By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Donovan Warren stands center stage at The Rail Club, looking every bit the part of metal-band frontman: H.R. Giger-inspired motifs tattoo his arms. A pair of dice and an alien eye decorate the back of his hands. The words "Last Call" bleed from his fingertips. His long, blondish-brown beard is braided, and a black bandanna imprinted with brass knuckles wraps around his bald head. A Black Label Society vest over a dark T-shirt, camouflage shorts with chains connecting to a wallet and a pair of black Converse complete the image.
He leans forward and prepares to sing his band's signature song, "Drunk On Blood." Most of his songs are inspired by 48 Hours and other murder shows. But it's 100 Proof Hatred's grueling tone and Pantera-inspired dress that keep people coming back. From bassist Jerry Galvan's black cowboy hat with a skull and crossbones patch in the center to guitarist Dave Lewis' Black Label Society ball cap, they were born into the heart of Southern metal in Fort Worth, and its influence is apparent not only in their look but in the power chords that anchor their arsenal.
It's a Saturday night, March 2012. Warren and the guys are plowing through their set before one of the largest crowds The Rail Club has ever seen, many of whom have been watching this band for years. It's the ultimate local metal band.
From the outside, The Rail Club looks like some out-of-business storefront, but it comes alive inside, with dim lighting and metal pounding from the speakers. There are pool tables and dart boards, a wraparound bar and a small stage. There's a dance floor used more often as a mosh pit. A picture of the state of Texas with a red, white and blue calf skull hanging on a guitar neck serves as the club's banner, and a nice reminder of what this place is: a mecca for metal.
Tonight that means playing host to the War of Rock's "Wild Wild West" contest. The winner will be crowned the "New War of Rock Band," a rare chance for a struggling local band to tour "Rockin' The Red Carpet" with Vince Neil, lead singer of Mötley Crüe. There are other perks, and a cash prize of $25,000. Metal bands from as far away as Alabama and Nashville are here, and this is just one of several battles across the region. The winner will square off against the nine winners of each local competition, and the winners of that will go to nationals.
Warren paces across the stage, glaring at the crowd. "What's happening 'War of Rock,' Fort Worth, Texas?" he roars into the microphone. "You're in the right place at the right time. This is a badass party. Everybody get fucked up, and don't go nowhere."
He makes a fist with his tatted hands, moves across the stage and stops at the edge of the swell of bodies surging forward and back like a tormented wave. Warren joined 100 Proof Hatred just as it was forming in 2005. "Play with some damn conviction" was the band's motto, and no one was more passionate about the lifestyle than Warren, who'd perfected his stage presence as a strip club DJ. He works the crowd as if they are customers at one of those clubs. Some of them are.
When the band finishes its set, Warren stands center stage to hear the judges' comments. His hands open and close into fists; his muscles twitch as he clenches his jaw, bleeding aggression, waiting to be judged. Mark Slaughter, founder of the metal band Slaughter, starts.
"All I can say is that Dimebag is smiling his ass off in heaven," Slaughter says. Warren smiles, flexes his muscles and bows, and the crowd screams its approval. To be compared to Pantera's late guitarist, "Dimebag" Darrell Abbot, is the highest honor a person can bestow on a Fort Worth metalhead. "Seriously, man, that was fucking cool," Slaughter continues. "The back half of that was like a dinosaur had just walked through the room. Rock on, man, you guys have got the heart, and you've got where it's coming from. It comes from the street, and it smells like a fucking concert, so that's even better."
Warren leans down and kisses a fan's cheek.
"Y'all rock, man," says judge Greg Ingram, co-creator of War of Rock. "Dime is smiling right now. Are y'all ready? I think you are."
Warren makes the universal metal hand sign and bows again. He appears lost in the moment, as if he's forgotten the disease ravaging him, the accusations, the investigation. To his fans and friends, he's a rock star. He's the life of the party, a "good-hearted" guy who'll give you the shirt off his back, open his door for you, fire up his grill for you.
"Thank you, gentlemen," says the final judge Claudia Rene, an actress and model. "100 Proof Hatred, huh? You guys own the crowd." The crowd screams even louder. "The War of Rock told you to bring it, and you brought it. You and your style —"
She stops and smiles hungrily.
