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Vicki Morgan (August 9, 1952 – July 7, 1983) was a model and a high-profile murder victim.

Background

Born Victoria Lynn Morgan in Colorado Springs, Coloradomarker, Morgan was a stunningly beautiful girl who went to Hollywoodmarker in search of fame. She found work as an usher at Grauman's Chinese Theatermarker and it was there that the teenager met 54-year-old Reagan-financier Alfred S. Bloomingdale, a married multi-millionaire from the famous New York Citymarker department store family.

Morgan soon became Bloomingdale's mistress, benefitting from his generosity. Her social circle also included wealthy superannuated playboy Bernie Cornfeld. On Bloomingdale's dime, she lived a lavish lifestyle that lasted until 1982 when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. With Bloomingdale on his deathbed and his usual flow of funds to the now 30-year-old Morgan no longer coming, her financial situation quickly turned desperate. To protect herself, she hired the famous Hollywood palimony attorney Marvin Mitchelson to file a multi-million dollar lawsuit for financial compensation as his mistress. The pre-trial media coverage of the initial complaint revealed sordid details of the couple's deviant sexual relationship that grabbed headlines nationwide, causing considerable embarrassment amongst the Washington D.C.marker elite. However, when Morgan learned that Mitchelson had dinner and a meeting at the White House with Nancy and Ronald Reagan, she lost trust in Mitchelson. Morgan fired Mitchelson and hired attorney Joel Steinberg. Morgan was left without income. Later court documents and news stories revealed that after she began selling off the jewelry and the expensive car purchased for her by Bloomingdale, Morgan was preparing to write a tell-all book which was reportedly going to name a number of wealthy and powerful politicians and businessmen who had participated in her sadistic sex rituals.

Morgan moved from her expensive Los Angeles apartment to a more modest San Fernando Valleymarker condominium, renting a room to a 32-year-old homosexual acquaintance named Marvin Pancoast. Three weeks later, Pancoast walked into a police station and confessed to murdering Morgan. Investigation found Morgan dead, apparently beaten to death with a baseball bat.

Theories

There have been many conspiracy theories as to why she was murdered. Pancoast's explanation — that he was tired of hearing Vicki Morgan complain that she was tired and worried — scarcely seems a motive for a brutal bludgeon murder; Pancoast had no history of violent behavior. After Morgan's death, publisher Larry Flynt offered to purchase copies of video tapes showing a number of high-ranking people in the Reagan administration in sexual trysts from Beverly Hills attorney Robert Steinberg. Steinberg later failed to produce the videos and claimed they had been stolen from him. In a television interview for KNBC filmed after his incarceration, Pancoast (dying of AIDS) recanted his confession, but station management aired only a portion of Pancoast's denial of guilt, feeling his explanation was too explosive. Adding to the conspiracy fodder was the fact that Pancoast had worked at the theatrical agency CAA at the same time as agent Morgan Mason (son of James Mason and Pamela Mason), who by the time of Vicki Morgan's lawsuit was working for the White House, and that Bloomingdale was close friends with the Reagans. Nancy Reagan was one of Betsy Bloomingdale's best friends.

The Vicki Morgan story received considerable print coverage and in 1985 author Gordon Basichis wrote Beautiful Bad Girl: The Vicki Morgan Story. In 1990, Dominick Dunne, the prominent Vanity Fair journalist, author of several books about crimes involving the rich and famous and someone whose own 22-year-old daughter Dominique had been murdered, came out with a fictional portrayal of Vicki Morgan in his book, An Inconvenient Woman.

Further reading

  • Beautiful Bad Girl: The Vicki Morgan Story Gordon Basichis, uPUBLISH.com (2000) ISBN 0-595-12822-X
  • Inconvenient Woman Dominick Dunne, Ballantine (1991) ISBN 0-345-43053-0


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