You never really know who is sitting on the other side of a table, I thought the gentleman I was being introduced to that night at Smith and Wollensky in South Beach two years ago was a video games developer.
He certainly acted like it. We spent the night talking about how we were going to introduce the new product, who would be the spokesperson, where we would go for editorial reviews, and which publication would get the exclusive.
Dale Leary was just one of the guys making the decisions that night. The table was filled with the owner of the company, his wife, the Italian creator, the marketing executive, two investors, Eliot and myself, and Dale, who as it turned out was not only a video games producer but a reported child molestor.
He certainly didn’t show any signs of weirdness during a two hour meeting. There were a number of product development discussions and Dale acted totally professionally. He gave no clues that he had a whole other despicable life behind the scenes. I talked to him a number of times on the phone and he was a talented member of the team.
For a number of typical business reasons, the video game never came to market and I forgot about Dale Leary. At least, I thought I did. One night Eliot and I were watching the evening news and the anchors start talking about some guy who committed suicide after being accused of molesting his wife’s teen sister.
My eyes were focused on my iPhone during the broadcast. Eliot didn’t recognize him. Something made me look up at the TV screen. I immediately thought it was Dale but it couldn’t be possible. I was flabbergasted. I needed to know more.
I emailed one of the executives on the team who confirmed Dale was the guy on the nightly news, He had no explanation other than to say the entire situation was very upsetting and unthinkable. He had no clue that Dale was involved in these terrible acts and it was unnerving not to know the truth.
I have enclosed several stories about the case. I thought writing about the case would give me some closure. While I still wonder what makes a man commit such heinous crimes, I still have the option of believing it was all one big mistake. Not likely.
I hope this blog post reminds us all that we can never be too careful knowing others. It’s a very scary world.
Click here for the Miami Herald story
The video below featuring Dale was a promo piece for the game.