There are so many things about this article that make my stomach turn. I knew Donovan a very long time ago & hadn't seen him or been part of the metal community in many years.
Knowing Donovan's personality and the things he loved - I'm sure his biggest fault was his lack of responsibility for his actions. He wanted to get credit for the glory, the rock n roll, the excess that came with it. He also wanted to be responsible for everyone having a good time. Even in the bedroom, he made sure a good time was had by all. He did not want to take responsibility for anything not listed in the "good or fun" column. That was a downer and he wanted none of that. This fault doesn't make him a terrible person. He was immature and made a full time job out of living reckless. It didn't take an expert to see that.
Shame on him for not facing his diseases and taking responsibility for them. He is certainly guilty of sticking his head in the sand and pretending that if he didn't think about them, they weren't there. However, the women that chose to pursue him made risky choices as well. Donovan didn't have to drug women to be with him - it was all low hanging fruit for him and his larger than life, fun personality. Women love the bad boys and he was playing that role full tilt. Where is their culpability for choosing to have unprotected sex with a high risk partner? It hasn't been safe to pick up someone you don't know very well in a club and have unprotected sex in decades with HIV epidemic. These women - none of them - we're innocent in their choices.
I hate that, in a moment of what I expect was lonely, drunken, frustration he made a choice to voice his frustration at his sickness on a public forum and was implicated for it. Even not speaking with him I know he wasn't infecting people maliciously. He was ashamed. He was scared of what his community would do if they found out. And he didn't want to be sick so he just pretended he wasn't.
This story is extremely slanted to make it salacious. And his name was Donovan. As the author you speak of these girls with their pseudonym first names and use his last name throughout the piece. It's very confusing to the reader and quite frankly, shoddy of a writer.
I just love how all of you name calling, not knowing what the fuck you are talking about, opinionated wanna be's, are throwing around Donovan's name & not so true business out there. WOW! How pathetic! As for you, mr. x-darkride-x, I could list out quite a few things about your user"name" here that ran through my mind by your user name alone. And I promise you it would be belittling, and very embarrassing for you. So show some respect so I don't have to sink down to your level.
Why do people have to lie so much!! This is all lies!! Don't believe anything in this article.. please let him RIP and people need to leave his name out of there mouth and articles this is all just bs!! HE WAS A GOOD PERSON AND DOESN'T DESERVE THIS!!!
This pisses me off so bad lies all lies!!!and justice for Donovan wasn't ran by an ex it was a family friend and me a friend to Donovan i no longer am a part of it due to the asshiles that wanna threaten our lifes. Why can't yall leave this be stop writing these things and let him RIP and let his family be at peace. yall are killing his family with yalls lies!!!
Those "metalheads" are the dirtiest group of losers in DFW. The Rail is a breeding ground for HIV. I guarantee there is a collective shudder running through that group as we speak. There are 5 or 6 "metal sisters' you can catch at The Rail every weekend. Every 40 yr old loser with a beard and a Pantera shirt has had their turn with them (Donovan included.) Everyone knows who they are and at least 1 of them is infected, too. It's about to get worse before it gets better, people.
I'm so glad Donovan's innocent victims FINALLY got vindication. I have watched this situation unfold and it is disgusting how these women were portrayed by the "metal community" - a group of trailer trash losers that run around in circles sleeping with each other. Time to pay the piper, guys. I have a feeling that group is about to start dropping like flies!
Seriously - WHO is surprised to find out that meth-fueled, death-obsessed metal-heads are violent sociopaths?
He was a scumbag multiple murderer and got off way too damn easy. Anyone with sympathy for him is redneck idiot trailer trash. His mother should be in prison for aiding a fugitive and possibly even accessory to murder, considering there's no way she didn't know he was sick.
