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Business was good at Erotic City, but not everyone in the booths was watching videos. Some men met for anonymous sex, feeding bills into the machine and partnering up. A few would carve out glory holes with pocketknives. Sometimes couples came into Erotic City looking for a third. Security guards ran working girls off the property.
"My dad covered the glory holes," Lackey says. "He would take stainless steel and patch them up. There was no way you could get to each other. If a booth had a hole in it, it would get locked up until someone came out and fixed it."
A year after getting into the porn business, Holliday resigned from the Legislature in disgrace, convicted of stealing $1,625 from a county scholarship fund. Two years later, he sold his share of Erotic City to Boone. In 1989, Irving sold his stake to Boone, too, but stayed on as an employee.
Boone lived in a two-story, two-bedroom green building at the junkyard that he owned behind Erotic City. He fathered 10 children. Two died young, and of the survivors, only three share the same mother.
Boone's first wife, Bonnie, gave birth to four of his children — Debrah, Rhonda, Melissa and Daniel. When Bonnie Boone found explicit photos of her husband with another woman, she torched the couple's Odessa home in the 1960s, Lackey says. When police told Bonnie Boone that her house was burning, she reportedly answered, "Let it burn!"
In 1992, Jackson County was trying to clean up Blue Summit. County Executive Marsha Murphy and county legislator Claire McCaskill had Erotic City in their crosshairs. McCaskill claimed that "unsafe sexual activity" was going on in the video booths, creating a public health hazard. The Jackson County Legislature passed an ordinance requiring licensing of adult bookstores and massage parlors. The law also called for metal walls in video booths to stop men from carving out glory holes.
Boone fought the ordinance in federal court. In April 1995, Senior U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs ruled the ordinance unconstitutional, saying that it unfairly singled out Erotic City. He added that the county failed to prove Erotic City contributed to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Sachs also wrote that forcing people to pass background checks violated an applicant's privacy rights.
Boone's victory celebration was short-lived. In the early hours of June 2, 1997, he was having sex with a woman in an old Ryder truck parked behind Erotic City, Lackey says. Mid-act, he clutched his chest, ripped off his shirt and collapsed.
Boone had suffered a heart attack. EMTs arrived at Erotic City around 1 a.m. and tried to revive him. He was resuscitated once, but his heart gave out again. Boone was dead at age 61.
The collapse of what was left of Elvin Boone's family came after his last breath behind the club that had made him a wealthy man. He died without a will, prompting the Jackson County Probate Court to seize control of Erotic City.
From June 1997 to May 2005, a Jackson County judge watched over Erotic City and ensured that it was profitable. The county, which had tried to shut down Boone's den of sin, was required to keep it alive until the court divided it among his children — Debrah Lackey, Rhonda Boone, Ron Boone, Richard Wilkinson, Melissa Harris, Cynthia Harmon and two minors.
The fight for ownership of Erotic City was on. Court records cite "substantial tension and discord among the family members." Most of the Boone children hired lawyers and hurled accusations at one another.