By By Thomas Lake, CNN
Two years ago, I got a phone call from a woman who sang in the circus. She said she could prove that James Brown had been murdered. I met her on a hot day near Chicago, where the big top was rising and the elephants were munching hay. The singer’s name was Jacquelyn Hollander. She was 61 years old. She lived in a motor home with two cats and a Chihuahua named Pickles. She had long blond hair and a pack of Marlboros. She said she was not crazy, nor was she lying, and she hoped I would write her story, because it might save her life.
Or maybe it would get her killed. That was also a possibility, she said. Bad things happened to people who ran afoul of the James Brown organization. “I’m sure you know that Adrienne Brown was my good friend,” she said, referring to James Brown’s third wife. “That’s a very long story, when I tell you about it. There’s no doubt she was murdered.”
We got in my car and drove to Panera for lunch. Jacque’s story widened, deepened, growing ever more strange.