a guest Feb 18th, 2020 80 Never
Not a member of Pastebin yet? Sign Up, it unlocks many cool features!
- In November of 1999, James Leonard destroyed the world’s most valuable cut gemstone. It was a blue diamond affectionately referred to as The Singer, glittering and hypnotic, that came to resemble dyed salt when shattered on the empty pavement of the Waltham, Massachusetts parking lot adjacent to the Raytheon building on the morning of the 29th. Leonard was arrested shortly afterwards, and cut his own neck in his Waltham, MA holding cell.
- The stone came into Leonard’s possession before the November 17th publication of an op-ed in his quarterly investment magazine, Futures, in which it was detailed that the Futures investment fund would be liquidating its’ position in Raytheon following a “more detailed and re-evaluated due diligence report performed by James Leonard himself.”
- Raytheon became the most valuable defense contractor in the world following the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.
- James was born in Cohasset, MA to Laura and Isaac Leonard, and grew up comfortably by all accounts. He attended a private high school in his hometown, before attending his father’s alma mater, Harvard. Shortly after graduating, he married his high school sweetheart, and founded Futures as a minor partner in collaboration with several of his father’s friends, most notably former Harvard professor and economic historian Travis Sprouse.
- Despite his initially minor role in the venture, James quickly proved himself more than adept in financial matters, and came to develop a more central role in the content of Futures. Notably, as the magazine grew in size, James Leonard began writing personally about decisions detailed within the magazine, a practice now considered commonplace arguably pioneered by Leonard personally.
- James and his wife Lilly purchased an exquisite mansion outside of Waltham, MA with eyes on starting a family. Lilly Leonard, especially, found herself overwhelmed with the couples’ wealth, given her admittedly lower class childhood. While James locked himself with his work, Lilly was ebbing her way into the Waltham elite as a socialite and adept public speaker, taking an active role in the community.
- Lilly Leonard told The Daily News Tribune in an interview shortly after the incident that during this period the couple was at their best. “We were living to our fullest. There wasn’t a moment we didn’t look forward to. I felt beautiful and James was a lion.” A friend of the couple said that “They looked like a couple out of a commercial. James in particular, looked like a gladiator. And I’m sure he wouldn’t have felt out of place in an arena cutting someone to ribbons, either.”
- Over the course of its initial 10 year publication, Futures grew to national scale, no doubt due in part to Leonard’s contributions. In the final years of the 90’s, he came to be known as one of the foremost investors of the modern era. Leonard was cited in the New York Times as “a downright genius,” and a “financial psychic.”
- Among his predictions, perhaps the most famous was his accurate depiction of the rise of the internet, and its role in revolutionizing the culture of the American consumer. In the Q2 1998 issue of Futures, Leonard wrote that “the development of instantaneous digital communication for the average consumer means a groundbreaking increase in the market efficiency of non-perishable products. The ability to purchase without leaving the home will, in time, serve as a death knell for the retail market.” Leonard was also one of the first to call for a switch from non-renewable energy sources.
- While his success in business was indisputable, the impending turn of the millennium marked a downturn in the health of the Leonards’ marriage. Despite the lack of any evident medical issues, James found himself unable to produce an heir. “James blamed his wife,” said the couples’ friend, “he was completely unable to deal with the infertility. There was a time where they weren’t on speaking terms. I can recall seeing them at a formal dinner refusing to make eye contact with each other. It looked awful.”
- Infertility was only half of the story, however. The couple began divorce proceedings in 1997, and though they were later retracted, they tell a story of reckless infidelity on the part of both James and Lily, along with both parties accusing one another independently of alcoholism and domestic abuse. The couple later reconciled, however, and until November of 1999, neither seemed to show any signs of the discontent that shook their marriage for years prior.
- As the Leonards grew accustomed to their enormous wealth, they experienced changes in their tastes and lifestyle that might be described as odd. Lily, in particular, gained an affinity for rare gemstones that bordered on obsession. She amassed a grand collection, photos of which would surface occasionally, depicting a small folding chest full of rubies, colored diamonds, emerald, and for more exotic pieces, cut Alexandrite, Larimar, and Benitoite. Gemstone specialist Holland Sanders once wrote that the value of Lilly’s collection, based on these photographs, “is likely to exceed two million dollars.”
- In February of 1999, the Leonards took a trip to Saudi Arabia, during which the Leonards came into contact with Jeddah Khayat, a gemstone collector and friend of the Saudi royal family.
- “Odd,” replied an acquaintance of Khayat when asked to describe him. “Loud, boisterous, conniving, extravagant. I’ve heard many people call him much worse than that. He wasn’t well liked, and he was strange. He drank ayahuasca nightly.”
- “I’m not sure he’s ever spent a day on this planet.”
- Khayat’s gem collection is still known to be one of the most valuable on the planet. Though he’s never allowed media inside the custom-built european vault, word of their contents has seeped through. Adela Huda, one of Khayat’s many ex-wives, described it as “the most beautiful thing on earth.”
