NC v. Hardy: Wrestling Love Triangle Turns Deadly
(Court TV) -- On Dec. 26, 2004 North Carolina 911 operators received a frantic call. The panicked voice on the other end belonged to the husband of recently married and seven months pregnant Amy Dumas. According to transcripts of the call, he had left the previous morning to go fishing while his wife prepared to step out for a jog. It was the last time anyone would ever see her.
Although a massive manhunt was immediately launched, local detectives suspected foul play from the start. In what defense attorneys would later pounce upon as a rush to judgement, police began focusing their investigation on Amy’s husband; one Matthew Hardy. Suspicions were high, in part, due to the actions of Hardy himself… including referring to their wedding day as “the day he won her.” To further complicate things, 24 hours after the disappearance news outlets across the country reported that he had been found running around outside his motel room naked in a psychotic stupor. Although it was later learned that these were the actions of his brother, who according to friends “did this every Thursday,” the stigma stuck.
Though he steadfastly proclaimed his innocence, in early February Matthew was formally charged with her first-degree murder. By the time the trial rolled around it no longer resembled a criminal proceeding as much as it did a circus sideshow. Before a verdict would be reached, the tale would sidebar into spectacular stories of adultery, sexual slavery, crazy bald satanists, and a lovable but mildly retarded surprise witness whose testimony changed everything.
Amy “Lita” Dumas has been described a number of ways. “Congenial,” “outgoing,” “naïve,” “an embarrassment to the writing community.” But she never could've imagined that a relationship with a co-worker would lead her down the terrifying path she'd soon embark on.
A natural athlete with girl-next-door good looks and a wild side, Dumas had rejected her parents’ suggestion to do “anything except that. Wouldn’t you rather be a stripper or something that doesn’t embarrass the whole family?” and set out to make it in the rough and tumble world of professional wrestling. It was there she was exposed to the dark, disgusting underbelly of the business (including a sordid, filthy tale prosecutors unsuccessfully attempted to get dismissed as blatant character assassination forever known as the “Spiffy incident”). However her perseverance paid off, first in the form of a weekly spot on a public access wrestling show, then in the worldwide leader of sports entertainment that always has been and always will be except for one period where one man single-handedly destroyed them ratings-wise for years. (wrestling background provided to Court TV by WWE spokesperson Eric Bischoff)
And in the midst of landing her dream job, she also found love.
Matthew Hardy was one of the up and coming stars of World Wrestling Entertainment. Along with his flamboyant brother Jeff, the two had ridden a wave of success and fan support from their first matches in flea markets all the way to “the show.” Following an initially forgettable run with some Mexican and an unfortunate attempt to “toughen her up” by her new boss Vince McMahon ending in a hospital stay due to overuse of the fittingly-nicknamed “ugly stick”, Lita was paired with the brothers in matches across the country. They were an instant success; appealing to young fans, hardcores, and the really, REALLY fashion-sense stunted all at once.
As time went on Matthew and Amy began to notice their compatibility; sharing similar interests in music, movies, and beating Jeff at arm wrestling. Their attraction soon turned to love, and the two began planning a life together. But their dreams of paradise were about to come face to face with Dante’s Inferno.
The ‘Bad Boy’
Poindexter “Kane” Calloway was, by all accounts, disturbed. At one time suspected of the deaths of both his parents and his high school sweetheart, Kane had become such a social outcast he resorted to desperate acts like pretending he was horribly burned, using a voice box, and befriending Sean Waltman in order to avoid contact with others as much as possible.
After suffering a broken heart at the hands of fellow stick victim Tori, Kane forever swore off women and decided to instead arouse himself with pyromania. But once Joe Elliot got fat he realized that listening to 80s rock music wasn’t doing the trick so he started setting things on fire instead. It was a relationship he had finally found peace with, until the fateful day he once again would fall under the clutches of human lust… the day he met Amy Dumas.
What began as the routine task of beating Matthew senseless every week soon became a vicious love circle. And according to prosecutors at the time, when Amy found out she was pregnant… it was only a matter of time before it became fatal.
After first breaking the news to her beau she was expecting, then came the unenviable task of admitting she wasn’t sure who the daddy was. Rather than let a doctor take two minutes out of his life to run a paternity test, the two headstrong men decided the best way to determine fatherhood would be by fighting each other. Despite medical experts assertions that “this is the most insane fucking thing I’ve ever heard of” Matthew was triumphant at SummerSlam 2004 which made it legal or something. The two were married shortly thereafter and promised to put the whole ugly incident behind them.
But wedded bliss under such a cloud was not to be. Matthew confided to friends that the only time Amy got excited anymore was when he’d, scientifically speaking, “fist her,” at which point she’d scream “OOOH KANE!” And if that wasn’t enough, Matthew seemed to have intimacy issues with his rapidly enlarging wife. “She’s all like… fat and stuff,” he told his brother. “Eeewww.”
Amy was also increasingly unhappy. Despite the assurances of her boss, she wasn’t so sure the child inside her was Matthew’s. The night 911 had to be called when a fire appeared to have been lit inside her uterus did nothing to allay these concerns. Her husband was increasingly distant, and to make matters worse Kane was threatening to once again ruin her life. Still, she told friend Stacy Keibler “If I can just make it through this pregnancy… I’m SURE things will be better.”
She never had the chance to find out.
On Christmas morning Matthew woke up early, gassed up his boat, and went fishing. 20 minutes earlier a neighbor recalls seeing Amy leaving the house for her morning jog. Later the neighbor would be asked if she thought Amy screaming “Oh God help me, he’s trying to kill me” as she ran was suspicious, but the woman discounted it. “They’re weirdos. You should see some of the shit I’ve had to put up with.”
