Leroy Brown, 1963-2012

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Leroy Brown, disgraced former detective for the Rover Avenue Police Department and later private investigator to the stars, has died at the age of 49.

Known on the streets as “Encyclopedia”, Brown rose quickly from patrolman to head of the Rover Avenue burglary and larceny detective squad, based on unorthodox interrogation methods which acquired Brown a 100% conviction rate at the trial court level, a legacy which has never been equaled in the annals of modern law enforcement. It was Brown’s unusual style of police work which led, ultimately, to his downfall, as the detective was excoriated in a series of of opinions from the 13th Circuit Court of Appeals, and, in the groundbreaking case Meany v. United States, the Supreme Court. Brown’s methodology was described by Justice Souter, in the Court’s majority opinion, as “unparalleled fidelity to the truth, combined with reckless disregard of the Petitioner’s Constitutional rights to counsel, and against self-incrimination”:

Petitioner Meany was convicted of breaking the victim’s piggy bank on the sole testimony of Detective Brown, who testified on direct examination that Meany had admitted to being in the victim’s bedroom “while Uranus was in the House of Aquarius”. Detective Brown then explained to the jury that, as had been demonstrated by Ptolemy and the ancient astronomers, it was impossible for Uranus to occupy the House of Aquarius, as the crime occurred on the night of May 14, when Taurus the Bull is the dominant sign. Moreover, as Detective Brown noted, Uranus follows a retrograde path at such times, and in any event, was unknown to astronomers of any sort until its discovery by Sir William Herschel in 1781, long after the traditional astrological Houses had been established.

We cannot disagree with Detective Brown’s flawless logic. Although we are not called upon to do so, we must commend Detective Brown for his sagacity and, dare we say it, encyclopedic knowledge of the principles of astrology. But this Court cannot, and will not, condone Detective Brown’s failure to advise Petitioner Meany of his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, and his Sixth Amendment right to …

Turn to page 96 for the solution to Justice Souter’s opinion.

Following his disgrace before the nation’s highest court, Brown was discharged from employment at the Rover Avenue Police Department. After a long and, ultimately unsuccessful, complaint by the Fraternal Order of Police on Brown’s behalf, Brown took up employment as a private detective in Los Angeles, winning fame as an investigator in a series of high profile mysteries, including “The Case of the Purloined Panties”, “The Case of the Sexy Sexagenarian”, and, in the crowning achievement of a long career, turning his skills against the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department in “The Case of the Thirty-Six Cops Who Beat the Shit out of this Guy on the Imperial Highway”.

Brown was eulogized by friends, foes, and clients alike, including Rover Avenue librarian Doris Horus, former President Bill Clinton, and Brian “Bugs Meany” Ash, with whom Brown became friends following Ash’s conversion to Christianity. He is survived by his longtime partner, Sally Kimball.

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14 Responses to “Leroy Brown, 1963-2012”

  1. #1 |  Patrick from Popehat | 

    I tend not to sign these things, because it ruins the effect.

  2. #2 |  Flight_714 | 

    Caught in his own lie, Bugs confessed…

  3. #3 |  Vertov | 

    Damn. Bravo!

  4. #4 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Wow, a piggy bank, a Meany, the House of Aquarius, and a Leroy Brown, all in the same case…

    Sounds like John Irving meets Jim Croce meets the Fifth Dimension.
    With a touch of Sherlock Holmes.

  5. #5 |  the innominate one | 

    He’s no Sherlock Holmes.

  6. #6 |  Maggie McNeill | 

    Patrick, you have the most amazing way with an obit!

  7. #7 |  The Late Andy Rooney | 

    Man, oh man.

  8. #8 |  Other Sean | 

    Bullshit, man! Anybody who knows anything about David Souter knows that he would have been forced to recuse himself from a case involving Sally Kimball, the closest thing to a girlfriend he ever had.

  9. #9 |  Marty | 

    too bad Jim Croce couldn’t perform at the funeral.

  10. #10 |  el coronado | 

    That’s like an obituary written by a profoundly acid-ed up Hunter S. Thompson.

  11. #11 |  Windypundit | 

    You had me until the Fraternal Order of Police failed to help him keep his job, which just broke the suspension of disbelief.

  12. #12 |  RobSmalls | 

    I was trying to put it all together in my head, because I read all the Encyclopedia Brown books almost 30 years ago. The names were all familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it, until I moused over the link and saw Donald Sobol’s name. Excellent work on this one, Patrick. I particularly liked the “Turn to page 96 for the solution to Justice Souter’s opinion.” That was a master touch.

    RIP Mr. Sobol

  13. #13 |  Enyclopedia Brown: The Grown-Up Years - Hit & Run : Reason.com | 

    […] from Popehat looks back at the career of the late Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown, "disgraced former detective for the […]

  14. #14 |  Bride of the Agitator « The Honest Courtesan | 

    […] criminal defendants.  Patrick posted a links column, several music videos, a mock obituary of the fictional detective Encyclopedia Brown  (in observance of the death of his creator, Donald J. Sobol), and a wickedly Swiftian satire on […]