Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Andrew Luster

'What I Like'

After thinking over the evening's events and talking with friends, Carey went to police a couple of days later, on July 17, to file a criminal complaint alleging drug-induced rape. Tests found no GHB in her system, but the drug is notoriously fleeting.

With police listening in, she telephoned Luster to draw out incriminating comments. During the call, Luster admitted that he gave her "Liquid X."

The next day, police arrested Luster for using a narcotic to rape Carey. Police searched his home but found no GHB. They did find circumstantial evidence: a cache of photographs and home videos that showed Luster having sex with unconscious women.

One of them was an ex-girlfriend, Tonja, who had later married a Mussel Shoals neighbor.

Contacted by police, Tonja said she met Luster in October 1996 at a club on State Street in Santa Barbara, just like Carey.

Tonja, 22, was visiting from Arizona. She said they had a three-month fling before an acrimonious split. Luster sued her to recover a $4,000 loan he made to Tonja so she could have her teeth fixed.

Tonja determined that the sex video was made at Luster's home on the night they met.

The video showed Luster positioning Tonja — limp as a rag doll — in various sexual positions. He is seen inserting objects in her vagina, including a smoking marijuana cigarette, a candle and a plastic saber. The woman winces in apparent pain as he sodomizes her.

Tonja said she had been unaware of the sex and the taping, and authorities heaped additional charges on Luster.

A third young woman then stepped forward to say she was the victim in a Luster video labeled "Shauna GHBing."

Shauna said she met Luster on the beach when she was 16. She said the two had "made out" but she had never knowingly had intercourse with Luster.

The Shauna video shows Luster having sex with the unconscious — and audibly snoring — young woman, who by then was 17. As the camera panned Shauna's naked body, Luster adds this commentary: "I dream about this: a strawberry blonde passed out on my bed, waiting for me to do with her what I will."

Ventura County authorities said about 10 other women stepped forward to accuse Luster, but they limited the prosecution to the allegations against Carey, Tonja and Shauna. When the investigation was complete, authorities charged Luster with 88 criminal counts in those three cases — more than enough to send him away to prison for life if convicted.

Prosecutors argued that Luster's wealth made him a high risk to flee, and a judge set bail at $10 million.

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