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The Sicko Side of the Sci-Fi Circuit

But they weren’t the only people to benefit from Kramer, only to later have Kramer and company turn on them. In perhaps the most obvious display of the fickle and reckless abuse of his power, Kramer sued White Wolf Publishing, a company he helped to become one of the foremost role playing game publishers in the world, for money they had tried to pay him. He simply refused to cash royalty checks sent to him while claiming he wasn’t being paid. No one knows why he did this:

Beginning in 1990, Kramer also used his connections to help out a local role-playing game maker. He hooked the fledgling White Wolf up with writers -- including Collins -- and edited books for the company's publishing arm.

The next year, White Wolf made gaming history when it concocted the hugely successful "Vampire: The Masquerade" franchise. Thereafter, it became a major Dragon*Con vendor, renting a sizable chunk of the dealer space.

But now, White Wolf co-founder Steve Wieck says Kramer is suing the company to recover several years' worth of royalties and agent's fees; Wieck says checks were dutifully mailed to Kramer, but, mysteriously, he never cashed them.

"For whatever reason, he saw fit to sue us over money we're trying to pay him anyway," says Wieck, adding that Kramer has yet to explain his quarrel with the company.

Consumed by his power in the industry, Kramer began to flaunt his depravity openly. Joe Christ claimed that he saw Kramer bring a very young boy to the adult-themed GothCon 2000. There, Kramer was physically affectionate with the boy in the way one expects to see from young lovers and not a nearly middle-aged man and a child. Before his death this was the incident Joe Christ pointed to that convinced him the rumors of Kramer’s pedophilia were true.

Though it didn’t convince him to call authorities.

On Aug. 25, Gwinnett police Detective Curtis Clemmons phoned Kramer at home, told him of the accusation, and asked him to come to the station for an interview. Kramer said he'd be right over.In fact no one knows who finally called the cops on Ed Kramer. The rumor has always been that it was the ex-husband of the woman he was dating. That woman had three young sons and Kramer was accused of molesting one of them in an anonymous phone call. An innocent man might have been shocked and hurt by such accusations. Ed Kramer was simply angry:

A few minutes later, Clemmons received a frantic call from the boy's mother, who said Kramer had driven up to her house and was banging on the door, yelling, "Tommy! Tommy! Open the door! How could you do this to me?"

Trouble was, it wasn't 15-year-old Tommy (whose name we've changed) but his younger brother whom Kramer was accused at the time of molesting.

In November, he was indicted for allegedly molesting both boys during various sleepovers at his house in the week following Dragon*Con 2000.

A master manipulator, Kramer, still wielding the power of DragonCon, spent the early 2000s orchestrating a two-pronged defense against the criminal charges facing him. The first part involved feigning illness. The man who was an avid caver and partied like Gary Glitter in a Thailand boy bar was now suddenly a lifelong invalid whose condition was worsened by a stint in the Gwinnett County, GA jail. The second was to paint Kramer as a victim of a smear job by competitors. Celebrities like Harlan Ellison did interview after interview claiming Kramer was innocent and Dragon*Con fans crucified everyone who spoke out against Kramer – even the children.

In 2002, Kramer or his supporters somehow convinced Benyamin Cohen, editor of the Atlanta-based American Jewish Life, to publish a hit piece on Kramer’s critics that claimed everyone from the judge assigned the case to Nancy Collins and Joe Christ were anti-Semites. By that time Kramer had suddenly re-embraced Orthodox Judaism and claimed the judge, who was a Christian convert from a Jewish family, was ruling against him out of spite. Cohen picked out of context themes from Collins’ and Christ’s works to prove they were anti-Semites and quoted an inmate who claimed to be a reverend saying that Kramer was singled out by the guards for ill treatment.

Illustration: DM7 / Shutterstock