David Hans Schmidt death by hanging? And why Phoenix mag finally published David Leibowitz's DHS story.

From the DHS site Hansnews.com: Schmidt turning over filched photos of Jamie Foxx to the actor's rep.

I've gotta give up the journalistic kudos to Arizona Republic reporter Richard Ruelas, who's obviously been working overtime on the DHS suicide story. In a winding piece that jumps from the front page in the Sunday paper, Ruelas speaks with DHS twin brother Doug Schmidt who drops that his brother suffered from depression, and that his death came by hanging. You have to weather a long lead to get to these tidbits, which are the story's main revelations. Ruelas also talks with Schmidt's estranged pa Fred up in Minnesota, who says he did not recall telling Phoenix mag writer David Leibowitz that he doesn't love his son, though Ruelas apparently listened to the tape of DHS's rich developer dad stating such to Leibo.

I also have to credit Leibo for forcing me to do something I almost never do, run out and grab a copy of Phoenix mag, which in addition to KTAR-dork Darrell Ankarlo's snore-worthy column and food writer Nikki Puke-cannon's fave new places to nosh, includes Leibo's long-delayed piece on celeb porn-peddler Schmidt. Earlier this year, Leibo had informed me that he had severed ties with Phoenix mag because they'd killed his Schmidt story even before he got a chance to write it. At that time, he expressed no interest in trying to sell it to someone else. Apparently, Schmidt had threatened Phoenix with a lawsuit, and that's why they passed on it. Leibo'd sent me several back and forth e-mails between himself and DHS over the matter. Leibo even bothers to mention this in the October issue item, and in a fit of honesty confesses that the reason for reviving the article's corpse had to do with the fact DHS had made news with his so-called plot to extort Tom Cruise over lost TomKat wedding photos.

(As an aside, is it really extortion if the "victim" might be willing to pony up a buttload of dough for photos he already owns? I mean, you can't rape the willing. And why was the FBI involved in uncovering this caper? Don't they have terrorists to catch, or something? Personally, I wish DHS had scored on this one. Tom Cruise is one of the most annoying celebs in Hollywood. Who cares if his retarded wedding pics are released to the public or not? Sheesh.)

The Leibo piece is definitely worth reading. I found it interesting that DHS was a fairly literate fellow, or at least more literate than I gave him credit for being. He throws out references to Dostoevsky, Kant, and Nietzsche, and talks about his time spent reading in prison. There's also plenty of the usual alpha-male bullshit, leavened with a generous dose of self-induced drama. I like Leibo's line that the DHS tale has "everything except a psychiatrist," something the guy absolutely needed. I have to disagree with commenters on my earlier post who basically say the guy's an asshole who won't be missed. Thing is, it's usually the assholes of this world who make something happen. Sure, DHS was sleazy, but so what? The dood made a splash while above ground, and we're all writing about him now. Somewhere on the autopsy table, he's having the last laugh.

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