The Boy Scout, the hustler, and the porn queen

Former Dallas police officer and onetime X-rated movie star Jordan Lee finds herself hunted by two ex-cops who say she did them wrong

Things hadn't been right in the Kastler household for quite some time. Building a new life in suburban Los Angeles, raising a family, growing a business--none of this seemed to matter to Samantha Kastler anymore. During her and her husband's years in the Dallas Police Department, she was the one who wanted the home, the family, the commitment, and now that she had it, she was the one withdrawing her energy from the marriage. The way Jerry Kastler tells it, she had lost interest in him, in their 2-year-old son Zach, and in the porn business that had become their life's work.

Making 400 skin flicks in three years, answering e-mails from aroused Web surfers driving their search engines to her porn site, receiving top triple-X billing as Jordan Lee, the "anal queen of porn," just didn't hold the same cachet for her anymore. She wanted out.

Jerry Kastler had trouble accepting the change. He had sacrificed too much for her career. It was bad enough that Samantha had testified against him when they were caught up in a police pay scandal with another Dallas cop, Len Baxley. Jerry had pleaded guilty to tampering with government records, left the department and the city in disgrace, and moved to Los Angeles. But now Samantha was saying she needed some distance; Jerry didn't realize she meant New York.

A year before, in August 1997, Jerry began noticing some not-so-little things. Samantha refused to work their Web site, threatened suicide, and went to Las Vegas for a weekend getaway and stayed three months. He knew there was another man--or two. Still, he wanted her back, if he could only figure out what was wrong.

He suspected drugs--the bane of a porn star's existence--and he accused her of smoking crack and shooting speed. She could jeopardize everything. They were on probation, for God's sake; if she got busted, they could do time. Zach might be taken away.

Samantha claimed Jerry was hoarding their money, starving both her and the baby. She filed for divorce and tried to evict him from their house and take over the business, but calmer heads prevailed. Jerry continued to run the business, and a judge placed Zach in their joint custody, to be removed from Southern California only with the consent of both parents.

By December, Samantha and Jerry reconciled, and she returned home. She was making movies again. She was Jordan Lee again, and all was forgiven.

Then on September 2, 1998, Samantha came home, grabbed Zach, and walked out the door. Despite the court order, she flew to New York, making a fresh start, claims Jerry, working for a high-dollar escort service that specialized in catering to johns who were willing to pony up $1,500 an hour to be with a real live porn star.

Jerry grew distraught over the loss of his son and was willing to do whatever it took to get him back. He schmoozed up the owner of the Manhattan escort service, Lottie Rumble, herself a porn star, whose boyfriend of seven years, Martin Fish, was now spending quality time with Samantha and Zach. Rumble wrote a letter detailing how she observed Samantha and Fish smoking crack and how Rumble had to take a crack pipe out of little Zach's hand when he used it as a toy.

Crazy with worry and wanting revenge, Jerry seldom slept. Searching what remained of Samantha's personal belongings, he came across a file containing a copy of a mysterious letter from a Gloria Lynn Grimes written to the Missouri Department of Health. Jerry didn't know Gloria Grimes, but the woman had requested that a copy of her birth certificate be mailed to her at the Kastlers' California address. Also in the file was Gloria Grimes' birth certificate, which revealed she was born at St. Luke's Hospital in St. Louis on November 27, 1965.

But when Jerry the cop met Samantha the cop in 1991, her name wasn't Grimes, it was Garofalo--and never Gloria. Samantha said she was born in 1959, and she always celebrated her birthday on October 6. This Gloria was six years younger than Samantha was.

Oddly, on September 26, 1998, another letter arrived at Jerry's house. This one contained an inheritance check made out to Gloria Grimes in the amount of $8,772, the final disbursement from the estate of Hester Blalock. Was Samantha Garofalo really Gloria Grimes, resurfacing to get her hands on some easy money? If that was the case, Samantha had a secret identity, a hidden past. But how did she make it past an extensive police background check? Creating a new identity might entail tampering with government documents. Only this time, instead of falsifying arrest reports, she might have forged birth certificates and marriage records, perjuring herself as a police officer every time she took the witness stand. There were untold criminal possibilities, and they all spelled jail time. If Jerry could put her behind bars, he'd have his son back.

On October 1, 1998, Jerry decided the smart play was to call Len Baxley. The former Dallas police officer, fired from the force for his part in the pay scandal, was still adamant about his innocence. He always thought Samantha had set him up and was on a quest to prove it. With his case on appeal, he just might be interested in some newly discovered evidence.

"I have some information that you won't believe regarding Sam," Jerry said.
Baxley was at his home in DeSoto. He quickly turned down the TV. "What is it?"

"There is so much of it, I can't tell you now. Can you call me back around midnight?"

"Don't do this," insisted Baxley. "Tell me now."
"Well, let me put it to you this way: Samantha Garofalo is not her real name."

There was a palpable pause. "No shit."

