Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Life and Death of Marvin Gaye

Flying Home

Gaye survived the tour, in a fashion, then crawled home to recuperate at the Crenshaw district home in L.A. he had bought for his parents.

His mother said, "When the tour was over, I never saw Marvin in such bad shape. He was exhausted. He should have checked into a hospital... The people around him should have forced him to go, but they did whatever he wanted. That's the way it had always been."

For the ensuing nine months, the Gay/Gaye house was a human zoo.

Marvin, Sr., Alberta and Marvin, Jr. slept in three adjoining second-story bedrooms. (The couple hadn't been in the same bed together for 10 years.) Marvin's brother, Frankie, and his wife lived in an adjacent guest apartment.

Most of the time, Marvin, Sr. holed up in his room, swigging vodka, while Marvin, Jr. holed up in his room, leering at porno videotapes and magazines and freebasing cocaine — often while his mother sat beside him wringing her hands.

She said she would cry, and Marvin would say, "Mother, this is the last time, I promise."

Marvin, Jr. would place a phone call, and men would show up to deliver drugs. Women would come, as well, including groupies and his ex-wives, Anna and Janice, with whom he rekindled sexual relationships. He also beat a number of the women visitors, including Janice.

Still paranoid, Marvin, Jr. paid to install an elaborate, expensive security and surveillance system.

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