Mr. Nobody

Bill Simpson is eager to dig up dirt on you. He'll even write down your license plate number if you visit a topless bar. But the self-appointed guardian of Dallas morals doesn't want you to know anything about him.

The only thing Simpson will say about his family is that he's really proud of his mom, who in 19 years never missed a day's work at her job at a Temple department store. Not even when she had a broken foot.

Simpson's description of his mom's work ethic and the nature of her death checks out with Pam, an employee at Beall's department store in Temple. Pam says she worked with Mary Simpson for 10 years, and describes her as a very private person who was committed to her family.

"Her children were her life," Pam says. "As far as I know, she never missed a day of work until she got sick. In February [1989], around Valentine's Day, she drove herself to the hospital, and she didn't come back."

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As Simpson well knows, in this age of high-tech computer databases that can track down just about anybody on the planet, the best defense against snoopers is having a bland name like Bill Simpson. There are a million Bill Simpsons, and tracking down one of them is like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack.

But, as Simpson also knows, it's pretty hard to hide court records. In the case of Darden A. McGlothlin vs. William R. Simpson, Dallas County civil case number 91-3384, Simpson provides quite a different picture of his life after college than the one he painted on his resume.

In that case, McGlothlin sued Simpson, saying Simpson owed $113,514 on two promissory notes that he signed in 1987. In his counter claim, Simpson admitted that he signed the notes, but argued that McGlothlin duped him into buying a house he couldn't afford.

When reached by telephone, McGlothlin declined to comment on the case or on Simpson. "I've had several people call me about him, and I'm real reluctant to be quoted," he says. "It wasn't a happy relationship."

In a six-page, signed affidavit included in the lawsuit, Simpson stated that he met McGlothlin shortly after he moved to Dallas in 1986. At the time, Simpson said he was a naive 23-year-old who foolishly trusted the 42-year-old McGlothlin and became a "partner" in his construction business.

"At the behest of McGlothlin, I placed my trust and confidence in McGlothlin," Simpson wrote. "We participated as partners in four (4) projects. I shared in the profits of three of those. In the fourth, McGlothlin refused to share the profits with me."

That last project was a house located at 5222 Vickery that McGlothlin was hoping to sell. Simpson told the court that McGlothlin promised him he could live in the house for free if he showed it to potential buyers on the weekends.

Later, Simpson continued, McGlothlin said he could live in the house for $700 a month, which was the same amount of rent Simpson was paying for his apartment in the infamous swinging singles complex known as the Village.

Simpson says he terminated his lease and moved into the Vickery house in October 1987. Later, he says, McGlothlin convinced him to sign the two promissory notes: McGlothlin promised that the notes were just a ploy to get the property off of his financial statement and that Simpson wouldn't really be held legally responsible for them.

In the spring of 1989, when Simpson was supposedly closing multimillion-dollar deals at Southmark, he broke ties with McGlothlin and moved out of the house. McGlothlin sued in 1991, and the two parties later settled the case privately.

When Simpson left the PIC board in April 1996, Larrea says, he listed a Dallas-based construction company called Phoenix Commercial, Inc. as his last employer.

When Phoenix president Myron Gee returned a message about Simpson recently, his first question is one that many people in Dallas would like to have answered.

"How's he making money these days?" asks Gee, who adds, "I wouldn't think he's making any."

Gee says he hired Simpson to do marketing work for his company on a freelance basis because Simpson seemed to be well connected. As part of the deal, Simpson was supposed to use his contacts to find out when new businesses were coming to town and then send them to Gee for construction work. Simpson would get a percentage of each contract he landed for the company.

Gee recalls that Simpson was a single guy who went to church a lot and was a member of many groups, but that he never brought the company any business, and that he quickly left the company.

"He tried hard. He tried to use all the knowledge he had to win us some business," Gee says. "He might have won some small jobs, but nothing major. I don't know that I paid him."

Bill Simpson certainly looked like a man in charge as he stood outside Baby Doll's topless bar along Northwest Highway on Wednesday, July 23.

Simpson had called a press conference to announce the next phase of his battle against SOBs. He timed the event perfectly for the 6 o'clock news.

On this sweltering afternoon, a tiny drop of sweat hung from the tip of Simpson's nose as he stared into a cluster of television cameras.

"My name is Bill Simpson," said Simpson, who was surrounded by a group of his supporters. Dallas City Council members Larry Duncan, Donna Blumer, and newcomer John Loza were present. So were DISD board members Roxan Staff and John Dodd. A handful of neighborhood activists were also faithfully on hand.

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