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You can hear the entire five-part series of reports on pedophile charges against rc gorman here.

       

This is the first segment of the series outlining the allegations. I received several critical emails about the background music I chose (from the soundtrack of Sling Blade). One man wrote that it made him feel "dirty" while listening to it in his car. He then wrote back after arriving to work and complimented me on my choice of music, saying it fit the subject matter.

 

It all started with a phone call for help in 1993. One victim called Nancy Steen for help and left a message on her answering machine. I will not name the victims in this case, because it doesn't matter.

The second victim of Gorman's pedophile talks about how the artist lures young men with drugs and alcohol.

A folk hero in the story? A guy by the name of Jim Wagner of Colorado, the only source who would let me use his real name and voice on the series. He talks about an incident in a bar on Memorial Day of 1977.

In the final segment of the series, Steen talks about her business with Gorman. She was planning on phasing out her Gorman collection and I reported that in this segment, listing her as a 'former business associate' of Gorman. She insisted I alter her voice during production of the series and, of course, she was never named.

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If you would like to see the supporting documents I used in the investigation (in addition to the ones on this website) please send me an email!



This story in the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper came out 7 years after I first aired the allegations against Gorman. The links on this story no longer work, but here is the text;
Gorman accused as pedophile  
      
 By TOM SHARPE | The New Mexican
August 5, 2006

Child-sex accounts emerge after Taos artist's death

Nine months after his death, millionaire Taos artist Rudolph Carl "R.C."Gorman is being painted as a pedophile.

A California man recently charged that in 1967, when he was 12, Gorman molested him while visiting his family's home.

Geoffrey Francis Dunn, 51, said he is coming forward now because, despite Gorman's fame, the artist's pedophilia was hidden during his lifetime.

"Pedophiles were running rampant in the '60s," Dunn, now a historian, author, filmmaker and lecturer at the University of California at Santa Cruz, said in a telephone interview. "But we swept it under the table."

An Albuquerque television station, KRQE-TV, Channel 13, aired Dunn's charge July 26 -- what would have been Gorman's 75th birthday. FBI reports obtained by the station state the artist was alleged to have belonged to "a pedophile ring in Taos" that brought "runaways or uneducated" boys from Mexico, violating a federal law known as the White Slave Traffic Act.

The documents, released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, say the FBI "uncovered credible evidence that Gorman participated in child sexual abuse."

By 1997, however, the report states, the five-year statute of limitations on criminal prosecution had expired on the "only provable cases."

Norman Bay, the U.S. attorney for the New Mexico district at the time, opposed continuing the investigation because it would appear that Gorman "was targeted ... based upon his prominence," an FBI report states.

Virginia Dooley, who managed Gorman's career for 35 years and is the personal representative of his estate, says she doesn't believe the recent allegations. "It's just because Gorman was a famous person, and people like to hit on famous people," she said. "If it can't be proved, why not go with it and see what kind of mess they can make?"

Gorman was widely known to be gay, but Dooley declined to identify him that way. "Being gay and molesting children are two different subjects," she said. "He probably was gay, but ... why should I be answering these questions? That's a very personal matter."

Gorman, whom the Southwestern Association for American Indian Arts plans to recognize posthumously with a Lifetime Achievement Award during this month's Santa Fe Indian Market, grew up near Chinle, Ariz., on the Navajo reservation, the son of another well-known artist, Carl Gorman. With the help of Dooley, who met the young Gorman in 1970 soon after he settled in Taos, his reputation skyrocketed.

He was criticized for repeating the same images and not experimenting, but his paintings of stoic, stout, serene American Indian women looking wistfully over desert landscapes were reproduced by the millions on posters, coffee cups and greeting cards. "He's not painting me," one of his many female models explained recently. "He's painting what he wants to be."

Gorman started the Navajo Gallery on LeDoux Street, near Taos Plaza. He lived and worked in his gallery at first, then in 1980 built a $3 million mansion in El Prado, north of Taos. His lavish, hard-drinking parties were legendary. He posed for photographs with Elizabeth Taylor, Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger. His work was collected by Barry Goldwater, Lee Marvin and Andy Warhol.

Gorman participated in local events and was known as a generous donor to many local causes. He seemed to have a sixth sense about publicity, fawning for reporters and promoting the phrase, "Who is R.C. Gorman?" on bumper stickers and T-shirts. Despite widespread exposure, however, his sexuality remained off-limits. And no one ever formally charged him with molesting a child.

In 1999, Albuquerque radio station KOB-AM ran a series of interviews with two anonymous men who said Gorman had molested them when they were teenagers and then paid them to keep them from going to the police. Gorman issued a written statement that he was "shocked and disappointed by recent allegations in the media," but "the credibility problems of the unnamed source ... is sufficient reason not to dwell on the matter."

