The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is taking a first look at the July 27 death of Gemmel Moore. I said first look, rather second or closer look, because Moore, 26, was a Black gay male escort who was found dead on July 27 in prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck’s West Hollywood apartment. Buck is white and so the cause of death was immediately explained away and classified as an accidental meth overdose by the Los Angeles County Coroner. It was only when excerpts from Moore’s personal journal were published as well as various accounts from additional victims did the sheriff’s department decide–albeit weeks too late and most likely after any and all evidence is Buck’s apartment has been removed–to reexamine his death.
In his journal, Moore wrote, “I honestly don’t know what to do. I’ve become addicted to drugs and the worst one at that,” a December entry reads. “Ed Buck is the one to thank. He gave me my first injection of crystal meth it was very painful, but after all the troubles, I became addicted to the pain and fetish/fantasy.”
His last entry, dated Dec. 3, 2016 reads: “If it didn’t hurt so bad, I’d kill myself but I’ll let Ed Buck do it for now.”
But Moore isn’t alone. As news of Moore’s death spreads through Los Angeles, more and more young Black men are stepping forward out of the shadows to share their Ed Buck story painting a very disturbing pattern.
This is Blake’s story. Blake has “receipts” and his name has been changed to protect his identity.
Ed Buck’s name was first brought to Blake’s attention while in jail on a short stint for fraud.
“I ended up getting arrested and going to jail for fraud around 2014. Somebody told me about Ed Buck. Just randomly. ‘Oh he’d be good for you.’ And I’m like okay what’s that supposed to mean? I’m thinking they’re just being messy and they were like, ‘No, you’re going to meet him. I bet you meet him.’ I know the person from Hollywood– you know like being around Santa Monica [Boulevard].”
It wasn’t too much later that Blake said he had a chance meeting with who turned out to be Ed Buck on Santa Monica Boulevard near a porn store.
“Meeting Buck–I met him like just walking Santa Monica [Boulevard]. Like cause I was actually trying to sell dope or do whatever–sell drugs to do what I had to do you know to keep that room. I didn’t care.”
“It was like a little porno place,” he continues. “A little place. A movie little porno place and he walked up and you know he’s checking and he’s looking. Checked me out. Got in his car. And he was real like suspicious and you could tell he was like intoxicated. Cause I knew he would be a for sure. I didn’t know his name was Ed Buck. I didn’t know that was him.”
Blake who is 30-years-old, says that on his first meeting with the wealthy LA Democratic donor they sat in his car negotiating. He says that Buck asked him if he did crystal meth and was interested in “PnP.”
“PnP” is short for Party n’ Play among gay men. “Party” refers to drug use- most often meth and “Play” refers to sex.
Blake says that he told Buck that he’d tried smoking meth a year before he met him but had never used needles.
“I tried it [smoking crystal meth] and then I stopped. Because I just tried it that day and I was gone for like a weekend in my mind to me. So I was like okay I can’t do that. I can’t smoke that no more. I can say no. I can say no. With Buck I started again.”
Blake would go on to say that it was that chance encounter with Ed Buck that started him down the road of a crystal meth addiction. When asked about his first time with Buck and if it included doing meth Blake emphatically replied, “Oh hell yeah that’s the main thing. There’s no sex involved. That’s why I liked it.”
And by like, he made it clear he meant the prices. What Ed Buck agreed to. He didn’t have to have sex.
When reflecting on what Ed Buck would pay him Blake’s mood changes instantly and he starts to look around the sparsely crowded restaurant we’re sitting in.
“I don’t want nobody to hear us.”
I reassure him that no one is paying any attention to us and that the music playing in the restaurant would ensure that our conversation was private.
When we return back to the topic of payment, appearing to be hurt, Blake looks down at his food and says that he heard now that he was getting less money from Ed Buck than others.
“And it was kind of bothering me cause I’m like you have all this money that you’re giving to dogs and fur and Hillary [Clinton] and all the other stuff.”