No way could Len Baxley let go of the past--he was too busy trying to rewrite it. He was reminded of his felony conviction by just going to work. As an investigator for a Dallas lawyer, he spent time at the courthouse and occasionally ran into officers from his old beat--those who still talked to him. God, how he loved being a cop, carrying a gun, and wearing a badge all in the name of what's right. Then Samantha Garofalo took it away from him. At least that's the way he figured it. But if he could expose her for the pathological liar he knew her to be, get her kid back to his dad, apply some hurt, then maybe she'd cooperate and say he was innocent. He could get back his name, his dignity, even his job if he wanted. He'd given serious thought to law school, but being a cop was what he was cut out for.

If being raised a good ol' boy is required rearing for a future in law enforcement, Murrill "Len" Baxley was the perfect candidate. His sizable presence could be downright intimidating if not for his big-howdy ways and double chin. Baxley could shoot a gun straighter as a teenager than most veteran cops could, hitting a moving target while moving himself. He had learned how while spending summers visiting his daddy's family in East Texas--a backwoods bunch that took its bigotry seriously. His folks were divorced, his father an alcoholic who drank himself to death while Baxley stood by helplessly.

"I went to visit him when I was 10 and he was living in Greenville," Baxley recalls. "My aunt and uncle opened the door to his apartment, and I saw this trail of blood. I heard gasping coming out of the bedroom and saw my father lying half-naked on the bed. They should have called an ambulance, but they went to get my dad's brother across town instead. When they got back, he was dead."

Baxley grew up hating booze, bullies, and being wrong. "I never, never got in trouble. I never smoked dope, never smoked a cigarette, never drank. Somehow my mother made me feel like I never wanted to."

After graduating from high school in 1986, Baxley decided he wanted to be a "young Perry Mason" and went to work as a runner for prominent Dallas personal-injury lawyer Windle Turley. He also attended classes at Mountain View College and worked a second job at his first love--selling guns and ammo at Oshman's Sporting Goods.

Entering pistol competitions, Baxley made friends with a group of about 10 shooters, including two police officers. After matches, they would grab a meal, drink some coffee. One evening three men were burglarizing a car in the restaurant parking lot. The two cops ran outside to arrest the thieves while the others sat and watched. Baxley claims that moment was life-altering. "I didn't want to be one of the guys just feeding their faces. I wanted to be one of the guys who saved the day."

On March 28, 1990, Baxley joined the Dallas Police Department as part of a frenzied hiring push to get more officers fighting the runaway crime that was dogging Dallas streets. When he graduated from the police academy six months later, finishing second in his class, Len Baxley wanted to be the best damn police officer there ever was. The only thing standing in his way was Len Baxley.

On March 10, 1991, Baxley, still a rookie, and his field training officer, Martin Rodriguez, spotted a black man who they suspected was a drug dealer about to conduct business in the middle of Samuell Boulevard. When the suspect saw their squad car and fled, Baxley yelled out in frustration, "Why that fucking nig..." Although he told Internal Affairs he never completed the racial epithet, it was complete enough for him to receive a two-day suspension.

Baxley claims he is no racist, but being branded one wasn't the best career move. His fallback position was to redouble his efforts, make more arrests, help more citizens, and work harder than any officer in his squad. Over the next three years, while assigned to the Central Business District as a patrol officer, he received 22 commendations. "When the shit hit the fan and a situation went down in the field," recalls one officer who worked alongside Baxley, "you could count on Len being there for you."

But many of the "old heads" in the department didn't know what to make of him. Off the street, he was fun-loving, just one of the boys. On the street, he seemed holier-than-thou, a gung-ho cop who resented when other officers turned a blind eye to minor infractions. "So many cops have the attitude: Do as little as possible to keep your job," Baxley says. "I wasn't one of them."

Because his father died a drunk, Baxley became something of a zealot where DWIs were concerned. Finding them was no problem, as his beat included the West End and Deep Ellum, but he'd go out of his way to track them down. Other officers would chide him about his one-man temperance campaign. One Christmas, a cartoon was placed on the callboard at Central showing an officer arresting Santa for DWI, impounding his sleigh. Baxley's name was scrawled across the top.

Not every officer shared Baxley's enthusiasm for DWIs. Drunks became pissed off, were combative, and puked in the squad car. Then there was all that paperwork--field sobriety tests, breath tests to measure intoxication--and getting through the Lew Sterrett jail on a weekend night could be its own brand of hell.

Senior Corp. Jerry Kastler, on the other hand, arrested more suspects for DWI than just about anyone on the force. Even Baxley's numbers paled in comparison. Kastler worked out of the Southwest substation and Baxley worked downtown, but their mutual interest in making DWI arrests drew them together.

Like Kastler, Baxley was certified in nystagmus testing, a field sobriety test that indicates whether a person is intoxicated based on the involuntary jerking of his eyes. Nystagmus certification qualified Baxley to work in a federally funded program that paid overtime to officers who spent their off-duty hours chasing down drunks in areas of high DWI activity. Jerry Kastler also worked in the grant-funded program--worked it harder than just about anybody. He says he did it for the money. Small wonder he was able to buy a new BMW on a cop's salary.

Baxley knew that Kastler had been around the block with internal affairs, fired by the department for using excessive force on a prisoner, then rehired after he appealed his termination to the civil service board. The experience left Kastler jaded and cynical about the department, but Baxley had grown to like smart-ass cops. They broke the boredom of the job.

