A widespread fandom defense campaign mounted after charges of child abuse and molestation against DragonCon founder Ed Kramer were filed in Georgia. Kramer was said to use his fannish connections to dazzle children into accepting his sexual attentions. Accusers said he plied them with gifts of toys and promises of roles in films.
When horror author Nancy Collins spoke out against Kramer, she was subjected to vicious attacks from fan and pro alike. Once again, fandom’s capacity to cover up disappoints and horrifies.
Collins, who in typical fantasy writer fashion refers to Kramer as “that creature,” even tried to score a book deal out of Kramer’s story. “I basically did the only thing I had any hope of doing to try and support my family which was to take this horrendous monstrosity and do something that could be positive about it,” she says.
Although publishers were not interested in her story, Collins and Christ have made it their goal to become the disseminators of anti-Kramer rhetoric. They are no longer invited as Dragon*Con speakers, but can often be seen in the lobby passing out anti-Kramer paraphernalia and they have set up a Web site with selective links to court documents on the case.
One wonders if the author of the article really has any idea what typical fantasy-writer fashion is. But whatever.
Kramer spent many years denying the charges, and claimed he was too ill to stand trial. He appeared in public with an oxygen tank, and riding in a wheelchair.
Kramer’s lawyers forestalled a trial indefinitely by presenting evidence that the defendant was physically incompetent to stand trial. They said Kramer suffered from a degenerative spinal condition and chronic pain that would make it impossible for him to remain alert and assist in his own defense.
Also, he later claimed that DragonCon cheated him out of his share of earnings from the show. Kramer is no longer with Dragoncon. UPDATE: According to this article in Atlanta Magazine, Kramer is still a partial owner of the convention, and receives profits from the show.
Kramer also accuses Henry of hiding company financial records to trick him into selling 2,050 shares in DragonCon for less than they’re worth. “Pat Henry initiated an aggressive, coercive, and nepotistic campaign,” the suit states, “to wrest control of the company away from its shareholders.”
Kramer was released from jail while he awaited trial, in part, so he could “stay with his mother in her last days”. While an article linked above claims his mother was in Israel, another here reads she was in Brooklyn, to which Kramer traveled with permission of the court. Turns out, his mother died six months ago.
Kramer was found living with a fourteen-year-old boy in Milford, Ct, where he claimed to be filming a movie. This violates the condition of Kramer’s bond, and he is being extradited back to GA.
In court appearances in recent years, Kramer has leaned heavily on a cane while walking and breathed oxygen through a plastic face mask.
Porter said that at least three witnesses saw a different side of Kramer in Connecticut.
“The movie is being filmed in a campground, in a fairly rural area,” Porter said. “Mr. Kramer was hiking on the trails, didn’t require a cane, didn’t have his breathing apparatus and didn’t ride in his wheelchair.”
I’m sure there will be plenty of people out there who will continue to defend Kramer.
But I think a lot of people owe Nancy Collins an apology.