An addictive page-turner you won’t want to put downSection 4A Sunday, June 17th, 2012
Wednesday night, Jan. 24, 2007 at approximately 7:50 p.m., while most residents of the quiet hamlet of Dallas Township in northeast Pennsylvania were settling down for another wintry evening, Bryan Kocis was having his neck slit open in the privacy of his own home. The perpetrator would go on to stab Bryan’s body 28 times and then, in an effort to hide the evidence, set the 44-year-old man’s house on fire.
What followed that night was an almost three-year odyssey that rocked the gay porn world, spanning both coasts, costing hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars, destroying lives, upending families and, perversely, containing all the sordid elements – porn, prostitution, alcoholism, child molestation – that are a staple of classic true crime novels.
And Cobra Killer Gay Porn Murder and The Manhunt To Bring The Killers To Justice by journalists Peter A. Conway and Andrew E. Stoner is an absorbing, meticulously researched addition to the genre.
By combing through every seemingly available public record – trial transcripts, public emails, news reports, preliminary hearings, adult Web sites – and by tracking down some of the key players in the gay adult entertainment business, these two journalists have been able to weave together a relentless story and a moral paradigm about greed, lust, envy, anger and, most consequentially, wrath.
The story, outside of many gay porn circles is still not quite as well known. Bryan Kocis, a producer of adult twink movies (young, hairless men, generally in the age range of 18-23) under the banner Cobra Video had stumbled across an as-of-yet unknown performer who would eventually go by the name of Brent Corrigan. They made a few movies together (some while Brent was still seventeen) and, based on that success, realized they were sitting on a goldmine. Meanwhile, about seven hours away in Virginia Beach, a couple of porn king wannabes by the names of Joe Kerekes and Harlow Cuadra, who were attempting to cultivate their own successful empire on a site called BoyBatter.com were beginning to realize that behind the curtain, a ruinous mountain of debt was about to take them both down.
They needed a plan.
In early January 2007, the two began talking about a “new deal” they were crafting for their company. The “new deal” meant bringing the Brent Corrigan name (aka Sean Lockhart) to their fledgling porn operation – contradicting Kerekes’ later claim they were not interested in Lockhart. They thought that by bringing in Sean Lockhart or Brent Corrigan, that it would bring a six-figure profit within the company.
That plan, and all the elaborate concoctions these two thugs would attempt to exercise eventually lead the reader back to the night of the crime where our center of gravity, Bryan Kocis, is eventually snuffed out.
And despite the temptation to avoid reading this as some dry matter of historical record, in the hands of Peter Conway and Andrew Stoner, the book comes alive with a cast of characters that makes turning from one page to the next addictive. Brent Corrigan, the dramatic, self-centered porn star; Roy Grant, his much older lover and mentor; Bryan Kocis, the dual-natured business owner with his taste for dangerously young men and a checkered past; Joe Kerkekes, the explosive, garrulous, hair-trigger personality and one-half of the pair at the center of our story; and, of course, our antagonist, Harlow Cuadra, a smart, manipulative, charismatic but cold-blooded killer whose performance at his trial, as captured by the authors, is arresting.
Truth is stranger than fiction and if you have any doubts, Cobra Killer will strip you of them faster that it takes to say, “Give me the money shot.”
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