Links to a.d.sullivan & info on Susan Walsh
I don't know at what point Sue started taking Xanax, if she ever really
did. But neighbors and friends said she had the prescription in her
Nutley apartment for several years.
Some she started taking Xanax for her growing depression. Life was
slipping out of her control, even as she lived high on the world. She
must have known she was being betrayed, even as Ridgeway gave her
assurances, even as he threw her bones, video consultant jobs. Hardin
said Ridgeway even encouraged her to continue dancing, even when she
pleaded with him to let her quit. Perhaps the book at reached a critical
stage. Perhaps he needed her to write a few more key passages so he
could finally publish.
The depression grew, and so did her desperation. Xanax is not an easy
drug to obtain. Only a qualified doctor of medicine can issue a
prescription, a MD with background in psychiatric care. Sue, however,
got her prescription for a local foot doctor, a doctor known on the
street as "Mr. Feel Good," and someone suspected of being involved with
an Medicaid/insurance scam. A local lawyer, to whom Sue had contact
through her landlord, would fill out the paperwork while the doctor
worked up phony cases. Some of these people they yanked out of the
Newark homeless population. Others were known addicts seeking an
Sue claimed she'd become addicted. She certainly appeared to grow weaker
as she delved deeper into the underworld, working up chapter after
chapter for what would become Ridgeway's book. On, at least, two
occasions, Sue wound up in the emergency room of the local hospital,
complaining about stomach pains and nausea. One source claimed she
suffered from an ulcer.
By this time, Sue must have sensed the lack of control she had over her
fate, and may even have sensed the doom that waited ahead, even as she
typed the chapters to the book and brought them to Ridgeway, she could
feel her fate beginning its old cycle, and saw herself again wandering
the empty streets of some strange city, alone and friendless, hunted by
Her attempt to get back together with Hardin in 1993 apparently failed.
She may have already begun to suspect all men of hating her, dating
numerous men at once, trying to sort them out, trying to find one man
among them she could trust. But all the time, she finds them more and
more disgusting, must of this finding its way into the pages of the book
for which she would not get credit.
Even though she was still going out with Goldstein, she seemed to see
that relationship as doomed, just one more on-again, off-again
situation. She loved the luxury, but could no longer depend upon a man
to feel important. She needed to make herself important, needed to break
out of the world of dancing, of the sex industry, to find some sense of
herself. Even her visits to the Vault didn't help. She could whip men up
into a frenzy, but they didn't make her feel any better about herself.
They were dogs, and their respect, their lust, no more satisfied her in
1994 than the lust of undergraduates had just before her graduation in
Hardin, the man who lived with her on and off for about four years in
the early 1990s, seemed to know more about her dancing past that most
people, noting that he was incredible upset with her taking up the trade
"After she returned to the sex business, for weeks I had dreams of her
standing in a slimy lake, submerged to her shoulders. Above water, she
smiled in a dazed, too-innocent way; beneath the water, black insects
and flatworms and eels and insect crabs crawled through her exposed
ribcage, ate away her hips, discolored her skin, burrowed through the
fist between her ribs. I tried talking to her in these dreams, but she
herself appeared to be dreaming, imagining herself in some glamorous
spotlight as the insect men scuttled across her and ate of her and used
her and whispered their childish promises to the sleeping child-head
above the water," Hardin said.
Although friends claim she had a open and trusting nature, Sue lived a
double life, working the go-go scene throughout New York and New Jersey
while trying to raise her child. Ridgeway said her reporting plunged her
deeper into the sex industry, instead of drawing her out, and Sue found
it difficult to shed the obvious attention a go go dancer gleaned from
her perforYork and New Jersey while trying to r
Her ex-boyfriend Rob Hardin said he managed to help Sue keep this
addiction under control during the first two and a half years of their
relationship, and then she wouldn't listen to him any more. She
apparently refused to listen to him when he opposed her involvement with
Goldstein and Screw Magazine. Hardin blamed Ridgeway, too, for helping
keep Sue engrossed in the profession.
