Signs of surveillance 2009-14 – Claudia Lemon and the Courtyard Apartments
Fairly early on in our relationship, Chris introduced me to a woman who had come to our shows once or twice, named Claudia (Claude) Lemon (née Claudia Gehrke, aka Claudia Bendix). She used to book a club in Seattle called The Vogue. Chris had played regularly at this club with his bands Napalm Beach and Snow Bud, going back to the early 1980s when it was a club called The Wrex. When Sub Pop was in the process of transforming from a zine to a record label, it seems that they would typically use The Vogue as a place where they would essentially audition the talent. It was at the Vogue where, in 1986, Chris met Bruce Pavitt, who was there with Mark Arm of Mudhoney. There is another person linked to the Vogue with whom I’ve had some contact (email only), a former bartender named Dennis White (didactic!). Both Claudia and Dennis are part of the LGBTQ community and I have said before I suspect there is a link between the surveillance and deception (posing) going on, and the Madonna song “Vogue.”
Chris told me that Claudia had sort of befriended him in the 1990s and would invite him to barbecues. When she was introduced to me, she was reportedly living in New Orleans, but seemed to be in Portland a lot, and she said it was because her mother was in a care home here. It tuned out, the care home was the Courtyard Apartments. Behind those apartments was a courtyard area, and across the courtyard was our home. One time we saw Claudia at the apartment where her mother was said to live – it had a balcony directly across from my daughter’s bedroom window. There were all kinds of things hanging from the balcony – decorative objects of various sorts. Sometime probably around fall of 2013, a frog’s head was hung on the balcony.
After I realized that there had been intrusive surveillance going on, of course the first thing I did was try to report to police, but after that went badly, I thought that what I had to do was do a better job of collecting evidence. Obviously the best thing would be if I could find direct evidence in the form of a camera, etc. But at this point it still wasn’t clear how sophisticated, advanced, and pervasive this was. Of course there had been all kinds of plans put into place to thwart my ability to gather evidence and use it effectively. In any case, I was suspicious of the items hanging from the balcony associated with Claudia’s mother. What I did not consider was that there might be more than just Claudia to contend with – that the entire facility might be involved – which is now what I think was the case.
On or around January 21 or 22, 2014 I thought that if I could get the Courtyard staff to examine, or allow me to examine, the items hanging from the balcony, I might get some answers. By this time I was having issues with being followed in my car, so after bringing my daughter to school, I decided to park at home and walk to the Courtyard Apartments – something that took about 15 minutes. I went to the front desk, explained what I was trying to do, and was instructed to wait for a groundskeeper. It seemed like I was kept waiting for some time – fifteen minutes at least. Then the groundskeeper arrived and asked me to show him which objects I meant. So I walked with him into the courtyard area where we could look up and see the balcony – but now the balcony was bare. All the objects that had been hanging there had been removed sometime in the half hour or so between the time I left my home to the time I walked with the groundskeeper into the courtyard area.
Shortly after that, a new object – a single gold heart – was hung from the balcony.
web page updated 22 August 2022