Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Vicki Morgan

Her Roommate

The condo that Vicki and Marvin moved into in Studio City
The condo that Vicki and Marvin moved into in Studio City

On Sept. 26, Judge Christian Markey dismissed Vicki Morgan's lawsuit, writing that she was "no more than a well-paid mistress." He said any agreement between them was invalid because it involved sex for hire.

Vicki was devastated — and busted.

To help pay the rent, she had taken a new roommate, her friend Marvin Pancoast from the Cedars-Sinai mental health center.

They moved together from luxury digs that Alfred had rented in Beverly Hills to a decidedly downscale condo on Colfax Avenue in Studio City.

The two had a complicated relationship.

Pancoast, 29, was an emotional masochist, and Vicki was happy to oblige with abuse. She treated him like a servant, even though Pancoast, who had a wealthy mother, was paying most of the bills.

Gordon Basichis
Gordon Basichis

But the star-struck Pancoast admired his roommate's proximity to the rich and famous. He kept a scrapbook of clippings about her Bloomingdale lawsuit.

And although he was gay, Pancoast developed a deep affection for Vicki. She thoughtlessly paraded a procession of lovers through their condo, including both men and women. (One of her sexual partners was a writer named Gordon Basichis, who was supposed to be ghostwriting her memoirs.)

Pancoast, with a history of mental illness dating to his adolescence, probably did not have the constitution to survive such an atmosphere.

He finally cracked in the summer of 1983.

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