Mother Theresa & The Lost Boy

Sometimes the bond between a mother and daughter is so spiritually connected and strong that even a little obsession with a dead actor can bring them together.

Spirits whom I idolize seem gravitate towards my mother. Especially, much to her sadness yet still hopefulness, spirits who died tragically.  And young.

In sixth grade I became obsessed with Larry Clarks film, “Bully”. I read the book by Jim Schutze and studied the case very closely, watching anything and everything that was related to it. Though I don’t believe the movie (and book) are a real and fact based portrayal of the actual crime, I still admired the way Mr. Clark filmed the movie and I became an instant fan of his with viewing only one of his films. I loved the movie that much. It was also the first time I had seen a film with the late Brad Renfro whom I now adore and actually keep James Franco’s “Brad Tribute” mirror on my nightstand. Franco’s handwritten “Brad Forever” stained across the reflection in pink lipstick with a tiny, beautiful photo of Brad glued underneath.

This was my first taste of modern obsession with tragic actors who died young. I gravitate towards them as if they were my babies and I’m their savior. Everyday I try to protect them and their images. The unknown who “ordinary” people don’t recognize their names.

Larry Clark threw me into a new world. A different kind of filmmaking that both intrigued me and made me sick. I felt nauseous at the end of the film. I didn’t sleep for days after. Still, I spent the whole Summer after sixth grade watching that movie. Every. Single. Night.

Travel forward in time about 3 years when I was a freshman in High School. Well past my Bully phase and even forgetting that I had once loved that film. Late night insomnia made me skip through our tv guide looking for something to watch when I stumbled upon Bully. I clicked it on and it started all over again.

But I wasn’t going to let it stop there. I was fully prepared to seek out and watch all of Larry Clarks films and gaze upon his photography portfolio. Logging into my online account for the local library I searched Larry’s name and, with no surprise, only a few options came up. Bully and a film called Kids.

I clicked on Kids and hit the “request” button to have it brought to the library having no clue what the film was even about. All I knew was that Kids was Larry’s first film.

After I picked up Kids from the library, I locked myself in my room and played the film.

The first shot absolutely repulsed and confused me. I continued watching, hoping that my opinion would change.

It didn’t.

After the final scene of the film I shut it off hoping that the images I just saw would erase itself out of my memory. But days after viewing it I had to turn it back on and watch it again. And again. And again.

I was trapped in a world where I didn’t belong.

Mainly, I was captivated by the character Casper played by Justin Pierce. Casper, the loud mouthed skater who is best friends with Telly, the lead character, whose mission is to sleep with as many virgin girls as possible, unknowingly giving and spreading AIDS to each girl as he goes. Immediately, the viewer loves Casper. Next to his friend, who continually talks about hunting down new girls, the viewer, obviously, is automatically drawn to Casper. But with Casper I could sense a very troubled soul. You can see it in his face–in his eyes. His acting blew me away but I could feel that there was something more there. Curiosity got the best of me and I decided to do a quick Google search of his name.

Sadly what I found was that he had been dead for more than ten years. The cause of death:

Suicide by Hanging. Age 25

What I found slightly more disturbing is that he had killed himself at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, a place that I have driven/walked by countless times in my life. To think that I was so close to a sort of twisted crime scene of an actor who I was only then beginning to appreciate saddened me but didn’t fail to spark a fuel inside to discover more about Justin.

Who was Justin?

A boy who was randomly picked up from the streets to be in a movie.

A boy who won outstanding performance awards for his portrayal as Casper in Kids.

The unknown boy who hardly had any photos on the internet when I had first discovered him.

The lost boy who had written two suicide notes before tying a noose around his neck in the late night life of Vegas.

The world around him was alive, well, and happy. Only he wasn’t.

So what is it about Justin Pierce?

Though I’ve grown to love and admire the film Kids, there are essentially no redeeming characters. Throughout the film you root for Justin’s character. He gives a little girl who is alone outside a peach, digs through his pockets to find any money he has to give to a homeless man who has no legs on a New York subway train, and told off a friend who stole money from his mother.

Justin’s character gives the viewer hope that in every bunch of troubled kids, there can be one good one. One that can truly make it. He gives out redeeming qualities only to destroy it by attacking an innocent black man and leaving him for dead and raping a drugged up girl at a party.

Why do people, including myself, love this character so much? Why is he the hero of the story?

The film parallels his own life. Out of the cast of Kids Justin was the one people knew would turn into a major star. The troubled boy making it big in Hollywood. Showing us that even, in his own words, a “bastard son” can achieve greatness. He gave many powerful drama filled, along with comedic, performances only to take it all back from us by killing himself in a Vegas suite.

I began (in much obsessiveness and oddness) a search to find out more about Justin. What is it that makes his fans, and there are a lot of us, love him?

