Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Joyce McKinney and the Manacled Mormon

The Press vs. Joyce McKinney

As the trial began, Joyce McKinney took out ads in Variety to let Hollywood know that she was writing a book and screenplay about her life. The Daily Mirror had already followed the course of McKinney's life to Los Angeles.

Their best lead was Steve Moskowitz. He was living in the apartment he'd shared with McKinney, where he was taking care of Millie, her sheepdog, in her absence. They'd been "involved", he told reporters — but, like Keith Joseph May, Moskowitz had never had intercourse with McKinney.

Reporters offered to buy Moskowitz an airline ticket to see McKinney's trial if he could give them a few good photos. He had plenty: McKinney dressed as a cowgirl, as a 30s aviatrix, as Eve in the Garden of Eden. She was even naked in some of them.

McKinney on the cover of the Daily Mirror
McKinney on the cover of the Daily Mirror

But he told reporters he didn't understand why they were so desperate for these photos — they could get these through her ads in the Los Angeles Free Press.

McKinney had been working as an escort. Under the name "Joey", she offered massages and more, including bondage games and sadomasochistic scenarios. Sometimes she called herself "Misty", when she would appear with a Russian exchange student named Laura.

It could be dangerous work, but the ever-canny McKinney knew how to play it safe. She'd get prospective clients to mail her a list of their sexual fantasies and, of course, a check for her future services. She'd call to check them out and, if she approved, they'd meet up. She always brought Millie. The dog's collar was bugged. Moskowitz would wait in the car, listening to everything, ready to rescue her from any potential harm.

And McKinney didn't offer her clients any more than she offered her suitors: just BDSM and oral sex. She'd tell clients that she was menstruating, or that she was a virgin saving herself for her fiance. If they wanted intercourse, partner-in-crime Laura would step in.

More photos came out through her modeling agent, Al Guthu — including a nude Boston Tea Party spread that Chopper had ordered for their issue celebrating the Bicentennial. McKinney would always maintain that the tabloids doctored the photos they published and that they weren't of her.

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