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See the author kiss actress Daryl Hannah. See the author hug actor Armand Assante. See the author pose with tycoon Marvin Davis. After all, how many first-time novelists besides Kim Wozencraft have gone from narcotics officer to drug addict, from rookie of the year to corrupt cop, from prison inmate to Ivy League graduate, from struggling writer to overnight millionaire?
Much less become the toast of Hollywood, as evidenced by this love-fest thrown by Oscar-winning producers Richard and Lili Zanuck at Noa Noa, a new restaurant so trendy it pipes bird calls into the bathrooms?
But a lot of it is not in the book. At the same time that the national media is applauding Wozencraft for picking up the shards of her shattered life and making sense of it through writing, her former associates in Texas are raising disturbing questions about the morality of getting rich by divulging details of misconduct.
An easy piece of it. Well, I worked for it. And I feel good about it. One of them is Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot, who as chairman of Texas Special Task Force on Drug Abuse in ordered his own security staff to protect Wozencraft and her ex-partner Creig Mathews when he believed their lives were in danger after they made the biggest drug bust in East Texas history.
But that was before he found out the truth about them: that they faked evidence, used drugs and lied under oath. Because any society that rewards crooks is a society in trouble. Until last month, Matthews, who also went to prison and now works for a landscaping service, literally kept those years buried in a stack of court records at the bottom of a closet. But while he was remarrying and having children, Wozencraft was graduating from Columbia University, enrolling in a prestigious writing program and working on her book.
If the book is successful, he says he may even have to move. But not before he hires a lawyer and tries to get some kind of compensation from his suddenly rich ex-wife. As a middle-class Dallas native, high school athletic star, college drop-out and year-old divorcee, Wozencraft was working a dead-end job in an ice cream parlor in a suburb of Dallas in when friends talked her into trying to become a cop. Immediately, she was accepted by a police department in Plano, a nearby community of tract homes, shopping malls and industrial parks north of Dallas, and recruited as an undercover narcotics officer.
Her youth and lack of experience provided the perfect cover. Her trainer, partner and eventual lover was Matthews, then a veteran narcotics officer with the Plano department who moved 90 miles east to Tyler in to begin a nine-month drug trafficking investigation for the Tyler police department.
Wozencraft followed him. While he infiltrated groups of hard-core criminals, she worked her way into a group of young upper-middle-class kids using cocaine.
Together, Wozencraft and Matthews were responsible for the indictments of alleged drug traffickers in April, an event big enough to make headlines only in Texas. Still, they were cast immediately as the local hero and heroine, especially when a shotgun blast almost killed Matthews and grazed Wozencraft in an attempted assassination. Wozencraft identified a local crime figure as the gunman.
Beginning with a Dallas Morning News article, and followed by polygraph examinations and other testimony, it was revealed that the pair were not just drug fighters but also drug addicts who had used and sold illegal narcotics and siphoned off amphetamines, Valium, Quaaludes and cocaine from the purchases they made with state funds. In addition, they had violated a policy of the Tyler police department not to use drugs.
Later, she and Matthews admitted that they had framed their alleged assassin no one has ever been charged with the shooting. But Wozencraft also claims that it was understood by the Tyler Police Department that in order to do her job she had to take drugs so as not to blow her cover. She also maintains that Matthews, in Svengali fashion, was responsible for her drug addiction and other crimes by using their professional and romantic relationship to lead her astray.
And not for one minute would I imply that I did not influence her or train her. As the investigation into the Tyler arrests heated up, Wozencraft and Matthews married. In , the FBI came calling. After intense interrogation, the pair finally admitted that they had used drugs, planted evidence and committed perjury while trying to make their drug cases stick.
In , he was acquitted, but also fired from his job. In the end, Wozencraft and Matthews pleaded guilty to violating the civil rights of defendants by planting evidence. On March 15, , they were sentenced to the federal correctional institution in Lexington, Ky. Should I bring my bathing suit? Coming out of prison after serving 13 months of an month sentence, she was afraid to go back into the world with a felony conviction on her record and no plans for the future.
But, once again, her life was changed by a man. Divorced from Matthews, Wozencraft became romantically involved with a man she only identifies as John, a New Yorker whom she met in prison. Well-educated and well-connected, he settled her in New York and encouraged her to return to college with the help of part-time jobs and student loans.
Wozencraft says she has no desire to take drugs anymore. But getting clean took a long time, she admits. Harder to kick, she says, was the bitterness she felt against Matthews, the Tyler Police Department and the war on drugs.
I guess I just realized that it was hurting me an awful lot more than it was hurting anyone else. At work on her second book a novel about prison life and free from financial worry, Wozencraft by all appearances seems to be another successful writer living in Manhattan. Hot Property. About Us. Brand Publishing. Times News Platforms. Times Store. Facebook Twitter Show more sharing options Share Close extra sharing options.
May 9, See the author look for a place to lock up her purse.