The Goth Bonnie and Clyde

Date Published 11.29.07
Roger Dillon is missing. In other places Roger would be considered “alternative,” but in Youngstown, Ohio, where he lived, people probably called him a “freak.” The main picture on his MySpace page is of Reno of the Turks, a character from the role playing video game Final Fantasy VII ; Roger presumably identifies with Reno, who wears make-up and has magenta hair. In short, Roger Dillon was an eccentric in a blue-collar town, and felt it. “I am not for this world,” he wrote on his blog. He had probably dreamed of escaping Youngstown for a long time.

The problem is that 7 million dollars in cash and checks from the armored car company where Roger worked is missing, too.


The theft at the armored car garage of AT Systems was discovered Monday night. Authorities immediately suspected an inside job. The alarm system was deactivated, and two safes, which required access codes, were cleaned out. The thieves took the surveillance tapes with them and then re-activated the building’s alarm system.

When Roger didn’t show up for work on Tuesday morning, suspicious authorities went to his home and discovered that Roger, his live-in girlfriend Nicole Boyd, 24, and his mother, Sharon Gregory, 57, had disappeared.

While no official charges have been filed, the FBI is searching for the missing three and AT Systems has offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the persons responsible.

Roger last logged into MySpace the night before the heist. In many ways his profile is standard alternative, goth fare. “King of Hearts,”  he calls himself, enjoys Dungeons and Dragons and trance music. His favorite author is Laurell Hamilton, who writes a series of erotic fantasy novels about vampires and shape-shifters. He dismisses television, writing that he stopped watching when he saw that “it’s rotting my mind.”

But buried among the references to zombie movies and Wicca are clues that a more reckless, daredevil mind is at work, and he’s building up to something big.

Roger with his girlfriend Nicole "Niki" Boyd

The caption under Roger's Reno picture says, “Fast and loose, that sums me up I guess.” He posted an online quiz that asks which deadly sin the taker most represents. Roger’s answer: greed.

A single line that stands apart in a box on the top right hand of the page suggests impatience about something: “King of Hearts tired of waiting.”

But the most revealing glimpse comes in the “About Me” section. Brash and defiant, Roger shows contempt for convention and bemoans work, hinting that some secret plotting of his will soon make him free to take from the world, which, he implies, is his for the taking:

“True happiness is going for it, to hell with what society says. I am always striving now, though in secret and only one person knows; but she'll keep our secret. I am in love, I have always been. I wake up every morning with a smile, till I realize that I have to go to work. I am not you, I could never be. I am not for this world, this world is for me.”

Roger’s live-in girlfriend Nicole “Niki” Boyd also has a MySpace page. She lays the Goth atmosphere on thick, employing a stark black and red color scheme and calling herself “Tragedy.” The deadly sin she most represents is wrath.

But Niki comes off mostly as vulnerable and love-struck. A single blog entry from a year or so ago is filled with quotes about love, trust, lying, forgiveness, and fidelity. They’re the kind of quotes a young woman suffering heartbreak over a cheating boyfriend would post. It’s unclear whether or not that betraying boyfriend was Roger, and they reconciled, or if Roger was the comforting rebound that healed her broken heart.

Either way, Roger’s love is certainly vital to her now. “Tragedy is the queen of his heart,” Niki posts at the top of the page. She answers a question about her mood with a single word: “loved.” While Roger’s pictures are all of a fictional character, Niki’s main MySpace picture shows her and Roger in a passionate kiss.

It appears that Roger was likely the dominant ringleader who hatched the heist plan, and that Niki, in love and eager to please, went along with it; where Roger’s mother fits in to all this is anyone’s guess. A background check shows that the mother has lived in several different states, including New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. The three of them are most likely out of Ohio and perhaps the country by now.

It will be interesting to see how long they last on the run. When Roger logged on to MySpace the night before the heist he described his mood as “jubilant.” But Niki doesn't exude the same fiendish, take-no prisoners vibe. From information posted on her MySpace page it appears she eschews most material goods. She doesn’t have an iPod or dial-up Internet; she doesn’t watch television. Clothes are “whatever looks good,” and first dates are usually at the park.

On the run from the FBI with 7 million dollars in stolen money is a long way from a simple, bare bones life in Youngstown.

Niki may not have actually stolen the money from the armored car garage, and at this point is just a quiet and compliant travel companion to her fugitive boyfriend.

If that's the case, she may want to recall the quote from poet Adrienne Rich that she posted on her blog: "Lying is done with words but also with silence.”

The Feed

RT @emilynussbaum: The artful @hodgman's straightforward case for Hillary:
@Twaikuer @pattonoswalt @daveanthony Know what he does believe in? PAC $. Took 10K from HRC pac 2006. That means he's in her pocket.#BSLogic
@Twaikuer @pattonoswalt @daveanthony Good one. Unfortunately Bernie on record as not believing in charity.
@johnlevenstein Thanks for asking, btw. That's the kind of elevated discourse missing lately. A lot of mud slinging. #I'mNotAboveItEither
@johnlevenstein Can't convey it all thru Twitter but yes, she has flaws. Too poll-driven, burned needed bridges, trouble owning mistakes.