"When I die and you
do my obituary piece,
it will be
the most brilliant work
of your career."
--what Alicia Jacobs says
Danny Gans told her
a week before his death
With Tabloid Baby's ten days of investigation and muckraking fulfilling its goal of getting the national news media to take notice of and dedicate their extensive resources to the Danny Gans death mystery, the press corps and media elite in Gans' Las Vegas kingdom have gone back into business-as-usual mode, as if the uproar of the past 72 hours never took place at all.
The local newspapers, The Las Vegas Review-Journal and Las Vegas Sun, weathered the eruption and have offered no new stories on what may have led to to Gan's untimely death at 52. Local television news never moved beyond the headline that "speculation swirls," and, most intriguingly, Steve Friess, author of Gay Vegas and Las Vegas-based national freelancer (above right-- we have to run an approximation because he threatens legal action every time we run his photo), has returned to his blog with no mention of the weekend fracas.
While the locals wait for the results if the toxicology report from the Clark County Coroner;s Office (which could come this week), investigators and authors will start from scratch in the investigation, looking back far beyond the sketchy 24-hour timeline leading ti the seemingly healthy showman to die in his sleep on May 1st.
As they do, an overshadowed anecdote that Norm Clarke of the Review-Journal has written twice now is taking on new significance. The columnist wrote that a week before Gans died, he shared a death premonition with his friend, local TV entertainment reporter Alicia Jacobs:
"They were having a telephone conversation about his new music video 'What a Wonderful World' being produced by Hollywood director Brett Ratner. Jacobs said she wanted to interview him about it, that it would be 'a fun story.'"
"Gans then stunned her with a comment that came out of left field.
"He said, 'When I die and you do my obituary piece, it will be the most brilliant work of your career.'"
Is this more mythmaking on the part of the Vegas media elite (Norm was forced to retract a story that Danny Gans ditched his usual closing numbers at his final show for an eerily prescient Bobby Darin song at his final show-- people who were in the audience were refuting the story in our comment sections)?
Or did Danny Gans have some reason to be thinking about his death-- or to believe his own death was near?
(NOTE: In the Vegas journo tradition of writing a story whose real meaning must be hidden between the lines, check out Steve Friess' blog post entitled A Sad Morning Chat. Friess, who in an email to us Monday acknowledged his role in helping attract media attention to the story and congratulated us for our work ("Had I not been so unwise as to actually write about you, nobody would ever know who you are. So, sure, congrats on that"), writes of the death of his "industry" and hints at the power wielded over him by a certain casino owner connected to Danny Gans (you can do the work and figure out who that might be.)