Brooke Phillips: The Life and Death of an HBO Hooker

Page 3 of 3

"She looked beautiful," Duschel remembers. "Beautiful and troubled. Like all of them."

In late summer 2009, Brooke told management that she was pregnant with her second child. "She didn't seem to care who the father was," Hof says, claiming that Brooke had initially approached him with an offer to essentially be a sperm donor. They never pursued it.

There had always been boyfriends, none of whom seemed to stick around long. "It's impossible to have a normal relationship," Duschel says of adult entertainers. "You begin to believe you only deserve another damaged soul." Maybe, Duschel thought, Brooke got too drunk with a customer one night and forgot to use a condom.

She intended to return to Oklahoma to have the baby, then resume work in Nevada. She had appeared only briefly in one episode of Cathouse, masturbating while two other women watched, and hoped to get more screen time in the next season. Hof promised her a baby shower when she returned.

According to Air Force Amy, a popular Ranch attraction, Brooke could've stayed and earned money from men who "love lactation." While that notion didn't entice her, she did promote an auction for her "anal virginity," which she hoped would invite attention. Law school was on the table, too, but few women in the business can ever escape the stigma for mainstream careers.

Lewis saw her for the last time at lunch, just before her final trek to Nevada. He repeated his concerns.

"I'm fine," she said. "I'm safer than if I were home." He walked her to her car, hugged her and told her to be careful.

Less than a month later, she was back in Moore and phoning Fierro looking for cocaine, the damaged girl coming to the surface. He drove her to 1511 SW 56th St., where drugs and guns and bad feelings left her a witness to a murder. Fierro escaped. Brooke fought for two lives and lost both of them.

On the coroner's slab, Brooke's tattoos told another story. The wind-up angel was impaled with a pin. The kanji on her right wrist was mirrored by a bloody slash across her left. The woman at peace in a flower had been retouched during her stay at the Ranch; she used to be bound and helpless.

Brooke was cremated, the twilight culture of Oklahoma never skipping a beat. Her mother was arrested in a Tulsa Walmart in 2011 for trying to make methamphetamine inside the store, the fumes peeling paint off the walls. A scavenger went through her trash, saw the brothel's time cards and phoned its front office, offering to sell photos and other discarded belongings. A friend went to the Ranch bearing a tattoo of Brooke, but stayed only briefly. "She just wasn't very good," Hof says wistfully.

He installed a plaque dedicating their stripper pole to Brooke. Sometimes the new girls nervously ask if someone died on the premises. Of course not, Hof tells them. No one died here.

One day, Lewis walked into a club and saw his friend Montana on stage with her of-age daughter, showing her moves on the pole. "She wants to do this," Montana told him, "so I figured I'd show her how it's done."

"She had no clothes on," Lewis remembers. "Eight years ago, she called me 'Uncle.'"

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jake Rossen