Ed Buck is a longtime animal rights activist and contributor to Democratic causes and candidates. In 2015, Buck donated $2,700 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president and another $2,500 in 2016. He had a reputation for making generous donations to the California and L.A. County Democratic Party and served as chair of Stonewall Democratic Club’s Political Affairs Committee.
“When you [Buck] out here getting these Black kids–Black only kids–off the street that are out there trying–because they have nowhere else to go so they are willing to do whatever so they can survive.”
Blake says his first time with Ed Buck he was offered $300 for three hours.
When I asked him what Buck wanted to do he replied, “Smoke and smoke and smoke and smoke and smoke and smoke.”
“And he want to smoke too and he wants to shoot up and he wants to do shots inside your penis so you can stay hard,” explained Blake. “He give you Viagras. Oh you had to do these things. This was like a part of it. You had to take two Viagras cause it makes your heart go fast. Um, a Cialis. Um, but you had to be smoking. You had to be getting steadily high. That was it period. Oh yeah–and show off–take off your clothes and put on certain underwears. He had a very big underwear fetish. And it was kind of nasty because I don’t know which one–who wore this and who wore that and because there was so much traffic over there. I was like eww, um I need new stuff. I don’t know what you thought this was. I don’t know what’s going on. You got clothes all over the floor in the living room. You got the door barricaded so nobody can get in. You chained up the kitchen.”
Blake confirms other victims account of Ed Buck owning a red Craftsman toolbox. He says that, “The red toolbox is where everything is at.”
When asked what he meant by everything Blake replied, “The drugs.”
Pipes, needles? “All of that.” Everything you needed. Anything you do.”
“Like you had to be really strong. Then he had, when you walked in, this red light–I think I gave you a picture with the wife beater on with the red light in the background. He calls that the gates of hell.”
Blake’s attitude immediately changes when he begins explaining how Ed Buck would often call him a nigger.
Imitating Buck’s voice Blake said, “My nigger buddy. My straight nigger buddy”
“Bitch what did you just call me? I said, ‘What’d you just say? Watch your mouth.’”
Back in his impression of Buck, Blake said, “This is my house. I do what I want.”
“Very irate, like he’s very hostile. His voice–like he has Tourette’s or something.
Blake, who has been dealing with Buck off and on since 2014 all the way up to as recently as July 2 of this year says that Buck gets too high.
“I sent him a message on my Apple watch describing what it means to be too high because I just wanted him to understand he gets too high he gets way too high. He be up for days.”
Blake says that Buck has friends to come over and shoot meth into his neck for him.
“He has friends come over and shoot him up in his neck.”
Blake talked about Buck’s friend Steve who lives in the same apartment building.
“That’s his [Buck’s] buddy. Every time there’s an issue or a problem with the cops he always running to Steve. I heard that he’s not fond of me.”
On at least one occasion Blake recalls going with Ed Buck to downtown Los Angeles to pick up other Black men.
“That’s the ones that wanted to do crack and I don’t do that at all.”
He continued, “It was downtown area like Alvarado near the park. Girl he go down there and see if there’s any Black guys over there. Then he go downtown–cross downtown. He went to Skid Row. He already knew this one dude that he call his ‘crack baby.’ And I’m like okay yeah this is crazy. And he riding around looking for his friend and he found him eventually so he can get some more stuff. And I’m like damn I don’t want to be out here. I’ve been smoking but we end up picking him up, dropping somebody else off and basically I was like put out the picture really. Cause I wasn’t smoking or nothing. I was just ready to go.”
Like another victim of Ed Buck’s recounted, Blake says that Buck injected him with meth.
“My arm was red. When I woke up I thought he was doing that too me. But the other dude was over there high too so I didn’t know what was going on. It wasn’t really painful but like the whole day though I was like what’s wrong with my arm? Why is it not–it’s not working. It’s–it’s tripping. And I was like that for like–I just laid in the bed and went through this little episode sweating at night and didn’t know what was going on so I went to the ambulance–called the ambulance. Come pick me up.”