@DamagedGirl you are slanted in your opinion of Donavon. This writer is right on point with this man. Shame on you for trying to find the good in this sperm donor. He was an ego maniac narsasistic foolish man who had NO respect for anothers life. You are a damaged girl if you see him as the victim which you clearly do. Shame on you. When you surround yourself with such trash your going to come out smelling like it. Just so your clear on this. WHEN YOU KNOWINGLY HAVE HIV IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY not just by law, but by human respect TO TELL WHOMEVER YOUR SLEEPING WITH THAT YOU are POSITIVE, SOOO THEY CAN MAKE AN INFORMATIVE DECISION WHETHER THEY WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH YOU OR NOT. IN NO WAY IS IT THE FAULT OF THE GIRLS WITH WHOM HE INFECTED. People like you are trying to deter his bad decisions and make excuses for him because you feel sorry for him. REALLY! Suicide for Donavon was cowardly and another form of his ego standing in the way. He never thought about how this would affect his mother (remember he shoot himself in her small RV where she sleep every night) his daughters and sons. This man was a scoundral and contributed NOTHING to society. Check yourself, get counceling or something, if you are surrounded by people like this and actually have excuses for them, then something is not right with you.
@DamagedGirl Well, because of his "faults" he now has a baby daughter that is going to struggle and die from a deadly disease and his older children have to be left with this legacy.
It wasnt just "not taking responsibilty" for his actions, it was a blantant disregard for his life and the life of those he came into contact with.
Being HIV positive and having unprotected sex with others absolutely makes him a bad person. Having HIV and knowingly getting a woman pregnant without telling her you are positive and having a child that is infected absolutely makes him a bad person. He has no less than 5 children and owed thousands and thousands of dollars to their mothers and now his youngest is faced with a lifetime of medical bills for a disease he knowingly passed along. That, in my book, is not only a "bad person", its a monster. There is nothing lower than a man that fathers children and abandons them. Its even worse that 1 of them is sick and he didn't even care enough to claim her - even after the DNA test came back that he was her father.
And you are right, the women were reckless, too, but these children involved didnt asked to be brought into this mess. His baby daughter did nothing to deserve this deadly disease he knew he had when he chose to have unprotected sex and create her.
It's time people quit defending him and start focusing their energy on the true victims here - the kids!
Feel free to offer up the upside of his behavior. Tell us all, please, what was GOOD about this scumbag.
@Sshutshutup That's right it's all just a big, made-up conspiracy over some dude in a doo-rag. EVERYONE is in on it, you now. Even the Tarrant County DA is in on "the conspiracy".
He was a COWARD. A COWARD with a big appetite for pussy and drugs. A COWARD with NO heart, not even for his own child.
Thank GOD he's gone. The world suffers from having too many Warren's in it, ONE LESS WARREN is a good thing.
Don't ruin it for us - let us CELEBRATE the REMOVAL of another P.O.S. from the face of the earth.
Tarrant County District Attorney has no reason to lie. The prosecutor
didn't have a personal vendetta against Mr. Warren. When the case was filed enough evidence had to be presented to the grand jury to get an indictment. Tarrant County got not 1 but 2 indictments handed down against him based on evidence from medical records. Just because you don't like what the article says doesnt make it any less true.
@Sshutshutup there may be a few things like that in the article that are not correct but most of this is a true story compiled BY his family and friends, District Attorney, victims, and evidence found throughout the case
@Sshutshutup Damn you're such a LIAR you make me laugh.
@Sshutshutup Mr. Warren gave his own child a death sentence. While you are so busy focusing your energy on Mr. Warren and fighting for "Justice" for him and screaming about bullies, maybe you should be concerned about his child. Where is the child's justice? This child is going to spend it's entire life taking tons of pills and going to countless Dr. appts. by no fault of it's own. Do you have any idea how much the monthly medication for a person with HIV is? Thousands! Instead of worrying about who said what about Mr. Warren, maybe you should worry that there is a child he brought into this situation that is going to fight this disease it's whole life and eventually die from it. I don't recall any facebook pages being made for the child. That facebook page even said you were going to try to raise money for a lawyer to sue the "bullies." Maybe you should raise money for his sick child's lifelong treatment. You people have some really warped priorities.
Don't be so obtuse to stereotype people by what music they listen to or how they dress. Losers are found in all walks of life. Just last month a college fraternity in Boston was charged with allowing a girl to be gang raped in their frat house. No metal heads there I bet but still in a class of "losers" all their own.