But Sue clearly saw Ridgeway and "Red-light" as her ticket out of the
underworld, the publishing credit that would make her other writings
attractive to agents and book publishing companies. She also engaged in
a bit of intrigue, from which she may have drawn information, dating
Billy Walker, someone who worked at least part time for Screw Magazine.
She met Walker in January, 1994, at the Pubway in Newark, a go-go bar he
was managing at the time. She was working there as a strip dancer, and
told him she had been dancing for about eight years -- which meant she
had likely started dancing again while she was still employed with the
metallurgy magazine. She apparently neglected to tell Walker of her
previous dancing career that started in high school and ended up on Show
World. But she did tell him her consistent tale of woe, about how she
hated dancing, and would do just about anything to quit. But since she
had to support her son, she could not afford to quit just yet. At the
Newark job, she was earning somewhere between $100 and $150 per night.
Sue talked openly about her dancing, and told everyone she hated it, and
found it sleazy, exploitative, yet she said she couldn't shake the
"She thought it was just men and women destroying each other," said
Billy Walker, 30, a former boyfriend, who several people early on
suspected as one of Susan's stalkers.
Later, a man named Ron, who claims to have befriended Sue after her
vanishing from Nutley in July 1996, said Sue and Walker had a rocky
relationship. At one point, according Ron, Sue, by using her
relationship with publisher Al Goldstein, tried to have Walker fired
from his position as a clerical assistant at Screw Magazine. Sue also
filed charges against Walker, claiming he was stalking her, and two
months before she vanished, managed to get a restraining order put on
Walker to keep him away from her.
The relationship between Walker and Sue lasted a little over a year. He
moved into her Nutley apartment with her in late 1994, and moved out in
December, 1995. Sue apparently told Melissa that Walker continued to
stalk her even after the restraining order was issued, but Walker said
he had not seen her for months before her vanishing.
Al Goldstein, Screw editor and publisher, who had an affair with Sue for
what he called "four years of craziness" recalls when his managing
editor warned her to get out of the sex business, claiming she was too
full of rage. But according to Goldstein, she wouldn't. He told her she
was heading for a fall and that he couldn't help her.
During her year with Walker, Sue knew things were getting out of
control. "Redlight" was taking too long to come together, and she may
even then have suspected the worst about Ridgeway's intentions. She
sought reassurance from him that she would indeed be author of the book.
She told numerous people that her name would appear on the cover. During
this time, Ridgeway threw bones to heand she may even then have
suspected the worst about Ridgeway's intentions. She sought reassurance
from him that she would indeed be author of the book. She told numerous
people that her name would appear on the cover. Durin
During this time, Sue began to stretch out, seeking alternative plans.
She wrote column for the Nutley Sun called "Dialogue with David." She
even started as a non-degree student at NYU in September, 1995.
Then, by pure chance, she ran into Joel Lewis in the Port Authority,
someone, who had expressed interest in dating her during her early years
at college. He looked little different, fitting the label of "tadpole"
she had put on him at school. She was not impressed by his apparent
success. He had published a book for Rutgers, an anthology of New Jersey
poets. He had won a poetry award, resulting in a publication of some of
his own work. He was also freelance writing for various publications,
book reviews and interviews with prominent people.
But after nearly four years of riding around in Al Goldstein's limo, the
walking-talking poetics of Joel Lewis seemed small time, and she brushed
him off again. Later, after Billy Walker left her and her relationship
with Goldstein seemed more threadbare than ever, Sue called Joel again,
telling him she was dancing in clubs in Lodi. She handed him the
now-standard line about how much she hated dancing, and sought from him
places where she might be able to read or publish her poetry.
As with the rest of the men she had known over the previous four or five
years, Joel fit the profile of the up and coming artist. But she
apparently didn't think he had much to offer her, not when she was on
the brink of publishing "Redlight," and she never called back again.
I want to suck your -- blood!