Long-time readers know of “writer” Lawrence Dagstine, who, in the Legion of Nitwits, stands shoulder-to-shoulder alongside Nickolaus Pacione and that guy who thinks Stephen King killed John Lennon. (And if you’re a writer, editor or publisher, and you’re not aware of any of them, then may I recommend The Rusty Nail — a blog that keeps track of such individuals).
Recently, Dagstine was caught selling previously-published stories to various markets and misrepresenting them as originals. This is a big no-no in publishing (and it’s just the latest in a very long line of things Dagstine has done). A number of editors called for him to be blacklisted. Then, someone named “Vance” posted to Dagstine’s Facebook page that Dagstine had apparently killed himself. A number of well-meaning-but-ultimately-clueless people felt bad about it. A thread was started on Shocklines (because apparently there are still a dozen or so people who post there regularly). Ramsey Campbell, David Riley, myself, and a few others expressed skepticism regarding the “death”. And then Matt Schwartz did what Matt Schwartz is famous for — deleting anything that might provide a valid, logical, researched and reasonable warning to anyone wanting further details, including a multitude of links offering not only detailed proof of Dagstine’s offenses, but also proof that he had been in contact with people as recently as this morning, and had therefore hoaxed his own “death”.
Anyway, here’s what I posted, re-posted here for posterity (since Matt deleted all of it):
1. He faked his “death” once before.
2. He was recently outed as serially selling reprints to markets as originals.
3. According to The Rusty Nail, his estranged wife had recently sworn out a PFA against him.
4. He’s admitted previously to stalking at least one female within the genre.
5. He has a long, documented history of creating bogus online identities and engaging in the exact behavior demonstrated here.
6. He has, in the past, used those false identities to stir up other mentally-ill individuals and cause trouble for various professionals whom he sees as “enemies”.
7. He faked cancer in an effort to get free books.
8. Etc. etc. I’d list more, but my post would end up deleted.
So, no. I’m not buying it. “Vance” is Larry. It’s yet another desperate and troubled cry for attention. My bet is that he’ll claim his account was “hacked”. And if it is true, then apologies to his loved ones, but it will be one less crazy thorn in my side, and the sides of other professionals who he’s harassed and burdened over the years. Mental illness and emotional conditions are sad and troubling (and I know this first hand) but he’s had plenty of help and guidance and advice and second chances and welcoming hands offered to him over the years. Regardless of whether it’s true or not, he could have taken a different path.
And then Matt said:
This is not the place to make derogatory comments or accusations about Lawrence, hence messages being removed. If you have definite news about his death, or about him being alive and this being untrue, post here or let me know. Otherwise, it’s best to take it to another message board.
And then Jodi Lee said:
He’s not dead.
1 – as stated by Brian, he’s pulled this before.
2 – he’s been caught screwing over not one, but several editors and at least two have called him out on it.
3 – I happen to know he was emailing people this morning. If he wants to fake his own death, he needs to learn to do it after using his email account to whine about unfair treatment and misunderstandings.
PS Nice to see I was in good company when my posts were deleted. Cheers Ramsey, Brian.