@Tsell71I'm sure that group of people you are speaking of also make the rounds at every rock and metal show in town, not just the ones at this club. I have no doubt that this same scenario could be playing out at any club in town, regardless of genre. Hell, that guy in Dallas Buyers Club was a redneck. This is a cautionary tale about unprotected sex, fueled with hopelessness and denial. I certainly hope you're not right about things getting worse before they get better. Hopefully, shedding some light on the subject will help. Sounds like you've been to the rail a few times yourself, so you know that the majority of people who go there are just looking to hear good music and don't partake in any sort of seedy lifestyle. People have their birthday parties at the club. There's even been a couple of weddings.
@xdarkridex she knew he was sick, could've have been in denial, but she def. knew.
@xdarkridex Of course she knew. Even now she wants to blame "bullies" not him. Looks like she would be furious at him. She has an infected grandchild now!
@DamagedGirl I dont think he is stereotyping by their music. He is stereotyping by the behavior that group of people exhibits. I know Donovan well and I also know the women he is talking about.Should I name names because I can.
@J.M.B. No, I don't go to the Rail. I've never even stepped foot in it. One of the bartenders is an acquaintance that is related to a good friend of mine. I know for certain his lifestyle is just as reckless as Mr. Warren's was. It's not even a secret that Donovan slept with a good number of women up there, who in turn sleep with other band members, who sleep with the bartenders, ect. It's bad.
@Move.On.People the reason this article was posted was to spread awareness. As Donovans friends have said he had MANY girls in his life who could now be passing around this life threathening disease all over the DFW area. the victims life choices are not on trial here. The district attorney proved he knowingly gave these girls this disease regardless of what poor choices they have made no one deserves to have their life shortened because Donovan was wreckless. It amazes me that these poor girls are receiving death threaths and being called every name in the book when they are the victims. I understand loyalty to a friend but even so what he did was wrong and you all need to accept the truth and leave these poor girls alone. you all claim he was bullied by these girls but yet you all are bullying them! you are simple minds hypocrites!!
@Move.On.People That "family" is anything but "innocent". His mother was the one who introduced him to that life, what makes her so innocent??
@Move.On.People Im not sure her exact situation but as it appears she started treatment very early on chances are she is undectable anyways and there is barely a chance of passing the virus at that point like 2% or less if she had a C-section and didn't breastfeed. Plus once again everyone is quick to pick on these girls and put them down any way possible because they decided to prosecute Donovan. If he wanted to handle this the correct way and just put on a condom and tell his partners then none of this would have happened! he would still be enjoying his life free and so would these girl! Im proud of them for standing up and getting the word out there and hopes to stop a huge outbreak in the dfw area because he was going around sleeping with all these girls knowing he was ill and spreading it. Now instead he took his life and ALL the girls are left to battle everyday of their life with this deadly disease on top of constantly being abused emotionally by all of you!
Point? There is still a risk of passing the virus to your unborn child even with medication. It takes a very selfish person to purposely take that risk.
It's obvious that your medical degree has expired. Full blown AIDS can occur anywhere from 5 to 7 years. These time frames are not an exact science. There are many cases where the onset has occurred early.
If you want to believe that Casey and Cat are complete angels with no past. Go ahead. Those of us who know better can sit back and laugh at your black and white belief. Trust me that are plenty of other colors in between.
@Move.On.People You are seriously in denial.
@glenspivey27 Why do you feel the need to throw around that you knew Donovan and can name names? Who cares and why throw more people into the mud?
Stereotyping any group based on the behavior of a select few is wrong. Stereotyping every person that listens to metal, AKA "Metalheads" is lame. Should I call every person that listens to rap a "gansta?"
Four or five girls behavior (or a group of 40 yr old guys in Pantera shirts for that matter) doesn't dictate what an entire population of people who enjoy a genre of music are.
Your anger is off the charts. Maybe you should listen to some metal. :-)
Amen, cm1977. Both victims in this story were in relationships with Donovan. The first girl had his daughter and the 2nd one lived with him and he made her believe he was "settling down" and wanted to marry her. It wasn't until she found out he had HIV and didnt tell her that she became angry and wanted to expose him before this happened to anyone else. These women were given a deadly disease that Donovan knowingly passed them. They deserved justice just as much as if he had shot them in the head or fed them a poison laced dinner!