Saturday, January 09, 2010

The dead boy in Anita Pallenberg's bed

We saw the photos of Anita Pallenberg in the Daily Mail, held up at 65 as some kind of Dorian Gray portrait of the Rolling Stones, filed in the Marianne Faithfull bin of wreckage left on the side of the Mick and Keith's fastlane. Anita will be remembered for Barbarella, her three-in-a-tub scene with Jagger in Performance, and Brian Jones. We tend to remember her as Keith Richards' piggish Elvis-bloated hausfrau in South Salem, New York around the time her alleged teenage lover wound up dead in her and Keith's bed, shot through the head in what was never proven to be a game of Russian Roulette. We were working for the area's weekly newspaper chain, chasing down stories of Satanic activity in the area. A cop had claimed he'd been beaten down by a gang of guys in hooded cloaks; we found evidence of cult meetings on the grounds of a local convent; our attempts to connect it all to the crime scene inside the beautiful white country house with the mailbox painted in rasta colours got us and the story into Rolling Stone magazine, courtesy of a Random Notes writer named Kurt Loder.

It was July 20, 1979. The victim was a 17-year-old kid named Scott Cantrell. He was working as a handyman at the Richards estate and fell in love with Pallenberg, Richards' common-law wife, at at 37 well past her prime and fattened by excess in the Rolling Stones' most debauched disco days. In late June, he'd moved into the house with Pallenberg and her and Richards' 10-year-old son, Marlon. Richards was away recording an album in France on the night of July 20th.

According to People magazine:

"...On the night of July 20 Scott wasn't working. He was with Anita under the covers of her bed but fully dressed and watching a TV commemoration of the first moon landing. Richards' factotum Jeffrey Sessler came upstairs with sandwiches. 'They were drinking wine and laughing,' he recalls. 'They were feeling good. He was not in a depression.' When Sessler left, Anita told police, she got up to tidy the room. She heard a click—then a shot. Spinning around, she saw Scott bleeding from the head, gagging. She turned him over to help him breathe, she said, and found a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson, which she carried to a nearby bureau top. Two hours later Scott died at Northern Westchester Hospital."

In the end, the death was ruled a suicide, but the family never bought it. Anita Pallenberg was charged with having handguns without a permit and possessing a stolen gun -- the death weapon had disappeared from a Fort Lauderdale sheriff's office.

That was 1979. Keith Richards met Patti Hansen at Studio 54 that year. They were married in 1983.


Anonymous said...

You too have been around!

Great story!
Your pal,
Private Edwin Jennison

Anonymous said...

The boy's mother had committed suicide prior to this incident. Anita was cleared of any wrongdoing. Any other suggestions are pure speculation.

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Anonymous said...

Everyone forgets the mention of drugs in that house. And how Richards and Anita held parties for local kids.Spend the love and the drugs was their life. Which in case helped cause the death of a child.

Anonymous said...

The boy's mother was in pain. Have first hand knowledge. Also that the boy,Scott and others were in danger at that home. There was a party that night. But the cover up was great!!! Don't you think!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, the kid was a mooch and in the words of Keith Richards, "an absolute prick." He was, however, a pretty good shot.

Anonymous said...

If you believe anything that comes out of Keith Richard's mouth, You are a sap!!!! Money buys freedom and a cover up

Franklin said...

Kid had a bad trip and killed himself. He'd been depressed for a long time. No conspiracy there.

Mahi Tuna said...

Keith was in Paris at the time of the shooting, there are forums where people who lived in the area talk about the times Keith lived there. 1. The mother committed suicide before Scott. 2. The kids living in the area said there where no wild parties and Keith was rarely seen. One person describes seeing Keith in the 7/11 once buying Yogurt.

Andrew VanDenAmeele said...

Jeff Sessler shot Scott, there was a ladder against the window. Anita lost Keith to Patty already, she got Scott out of the way. Scott was emotionally disturbed and went to special schools. Not a suicide,-a huge cover up. (As told to me by several of Scott's childhood friends)