****UPDATE 6/2/09 - I finally got my paws on a copy of Cop Without A Badge and I’m posting up excerpts here!
Bravo did some explosive foreshadowing on Wednesday’s episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey by showing a scene from next week’s episode in which Danielle Staub reacts to a photo in the book Cop Without A Badge by declaring through tears, “only one other person knew about that book!” A mad rush followed on the internet and in libraries across the United States as the out-of-print true crime novel by Charles Kipps flew off library and virtual book shelves. (When I checked immediately after the airing of the show there were a number of reasonably priced copies on Amazon, but those have all pretty much disappeared)
Thanks to the research of Vicki Hyman at the Star Ledger, some of the mystery has been cleared up. The controversy is over whether or not Danielle Staub is Beverly Merrill in the book, which claims to be the true story of criminal-turned-informant Kevin Maher.
According to the book, Merrill was with a drug dealer who kidnapped and beat up a kid that owed him a large sum of money. The dealer later hit up the kid’s father for ransom and the couple was arrested. Merrill pleaded guilty to extortion and received five years probation. It was during the time that Merrill was out on bond that she meets Maher at a Miami drug party: “She was brunette. Long, perfectly shaped legs poked out of her leather hot pants just as provocatively as her braless breasts strained against her low-cut blouse.”
Here’s Beverly Merrill’s mugshot from the book – you can decide for yourself if you think it’s Danielle. (It’s hard to tell with everything she’s done to her face – kinda like looking at a photo of a young Michael Jackson – Click on the image to see a much larger version)
Vicki sums up the rest of the couple’s relationship:
“Maher, who is married, leaves his wife and marries Merrill (but couldn’t be bothered to divorce his first wife first). They settle in Elmwood Park and try to have a baby before Maher realizes Merrill is ‘not mother material.’ Merrill finds work dancing under the name Danielle … Maher discovers Merrill is cheating on him and eventually leaves her.”
Wow! Talk about skeletons in the closet! (Another interesting “fact” from the book is Merrill’s estimation that she had slept with close to a thousand men before Maher) I’m a little in awe, but given what I’ve seen of “Danielle,” it is entirely believable! I was all prepared to write a post about her lack of parenting skills, her runaway eyebrows, her identity crisis with Sex and the City‘s Samantha, her estranged prettier little sister Sandra Bullock – the list goes on and on. I was ill-prepared to talk about her coking it up and kidnapping a kid before her career as a stripper! I think perhaps I will retreat for now and wait for next week’s episode, because there’s nothing more embarrassing than having your blog’s snarkiness fall short of reality!
Read more on PAGE TWO