So did Samantha Garofalo--an attractive female officer working out of the Northeast substation whom Kastler had begun to date. Kastler introduced "Sam" to Baxley one night at the jail. Kastler said she was getting a divorce, liked busting drunks, and was great in bed.

She said her name was Phyllis DeeAnn Gardner, and he had no reason to doubt her. It was written right there on her driver's license. She told him she was 25, was born in a small town in Missouri, and had moved to St. Louis when she married her husband, Richard. But he was abusive, and when she couldn't bear the beatings, she went into hiding. She had settled in Grand Prairie just a few months before and didn't want to be found. Her maiden name was James, and she came from a wealthy family. Her mother died of cancer when she was 15; her father was murdered a few months later. She had a brother named David, but wanted nothing to do with him. He was her husband's best friend--they both worked for the railroad--and didn't believe her when she said she'd been beaten.

At times, she played the innocent victim, so fragile she might break. Other times, she was a reservoir of strength, a big-hearted woman who worked for tips stripping at Dejà Vu on Northwest Highway. And in July 1985, Michael Garofalo found himself fascinated by his new neighbor.

At 33, he was a former Navy man from California working in the computer industry in Dallas, freshly divorced and raising three kids on his own. He was admittedly vulnerable, but hardly gullible. "When you meet someone," he says, "you don't ask for proof of who they are."

Particularly when the sex is incredible.
She pushed him toward commitment and began using his name shortly after they moved in together. She gladly quit her job, and in addition to taking classes at Mountain View College, she cared for his children full time, acting as though they were her own.

For some reason, this woman with no discernible past had to be the center of attention. "She was always trying to impress people with what she had," Garofalo recalls. "If she bought a $1,000 dress, she might not wear it, but she would always tell you how much she paid for it."

On September 21, 1987, Phyllis DeeAnn James married Michael David Garofalo in a brief ceremony in Dallas. Oddly, three months earlier, Phyllis had filed for a "delayed or special certificate of birth," telling Michael that no record of her birth existed because she was born at home. Unknown to him, she provided the Missouri Department of Health with three documents to prove her date of birth, October 6, 1959, and her place of birth, East Prairie, Missouri. One was a baptismal certificate from the St. Bridget of Sweden Church in Van Nuys, California--obviously an altered copy of Michael's own baptismal certificate, since he was baptized at St. Bridget's years before Phyllis James was even born.

Despite her newly documented identity, Phyllis told Michael she hated her name. He had always thought she looked like a Samantha, and as a birthday present in 1989, Michael paid to have her name legally changed to Samantha Kaitlyn Garofalo. The Kaitlyn was her idea.

After getting a Social Security card, Samantha said she wanted to help with the bills. Waitressing at the Clarion Hotel off Stemmons brought in some extra cash, but not enough to make a dent in the lease payments on their 10-acre spread in Argyle, Texas. Then Samantha became pregnant and quit work again. When their son Patrick was born in June 1989, however, she grew restless. "When the baby cried at night and someone needed to change his diapers, that would be me," Garofalo says. "She didn't like being a mom very much and wanted out of the house."

She found that opportunity when she read an employment ad in The Dallas Morning News that said the Dallas Police Department was looking for a few good men and women. The application process included an extensive background check, a physical-fitness and psychological test, and a polygraph exam. A high school diploma and 45 hours of college courses were also required. That 30-year-old Samantha Garofalo could so completely fool one of the largest police departments in America says as much about the department as it does about her.

Her "personal history statement" for employment is riddled with errors and omissions. She listed her marriage to Michael Garofalo as occurring in 1977 and said she was the natural mother of his four kids. This might have come as a shock to Rhonda Garofalo, Michael Garofalo's wife in 1977 and the mother of three of the children herself. For whatever reason, Samantha had manufactured a history with Garofalo that predated their relationship by eight years.

Under previous employment, Samantha omitted any reference to her days as a stripper at Deja Vu or a waitress at the Clarion Hotel. She never mentioned her prior divorce from Richard Gardner (she told Michael that her family lawyer in Missouri had taken care of everything). She said she had attended McCluer High School in St. Louis, although she never produced any transcripts to prove it. But once she passed a police polygraph, the department must have believed her. Why else would they hire her on May 25, 1990? Didn't they conduct the same in-depth background check on every new recruit?

"We hired quantity over quality," Police Chief Ben Click confessed to The Dallas Morning News. He was trying to explain why a 1994 police audit revealed that many officers hired after January 1990 seemed to be getting into more trouble than the criminals they were apprehending. Certainly there were minority quotas to fill and lots of federal law-enforcement money to help fill them. But the real problem, Click said, was that a major hiring push led to too many officers' being hired too quickly.

Other officers believe that Samantha just "fucked her way onto the force."
In the police academy, she developed quite a reputation for herself: Her nickname was "Garo-swallow." Yet her instructor didn't find much fault with her performance: "Recruit Garofalo is willing to work hard and has the potential to be a good officer."

Almost immediately, Michael Garofalo noticed a change in Samantha. She became less flexible in her thinking, more bigoted toward blacks, telling him that only cops understood cops. "It was as if she had found something else to take my place," he says.

