Smiling John (Part 5 by Smiling John)
“Smiling John” Eastlack escaped from prison and was featured on America’s Most Wanted. He was sentenced to death for the murders he describes. When it was discovered that he has fetal alcohol syndrome, his sentence was reduced to life in prison without parole.
Part 4 left off with Smiling John on the run in Mexico.
Leaving the car in an alley, I knew it would be stolen and sold for parts in hours. I got out, and walked the strip into the exclusive Electric Q, one of the hottest clubs in all of northern Mexico. The cartels, corrupt cops, local models and movie stars all hung out there.
I walked in unchallenged by the bouncers and the VIP host with a clipboard.
Weeks later, witnesses and the club’s owners would tell the media they’d assumed I was a padrote, a hip Mexican slang word for a playboy.
I found a private booth overlooking the dance floor, entrance and exit, and chilled sipping strawberry daiquirís.
About midnight, when the club really started coming alive, my eyes settled on a woman who looked like Queen Isabella. She had long black hair with French bangs, almond-shaped green eyes, copper-cream skin and a full figure. I was floored.
Her name was Patricia and at 22 she’d just moved back to El Paso from Los Angeles after modeling for 6 years to help her father raise her two younger sisters. Maria 16 and Lucy 14.
She was sat there with a friend, Yvonne, both a league apart from the other woman in the club. Unapproachable because of a beauty most men find intimidating for fear of not measuring up.
I had a wife in Dallas, a fiancée back in Tucson, and was on the run, but all that went up in smoke as I got up and approached Patricia.
“Excuse me, do you speak English?”
Caught off guard by my question, they both looked at me as if they were expecting a punch line.
“Yes. Are you here by yourself?” Patricia asked, looking back to my booth where I’d been sitting alone for the past half hour.
I was glad they’d noticed me.
“Sit with us. My name’s Patty and this is Bonny.”
I shook their hands softly, and introduced myself. “My name is Vogue. Perry Vogue.” I said it just like James Bond, with a British accent and all. Once again I saw in the glint of their eyes that they were waiting for a punch line.
“Where are you from England, Australia?” Bonny asked.
“Actually, I'm from Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands off the coast of Argentina. It's an English territory.”
Once again they seemed to be judging me, weighing my words.
“Would you like to dance?” Patty got up and pulled me onto the dance floor.
Patty and I danced the night away. We went to two more clubs The Cosmos and Sesto Senso. She dropped me of at the Embassy Suites and we made plans for dinner at 9:00pm.
Woke up at 2:00pm. Went swimming for about an hour, worked out at the hotel gym, then showered. At 4:00pm, I crossed the I-10 and went into the Cielo Vista Mall where I bought some clothes, a Gucci watch, and roses for Patty.
At 5:00pm, I showed up at Fort Bliss Army Base and went to see Paul to pick up a tote bag, weapons, an ID plus cash.
He gave me a Beretta 92F 9mm, an M16A3 rifle 5.56mm, a battle dress uniform, a PV7, a rucksack, an EBL, ammo, an MK2 vest, 8 M28 fags, a Winchester M70 bolt-action rifle, and a Med K plus a pack. He also gave me a passport stamped USA, Mexico and Argentina from the Falklands (UK) for Perry Vogue 03-14-63, 6’2” 205lbs, been traveling for 60 days, expires on 10-01-89.
This did not dent Paul at all as he constantly set up kits for the Southern Command, covering Central and South America for the CIA, NSA, DIA, DEA, SOF and even Border Patrol, Joint Task Force 3, INS, and Customs.
My long-term goals were to freelance down in Mexico with some folks I’d met during Operation Snowcap, a drug-interdiction force still running at that time.
At 6:00pm, I went back to the hotel, stashed my gear and took a nap.
Patty picked me up 9:00pm and we went to the Red Lobster, then to a point that overlooked the city lights of El Paso, where we had a drink.
The rest of the week was a blur of clubs, movies, restaurants, sex and more sex. I was so caught up in the Vogue character I actually forgot who I was.
On 09-10-89 Sunday night at 6:00pm, I got a call from Paul at Fort Bliss. He told me my story was going to be featured nationwide at 7:00pm local time on America’s Most Wanted, and that I’d made number 7 on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list. I was wanted for murders in two states. Sources had spotted me everywhere from Hawaii to Miami.
Click here for Part 4.
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Shaun P. Attwood