Blake’s says the ambulance picked him up from the now closed Grand Motel in the Pico/Robertson area and took him to Cedars-Sinai hospital where he said Ed Buck came to visit him.
“He called my phone and I was there. ‘Hey what’s up I’m in the hospital. I think it’s because of something that you gave me.’”
In his impression of Ed Buck Blake said Buck replied, “I’m gonna come to see you. Are you sure?”
The second time he says Buck injected him with crystal meth he said Buck offered him some money to do it and Blake’s admits he agreed to it.
“I was fine that time. I was really at a low point. I was living from motel to motel. Getting kicked out. Staying with trannies. I didn’t have to stay there [Buck’s apartment] that long as long as I shoot up with meth. I took the deal.”
Blake says he was paid $500 by Buck to shoot meth.
“And that money went so fast cause I was high.”
Blake says that on more than one occasion the police were called.
“I was in front of his house and I wouldn’t leave,” said Blake. “And so then the cop took me down the hill to 7-Eleven cause I tried to explain to him what was going on cause he [Buck] had all my stuff inside of his garage. I had left some stuff there because I couldn’t pay for my hotel room.”
Blake says he asked Buck for money to pay for a motel and Buck said rather than do that Blake could just come to his apartment and get money for doing drugs with him. Blake says Buck put his bags in his carport but then told him he had to leave because he forgot he had a masseuse coming over and to come back in an hour.
Blake said that he went to Starbucks.
“I was just trying not to be walking on Santa Monica Boulevard like a prostitute.”
After three hours Blake went back.
Blake continued, “So I went back to the place and acted a fool because he wouldn’t let me come up at all. He wouldn’t let me get my stuff. He wouldn’t come out. Matter of fact–he sent some boy out to tell me to move or he gone beat me up. It was like crazy. He had somebody else over there too. And I was like ‘Dog, my stuff is inside your garage. Just let me get my stuff.’ So he called the cops. He actually left the place through the garage and I’m in front at his door at the front gate where you walk in. So I see his car just drive by. A grey Accura. Old car. Like 2004 or something. And I’m just like, really? I call him, no answer. I keep calling, no answer. So eventually I just got the hint. All of a sudden the cops–I was just sitting right there like I’m getting my stuff. My laptop’s in there for school so I’m gonna get my stuff. Cops came. I had some stuff [drugs] on me. I got arrested.”
Blake says that he never went to the police about anything Ed Buck did to him.
“I was homeless and I needed the money. At times I felt that he was the only–like he was a reliable client. But he always–we always argued. We always fought. I never got the money that he promised me. He ordered me materials that I needed for school and I can’t even afford to go school. I’m over there like trying to hustle up money to go to school. He was really mean. A mean person.”
Blake says that Buck would call him “nigger” and “Black boy” and make him wear leather and dirty clothes.
He said the minute you get there Buck wants you to start smoking.
“Then he gives you different things he wasn’t to see you in. Then I get bored and be like a take a picture or something I’m tired of looking at these pornos. I’m just tired. I’m ready to go home. Um, turn the light off. Cause he has the light full blasting. Can’t listen to no music. Can’t do nothing like to come down. He give you Gatorade. Yeah. He’s a vegan so that’s the only food he has in his house. So you had to eat the vegan food if you was hungry which nobody would do because I don’t know what kind of diet that is. He had Gatorade and popsicles. I guess that was helping us.”
“I was there for 8 hours before and only got $100. He promised me he’d help me with my tuition for school. He’d help me get my phone.”
Blake on several times says Buck didn’t pay him or give him the money they agreed to.
“He injected me with steroids–I think it was steroids. Just so I could grow weight. He said I was getting too skinny.”
Blake says that while he was asleep Ed Buck would put cockrings on him.
Cockrings are rings worn around the penis, usually at the base. According to Wikipedia, the primary purpose of wearing a cock ring is to restrict the flow of blood from the erect penis in order to produce a stronger erection or to maintain an erection for a longer period of time.
