By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Thinking he could use some help, Simmons agreed to take on Havard. Moving about 100 pills a week to North Dallas teen-agers, Havard started clearing some $6,000 a month, Simmons says. He admired the kid's business savvy. Sometimes he'd sell a pill for as much as $60. It was Economics 101: supply and demand.
Within a few months, the black street dealer and the white preppy started hanging out together, Havard laughing at Simmons' jokes and fast repartee. Simmons, a smooth-talking ladies' man, gave the shy Havard tips on picking up girls. And the college-bound Havard encouraged Simmons to pursue his rapping dream, even while lapping up every nuance of his gangsta life.
"Being around you," Havard told Simmons, "is like being in a movie."
Still, Simmons knew Havard hid things from him, as he did from Havard. The white teen-ager carried around more money than Simmons knew he was earning from Ecstasy. But he didn't pry. If he had, Simmons would have discovered that Havard was running his own crime ring of dissolute rich kids. As Havard studied Simmons' every move, soaking up the street attitude, he transformed himself from a pampered private-school juvenile delinquent into a genuine gun-wielding thug.
He'd end up taking both of them down.
These days, Simmons is serving six years in prison for a crime he says he committed with Havard. His one-time buddy may join him some day. Arrested last February in his dorm room at SMU and now facing charges of counterfeiting, armed robbery and selling GHB, another club drug, Havard, 20, posted bail and ran.
Simmons has had a lot of time to consider the paradox of his unlikely partner in crime. Since he's in the pen, and Havard isn't, there's an obvious question: Did his friend betray him? But he knows there's a deeper mystery, one he'll never understand. Why would a rich white boy who had all he needed and most of what he wanted throw away the easy life for a pocket full of blood money?
Douglas Cade Havard is sipping a cerveza on a beach in the Cayman Islands, hanging out near the banks where he's stashed upwards of a million dollars. No, he's in Brazil, cranking out phony passports. Are you crazy? Havard's still in the U.S.A., hanging out in Austin with a new face courtesy of plastic surgery. He's slowly hunting down the kids who could testify against him.
The Doug Havard legends are everywhere--they've accumulated like a snowball tumbling down Mount Everest since he was 16. His friends from high school and SMU trade Havard stories. Didja hear about Havard hijacking the 18-wheeler? He and a buddy breaking into a car owned by an FBI agent and stealing bulletproof vests? Hiring someone for $25,000 to beat up a kid at Lake Highlands High School?
The rumors will, no doubt, keep multiplying, because there are enough real, verifiable stories of Havard's exploits to make the wildest ones seem plausible. Havard possessed an extraordinary ability to rope other kids into his schemes, where they got a glimpse of his world that made them fascinated and frightened at the same time: The guns. The money. The thrilling feeling of being outside the law instead of the pampered progeny of parents who hired others to clean their houses and mow their lawns.
Havard nurtured that outlaw persona, unafraid to do what other teen-agers merely fantasized about. Bryan Flood, the Dallas assistant district attorney who is prosecuting the counterfeiting charges against Havard, says he's seen an increasing number of kids like Havard committing crimes. "I call it the Ulysses complex," Flood says. "It's someone who wants to be a thief and a rogue. If you don't boast, nobody knows of your exploits, so how can you become famous? Havard is at the top of the chart." Flood blames pop culture. "The kids want that pop culture image--money, fame, girls--even though that's not real," he says. "The things they do to make it real are often very illegal. On TV, nobody gets charged with a crime."
Though authorities are searching for him--he's been featured on the "Wanted" page of The Dallas Morning News--Havard has not been convicted of a crime. His attorney, Kevin Clancy, declined to comment on the charges against his client. His parents did not return phone calls. The Dallas Observer pieced together Havard's story from transcripts of court hearings and documents filed by police officers to obtain search and arrest warrants, as well as exclusive interviews with Simmons and another Havard associate who granted an interview under the condition that he not be identified.
Havard's story begins in an unlikely place--The Winston School on Royal Lane, where the motto is "bright students who learn differently." Winston is an oasis for two kinds of kids: those with learning disabilities such as dyslexia and ADD, and troubled teen-agers who have been kicked out of every other private school in Dallas. The K-12 school boasts small classes--the teacher-student ratio is 1:8--with only 30 to 40 graduating seniors a year. Tuition is high, about $16,000, including meals. Though some students come from a middle-class background with parents scraping together every dime to cover tuition, others are children of Dallas' wealthiest families.