What's the Colorado connection to the weekend suicide of Joseph Brooks, the "You Light Up My Life" songwriter who'd been accused of being what the New York Post calls a "casting-couch rapist"?
His son, Nicholas Brooks, who attended the University of Colorado at Boulder prior to being arrested in the New York City slaying of fashion designer Sylvie Cachay.
As we noted in December, the Colorado media was slow to pick up on the younger Brooks' time at CU; he enrolled during the spring 2008 semester and voluntarily split four semesters later, leaving behind a clean record with campus police.
Likewise, press here paid little attention to the legal troubles of Joseph, who won an Academy Award for Best Song in 1978. ("You Light Up My Life" was also a giant hit single for Debby Boone, daughter of rock-and-roll diluter Pat Boone, who said she sang the song to God.) More than three decades later, in June 2009, he was arrested "on charges of raping or sexually assaulting 11 women lured to his East Side apartment from 2005 to 2008," according to the New York Times.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Similarly serious allegations confront Nicholas over the murder of Cachay, whose body was found in the bathtub of an NYC hotel. Outlets ranging from CBS to American Superstar have floated theories about a motive in the killing -- among them that Brooks was unhappy about his breakup with Cachay, who launched her own swimwear line after working for Tommy Hilfiger and Victoria's Secret. They'd been dating for around six months.
The Post reports that Nicholas didn't figure in Joseph's "rambling" three-page suicide note, which is said to have focused on a woman (and possible prostitute) who the elder Brooks said had been abusing and stealing from him. He also griped about his health -- but a death kit involving a plastic bag and helium gas made such issues moot.
Nonetheless, Susan Karten, a lawyer representing the Cachay family, drew a direct line between father and son. "Unfortunately, those girls will never see justice now," she told the Post. "But hopefully, one day, the Cachay family will" -- a clear reference to Nicholas. She added, "It's just a web of perversion in that family."
More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "JonBenét Ramsey case: New interviews sought but cops not saying with whom (like Burke?)."