“Oh yeah he likes to tie our balls when we passed out or something with cockrings. Big ole’ cockrings. Black little–I don’t want that on my thing thing. Like who else been wearing it?”
Blake provided numerous photos of himself inside of Ed Buck’s apartment. In one photo Ed Buck appears to be blowing smoke while seated next to Blake.
Explaining to me about the photo Blake says, “Okay this is the last time I was over there. I just can’t take it no more. You see I put on full clothes. He wanted me to dress up so I put on some fucking boots that he wanted me to wear. Those are my underwear. The thermos, those are his. Um, and I’m looking at my phone really and he’s nosy so he wants to look at my phone as well and see what I’m doing and why I’m not paying attention to him.”
Blake says that in the photo in Buck’s hand is a torch that Buck was using light a pipe with meth.
“He’s smoking it in my direction so that I can pay attention to him.”
Blake continued, “He has a skin disease. So like when you see his skin he has like patches on his body. And you be like ewww and then he wear so much cockrings on his thing thing…He got bumps and shit. Nobody touches–there’s no sex involved really more or less. No sex but just you still got to watch the porn with him. You still got to get high. I mean getting high. That’s it. I’m serious. Taking pictures. He even watch you while you’re taking a dump. Stupid shit. Like that’s how–that’s how paranoid he is.”
Blake gets emotional as he thinks about the past several year’s he’s spent with Buck.
“He has a lot of money. He has so much money. And only gives me a hundred, 300 hundred and I be there for the longest. Like, I don’t understand. I really, really don’t understand it. He has choked me. He has kept my stuff hostage. And we went out to eat and he was mad cause I didn’t want to go shopping for underwear cause I’m tired of wearing the same shit. If you gone take me shopping take me shopping where I want. Clothes I would like. Not buying white underwear. Got mad and made this big ole scene in front of the security and he had my bag in his car and would not–refused–to give me my bag.”
I asked Blake to expand on Buck choking him.
“I wouldn’t leave his house and he choked me so he could get me out of his house. And when he choked me, I just left.”
Blake says that Buck would always put him out while he was high.
“So you when you walking down Hollywood or Santa Monica fucking Boulevard–sorry–you’ll get caught up by the cops and they mess with you badly–especially when they have sweeps.”
Blake says that before he would leave Buck’s house that he would strip search him and it was humiliating. He questioned whether he was the only one that Buck did that too.
Today Blake is trying to get his life together. Besides working on his mental and physical health, Blake has hopes of returning to college and studying music. He says that he hasn’t seen Ed Buck in over a month and is devastated about the news of Gemmel Moore’s death in Buck’s apartment and was convinced by his friends to come forward and share his story after hearing Buck’s attorney Seymour Amster portray his client as a “good friend” of Moore’s and a “kindhearted” man who helps troubled young men.
“And he lies to you and tell you like–oh I don’t know what– in the article, oh Gemmel um, was in the room when he did what he was doing so he doesn’t know. Buck doesn’t know. No nigga–you knew what Gemmel what was doing. You was doing it to him because obviously you were in the same room. You not gonna take your eye off the person. That’s not you so stop lying. You have the mirrors set up so that you can see what’s going on while you even in the bathroom you can still look through the mirrors and see what’s going on. That’s why you placed the mirrors like that.”
Blake’s friends read about the death of Gemmel Moore and contacted me regarding their friend because they knew that he had been involved with Buck.
“Blake came from a good family,” said Ted. “He had good friends. Although he may have chosen that life that doesn’t give Ed Buck the right to take advantage of Blake. Ed Buck is taking the weakest people and injecting them with God knows what and kicking out them back on the street. That’s not good for them and it’s not good for the community.”
Currently Ed Buck has not been charged with a crime. Currently.
Meanwhile, if I’m Ed Buck’s neighbor and I see some unsuspecting young Black man going up to his apartment–this is me right about now.