By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
So he was a perfect stooge, agreeing to an idiotic assault on Nancy Kerrigan because it was a quick and easy way to make money. And then, while still reeling in bad judgment, he agreed to another quick and easy fix: a lawyer who said he could solve his legal problems and make money for everyone. Everything that had happened in Stant's life up to that point should have reminded him that nothing is quick and easy--or, for that matter, entirely good or bad. @rule:
@body:Shane Minoaka Stant was born in 1971 in Torrance, California, to an Anglo mother and a Hawaiian father. What follows is Stant's account of his life as he told it to New Times and to his fianc‚e, Leslie Thomas. It's difficult to say how true it is; some of Stant's assertions have proven to be exaggerated or made up. His parents, his grandmother, his uncles might have helped sort out the truth, but they all chose not to talk. Former employers in Oregon would immediately hustle a reporter out the door at the mere mention of Stant's name.
Still, there is a sincerity to Stant that makes you want to believe him. This is what he claims:
Stant's parents married when he was 5 and divorced when he was 8. Because Shane's father, Gaylord Stant, was in the Navy, the family shuttled between San Diego and Hawaii. Gaylord drank heavily and beat the hell out of his wife and his son. When his mother left her husband, she was too afraid of Gaylord to try to take her child with her.
Gaylord Stant had been shot and stabbed; he'd ridden with Hell's Angels. He beat Shane with belts and with two-by-fours, even in front of his teachers at school. Once, while helping fix the family car, Shane made a mistake that he knew would anger his father, so before the father discovered the error, Shane ran to the bathroom to compose himself. He was so terrified that he passed out, and, as he fell, he put his head through the bathroom door. His father beat him for that. The top of his head is permanently scarred with knots as big as walnuts.
"I grew up with pain," he says. "That's why I was never afraid of anybody. I couldn't picture anybody meaner than my father."
When he reached high school age, Stant went to live with his mother, Linda Parmalee, in Corbett, Oregon, a small town 30 minutes east of Portland. She had remarried, and Stant did not get along with his stepfather. When Stant was 16, the stepfather gave away Stant's dog after an argument, and Stant moved out.
He dropped out of school and earned money passing out fliers and giving private martial arts lessons in a local park. When he had nowhere to live, he would find enough money to join a gym, and shave and shower there, then sleep on the streets. He got busted in Idaho for joy riding when his cousin picked him up and took him for a ride in a stolen pickup truck. He tried out for a semipro football team, then decided he didn't like it and quit. He did short stints as a bouncer, and, when they were speaking to each other, he worked security for California surf contests promoted by his father. Then he and his father would argue and Stant would move on. Stant was a lost and wandering soul with two interests: physical training and martial arts. And though he trained with extraordinary self-discipline, he would never submit to anyone else's disciplined instruction. He'd follow the biggest guys around the gym to learn how they pumped up, and he'd learn martial arts techniques by "trading stuff" and practicing full-contact, no-gloves sparring with like-minded friends.
When Stant was processed into jail in Oregon, he wrote on his intake papers that he was a "self-employed self-defense instructor." He claims that his father started teaching him to fight when he was 5 years old, that he "did a lot of judo," that he trained for five or six years in Muay Thai, a brutal martial arts style that resembles a Cuisinart of knees and elbows and short sticks.
He also claims that he perfected his knowledge of self-defense while in the military, that when he was 18, he enlisted in the Navy and went through basic training and Navy SEAL training. He says that his mother has certificates to prove as much, and Leslie Thomas claims to have seen them, but he was unable to provide copies to New Times. Then, he maintains, he was discharged from the Navy at paratrooper "jump school" at Fort Benning, Georgia, when it was discovered that he'd had knee surgery as a teenager.
A Navy spokesman, however, said there is no record that Stant ever served in that branch of the military.
"I trained for a year and a half on the Gracie competition team," he says, referring to a style of jujitsu grappling developed by the Brazil-born Gracie brothers, who are prominent martial artists. Later he scaled down the claim and said he had trained with the Gracies for five or six months in Torrance.