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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
on KRQE 6/30/2006
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.
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.
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
RC Gorman died on November
3rd, 2005, in Albuquerque.
"This sick creep
(RC Gorman) is
now burning in Hell and will molest no more
was posted on an
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?
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.
is on Gorman's webpage;
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
installment on the story involves pedophile priests and one lawsuit has been
filed in the case. March 2006
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.
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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.
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 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 &
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
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.
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.
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.
the case was obviously a contentious issue, as evidenced
by this letter between the lawyers involved.
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.
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
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.
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
About "Mother" and Jim Wagner, two principals in the
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.