Before Senator John Edwards’ 42-year-old mistress moved to Los Angeles and started calling herself Rielle Hunter, she was a New York party girl named Lisa Druck. She was also a race horse owner in Ocala, Florida. Her horse, Henry the Hawk, was the victim of a killing-for-hire, staged so Ms. Druck/Hunter’s father, James, could cash in on a $150,000 insurance policy.
According to Lester Munson of ESPN, James Hunter, an attorney, “started Tommy Burns on the way to his grisly career as a horse killer,” and even taught Mr. Burns how to kill a horse by electrocution. Mr. Burns earned the nickname “The Sandman.” He eventually testified to a grand jury about “36 people for their role in conspiring to kill horses — 35 of whom would be convicted of their crimes, mostly insurance fraud.”
Rielle Hunter’s father served six months in jail. He died of lung cancer in 1990.
Author Jay McInerney (Bright Lights, Big City) met Ms. Druck/Hunter in 1987 and dated her for several months. She was his inspiration for Alison Poole, the main character in Mr. McInerney’s book Story of My Life, about “a budding actress already fatally well versed in hopping the clubs, shopping Chanel falling in and out of, lust, and abusing other people’s credit cards.”
Edwards’ “other woman” revives memories of a gruesome scandal (ESPN; August 14, 2008)
John Edwards’ former babe inspired lusty, party-girl character in novel (Daily News; August 9, 2008)