D.J. Welsh, a Rio Rancho woman who had lobbied the state Legislature for stronger penalties against pedophiles, sought to publicize the boys' allegations. She said in a recent interview she didn't know anything about Gorman until the late 1990s, when she had a conversation with a publisher of Gorman art books who compared him to Michael Jackson.

"I said, 'Who is this guy?' " Welsh said. "Then I started checking him on the Internet, and I found out the power that he had."

Most other news-media outlets didn't carry the story. KOB-AM's news director, Vern Beachy, who was soon fired, maintains a Web site that continues to follow allegations against Gorman.

 
Posted on KRQE 6/30/2006 11:01:00 AM
Larry Barker: FBI probed Gorman child-sex reports
Starting in 1997, the FBI investigated allegations famed New Mexico artist R. C. Gorman sexually exploited young boys, but the probe ended abruptly under orders of the U. S. Attorney.
 
Here is a little background information on Doctor Geoffrey Dunn;


Dr. Dunn is an extremely well-known figure in California. He is an award-winning journalist, filmmaker, professor — and he is a life-long Democrat. Paul Bardacke, former attorney general, served as Richardson’s campaign manager. If you look at my web site, you will see that Paul Bardacke had ample knowledge of Gorman’s activities, as he mediated several settlements between Gorman and his victims. This material can be located at VernBeachy.com. Barker’s links regarding the FBI probe of Gorman can also be found on the website and at KRQE.com, along with an interview of Dr. Dunn.
 

 
July 10, 2006: Listen To "You Are The Guest Show # 47"

Topic: RC Gorman and The FBI Confidential Files

RC Gorman was an icon in the art world and considered to be a treasure for the state of New Mexico. His friends included film stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger. His work was collected by Barry Goldwater, Gregory Peck, Erma Bombeck, Lee Marvin, Andy Warhol and others. But in October of 1997, the FBI began collecting information regarding numerous suspected sexual relationships RC Gorman had with children that spanned over 20 years and involved transporting children across state and international boundaries for illegal sexual activities. Vern Beachy, who conducted his own investigative news reports tells what he learned about RC Gorman back in 1999 and shares brand new information including the depth of Gorman's association with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and several catholic priests.

Listen to the show, take a look at all the supporting information below, and draw your own conclusion.
 
 
The Gorman story didn't end with his death in 2005. Several people mentioned in the court documents and lawyer correspondence are now being targeted for perpetuating and taking part in abuse within the Catholic Church. I am corresponding with several of the victims and my latest article can be read here (in pdf format) or here (in Word format).
 
 
RC Gorman died on November 3rd, 2005, in Albuquerque.
 
 

"This sick creep (RC Gorman) is now burning in Hell and will molest no more children."

This comment was posted on an Internet site talking about news stories of Indian artist RC Gorman's death in early November, 2005.

The most controversial series of reports I aired during my career was the one focusing on pedophile allegations against southwest artist RC Gorman.

I had started hearing the allegations shortly after I arrived in New Mexico and, eventually, I found the "smoking gun" in the case in an obscure unemployment file. The information was difficult to obtain because the financial settlements with the victims were sealed from the public and no charges were ever filed against Gorman.

I eventually got two of the eight victims to talk on tape as well as the main source for the story, an art dealer in southern New Mexico.

A weekly newspaper called the Alibi in Albuquerque wrote a piece about the series and you can read it here (in Word format).

Why are you providing this information now?

Why not?

It has a lot to do with the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, or rather, the coverage of the election. Specifically the CBS NEWS National Guard fake memo and how I felt about the actions of some investigative reporters. CBS News and Dan Rather drug their feet and hid behind the "confidentiality agreement" between sources and reporters, even though the source is widely known as having a specific agenda.

KRQE TV in Albuquerque reported this in June of 2006: Starting in 1997, the FBI investigated allegations famed New Mexico artist R. C. Gorman sexually exploited young boys, but the probe ended abruptly under orders of the U. S. Attorney.

This description is on Gorman's webpage;

ABOUT R.C. GORMAN

R.C. Gorman is considered by many to be the premiere Indian artist. A man of today in every sense, his art reflects the racial memory and experience of an ancient people that remains timeless and universal. The deceptively simple, lyrical lines of his drawings provoked the New York Times to title him "The Picasso of American Indian Art." His work, especially the lithographs, drawings and bronzes, is collected as often by lovers of contemporary art as by those specializing in Indian Art.

Gorman has lived in Taos and owned the Navajo Gallery there since 1968. Though he travels extensively to exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe, he always considers Taos his home.

The Navajo Gallery is one of the oldest galleries in Taos. Since it is the only gallery owned by Gorman, the gallery's inventory retains the largest collection of his work in the country. So, if you're looking for something you think might be sold out, just ask. We're likely to still have it on hand.

Asked why his art is still in demand when many other artists lack his staying power, R.C. responds: "I'm lucky that I can paint as I wish and that people relate to my work in a very personal way. I've always done what is unique to me. I'm starting on my third generation of collectors now, and that means a lot to me."
 

