone to be with the Good Lord.
Men and all male animals in God's Kingdom were designed to pursue sex even at the forsaking of money and power...so that no matter how difficult life gets, no matter how many calves are eaten by lions, the male will continue to inseminate the female. That is the male's evolutionary purpose, rudimentary as it may be. The male animal is programmed to inseminate the female. This applies to animals & humans alike.
I don't think there's anything wrong with learning how to please yourself sexually, for you are born with an innate sex drive too.
Don't ask for money. Be coy, act weak, tell him how great a provider he is and how guilty you feel for being a burden. Yep, if you can be strong enough to finesse, yes bullshit a little, life will be pleasant.
Baby, your daddy is a firearms expert and a 'genius' plus. My IQ is 183.
I put a gun in my mouth and asked her if I had to splatter my brains & blood on her face to get her to understand how she repeatedly emotionally abused me to the brink of suicide.
Be proud of your own sexual performance -- excel, be the best and he won't want any more. Too many headaches drive him into testosterone lunacy. Physiologic [sic] fact.
Baby, life's funny. I had wanted to be having a picnic with your mom today. Instead, I drove over here with a big pistol (I don't do anything on a small scale -- bet you're the same!), a .454 Casull, and a big pillow to muffle the blast when I took my head off. I've got my last meal in a little plastic bag -- ironically healthy: salmon, hearts of palm, canned tomatoes & a Diet Coke. I've got this pen & pad with which to explain to you lots of things, hoping you will avoid the same fate.
My thoughts are coming so fast I can hardly keep up. The vacuum cleaner is going, and it irritates & distracts me from the thoughts I want to pen to you. Last night I went to sleep wanting a piece of gouda cheese left over from a picnic. I was reminded when I saw it yesterday on the 2nd shelf in the back of the refrigerator-- Damn that vacuum -- I'm in the bathroom now -- trying to find quiet...along with several other cheeses. This morning I was formulating my thoughts to write you and I effortlessly reached for the cheese. It was not there....Undoubtedly, most would, at this point, say these are the ravings of an obsessive-compulsive lunatic.
How-fucking-ever, you [two] unfortunately have your mother's genetic constitution to be unbelievably coldhearted bitches. I am sorry for fucking your mother instead of someone else.
There are two aspects of sex...its psychology and the technical aspect. Both are important. I am writing and describing to you the psychologic[al] basis and atmosphere you are responsible in creating to promote sex, which is essential to marital bliss. I am writing another book about the technical aspects of sex, which I will give to you when you get married.
We reached out to attorneys who dealt with Brown on both sides, and here are their comments.
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Robert Hantman, who handled Brown's anal-herpes case: "...his demise and the bankruptcy of his hand centers is an American tragedy. My condolences go out to his former employees, family, and especially to the children he loved so much. Had reason prevailed, perhaps the divorce would not have become a probate case with nothing left for his wife's lawyers to fight for and nothing for his wife and children to live on."
Nathan Hennigan, an attorney who prosecuted Brown: "I have no comment. I try not to speak ill of the dead."
Brian Wice, appellate attorney: "He was still someone whom the public never really understood [and] did so much for so many people -- whether it was perfecting a non-invasive procedure for carpal-tunnel that helped thousands and thousands of people; or for his philanthropic and charitable contributions to both kids and adults in this town....Michael Brown was a complex person, believe me. And his problem, as noted legal sage [Notorious B.I.G] said, 'the more money he had, the more problems'....And unfortunately, there was this lethal mixture of money, alcohol, controlled substances, and women who we probably wouldn't take home for a Shabbat dinner. And the bottom line is that Mike went out on his own terms. And while it's been said that, you know, suicide is the ultimate act of self-indulgence...Mike thought that there was no other way out. And I know it's easy to demonize Mike, and I totally understand why people have engaged in that kind of conduct. In their own mind, I'm sure they have legitimate reasons. And believe me, to be sure, he did things that I know he wasn't proud of, but for everything that ultimately was wrong in his life, he paid the price. And I just think it's tragic that a divorce that became as toxic as this one did ultimately resulted in a death sentence for him."