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A Beverly Hills tennis coach disappears after befriending an eccentric homeless man.
Beverly Hills, California, is one of the nation’s wealthiest communities, filled with glamorous people living a life of luxury. But there’s another side to Beverly Hills, a growing population of homeless people that live on its affluent streets. In the winter of 1989, one of those homeless found a surprising friend in 24-year-old Adam Hecht.
Adam, the son of a successful Hollywood producer, was born into Beverly Hills luxury in 1965. He spent his childhood surrounded by movie stars, mansions, and privilege. After graduating from Beverly Hills High, Adam made his living as a tennis instructor. All who knew him recalled a bright, independent, and friendly young man. But on the morning of January 10, 1989, Adam’s brother noticed he seemed different. Outside a restaurant where they went to eat breakfast, they met a street person who was apparently blind in one eye. A few minutes later, Adam left their table and went back outside. Harold Hecht is Adam’s brother:
When Adam returned to the table, Harold asked him what they were talking about. Adam said it was nothing, so they continued having their breakfast. After the meal, they left the restaurant and headed towards Harold’s car. But according to Harold, Adam’s encounter with the street person continued:
The young man from the street said his name was Tony. Within a few weeks, Adam had invited Tony to move into his apartment. Why? His brother says that Adam was disillusioned with his pampered life. But what started out as a gesture of kindness may have had unexpected consequences. Today, Adam Hecht is missing.
Soon after Tony moved in, Adam brought his new roommate to his mother, Martine’s, house for dinner. She said she was surprised that her son would give shelter to a street person:
During the meal, Tony began to wave his hands over his food as if he were blessing it. Still, Martine thought her son and Tony had a good relationship:
Rebecca Hecht is Adam’s sister:
With Tony by his side, Adam began to visit a homeless area of Los Angeles and often stayed out on the streets at night. Harold said he wasn’t surprised:
Tony and Adam also shared in strange mystical rites invented by Tony. In one of these rituals, Adam burned his hand severely. According to Adam’s mother, Martine:
And then, on June 10, 1989, Harold realized he hadn’t heard from his brother for several days. Concerned, he went to Adam’s apartment. He said that when he arrived, Tony answered the door:
Adam’s mother said she also went to his apartment and encountered Tony a few days later:
The family contacted the Beverly Hills Police to file a missing person report and arranged to have Tony evicted. On July 9th, Tony was evicted from the apartment. He made no effort to avoid the police. Local detectives interviewed him and came to the conclusion that he had nothing to do with Adam’s disappearance.
One month later, Adam’s car was found abandoned on a Beverly Hills side street. There were several parking tickets on the windshield. Inside, the keys were still in the ignition. Police also found Adam’s wallet, credit cards, and hundreds of dollars in cash and checks. There were no other clues. Lieutenant Robert Curtis of the Beverly Hills Police Department:
Adam’s brother Harold doesn’t believe he would do that:
But according to Lt. Curtis:
Does Tony know more about Adam’s disappearance than he is telling? Or did Adam reject his former life of luxury and choose to lose himself among the homeless? Martine said she just wants her son back: