July 5, 2021 marks what would have been the 86th birthday of the iconic true crime author John Gilmore. Known for his vivid and hard-hittingly honest Hollywood memoirs, John was also a talented actor and artist. Best known for his works on The Black Dahlia, Elizabeth Short (“Severed”), Charles Manson (“TheGarbage People”), Marilyn Monroe (“Inside Marilyn Monroe”), and James Dean (“Live Fast — Die Young: My Life with James Dean” and “The Real James Dean”). His books “Laid Bare: A Memoir of Wrecked Lives and the Hollywood Death Trip” and “L.A. Despair: A Landscape of Crimes & Bad Times” offered an unabashed look into the lives and times of both some of the most beloved icons of our time to some of the darkest days of Hollywood. He also researched the lives of Bonnie and Clyde from the time he was a teenager, pouring all he had learned into his last work, “On the Run with Bonnie and Clyde.” He left this world on October 13, 2016 leaving behind his son Carson and daughter Ursula.
In the short time I knew him John came to be the dearest and closest friend I have ever known. Leaving me with words I shall carry with me always. Namely, “Bonnie never shot nobody.” And most importantly, “You are fine as you are, however you are. What the world thinks of you does not matter. Because, what the fuck does the world know anyway?” Which is something I think we can all stand to be reminded of as we go through life. I cannot help but remember him fondly for his amazingly vivid works as well as his sincere kindness and grit, which are a unique combination of traits that I sorely miss. As someone who lived to work and was the best at what he did, John Gilmore left behind the gift of his words to capture the imagination and minds of generations to come.