Garofalo suspected there might be other men--a field-training officer, a partner, a helicopter pilot. He couldn't keep up. But when he confronted her about sleeping around, she denied having done anything wrong. She always did.

Yet she was as dedicated as she was popular, a stand-up gal who had no fear about jumping into the fray. "She had a good heart, but would cry if you had to discipline her," recalls one of her former supervisors at the Northeast substation. "She just wanted to be accepted by whoever she was with at the time."

In 1991, while standing in the booking area of the jail with a prisoner she had just arrested for DWI, she met officer Jerry Kastler, who was escorting his own DWI prisoner. The two drunks began mouthing off at each other--"What are you lookin' at, mothafucker?"--and the two cops had to separate them. Afterward, Samantha and Kastler struck up a conversation. They both worked the midnight shift, both liked sports, both liked arresting drunks--the attraction was immediate.

She told him she lived in Argyle, had four kids, and was separated from her husband of 15 years, recalls Kastler. Only the Argyle part was the truth. "She said she'd been a head nurse at Parkland, had two college degrees, one in nursing from North Texas, one in English from UCLA. Also that she'd done a spread in Playboy while in California," he says.

Kastler, who had a blond crewcut and the frame of a fullback, was on the rebound after his divorce. Samantha Garofalo did things for him, he says, that he had never before experienced. She pressed his shirts, drove from Argyle to his home in Arlington just to bring him lunch. Then there was the sex. Over time, it grew wilder, bolder; they even added partners they had met at Sans Souci, a swingers club near Love Field that they frequented.

Again Garofalo had to be the center of attention--chatting up her two degrees, her nursing credentials, her spread in Playboy-- with whomever she set out to impress.

Finally, in September 1992, Samantha told her husband, Michael, that she wanted out of their marriage. Garofalo, though devastated, wanted things over quickly, and at first even gave her custody of Patrick. Samantha gave Garofalo the divorce papers, telling him that she had paid the lawyer, gone to court, and gotten the divorce. She was lying. She had done none of it, but that didn't stop her from accepting $300 a month in child support for Patrick.

Samantha was also drawing extra income from the court overtime she was accumulating on her DWI cases. Kastler helped see to that. Once she became nystagmus-certified in July 1993, the guys working the DWI grant like Kastler and Baxley would call her to jail, have her perform nystagmus on their prisoners, even double-up with two nystagmus officers on the same case. It helped lock in a conviction; it also brought in more court time.

Why not do it? They worked hard for their money, and the department had no complaints. As a matter of fact, on December 6, 1993, her supervisor at Northeast awarded Garofalo a special commendation for her efforts: "Since August 1993, you have arrested approximately 50 DWIs. These arrests are time-consuming and require keen observation skills and careful note-taking in order to prepare cases for court...Thank you for helping make the streets safe for the law-abiding citizens of Dallas."

It seemed suspicious the way some prisoners busted for DWI would refuse to take breath tests, as though they knew beforehand what was up. Cops called them "HQs," high-quality DWIs, and they tended to be your more well-heeled drunks, partying young professionals who couldn't afford a criminal conviction and could afford to fight it.

The operators who administered the breath tests at the jail were the first to notice: The KGB--that's what they called Kastler, Garofalo, and Baxley--appeared to be arresting suspects who were big on refusing and only borderline drunk. With no blood-alcohol test indicating intoxication, some pricey lawyer with an ego for winning might decide to go after a not-guilty. If a jury trial were scheduled during their off-duty hours, the officers could bring in two or three days of overtime. There was even an old cop saying that went, "A refusal on the docket is like cash in your pocket."

Refusing to take a breath test was a legal right, but advising a suspect not to take one was against police policy. If the officer knew the person wasn't drunk, it was also downright illegal. Yet on January 20, 1994, Senior Corp. Jerry Kastler was accused of doing just that.

"The officer told me not to take any test," prisoner Dan Reed told breath-test operator Mark Gibbons, who reported it to his supervisor. The supervisor sent it up the chain of command and never heard another word about it until someone brought it to the media's attention in May and former Channel 5 investigative hound dog Marty Griffin began sniffing around.

By then, there was a full-scale investigation--or so the department claimed--but not about false arrests and breath-test refusals (though Garofalo was also accused of advising prisoners against taking them). The Internal Affairs Division was instead investigating more than 20 instances in which officers Kastler, Garofalo, and Baxley had allegedly made false entries on their DWI arrest reports. They accused the trio of tampering with government records, of cheating taxpayers by falsely putting officers at the scene of an arrest when in fact they were nowhere near it. What better way to guarantee friends and lovers a subpoena and lots of overtime pay?

Baxley would only admit that the three of them "nystagmused" each other's prisoners at jail--it was Kastler's idea, really--to tag-team on the testing. A jury was more likely to take the word of two nystagmus officers over one drunk defendant. If he put Garofalo or Kastler down as an arresting officer at the scene instead of as a nystagmus officer at the jail, it was a mistake, a formatting error--certainly nothing criminal. "Baxley was smart enough not to jeopardize his job over a nickel here and a dime there," says one officer who worked with him at Central.