- What is known, however, is that Khayat was the owner of The Singer, prior to its acquisition and subsequent destruction at the hands of James Leonard.
- The Leonards visited Khayat at his home six times in their three week stay in Saudi Arabia. On the sixth visit, two days before their departure, James went alone. And when the Leonards returned to the United States, they had The Singer in their possession.
- Jeddah Khayat was reported missing three weeks after the Leonards returned home. He vanished without a trace.
- In the months following the Leonards’ trip, James began to behave erratically. He would fail to show up to work for weeks on end, and colleagues would find themselves unable to reach him, either by telephone or at his Waltham, MA home. Lily remained socially active, however. In July of 1999, she became the chair of the Leonards’ Homeowners Association.
- It came to be known after the incident that James Leonard was childhood friends with Daniel Burnham, the eventual CEO of Raytheon. Though neither Raytheon nor Burnham made any contact with media following the incident, Burnham has been photographed together with Leonard numerous times, including twice early in 1999, when the Futures investment fund more than doubled its position in Raytheon.
- When writing about Raytheon, Leonard heaped praise upon the company’s potential for growth, and routinely published op-eds recommending readers to invest.
- James was the godfather of Burnham’s son, Matthew.
- Even James’ predictions regarding Raytheon often came true. James once told his wife that he “listens to a sense beyond [himself] to augment [his] intuition.” Leonard would often speak of this sense to others, as though it were a force that didn’t belong to him. Certainly, at least, the specifics of his prediction’s origins were a mystery to those around him.
- In addition to his success in investment, James was an astute gambler, to the degree that his close friends came to refuse his invitations to play cards.
- In September of 1999, Lily arrived home to find her husband seemingly locked in their bedroom, unresponsive to any communication she attempted through the heavy wooden doors. Growing more frantic after further communication attempts failed, she considered several options, including calling the police. Ultimately, Lily entered the bedroom through an unlocked window, where she discovered James unconscious and bleeding from the head after an unfortunate fall against the corner of his bedside table. Amongst the shining puddle of her husband’s blood, Lily recognized the fragments of her gemstone collection, destroyed in a calculated manner, and several days later, the remnants of their home charred in the living room fireplace.
- James was severely concussed, and was kept in care at Massachusetts General Hospital for two weeks. Unbeknownst to his wife, James still maintained possession of The Singer during his stay at the hospital. James kept unbroken possession of the gem, hidden in his dress pants pocket from his fall, to its fall.
- James never told his wife the reason he destroyed her gemstone collection, and she never asked.
- In late November was when James entered Raytheon HQ in Waltham, MA. He carried no direct motive for his visit, but insisted that he be allowed to speak to Daniel Burnham immediately. Once Burnham got word that James was in the lobby, he asked his secretary to have James sent up to his office. It was their first communication since the Futures investment fund liquidated its Raytheon position.
- Once James was in Daniel Burnham’s office, he assaulted him. “My beautiful s[o/u]n,” he said, before attempting to throw Daniel Burnham through the massive 30th story window behind his desk. The window did, in fact shatter, and both James and Daniel had been bloodied in the conflict before colleagues of Burnham heard and arrived to separate the two. When Financial Analyst Tyler Letman tackled James Leonard, The Singer was ejected through the dismantled window, and shattered into brilliant reflective fragments, visible even through the crushed anti-reflective glass littering the ground alongside it.
- James Leonard wailed and struggled as held to the ground by several bodies in Burnham’s office. The police arrived shortly, handcuffed James, and brought him to his holding cell. There James, having hidden a small piece of glass on his person, huddled in oxytocic focus and carefully chipped away at the bulky edges in the distant corner of his cell.
- When an officer returned to check on James, he was sitting on his bed, silent and bleeding profusely from a single somewhat precise cut to his throat.
- When James arrived at the hospital, he had entered shock, and shortly afterwards fell into a coma. He rested motionless on his hospital bed, moved every two hours by nurses to avoid bedsores, as his body failed to shut down to completeness.
- Lily visited him in the hospital for less than ten minutes on the day he fell into his white sleep.
- In my dream, last night, I asked Leonard what it was like to look inside that Pale Blue Stone, to feel the cold light. He told me it was magical. It shredded his body and left his psyche gleaming. He saw the hilly mountain sides of the Indies, and the great winding peaks beneath the ocean’s floor. He saw base design and a bleeding yellow world. He saw himself, and he saw his others. And when he let his eyes close, he saw a great ball of fire, streaming through the planet’s clouds and boiling her waters. This last image, he said, is what brought him home.
- Former Raytheon CEO Daniel P. Burnham declined to comment.
- Though in a recent press statement Raytheon announced that -- until the end of Pride Month -- the company will be known as Gaytheon.
RAW Paste Data