DPD investigator denies rumors that arrests are ‘imminent’ in gay Dallas woman’s disappearance

Lisa Stone
Lisa Stone

On Tuesday afternoon we reported that Lisa Stone’s friends believe arrests may be “imminent” in the six-month-old disappearance of the 52-year-old gay Dallas woman.

But Sgt. Eugene Reyes of the Dallas Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit told Instant Tea this morning that those rumors are simply untrue.

“I have no idea who we would be arresting and what we would be arresting them for,” Reyes said. “You blindsided me.”

Reyes said he had no new information about DPD’s investigation into Stone’s disappearance. He’s said previously that investigators believe foul play is “very likely.”

Reyes acknowledged that DPD recently contacted America’s Most Wanted, which posted a story about Stone’s disappearance on its website last week. Asked whether this indicates that authorities are desperate, Reyes said: “We’ve been desperate since day one. As soon as [Stone's longtime partner] Sherry [Henry] quit talking, what else is there? We have nothing to go on. It’s another way to generate publicity, keep it out there.”

Reyes added that the America’s Most Wanted story hasn’t generated any tips in the week since it was posted. He said investigators continue to believe that even if Henry wasn’t somehow involved in Stone’s disappearance, she knows something about it.

“Either Sherry is not telling anyone or if she did they’re not sharing that information,” Reyes said.

—  John Wright

Nearly 6 months after gay Dallas woman Lisa Stone vanished, some national media attention

Dec. 5 will mark six months since the disappearance of Lisa Stone, a 52-year-old gay woman from northeast Dallas. But Stone’s friends remain optimistic that the case will soon be solved, and their hopes have been buoyed this week by some national media attention.

America’s Most Wanted posted a story about Stone’s disappearance on its website Monday, and her friends plan to meet with producers from CBS’ 48 Hours on Wednesday.

“We have worked for five months to get this kind of national exposure,” said Tina Wiley, one of Stone’s friends who’s been leading the effort to find her. “We need this to get answers.”

Wiley said Stone’s friends are also hearing rumors that arrests in the case may be imminent. A Dallas police investigator who’s handling the case couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Wiley said nothing is planned to mark the six-month anniversary of Stone’s disappearance. However, the group known as the Sisters of ’77 — Stone’s friends who graduated from Mesquite High School in 1977 — plans another reunion on Dec. 11. It was during the first-ever reunion of the Sisters of ’77 in May 2009, WIley said, when Stone came out to many of her former classmates.

“It was a huge deal to her, so I think it’s going to be a really emotional party,” Wiley said. “She was real hesitant at first about going even. She was so worried about what everyone would think, but she was very pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t an issue to anybody.”

—  John Wright

Top Republican TV shows are also gay favorites

‘Modern Family’ was No. 3 on the Republicans’ list.

A new study of TV viewing habits of Republicans vs. Democrats reveals something not surprising — that the two groups like completely different shows. What is surprising is that on the Republican list are more shows that are popular among the LGBT community than on the Democratic list.

Most glaring is the No. 3 Republican show — Modern Family. That program features one of the best portrayals of a gay family ever seen on television. And Ed O’Neill, the patriarch of the family, is married to a woman from Columbia who has moved to the United States with her son. Immigration is not usually a popular Republican theme.

At No. 12 is another very gay show, Desperate Housewives. Bree’s son is gay. There’s a gay couple living on Wisteria Lane. Marc Cherry, the show’s creator who earned his TV cred as a writer for Golden Girls, is gay. Gay, gay, gay. But it’s on the Republican favorites list, not the Democrats’.

Coming in at No. 2 on the Republican side is yet another gay favorite, Dancing With the Stars. I guess that explains Bristol Palin’s continued appearance. Next season there’s talk of a gay couple. The Israeli version of DWTS tried that this year and it’s become the most popular show in that country this season.

And No. 1 is Amazing Race, which usually features gay contestants. The winner of the fourth season was Reichen Lehmkuhl and his partner at the time Chip Arndt. Mel White has appeared. Are Republicans watching to root against these players?