But the arrest reports spoke for themselves, as did other officers whose careers were on the line.

Once Garofalo got wind of the investigation, she began to fall apart. She threatened to retaliate against one officer who had testified against her; she pleaded tearfully with another to change his story. "I told Officer Garofalo that I could not do this," wrote Officer D.S. Snody in his internal-affairs affidavit. "I asked Officer Garofalo to tell me that I was wrong and that her arrest reports were accurate. She refused to do this."

On May 5, 1994, Kastler, Garofalo, and Baxley were placed on administrative leave. Though technically on the force, Garofalo began working at a new off-duty job: topless dancing at Baby Dolls in Fort Worth. "She did it for the money," says Kastler, who also began looking toward the future. "It had always been one of my fantasies for Sam to make a porn movie. We needed money for lawyers, and she wanted to do it."

Kastler went to an adult video store in Irving, got the names of some porno production companies, and networked his way to Jim South in Sherman Oaks, California. South runs World Modeling Agency, which supplies most of the talent to the porn industry. Kastler took nude photos of Garofalo and sent them to South. Within a week, Garofalo resigned from the force and headed for Los Angeles and the start of a new career.

George Milner III, her attorney, worried that her resignation might be taken as an admission of guilt. Instead, he offered the Morning News a different reason: "It was just to get a better-paying job."

On July 26, 1994, officer Len Baxley was arrested for a crime he swears he didn't commit. His life was in shambles, his marriage ending, his finances in bankruptcy. The district attorney had dismissed more than 100 cases that the trio had anything remotely to do with. Sixteen people were gearing up to sue them in federal court for violating their civil rights. Baxley would eventually be dropped from the lawsuit, but a jury awarded the plaintiffs $433,000 in damages against Kastler, Garofalo, and the city of Dallas. Yet on August 19, 1994, when Baxley was fired from the police department and could feel his anger clenched tightly in his jaw, his last words to Police Chief Ben Click were "I want to come back."

Of the 10 counts of misconduct that led to his firing, two resulted in criminal indictments of tampering with government records. In both cases, the prosecution charged that Baxley had made false entries on his DWI arrest reports by listing Samantha Garofalo as an arresting officer when she had nothing to do with the arrests.

When his case went to trial on January 19, 1995, Baxley reluctantly agreed with his lawyer, Tom Pappas, that they should waive a jury and let Judge Larry Baraka decide his fate. Kim Gilles was the lead prosecutor, and her case seemed hyper-technical, based on paper trails, police procedure, and marginal evidence.

In one charge, the prosecution proved that Baxley was called to the scene of a DWI arrest, performed nystagmus on Lewis Roger Shaffer, then took him to jail. The arrest report reflected that Garofalo also was present and performed a second nystagmus test, but officers who were at the scene testified that Garofalo was nowhere in sight. She was, however, in jail, booking her own DWI prisoner at the same time. The defense took the position that Garofalo, as a favor to Baxley on a busy night, phoned in his report as well as hers and one for Kastler. Somewhat greedily, she put herself down as participating in all three arrests.

In the second case, the prosecution proved that Baxley arrested William Curtis McClintock for DWI, took him to jail, and filed a report listing Garofalo as an arresting officer. Yet in the narrative portion of the report, he never detailed what role she played. Kim Gilles proved that Garofalo was off duty during McClintock's arrest and that she never filed a claim for overtime to show otherwise. Baxley had wanted to take the stand in his own defense and testify that Garofalo often came to jail to visit Kastler, off duty and in plain clothes. That night in jail, Kastler was also working a DWI, and Garofalo just might have performed a nystagmus test on McClintock for Baxley. Why not call her as a witness? Or Kastler?

But Pappas wanted to shut the trial down because he thought the evidence was entirely insufficient and believed the judge had made up his mind in their favor. He was wrong. (Pappas did not return repeated phone requests to be interviewed for this story.)

In the Shaffer case, Judge Baraka found Baxley not guilty. But in the McClintock case, the judge seemed to reverse himself and stunned the defense by finding Baxley guilty. Then came a five-year probated sentence, notice of appeal, anger, frustration, and denial.

To Baxley, the trial had come down to two words on an arrest report, two words that cheated him of his career, made him a convicted felon, and changed his life forever: Samantha Garofalo.

The life of a porn starlet is anything but glamorous. The rise is fast, the stay is short, and the fall is hard. There is the prospect of catching some killer disease, and drugs are always available to cloud the conscience. The industry wants fresh faces, new looks, and active imaginations. Two years is the average run.

Like everyone else, Samantha Garofalo was paid by the sex scene: Oral pays $300-$500, straight male-female sex is worth $800, anal sex brings in about $1,000. "Samantha would do it all," says Kastler, who re-christened her Jordan Lee, the "anal queen of porn." Jordan gained notoriety for her early work in Sex Academy 2, Bare Ass in the Park, Three Weddings and a Honeymoon, and Sgt. Pecker's Lonely Hearts Club Gangbang.

In three months, she made more than a hundred films and became very in-demand within the industry. "The first time she got in front of a camera, she was totally uninhibited," Kastler says. "She was a natural."

