ScottAmedure (the Jenny Jones murder)
This one was wild. Idid a lot of research on this case for a show I worked on in England called YankyPanky, which was all about how bizarre America can be. This particular story got dropped because it was too “out there” andsad for us to use and, I suppose, it didn’t mock America enough.
The incident involves afew people, the first being Scott Amedure, a 32-year-old man from Michigan. He was a bartender, and lived in a trailerpark. The second, a 26-year-old waiter named JonathanSchmitz who has a history of suicide attempts and manic behavior. Their mutual friend, a woman named Donna Riley, and JennyJones.
Schmitz worked at a nicerestaurant called the Fox and Houndsin a posh area of Michigan called Bloomfield Hills. There are some people that assumed Schmitz was gay, and there are thosethat saw him (alone) in the Flamingo,the Pontiac gay bar where Amedure worked occasionally. Schmitz maintained his heterosexuality, his family saying he was evenengaged to a woman at one time.
Amedure was no angel. He spent 4 years in the Army, and according to friends he had a drugproblem, and was heavily in debt. Hewas charged with assault a couple of times, was unemployed, but usually hung outat The Flamingo. Most reports have Amedure listed as a nice guy, generous to his friends.
Schmitz had met Amedurethrough Riley in the parkinglot of apartment building she lived in, which is also where Schmitz lived,maybe back here. According to Findadeath.com friend Michael H., Amedurefirst saw Schmitz under a car from the waist down, and that's what attractedhim. Upon seeing a plea on the Jenny Jones show for people that had same sexcrushes, on not necessarily homosexual individuals, Riley made the call forAmedure, the show contacted Schmitz, clearly stating that the admirer may be“anybody” meaning to them, male or female. Schmitz assumed female, bought new clothes, and was very excited aboutthe prospect of a new relationship with a girly girl.
On March 5, 1995 the trioflew to Chicagoto tape the segment. Apparentlydrinks were served to the guests before going on, and Amedure - when prompted inthe hot seat - confessed to admiring Schmitz’s “hard little body” andwanted “to tie him up and spray whipped cream and champagne all over hisbody”. WhenSchmitz was informed - on air - that his admirer was male, he remainedcalm, smiled, and said that he was “definitely heterosexual” and that he was“flattered.”
Upon their return toMichigan, the three went out fordrinks at a place called Brewski’s,which has now been changed to the Woodensomethingorother. According tothe waitress there, everything was great, and they all seemed like they were ingood moods. Afterwards, the threewent back to Riley’s apartment, and Schmitz maintains that he left the othertwo around 2am, and went home a few doors away.
The clincher is thatAmedure’s mother, Pat Graves, claims that Scott told her that he and Schmitzhad an affair that evening, and that Scott was thrilled to pieces.
Friends of Schmitz claimthat after that evening, he wastroubled, and spent the night of the 8th on a friend’s couch. During the night, Amedure does the thing that makes Schmitz flip. He gets one of those blinking constructionlight thingys and leaves it near Schmitz’ front door, with a note saying,“If you want to turn this off, you have to use your tool.” The next morning, Schmitz gets home around ten, finds the light, and snaps. He drives past his mailboxto a shop called Gary’s Guns, and spends 250 bucks on a 12-gauge shotgun,telling the salesperson he was going hunting. He stops at Toms Hardware and bought five rounds of buckshot, and justbefore 11am he passes Scott'smailbox, gets to Amedure’strailer (Which has been replaced by a new “double-wide,”according to a neighbor) and knocks on Amedure’s door. Scott answers, and Schmitz asked if it was Scott that left the thingytaped to his door, which Amedure admits to. Then Schmitz says he was to get something out of his truck, he gets thegun, returns, and unloads two shots into Amedure’s chest. Amedure fruitlessly (heh) tried protecting himself by holding a wickerchair in front of him. Wicker, for God's sake.
15 minutes later, Schmitzphones 911, and admits to killing Scott, stating that, “He fucked me onnational TV.” “I just walkedinto his house and killed him. Hewas after me day and night.”
Of course the lawsuitsflew fast and furious. When youhave a murder in the family, I’m sure there is a lot of anger – whichdesperately needs a target. At theend of it, the show put out a plea for secret crushes, Amedure responded,Schmitz accepted, and all agreed to appear. Family members claim it was a conspiracy, an ambush etc… A 50 million-dollar law suit was filed against Jenny Jones courtesy ofthe annoying male version of Gloria Allred, Geoffrey Fieger. Eventually a jury awarded the Amedure family 25 million. This is how they figure it: 5 million in damages for Amedure’ssuffering before he was killed, 10 million to the family for the loss ofAmedure’s companionship, and 10 million for the loss of money Amedure wouldhave earned. I give up keeping track of suits and appeals.
I totally believe thatAmedure and Schmitz did indeed have consensual sex, and Schmitz couldn’t dealwith the idea that he liked men sexually, and everyone seeing him on the JennyJones show was too much for him to deal with. At any rate, the guy is in prison, and Amedure is still dead. No one knows what happened to Riley. Good luck to her. Thathas to be shitty.
Findadeathpal Nick sends us this: I think you should include a very important conclusion to the Jenny Jones Civil Trail:
Trivia: Whilesearching for Amedure's trailer, I found a wind chimemade of beer cans. Yes.
Help thanks to my parentsfor sending me a ticket back to Michigan for my birthday, enabling me toresearch this story. How cool, to have a Dad that would drive with me tophotograph a homo murder site?!. Lisa Burks (sorry I couldn't find Gary's Guns!), my buddyRon, and my father for chauffeuring me around for photographs. Additional information was obtained through an article written for OUTmagazine by Michelangelo Signorile.
UPDATE December 2004, from Findadeath friend Jen S:
I love your site (and your affection for mailboxes) and thought I could help. I found Gary's Guns online and thought you might like the link, so here you go... GARY'S GUNS inc. I hope you find this useful and can use it. keep up the great work, and all the cool links.
A fan from the border of Detroit, Jen S.
Several FAD fans sent the link to Schmitz prison picture. Instead of linking it, here is a screen cap. Pretty boy. I wonder if he's still freaked by man on man love.