Just got back from Plano, Texas, where I was in town to emcee the annual Prince Harrison Lone Star Classic. Of course, it was hard for anybody to focus on the contest this year. Could you, after hearing the shocking news that Pro Figure star Amanda Savell and boyfriend David Jacobs were found shot to death in Jacobs’ home? And, that it was Jacobs, according to the police, who pulled the trigger, firing several shots into the 30-year-old Savell before taking his own life.
But several people I talked to over the weekend weren’t sure that was the way things went down; considering all the folks Jacobs was apparently singling out in his “cooperation” with the government after his steroid bust a little more than a year ago, he was a marked man.
I never bought the “hit” story for a second. Jacobs was a man whose life was spiraling way out of control. Shortly after he was arrested, the 35-year-old former Marine lost his nutrition store in Plano. People he counted on as close friends were now keeping their distance and, of course, his on-again, off-again relationship with Savell was reportedly in the “off” mode–at least from Savell’s point of view. Sources in Plano told me Jacobs was extremely controlling and obsessive; apparently both Jacobs and his assosciates had issued death threats to Amanda as recently as days before her demise.
In what might be the most surprising story of this shocking event: according to police reports 146 vials of steroids, four containers of raw materials, scales, blister packs, cash and syringes were confiscated from Jacobs’ home. Was the man who was sentenced to probation less than a month ago, and who promised to tell school kids about the perils of steroid use, still dealing all along?
I have my own theory of what went down, but I will leave that to the police and the coroner’s office to determine the specifics. If you are reading the blog, I know you have read or viewed the more in-depth reports on the murder/suicide from the New York Times, the Dallas Morning News, the Los Angeles Times, NBC, et al.
We all tried to stay as positive as possbile at the Lone Star. I opened the show by announcing to the fans the contest was dedicated in Amanda’s memory. Later in the evening, Texas State Chairman Lee Thompson came to the podium for a remembrance tribute to Savell, then asked for a moment of silence. Lee then brought to the mic one of Savell’s closest friends, NPC competitor Jill Brooks, who relayed how Savell had written her a letter of recommendation recently and called Jill at 11:30 pm to tell her she completed it, and wanted to give it to her that same night.
A private funeral, kept to 100 people, was held today (Sunday) at 11 am, but Brooks said the Savell family would be hosting a party at their home, open to all of her friends, later in a celebration of Amanda’s life.
Yes, it was a somber atmosphere, but the show must go on. Amanda wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. And, I know she is giving her “thumbs up” to the winners of the affair: Jaime Davila (Men’s Overall), Holly Chambliss (Women’s Overall), Jessica Brichta (Figure), Ali (Baba) Taktak (Men’s Novice) and Fitness champion Stephanie Irick.
Victor Martinez and Stephen Frazier were the guest posers at the Plano Convention Center; Martinez looked especially good for someone who underwent knee surgery after the first of the year and who didn’t start training until a month or so ago. He did admit to me at dinner on Friday night, though, that’s it’s improbable he will be back on stage at this season’s Olympia, but that he does plan on being even better that what we’ve become accustomed to at the 09 Arnold.
Frazier is a big kid, with a lot of potential. And, he’d better obey the Swami, too. ‘Cause I told the fans I think last year’s third place finisher in the Superheavyweight class at the Nationals (Frazier was only 12th in 2006) will take the division this season. Look for him as one of my Rising Stars in the September issue of the News and Views.
Special thanks, as always, to the Munroe’s–June and Katie–for providing the usual Class A chauffeur services over the weekend. I do get a bit nervous when Katie’s at the wheel, though. Not all toy pincher’s are noted for their driving skills.
And, kudos to everyone involved at the Lone Star–from Harrison, his staff, the judges, sponsors and fans–who did their best to put aside the emotional trauma that stunned our industry but two days earlier to still come out and support the event.
After all, would Amanda have wanted it any other way?