On the Democratic side, the No. 1 show is something called Flashpoint. Really? It’s a CBS show apparently. No. 2 in popularity is a PBS show called Hometime. OK, did Democrats answer this poll seriously?

About the only two shows on the Democratic list that would also be up there on the LGBT list are Brothers and Sisters (No. 10), which features a gay couple living in a family of Democrats with the exception of one progressive Republican sister, and Palin-impersonator Tina Fey’s 30 Rock (No. 15).

Law and Order? Good show but sounds perfectly Republican, right? Nope. Democrats prefer that show. America’s Most Wanted on FOX? Democrats. Really?

Republicans prefer The Mentalist. Democrats prefer Medium. There’s a difference?

Glee? Not on either list.

Only one show made both lists — Friday Night Lights. Great choice by both sides. Republicans rate the show one notch higher than Democrats. The writing is smart, although I’ve never seen anyone actually stick to the script. It’s something other than a police or hospital procedural show. Great character development. Interesting plot. And I’m on the show. (I play a Dillon, Texas reporter on the sidelines of the football games and at press conferences on the show. It’ll be back for its final season in the spring.)

—  David Taffet

Hey, Judy

For the 40th anniversary of the Cathedral of Hope, wacky comedienne
Judy Tenuta will perform a human sacrifice. Hey! It could happen

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer lopez@dallasvoice.com

COH 40TH ANNIVERSARY
Infomart, 1950 Stemmons
Freeway.  July 24 at 7 p.m.
$40.  CathedralofHope.com.

Earlier this month, Judy Tenuta judged a celebrity chef challenge at the Giant Orange Festival in California. The comedian likely had some A-list nibbles that day, but that won’t compare to what she expects to put her mouth on when she comes to Dallas. Tenuta, in fact, has some big expectations:

“I’m coming out there to punish you pigs and I want to strap a saddle around a beefy burrito of manhood!”

A clearer picture couldn’t be painted. The accordion-playing comedian/actress isn’t heading this way for a night at the Improv. No, she and her love slaves will partake in the Cathedral of Hope’s 40th anniversary celebration — which clearly notes this isn’t your mother’s church event. And despite her sexually charged act, Tenuta might be right at home playing for the church crowd.

“I’m the Love Goddess,” she proclaims. “I bless my gay men and women. Oh, and this isn’t gonna be boring like church, it’s gonna be a sassy, fun sermon.”

Tenuta may seem a product of the ’80s, where you expect her to pop on any VH1 special about the decade or as an answer in Trivial Pursuit’s Totally ’80s edition. But the funny lady famous for her bevy of musclestuds and her signature slogan “It could happen!” hasn’t disappeared. Instead, she’s figuring out her place in today’s entertainment world dominated by the likes of her comic successors like Sarah Silverman and Kathy Griffin.

“Celebrity is about scandal,” she says. “You have to be on TV shows. I need to get on America’s Most Wanted, but I’m not like Charlie Sheen — I’m a law-abiding citizen. Who are these housewives of so-and-so getting these shows? If you throw tables at each other and start fights, you get a show. I was supposed to be on Dancing with the Stars but it seems like a beating. But if Clitoris Leachman can do it…”

Judy Tenuta
THE MANY FACES OF THE LOVE GODDESS | Whether she’s dissing on Sarah Palin or looking like a housewife of Orange County, Tenuta is still a goddess with ‘beefy burritos of manhood’ never far off.

Tenuta is still in the game even without a reality show. She’s been on the road with her Full Frontal Tenudity tour and played a nun in the indie film Sister Mary last year with gay pal Bruce Villanch. (She calls the movie “campy fun for the gays.”) If the comic career path doesn’t work out for her though, she does have a fall-back perfect for her Dallas gig: Tenuta is an ordained minister.