Of course, the breast augmentation helped, as did the liposuction on her stomach, thighs, and rear. Getting a forehead lift made her eyes wider, brighter; getting the collagen treatments made her lips fuller, sexier.

"Jordan Lee had a wonderful energy about her," says Wesley Emerson (his screen name), who directed her in half a dozen films. "Her enthusiasm for sex translated itself onto the screen. She clearly enjoyed her work."

As a porn actress, the main objective is to get your face on as many video-box covers as possible. This builds a fan base and enables an actress to demand bigger bucks as a featured dancer on the "gentlemen's club" circuit. By late 1995, Jordan Lee was taking her act out on the road, touring the United States and Canada; she even danced at the Caligula XXI club in Dallas.

After they moved to Los Angeles, Kastler and Garofalo held themselves out as husband and wife--it seemed safer that way, for business reasons. Kastler became her manager, though industry insiders considered him just another "suitcase pimp," sponging off his wife's talents. But Kastler had a head for business and exploited Samantha's success at every turn. He claims he built the first Web site dedicated solely to one porn star, which in turn built Jordan Lee Enterprises into a wildly successful business. Samantha would later brag to friends that the business was earning $750,000 a year. The Web site now includes "Porn Stars Uncensored," which offers paid access to the hardcore links of more than 350 porn celebrities and receives more than 850,000 hits a day (Visa and MasterCard accepted).

Kastler proclaims proudly, "I made Jordan Lee."
Still, there was some unfinished business in Dallas: a small matter of three felony indictments that her attorney George Milner III had set for a jury trial on May 23, 1995. But after a jury was impaneled, Samantha changed her mind; she decided she didn't want to fight the charges and pleaded guilty. In exchange for five years' probation, she agreed to tell all about the overtime pay "scam."

"It was never a spoken agreement," she swore in open court. "It was more or less just a nonverbal agreement that we put each other on each other's reports. So if we went to trial, we would be subpoenaed and collect overtime."

"Did Officer Kastler put you on reports that you had nothing to do with?" asked prosecutor Kim Gilles.

"Yes."
"...And Baxley would also put you and in some cases Jerry Kastler on his reports, knowing that you all didn't have anything to do with it?"

"Yes."
When Samantha returned to Los Angeles, she neglected to tell Kastler that she had turned state's evidence against him. Only in the days before his trial did he learn from his lawyer that she had become his chief accuser. "She was eight months pregnant with Zach and stressed-out as hell," Kastler now says. "That's the reason I pleaded guilty. I couldn't put her through a trial."

Now pregnant, Samantha edged Kastler toward marriage. The only problem was, she was never technically divorced. In July 1996, she contacted Michael Garofalo and told him she was filing for divorce, only this time for real. But since their son Patrick now lived with his father in Lewisville, Denton County had jurisdiction, and Garofalo divorced her first.

On October 12, 1996, Jerry Kastler married Samantha Kaitlyn James in Las Vegas, Nevada. He claims that's when all their problems began. "Now that she had the commitment, she just lost interest in me. She seemed to lose interest in everything."

Although her porn career had peaked, Jordan Lee never made it to the top tier of her profession. Kastler says it's because she refused to sleep with the right people ("It's not who you know; it's who you blow"), but controversy followed the Kastlers wherever they went.

Jordan Lee created something of a scandal when she refused to have sex with black men on the set. Her perceived bigotry was reinforced by the matching swastika tattoos that she and Kastler had etched onto their ankles. In a business known for its liberal attitudes, the two of them were branded racists, exposed as anti-Semites even in the porn press.

With the industry demanding new faces and her career waning, Samantha grew depressed, Kastler says. "She was no longer the center of attention."

The way Kastler tells it, she refused to make any more movies and lost interest in the Web site, in him, and in Zach. Her moods swung from suicidal depression to manic rage, and Kastler says he learned from friends that she was a "severe crackhead."

Samantha began spending weeks at a time in Las Vegas; she told Kastler she was working there, although he claims she became "sexually involved" with a "known drug dealer and pimp."

According to Terry Scott, a Los Angeles paralegal hired by Kastler, beginning in June 1997, Samantha went on a wild partying spree, writing checks to herself in the amount of $121,410. She maxed out their credit cards to the tune of $96,300 and hit up the ATM for another $45,000.

On October 9, 1997, Samantha filed for divorce, hoping to gain custody of Zach and control of the business. But on November 6, the parties reached an agreement that allowed Kastler to run Jordan Lee Enterprises for the next 90 days. A court order also granted them joint custody of Zach with the condition that neither could remove him from "the seven Southern California Counties without the prior consent of the other party."

By December, Samantha and Kastler had reconciled, though their divorce proceedings were never dismissed. Samantha returned to the business with a new energy. She even made a few movies and worked the Web site right alongside Kastler.

Beginning in March 1997, she would spend several days every month in New York, Kastler says, working for a high-dollar Manhattan escort service run by Lottie Rumble. "I didn't have a problem with it," Kastler recalls. "She was making three times what she did filming. She had the name to do it." It was there that she became sexually involved with Martin Fish, Rumble's boyfriend of seven years.

According to Kastler, on September 2, 1998, Samantha walked into their home in Northridge, California, picked up Zach, and headed for the door. She said she was going back to New York. "I told her she couldn't take Zach out of state, and she just said, 'Fuck you.'"

By late September, Jerry Kastler had gained the trust of Lottie Rumble, who told him that Samantha had run off with Fish. She caught them smoking crack together; she also had to take a crack pipe away from Zach when he was left unattended. Kastler asked her to put it all in a letter. It might help with the criminal charges he would be filing against her for child concealment and give him more ammunition for the custody battle he knew lay ahead.

Of course, what better evidence could he have than the paperwork he found among the personal effects Samantha had left behind? Buried deep in a file drawer was a birth certificate that revealed the truth: Samantha Kastler had been living a lie. Her real name was Gloria Lynn Grimes.

Len Baxley was a man obsessed. For nearly four years he had been telling everyone that he was falsely accused and wrongly convicted, and now with this new evidence about Samantha, or whatever her name was, he might get someone to listen.

First he had to find her, learn all about her past, and help Jerry Kastler get his boy back in the process. Baxley still had his law-enforcement connections, working for the last few years as an investigator for criminal lawyer Frank Perez, who was once his police sergeant. Baxley's instincts told him that no one would know more than an ex-husband, so he contacted Michael Garofalo.

On October 9, 1998, he spoke with Garofalo, who told Baxley that after Samantha had left him, he found several documents that she altered to become a cop. She doctored the birth certificates of his oldest three children to make it appear that she was their natural mother. His marriage license had been altered to reflect that they had been married more than a decade before the actual date. And his 1992 divorce was a fraud: Samantha just photocopied the papers from his first divorce, whited out portions, and made them appear to be the papers in his divorce from Samantha.

Around Thanksgiving 1994, after the police scandal broke in the press, Garofalo had spoken with Dallas County prosecutor Kim Gilles. "I figured I'd better let someone know Samantha had been doing this kind of thing for a long time. It was nothing new." Gilles took his phone number, but Garofalo never heard back from her, even though Baxley's trial began the following January. (Gilles never returned phone calls for this story.)

Baxley thought he had struck gold. The prosecution had known Samantha had a history of tampering with government records, and they kept it from his lawyers before his trial. They were obliged by law to disclose exculpatory evidence, and he believed he had just found himself another point for his appeal.

"I just think he's clutching at straws," says Assistant District Attorney Clark Birdsall, who also prosecuted Garofalo and Kastler. "If Baxley says that showing Garofalo had a history of tampering with government documents could have assisted him in his defense, my reasoning is, the judge already knew that--that's what we indicted her for."

Of course, Len Baxley was just getting started. He gathered all the incriminating documents Kastler and Garofalo had faxed him, packaged them in a black notebook with some slick publicity stills of Jordan Lee, and went to Missouri. "Hi, I'm Len Baxley, and I used to be a Dallas police officer," he told the St. Louis police on October 11, his notebook in hand. "I'm on a journey up here trying to find the truth about the person who ruined my life."

That journey led him to Poplar Bluff, Missouri, where he found David Grimes, who worked for the Union Pacific Railroad and who reluctantly admitted that he was the older brother of Gloria Grimes. He said that he hadn't seen her in 15 years, that she kept more in touch with their dad. Grimes only knew she was working in computers in California.

Baxley quickly disabused him of that notion, revealing the full extent of her porn past.

Grimes said he should have figured as much. He told Baxley that Gloria had come to live with him after their mother died. She joined the Navy, but she went AWOL in 1985. That's when he lost track of her.

Baxley also presented himself and his black notebook to Carmen Roque, the head probation officer supervising Samantha's probation. During Samantha's New York adventure, she hadn't reported to her probation officer, and Baxley knew that three months of non-reporting could land her in jail. The same day Baxley made his sales pitch, Roque issued a warrant for Samantha's arrest.

Baxley had begun the squeeze play in Dallas; now it was up to Kastler to follow through in Los Angeles. Assisted by a private investigator, Kastler had tracked Samantha to a dingy apartment in Pasadena, where she and Martin Fish were staying with Zach and Vivian Paz, his babysitter. Kastler was waiting for the right moment to make his move.

In late September 1998, Samantha had phoned their accountant, Michael Hodges, and told him that she wanted $50,000 for her share of Jordan Lee Enterprises. But Kastler sensed her desperation, and they settled on $10,000. When she went to Hodges' office and picked up the check, Kastler went to Pasadena and picked up Zach.

Two weeks later, however, while Kastler's housekeeper was driving Zach to McDonald's, Samantha ran her off the road, says Kastler, and Fish forcibly removed Zach from the car. Kidnapping charges were filed that same day, but Samantha disappeared.

Len Baxley got back into the act, working his police contacts in California, Texas, and Nevada. Gloria Lynn Grimes had married Martin Fish on October 5, 1998, in Las Vegas without bothering to divorce Kastler first. A Las Vegas fugitive detective found them in an apartment in Henderson, Nevada, and on October 29, he arrested Samantha on her Dallas County probation warrants.

Baxley had her just where he wanted: held without bond for a probation violation out of Dallas and facing child concealment and kidnapping charges in California, along with vandalism charges for destroying property at Kastler's house. There was also the threat of bigamy charges in Nevada. If he ever won a new trial and it came down to a swearing match between them, her credibility would be shot. Yet Baxley seemed motivated as much by vengeance as by justice. "I am going to turn the heat up so high, she's going to know that when she puts a gun to her head, it was me that caused her to pull the trigger," he says.

There was one thing that Baxley hadn't figured on. Judge Ed "Bubba" King decided Samantha's arrest looked too much like a grudge match. When she was extradited to Dallas after spending a month in a Las Vegas jail, King released Samantha on her own recognizance. Taking a wait-and-see attitude with her probation here, he allowed her to return to California and face charges there. King also told Baxley to stop jacking with his probationers; if he didn't, the judge was going to revoke his appeal bond and put him behind bars.

In January, the day before she renewed her vows with Martin Fish at his parents' church in upstate New York, Samantha granted the Dallas Observer an interview, saying it was time to tell her side of the story. (She claims her marriage to Kastler was annulled, even though their divorce in California is still pending.) She confessed that her true name was Gloria Lynn Grimes and that she grew up in a suburb outside St. Louis. Her mother was a nurse who died of cancer when she was 15. Her father was still alive, a retiree from Shell Oil.

After she graduated from high school, she grew depressed and took an overdose of something--she can't remember what. "I can't say I wanted to kill myself; I just couldn't get a grip," she says. Her brother David's wife suggested she join the Navy. In August 1984, she began her basic training in Orlando, Florida, and was later transferred to Meridian, Mississippi. "It was just too structured for me, and I grew tired of the whole situation." In the spring of 1985, after she received her orders to report to St. Louis, she packed up her things and hitchhiked to Texas. A trucker brought her to Grand Prairie, and she took care of his kids for a while. She was only 18 and got a job in a bar by lying about her age and identity. She said she was Phyllis DeeAnn Gardner, age 25, her roommate in Mississippi. "I wasn't sure if the Navy was looking for me, and I didn't like who I was anyway. I just made things up as I went along."

When she met Michael Garofalo, she fed him "a bunch of fish stories" about her past. "Once you tell a lie, it grows. I was really into it," she says. Garofalo treated her well, but she never loved him. "I only loved his kids. It felt good to be needed." She grew afraid that if Garofalo found out the truth, she would lose the children and the life she had created for herself, so she never confided in anyone, aside from calling her dad to let him know she was alive.

In 1988, the year before Patrick was born, she grew restless and went to work as a waitress at the Clarion Hotel. That's where she met the "great love of her life," Martin Fish, who was working at the time as a stripper at the La Bare Club. Their affair ended when he left town. Years later, she became involved with him again, this time in California when he was a production assistant on the set of one of her movies. She claims Martin Fish is Zach's real father.

When applying for a job with the Dallas police, she says, she secretly wanted to get caught, hoping to put an end to her charade. But when she didn't produce a high school transcript, the police said they would overlook it. When they fingerprinted her just like the Navy had, she thought there would be a match and she would be unmasked as a deserter. That never happened. Adding three children and 10 years to her marriage just helped cover her tracks; so did passing a police polygraph. She had lived a lie for so long that at times she believed she was Samantha Garofalo.

As far as the criminal charges against Len Baxley, she refused to sign an affidavit he recently prepared because it stated that she had performed a nystagmus test on his prisoner one night at the jail while she was in plain clothes waiting for Kastler to get off work. Baxley had hoped to make the affidavit part of his appeal to the 5th Judicial District in Dallas, but she said that it just wasn't true. What is true, she claims, is that Baxley has a vendetta against her because she rejected his advances. "He came on to me repeatedly. I told him I was involved with Jerry, but he said Jerry was no good."

She doesn't know how all this is going to end and gets teary just thinking about it. She's in the middle of a bitter custody battle with Jerry Kastler, says he's the real drug user in the family, and claims he's an abusive husband who broke her nose, forced her to stay in their porn business, then cheated her out of her share of it. At least that's the position she's taking in California Superior Court.

She calls herself Gloria Fish now, she's in therapy, and she's going around the country trying to make peace with her past, hoping to reclaim the shards of her fractured life. She has asked her father, her brother, and her friends to forgive her. But she's done so much damage, told so many lies, that the forgiving comes hard. She says that her California criminal charges are nonsense and that once they are behind her, she plans on returning to Dallas to make a life with her ostensible husband Martin Fish. Her brother has promised to find them both work with the railroad.

Two weeks ago, Gloria phoned Michael Garofalo. She was in Dallas and wanted to see Patrick, now 9 years old. It had been three months since their last visit, and no matter what, she always loved him. She even had Patrick's name tattooed on her ankle to prove it.

At first, Garofalo thought about saying no. Hell no. She was charged with child concealment and kidnapping--he had every right to fear for his child's safety. Yet he didn't refuse and let his son decide for himself. After he thought about it, Patrick chose to see her. The boy wants a mom. Even one as twisted as Gloria Phyllis Samantha Jordan Grimes James Gardner Garofalo Kastler Lee Fish.

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