A new installment on the story involves pedophile priests and one lawsuit has been filed in the case. March 2006

Priest, archdiocese named in sex lawsuit

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The next 2 documents are examples of the emails I received after the series aired;

Click the button below to read a news article in the Albuquerque Alibi about my series of reports on Gorman.

Alibi Article

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US Map

08/20/2014



Vern Beachy

I am a former radio news director at stations and networks in Iowa, Arkansas and New Mexico and managing editor for a television station (NBC) in Little Rock, Arkansas. I spent 17 years as a journalist covering politics, crime and courts, features and other general assignments.
 
I have won numerous state, regional and national journalism awards. 
This document outlines a sexual abuse claim of a third victim (not interviewed for the series) and includes some of the graphic testimony common with the victims I spoke with. The letter from the mediator in the Gorman case also mentions a "pedophile priest" named Father Conrad. I do not have information on Father Conrad, but it is believed to be Father Conran Runnebaum, who is mentioned several times in other documents. 
 
 
This is a fax cover sheet from Guardian founder DJ Welsh to FBI Agent John Schum in Albuquerque. The FBI was looking into pedophile allegations against Gorman and several priests.
 
 
The next 3 documents are from Scott Poland's arrest sheet.
 
 
 

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The following notes were written and typed by Guardian of New Mexico, a now-defunct organization which tracked the whereabouts of sex offenders in New Mexico. I used some of the information from Guardian when I researched the series.

Paul Bardacke

Paul Bardacke served as Attorney General of New Mexico from 1983-1986. Paul was Chairman of Bill Richardson's successful 2002 gubernatorial campaign. He is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Paul currently handles complex commercial litigation and mediation with the firm of Eaves, Bardacke, Baugh, Kierst & Larson.

___

 
This letter to Paul Bardacke initially confirmed the existence of a monetary settlement between Gorman and one victim, who at one time, was employed by Gorman at his estate, but was fired.
 
 
Gorman refused to talk with me while I investigated the story, and would offer no comment after the series aired. His associate did, however, tell one member of the press after the first series aired that one victim should be viewed with skepticism because of his criminal record. I was well aware of that record based on this document from the 1st Judicial District Attorney.
 
 
I have extensive interview notes conducted by DJ Welsh of Guardian in regard to Gorman. This was of an interview with one victim stating his willingness to be interviewed by me.
 
 
I interviewed several of Gorman's victims and tried to interview one who was in prison in Santa Fe at the time. I did get to talk with him, but he was unwilling to go on tape. This is the letter to the Public Defenders office requesting the contact interview with the inmate.
 
 
Mediation on the case was obviously a contentious issue, as evidenced by this letter between the lawyers involved.
 
 
 
As evidenced by the previous 2 letters, Albuquerque attorney Bruce Pasternack was initially involved in pursuing damages against RC Gorman, but later sought, successfully, to terminate any involvement in the Gorman case. My understanding was that Pasternack was more focused on the Archdiocese, rather than Gorman, hence his reluctance to take up the case.
 
Pasternack had become a household name in the 1990's for representing many sexual molestation victims in lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.  Ultimately, those lawsuits resulted in the resignation of Archbishop Robert F. Sanchez, who admitted to his own sexual misconduct.
 
 
Psychiatrist Patricia Murphy charged $1,000 for her work on the case. The notes scrawled on this letter were written by me when I was trying, unsuccessfully, to contact her.
 
 
The next three documents concern a 1985 court case against Scott Poland, who was RC Gorman's right-hand man. The notes on the documents were written by DJ Welsh when she was conducting the Gorman probe on behalf of Guardian (a now-defunct organization).
 
 
 
 
About "Mother" and Jim Wagner, two principals in the story.
 
 
 
 

Alright, now what?

The ensuing fallout from the series has been kind of interesting. I didn't do the reports for any particular agenda. I never had a notion of doing it for money, nor was I ever asked by anyone connected to the story to do it for money. In fact, I lost money on the series (I lost my job)

Through my work on the series I did get to know a well-known victim advocate in New Mexico and we were planning on getting married. That didn't work out but, despite that part of the story, I continue to stand behind the investigation and the proper avenues I utilized to gather the necessary and accurate information.

I was fired from my job as news director at KOB AM less than a month after the series aired. Gorman threatened to sue me and the company, but he never made any moves in court, nor did he ever talk to me personally. The management of the radio station was informed of my story progress every step of the way, encouraged my efforts and my immediate boss was excited to have a story of this investigative caliber come from the radio station. In journalism lingo, it was a good "get." I never did find out why they fired me (beyond the nebulous reasons), but I suspect the Gorman series was a big part of it, or the company used the Gorman incident to find a reason to get rid of someone who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a year earlier (me).

Proving that in court would be another matter altogether so I did not pursue it even though I was told by the EEOC in Albuquerque that I had a case.