During the span of my research I learned my parents were planning a trip to Las Vegas to visit relatives. I asked my mother, who is a psychic/medium, if she could stop at the Bellagio to see if she could feel and/or sense Justin. My mother had no clue who Justin was. All she knew was that he was an actor and had died in a Bellagio suite.

Upon their arrival, my mom snapped a quick picture of the Bellagio as they drove by and sent it to me while I was anxiously waiting in school.

The next few days she kept Justin on her mind, hoping to receive any bit of information that she could give to me. As they walked around the famous streets, my mom stopped behind the rest of the crowd she was with and felt a quick rush of intense sadness and pain which was accompanied by a soft brush against her cheek as if someone was trying to comfort her.

She later told me that she had felt a quick calm sensation and a moment peace. The peace of a worried, manic mind. And the peace of that everything is okay now.

Once knocked back into reality she realized she was standing at the entrance of the Bellagio hotel.

Quickly, she hurried back to catch up with the rest and texted me what had happened.

“He was in a lot of pain. Physically and emotionally. Broken bones? Lots of broken or sprained bones.”

My mother, not knowing Justin was a professional skate boarder, picked up he hurt all over. Bodily and mentally.

“He was in a lot of emotional pain. Intense inner torment. But he’s alright now. He’s happy now.” She assured me. “Don’t be sad for him. He doesn’t care anymore. He’s okay.”

A few days after, relieved me texted my mom:

“French teacher gone, no test today. Jesus Christ, yes.”

As my mom read this text, she overheard a woman near her say,

“Jesus Christ, what happened?”

She laughed to herself and texted back asking,

“What’s with all the Jesus Christ’s today?”

“Justin!!!” I replied.

Kids ended with Justin waking up on a couch after raping a girl uttering the famous last lines of the film before cutting to black,

“Jesus Christ, what happened?”

Small little messages kept happening even after my mother arrived back home. We’ll text each other words or symbols we get from spirit asking if it has any meaning to us. One day as I was listening to the Kids soundtrack in my room my mom asked what “butterscotch” meant to me.

I immediately laughed and said,

“Yep, that’s Justin.”

Ever get movie quotes stuck in your head? I always get “butterscotch” stuck in my head. I confirmed to her that it was in fact Justin but didn’t have the heart, nor did I want to explain to her, that he was using the word butterscotch to describe a ladies private part.

We’ve had countless experiences with Justin, so many that you may think we’re simply “faking” it. But we whole heartedly believe in it and that’s all that matters.

As a former child actress who died at the age of 14 (in my previous life) I have such sympathy and love for fellow stars who had followed the same path that I, unfortunately, started. I’m drawn to these types of people because I know how it feels. And I also know how it feels to be forgotten. To be lost in the shadows and to become a victim of Hollywood.

Some of the stars I love seem to go to my mother as well. Those who have had broken homes and bad childhoods. They find a safe haven and comfort in my mom. The mother figure they didn’t seem to have while living on earth.

I’m their fan and support while my mother is their unconditional love and comfort.

My mother has a strong connection to Justin and holds a warm kind of love for him. Though, she refuses to watch Kids. She holds Justin to such a high standard that she doesn’t want to see him doing anything that will may make her want to change her opinion about him. She feels as though it would be a “mother” intruding on a sons personal business.

Justin was a living icon of New York and the prototype of what could happen to a troubled soul in films. To the pure ones.

I think us fans are in love with the could have been. Not what should have been, what could  have been. Souls as old and rare as his are not meant to be in this world for very long. As sad as that is, it’s the truth.

I certainly would have loved to have seen him in more films but he did all he could and we should be thankful for that. He chose to die, not that I agree with his decision, we should not be mad at him for that. For whatever reasons he had behind it, we cannot be mad. It was his life and he chose the path he had. We’ve done a great job at keeping his spirit alive and we should thank him for the wonderful performances he left us. In all of his pain and suffering, he held it together long enough to share his talents with the world. And that is what he was meant to do.

July 10th will mark the 15th anniversary of Justin’s death and he’s still alive and well in all of our hearts. He still has pictures with friends being posted online, t-shirts with his face on it selling, movies being watched, and new fans mourning his passing.

Our minds are compelled to keep him alive. Him dying young gave us the ability to use our imaginations to carry on his legacy.

 Because Legends Never Die.

Rest in Paradise Justin

Justin - Funeral

The Falling

My apologies for not posting in so long–it’s been a busy past few months.

Here is a passage I wrote for my upcoming book, “Human Wreckage” about my life as Lucille Ricksen. I will not be using this chapter–I wrote this about a year ago and have since changed the way I’ll be writing my book thus making this chapter useless. Thought I’d share it since it is very personal to me & I feel it’s beneficial to those who are searching for the truth of some things.

This has not been edited much and is a very rough cut of my writing–there will be errors but should still be an interesting read.

This is all in the point of view of Lucille Ricksen.

Hope you enjoy.

