Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Candy Barr: America's First Porn Princess

Reefer Madness

Candy Barr
Candy Barr

The West Coast romancing was a distraction from a very real problem that Candy was having back in Dallas.

Texas politicians were in high dudgeon over the narcotics menace in the late 1950s, and cops made a habit of pulling penny-ante drug raids on targeted citizens.

Candy Barr, the stripper who danced her way around the assault rap for shooting her estranged husband, was a likely target for bluenoses on the vice and morals squad.

In October 1957, Dallas police Detectives Bill Frazier and J.M. Souter knocked at her apartment door. They told her an informant had tipped them that she had marijuana.

After a brief give-and-take with the cops, Candy dug down into her bosom and pulled out a pill bottle that contained less than an ounce of pot, the equivalent of the tobacco in 25 cigarettes.

Candy Barr and Jack Sahakian
Candy Barr and Jack Sahakian

Candy was certain she had been framed by police. She said a girlfriend had dropped off the pot for safekeeping the day before.

She believed that police caught wind of the marijuana babysitting job by a wiretap on her phone. Through her own detective work, she learned that an undercover cop using a false name had rented a flat across the hall from her.

In those days before strict legal protocols, cops used wiretaps without restraint. Candy's lawyers could never get police to admit to the wiretap, even after the phone company said it was true. Nor would they reveal the name of the alleged informant.

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