According to Matthew he arrived home about 8 PM. Although he thought it was strange she wasn’t there he assumed she was doing last minute shopping. A little after midnight he called the police.
Matthew was immediately considered the top suspect. Patches of blood were found in the bedroom, the place looked like a tornado had run through it, and a large stash of gay pornography was found under the tree. Matthew pleaded with police they had the wrong man but he was already convicted in the minds of the District Attorney’s office and the media. Despite the lack of a body, he was quickly indicted, and District Attorney Bill Lockyer held a press conference to declare the upcoming trial was a “slam dunk.”
Unfortunately for them, the defense was about to put that ball back in their face Ben Wallace-style.
Jury selection began on June 24, 2005 and the trial was under way a week later. The prosecution presented mountains of DNA evidence, as well as holes in Matthew’s different stories to police. Although unable to prove conclusively how Amy had died, they presented hypothetical situations that, they explained to jurors, “sounds like it could have happened right?” Witness after witness came forward to say how mentally unbalanced the entire Hardy clan was. They also presented videotape to the court apparently showing how he had manhandled his previous girlfriend; a petite blonde named Shannon Moore.
But the defense was ready. High profile attorney Mark Geragos chipped away at the physical evidence, blaming it on sloppy police work and a rush to judgement. The blood was from the two practicing what was explained as “blading”, the house always looked destroyed because they were slobs, and the magazines were a Christmas present from both of them to their former six-man partner. For every trace of evidence, there was an explanation.
The defense was also quick to point out that their client lacked the mental capabilities to carry out such an organized murder. Geragos hoped to prove this to the jury by showing Matthew was seemingly oblivious to the fact his most private and intimate moments, including much of what was now being used as circumstantial evidence against him, was being broadcast live to the entire country on a weekly basis. Even as he was being shown footage while up on the witness stand he would repeatedly ask “where did you get that?” To further his point, Geragos mocked his client’s willingness to believe his girlfriend’s story she slept with another man “for him,” which drew snickers from every guy in the room.
Finally, they showed that Matthew was not the only man who wanted Amy dead. In addition to fans worldwide, there was also the very real possibility that Kane was to blame for this crime. Geragos showed footage of Kane laughing aloud about how much fun it would be to kill Amy and her baby, and showed him nearly chokeslamming her, and threatening to punch her in the stomach. He shredded investigators for overlooking the "Red Machine" as a potential suspect, so much so that at one point he asked the chief of detectives “you do know that you’re my bitch now, right?” to which the decorated 22-year veteran could only helplessly respond “yes sir.”
But while it was the topic of the talk shows on a nightly basis, no one could say with any real certainty how the jury would vote. Of course, none of them could have predicted the bombshell that was about to be dropped.
On August 3rd as the two sides appeared to be ready to deliver their closing arguments Geragos stunned the courtroom crowd by announcing a witness had come forward only the day before. The judge immediately demanded both sides appear in chambers, and when court was called back into session one only needed to see the large patches of hair ripped from Lockyer’s head in his clenched, shaking fists to know this trial was about to take a dramatic turn.
Eugene Bischoff, a slightly mentally challenged but wildly popular WWE employee was eventually sworn in (after two unsuccessful attempts to explain to him the correct response to the oath is “I do” and not “I know you are but what am I?”) In chilling yet hilarious detail, he told the shocked jurors how he had been hanging out with his “good buddy Triple H”, the son in law of the company’s owner and top star. Over the repeated objections of prosecutors he told how the former champ had driven to Amy and Matthew’s house, waited for her to come out for her daily run, then attacked her in the garage. He said she tried to run away but he caught her and dragged her to the car. Mr. H quickly killed her, and then Eugene spoke the line that every major newspaper in the country ran in large font the next day: “He screwed jello out her head.”
If that wasn’t bad enough for the DA, his cross-examination was equally damaging. With every question he became more enraged, leading Eugene to stop answering at all, other than with the occasional “you’re a jerk” and sticking his tongue out.
Closing arguments took place the next day, with Geragos picking apart every piece of evidence and hammering home the revelation that an eyewitness had cleared his client of any wrongdoing which means at least a little reasonable doubt and Lockyer pounding his head on a table for seventeen straight minutes. The jury retired to decide Matthew Hardy’s fate and as the lawyers got up to leave the courtroom the eight women and four men came back through the doors.
While expected when the forewoman announced the “not guilty” verdict the room exploded into gasps, applause, and catcalls. Outside the courtroom the vindicated Hardy told reporters he would not sleep until the real killers of Amy Dumas were found. Lockyer was besieged with questions about whether they would prosecute Mr. H, to which he responded “Oh yeah, this is our top priority. The witness is a fucking retard. I love losing high profile cases, it makes me feel like a man. In fact, I’m going to go fuck six high-class hookers right now I feel so good. Ask me another stupid question faggots. Go on, I dare you.”
Despite the fact no one ever said she was battered, seizing on the opportunity to prove how detestable men are Gloria Allred began an organization to provide shelter for battered women called “The Lita Society.” To date it has raised over twenty-six dollars, with the McMahon family as the largest benefactors.
Matt returned to his old job the following week, where he immediately lost to Triple H on TV six weeks in a row, including a “handicap match” with Kane and a PPV “Loser Killed Lita” match which is actually legally binding but not enforceable thanks to double jeopardy protections.
Amy’s case is officially filed under “unsolved but no one’s really complaining.”
AAAH, It’s Nancy Grace!! Don’t look directly at it!