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  1. #1

    'Hitsville's hitmaker and the hitman'

  2. #2
    Sadly due to the recent EU GDPR laws, EU member states cannot see this article.

    I suspect that it is about Motown's chief mixing & recording engineer Lawrence T.Horn.




  3. #3
    JUSTICE STORY: Hitsville's hitmaker and the hitman

    By David J. Krajicek
    | New York Daily News |
    Feb 24, 2019 | 12:00 AM

    Recording studio mixing console (OllyPlu/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

    Though you wouldn't know his name, an obscure knob-twister named Lawrence (L.T.) Horn was as important as Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson or Berry Gordy Jr. to the music that triggered shimmying in the streets in the '60s.

    A baker's son from west Detroit, the tall, lanky Horn was a self-taught electronics geek hired by Gordy at age 22 as Motown Records' first full-time recording engineer.

    Like the Funk Brothers, Motown's studio musicians, Horn was rarely credited.

    Lawrence (L.T.) Horn was a Motown star — behind the scenes. (Handout)

    But he recorded and mixed scores of tunes that rolled off the Hitsville USA assembly line from 1960 to '72, including "My Girl," the enduring No. 1 song for the Temptations from 1965. He also personally shaped the rowdy, improvised style of saxman Junior Walker & the All Stars.

    As a measure of his value to Motown, Horn was handsomely compensated — unlike the sidemen musicians. He carried himself like a star, tooling around Motor City in a Porsche, seeding nightclubs with C-notes from a bottomless expense account.

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    He was married briefly to a Motown secretary, Juana Royster, who described Horn as a bright, ambitious young man "with a real flair."

    Horn carried his swagger to Los Angeles when Motown abandoned Detroit for L.A. in 1972. A year later, he married Mildred Maree, a flight attendant he met on a plane — in first class, of course.

    The couple had a daughter, Tiffani, in 1974, but the relationship soon became a running argument. Mildred told her sister that Horn was "a curse."

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    She moved to Washington, D.C., and resumed her airline career. But neither partner could quit the other, and they maintained a hot-and-cold affair even while pursuing divorce.

    On Aug. 5, 1985, the couple became parents again when Mildred gave birth prematurely to twins, Trevor and Tamielle.

    Trevor was born with underdeveloped lungs that required mechanical respiration. A month into his life, the tiny preemie suffered brain damage when he was left without oxygen by a hospital gaffe.

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    The Horns sued and in 1990 won a settlement that included permanent medical support for Trevor and a seven-figure trust fund, although his prognosis for survival was bleak.

    "Hit Man" by Rex Feral (Paladin Press)

    By that point, 25 years after his masterful mixing of "My Girl," Horn's glory days were long gone.

    As Motown's star dimmed, Gordy sold the label to MCA in 1988. Horn was relegated to the lackey job of tape librarian and then was let go in 1990.

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    He found himself living in a funky L.A. apartment, falling ever deeper in debt. He rarely bothered to travel east to see his son.

    But against all odds, the boy survived to age 7, living with his mother and twin in Maryland. The settlement paid for in-home nursing care. Trevor learned to speak a few words and even attended a special school.

    But the plucky boy's lionhearted efforts to live ended one ghastly night.

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    The Washington Post described it on March 4, 1993:

    "A 7-year-old quadriplegic boy, his mother and his nurse were found slain inside a Silver Spring house yesterday...The child died when his respirator was disconnected; both women were shot several times," police said.

    The victims were Trevor, Mildred Horn, 43, and nurse Janice Saunders, 38.

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    A prosecutor said the murders were committed "with icy dispatch," like a professional hit. But what heartless beast would target an incapacitated child?

    After months of legwork, investigators used motel and car-rental records to link the murders to "Dr." James Perry, a sketchy Detroit street preacher and paroled stickup artist.

    The deaths of Trevor and Mildred left L.T. Horn as beneficiary of his son's $1.7 million trust. To police, he seemed more money-hungry than bereaved. He told a Post reporter he was "perplexed" by the murders.

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    But phone records and an FBI wiretap turned up evidence of hundreds of contacts between Perry and Horn, including Western Union wire payments and two calls to Horn's apartment from Maryland pay phones on the night of the murders.

    James Perry was the hitman Horn hired to carry out his evil plan.

    Prosecutors said Horn hooked up with Perry, recommended by a cousin, during a Detroit trip to find a hit man a year before the slayings. A novice, Perry boned up with a book, "Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors."

    He was paid $6,000 but failed his final test by using his name and ID to rent a car and motel room during the job.

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    Horn and his hired man were charged in July 1994, 16 months after the murders.

    Andrew Sonner, a Maryland state's attorney who prosecuted dozens of homicides over three decades, told the press, "There have been a lot of amateurish attempts, but nothing that rises to this level."

    For example, there was Horn's attempt at an alibi: a time-stamped video recording he made of his apartment in California as the murders were happening across the country in Maryland.

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    Perry was convicted in October 1995 — and again in 2001 after a successful challenge of trial evidence. Horn, described in court as a "monster" who sacrificed his son for the love of money, was convicted in a separate trial in 1996.

    Each man died unrepentant in prison while serving life term — Perry in 2009, Hitsville's Horn in February 2017.

    The families of their victims sued the Colorado publisher of "Hit Man," arguing it encouraged and facilitated murder. To avoid a trial, the publisher chose to withdraw the book from its catalog.


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Ralph Terrana

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