“In my religion, Judyism, gays have the right to be married,” she says. “I’m an ordained minister and the Goddess performs same-sex marriages. I wanna know why the gays are only allowed to be married in the most rustic places like Vermont. What’s there other than syrup and moose? Or Iowa? That’s nice if you need sheep.”

She was shocked that California, the most liberal state — and her home — passed Prop 8. With that, “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and other headlines, she wanted to return the favor to her gay fans that stood by her through even the lean years.

“I want to stand up for them for their rights and give them joy and fun,” she says. “They do the same for me. There is this great sense of fun and love in the community. It’s so much larger than life — like me!”

She hasn’t made plans to preside over nuptials in Dallas, but she is on the hunt. She’ll be recruiting her beefy burritos from the audience at the Saturday celebration. After collecting her hunky entourage, she’ll take on the likes of BP, Lindsay Lohan and border patrol.

“We’ve been talking for years about keeping out illegals — they should send those bitches back to England! That oil is so nasty,” she says. “What’s the point of that ankle SCRAM on Lohan? She just uses it to hold her liquor. Do not let her out in the open.”

Tenuta will be happy to know that Lohan is behind bars. But two celebrities she’s curious about are Dallas residents. When she found out the Bushes lived in Big D, she was fascinated.

You could almost hear the jokes working themselves out. Tenuta took particular interest in the Facebook page campaigning for Laura Bush to be part of this year’s Pride parade after she came out in support of same-sex marriage.

“No kidding! I have to give her a lot of credit,” she says. “Laura Bush, the ex-First Lady. I’d hope she’d stop by, but she strikes me more as going to a Julie Andrews concert. She should do the parade but she’d certainly do it without George Bush. We hate that pig.”

Hmm — that can’t be Judyo orthodoxy.

“Well, the religion is mostly there to forget about your problems by thinking about mine for a change.”

Sounds like religion we could get behind.

………………………….

COH Celebration continues with Sam Harris

Sam Harris
Sam Harris

Don’t underestimate the church’s ability to throw a party. While Judy Tenuta headlines Cathedral of Hope’s Saturday celebration, the festivities don’t end there. The night will also include dancing, live music, cocktails and food.

Sunday worship service won’t be anything to balk at, either. Accompanying the Rev. Jo Hudson’s sermon will be members of the Turtle Creek Chorale, Resounding Harmony, the Women’s Chorus of Dallas and special guest Sam Harris, pictured.

Yes, that Sam Harris. Winning the first Star Search in 1983 during the show’s first season, Harris has grown from reality show celeb to a major player in music, television and stage.  (Think of him as the Adam Lambert of the ’80s.) His signature song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” is a favorite, but Harris has continued recording — his last album came was released in 2008. He’s also developing both a television show and a play about Al Jolson that’s not The Jazz Singer.

“This is so near and dear to my heart, but this is a psychological investigation of this incredibly powerful entertainer,” Harris says. “He was this megalomaniac, but also incredibly giving.”

Harris relates to that last virtue, mostly because he’s now a family man. He married his partner Danny Jacobsen in November 2008, months after adopting their son Cooper Atticus Harris-Jacobson, now 2. The family life hasn’t necessarily slowed Harris down, but it is a juggling act.

“When you have a kid, the day starts out at 100 miles per hour,” he says. “It is a bit of juggling but it’s such a huge blessing and my family is the core of my reason.”

Harris will be performing two songs at both worship services at the Meyerson, but he’ll also sit in during each as a guest. The church’s philosophies coincide with his own and he hopes he’s a good fit for the congregation.

“It’s a place of action and calls us to be our best selves,” he says. “Those are elements I try to make of my life. I recognize when I’m most fulfilled is that when I’m of service. The whole point is human connection; that’s why were here — to connect to find similarities and leave it better than when we found it.”

He should feel reassured he’s the perfect fit for the celebration.
— R.L.
Cathedral of Hope 40th Anniversary Worship at the Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. 9 and 11 a.m. Free. CathedralofHope.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 23, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas