Monday, May 14, 2012

Rielle Hunter and Henry the Hawk

John Edwards' trial is big in the news at the moment, along with his former mistress Rielle Hunter.  But did you know that Ms. Hunter has a horse connection?  This just goes to show how small the world really is. 

Hunter's real name is Lisa Jo Druck.  She grew up in Florida and her father was a prominent lawyer.  She was 17-years old when her father bought her the famous hunter, Henry the Hawk.  The family owned Eagle's Nest Farm at the time.   As a successful insurance defense attorney, her father knew how to defend companies against insurance claims.  If you recall, there were several scandalous cases of horses being killed for insurance money in the 1980's and 1990's.  

According to FBI informant and self-professed horse murderer, Tommy Burns, James Druck, Rielle's father, tried to sell the prized hunter for $150,000 but could not as he needed some quick cash.  He hired Burns to electrocute the horse and then collected the $150,000 insurance policy.  Druck helped Burns begin his 10-year career in the horse murder business.  Burns was later convicted.  Druck never saw any jail time though as he died of cancer in 1990 before he could be convicted. 

Hunter found her beloved horse dead in his stall, not knowing at the time what had really happened to him.  This was in either 1981 or 1982 depending on the source. She later moved to New York where she met writer Jay McInerney and they dated for a bit.  You can read an exaggerated version of Rielle's life at the time in one of his books, Story of My Life (1988).  He even includes the part about the horse.  Hunter later moved to California and married. 


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