By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
The charges pile up in Boulder, Arapahoe County, Adams County — not to mention the warrants out of Arizona. But with credit for time served and concurrent sentences and the fact that fraud cases are a bitch to prosecute, Gabler does a few months in jail, a few more in prison, beats an Arizona case and is back on the streets of Denver.
Out for 43 days, he gets caught in a stolen minivan with five laptops and the stolen identities of a slew of doofuses. He bonds out, and in less than 24 hours he's arrested driving drunk in a stolen Infiniti. This time he makes bond and flees the state.
According to Gabler, a well-heeled criminal of his acquaintance sends him to Chicago to teach the finer points of identity theft to a Latino crime family. "It's a real tight-knit Mexican thing," he says cryptically. He's staying in a hotel with a new set of ID documents that say he's Henry Baez and supposedly waiting for this big crime school to get under way. But Gabler can't wait. He starts pulling his own scams again, online and off. He starts drinking, steals a car, gets in an accident and gets busted.
A psychologist gives him a court-ordered competency examination. She notes that he is unkempt, disheveled and clearly manic.
"His speech was tremendously pressured," she reports, "so much so that it was often difficult to comprehend the sheer amount of information he imparted.... His legs shook constantly underneath the table. More generally, his movements might best be described as 'bouncy.'"
She doesn't think Gabler is psychotic or hallucinating, but he does seem grandiose and "prone to exaggeration." Without access to his Colorado court records, which detail scams totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraud and stolen property, she's understandably skeptical of Gabler's claims that he sometimes made five or ten grand a day from his exploits, lived the high life and wore Rolex watches.
"It seems highly unlikely," she concludes, "that someone suffering from such a severe mood disturbance, and the resulting cognitive dysfunction inherent in manic episodes, could also have the organizational skills necessary to engage in this degree of white-collar crime."
Extradited back to Colorado in the spring of 2005, Gabler manages to dispose of his 2003 Adams County car thefts, the hot property in the hotel room and other charges with a few months in prison. He gets out and promptly lands another two-year jolt on criminal impersonation and parole-violation charges in Boulder.
Released again in the summer of 2008, Gabler moves back in with his parents. He has a new plan for reform: He's written a treatise on how to prevent identity theft, and he hopes to market it on DVD. But he has no idea how to find investors and struggles to find work.
"When he got out the last time, he tried very hard," Rae Gabler says. "The economy wasn't there, and job hunting was discouraging. He really needs some one-on-one help instead of being one of the hundreds of cases these parole people have."
Gabler's efforts to turn over a new leaf apparently don't last long. Fooling around online, he meets a 22-year-old art student, Abbie Worley, who offers to help him with his DVD. Instead, Worley is soon involved in identity-theft operations herself — a series of credit-card and gift-card hustles that authorities suspect is being orchestrated by one Victor Gabler.
On another front, Gabler gets the shock of his life when his ex-girlfriend Lori, now divorced and known as Lori Marquez, turns up with an eleven-year-old son that Gabler never knew he had. Gabler says Marquez contacted him to inform him of this startling fact; she says Gabler picked up a rumor from other sources and sought her out, and that her son's paternity has not yet been established.
As Gabler sees it, though, his life has come full circle. At twelve he was a hyper, mixed-up kid who never knew his real father because he was a criminal maniac. Now he finds out that he has a son who never knew his real father because — well, you get the idea. And Gabler insists the boy resembles him too much for there to be much doubt about the relationship. "He didn't understand where he got all this energy from," he says.
Whatever the discovery might mean to Gabler, it doesn't alter the tumultuous nature of his relationship with Lori. "He was pretty clean until March or April," she says. "Then I told him I didn't want anything to do with him because he was just threatening. That's when he chased me through my house and beat me up pretty severely."
Over the next few days, Gabler barrages Lori with text messages and e-mails. She spots him on the streets near her home and job. The cops play a cat-and-mouse game with him, tailing and losing him as he resurfaces in a stolen black Range Rover. He e-mails a suicide threat to one detective from the address firstname.lastname@example.org. Using cell-phone triangulations, the police locate Gabler on I-70, heading east. Kansas state troopers chase the Range Rover through a rainstorm until it rear-ends another car and crashes.