————

The Falling

“I’ve never known anyone so full of joy”
Lois would sob as news of my death became public. Other co stars would say,
“She was a sweet natured girl who gave happiness to everyone she met”
Newspapers published that I had died from a broken heart–a victim of the worlds cruelty. In reality, I was a victim of Hollywood.
I was laid to rest the day before Sydney’s [Sydney Chaplin] birthday, March 15th.
Jack and Mary Pickford, the Chaplin brothers, Lois and others decorated my coffin with beautiful flowers. Many celebrities attended; it seemed only like a Hollywood gathering. A big party. Definitely not an event where they laid a little girl to rest.
There were also some anonymous grievers surrounding the venue of the tightley woven famous crowd. Those who wanted to send their wishes and respect.
Like I had wished in the last weeks of my life, I was cremated. My mothers ashes were mixed among mine and we were interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park. I was one of the earliest stars to be locked in the stone shelf.
Many stars will join me in the years to come.

Grief wrapped its arms around Paul Bern so heavily that he decided to leave Hollywood for two weeks – the first vacation he had ever taken from work. He chose to travel to Arizona.

Unfortunately, I was not the only leading lady Paul had to watch pass from destruction, I was only the first. In 1926, he helped struggling beauty, Barbara La Marr, who was suffering from drug and alcohol abuse. Just like he had with me, he paid for her nurses and any other bills that she had. And like me, she was diagnosed with tuberculosis along with nephritis.
He gave Barbara one last script, one last chance to say goodbye to the screen. The Girl From Montmartre is the name, which she completed but never lived to see. Barbara passed away January 30th, 1926 at the age of 29, just before the film was due for release.
In 1930, Paul supported his good friend Mabel Normand, when she was dying of tuberculosis. Just like he had with Barbara and I, he sat with Mabel, held her hand and gently spoke kind words with her.
He had a special power to calm before the eyes of death. He held life and death in his hands. Though he certainly would not intentionally cause death among us ladies; it was as if with his touch, we knew we could make it to the other side – the light, safely. The afterlife. We arrived in perfect harmony with spirits, to the afterlife, because of him.
The same delicate hands of his that guided us held a gun up to his own head and shot away the life left inside of him. He had just married his first wife, the glamourous blonde bombshell, Jean Harlow, only two months before. He was 42 years old.
I still and will continue to miss him. Every girl he graced with his presence remains deeply touched. Despite what some may speak of him, he was an angel to the falling ladies of Hollywood.

Special Announcement

Hello everyone!

I’ve been working/editing my novel the past few days. Tying loose ends and completing stories. Still not finished with the entire book but coming close — I can’t wait to share my story!

I’d like to thank all of the wonderful people who have been supporting me during this time of my life. It took a lot of guts and bravery on my part to come out and disclose memories that are painful to me and hearing from people who were inspired by my story made it worth it. It truly means a lot to me. Over the course of the past few months, I’ve received some hateful comments. People telling me I’m going to hell, that I am damaging the name of certain celebrities — Lucille Ricksen — I’ve gotten hate emails about Jack Pickford, and even some remarks that I am whoring myself to the public.

I am not a fame monster. I would never dishonor Lucille’s memory just to get my name on television — and I don’t think that I have dishonored her. My main goal was to educate and share the struggles of her life. Through the years, she’s been painted as only a victim and simply a name. Nothing more. I wanted everyone to know that Lucille’s life was much more than that. She was happy, bright, and was loved many. There’s tragedy in everyone’s life. Lucille had tragedy but it wasn’t her entire life. Just the last few months. She was a human being, we all have our faults.

Lucille Ricksen
Lucille Ricksen

All of that being said, I’ve received way more positive reviews than negative. The positive, to me, out weighs the negative. I do not regret a single thing I have done.

In other exciting news, I’m working on a special project that will include everyone who has been so kind to me. I have many documents and pieces of Lucille’s life that I want to share with all the wonderful people who support not only my life, but Lucille’s as well.

I’ll be sending — through the mail — handwritten notes, fragments of my book, pictures, and much more. The subject of what I send will most likely change as my writing is still in process. It will be a special piece of my life shared with the ones who have been kind to me through this journey of my life.

To anyone who is interested in participating in this project, please email me at:

olivethomasproject@aol.com

Thanks again!!X0

– Amy

Welcome to my Life!

Hello world!

My name is Amy and I am silent film obsessed. You may have seen me on Lifetime Movie Networks, “Ghost Inside my Child”. I believe that I was silent film star Lucille Ricksen in my previous life.

Lucille Ricksen
Lucille Ricksen

This is where I will share stories/memories of my life as Lucille along with anything else that fascinates me.

I love to research films and actors. I am a bit addicted to tragedies which means most of my favorite actors have led tragic lives.

Feel free to contact me! I’m very friendly and love getting questions and such.

– AmyXo