Nation: Future Denied

Time magazine
Monday, July 21, 1980

The slight man, his pockets ajangle with quarters, strolled into the Criterion Restaurant in Manhattan Beach, Calif., one afternoon last week and ordered the house specialty, fried zucchini with Parmesan cheese. He then walked to the pay phone and dialed a number in New York City. As he chatted on and on, the telephone rang near by in Manhattan Beach police headquarters. The Brooklyn district attorney's office was calling to ask that the man on the phone in the coffee shop be arrested. The police hustled over, and Sergeant Jack Mair approached the caller from behind. "I tapped him on the shoulder and asked him to identify himself," says Mair. "He looked at me, saw my uniform and my shotgun, and said, 'Howard Buddy Jacobson.' "

Thus ended the 40-day flight of Jacobson, 49, celebrated horse trainer and real estate entrepreneur who was convicted on April 12 of murdering John Tupper, a restaurateur and his rival for the favors of Fashion Model Melanie Cain. Jacobson escaped on May 31 by switching places with a visitor posing as his attorney and simply walking out of the Brooklyn House of Detention. Accompanied by his girlfriend, Model Audrey Barrett, 22, Jacobson drove across the country, stopping briefly in Des Moines to pick up identification papers using names from tombstones in a cemetery. The pair bought a car and camped out or stayed in motels. Jacobson reportedly got money from friends and tried to reach writers, hoping to sell his story.

Barrett eventually refused to keep running and surrendered to the Brooklyn district attorney three weeks ago. She reportedly supplied the names of those who had aided Jacobson in his flight, and the district attorney's office got in touch with them. In the end, Jacobson's garrulity did him in. "Buddy was calling up everybody all the time," says one official familiar with the investigation. "The district attorney offered them immunity in return for having their phones tapped."

Whoever Jacobson phoned last week from the Criterion—police refuse to divulge the name of the person—kept him on the line long enough for authorities to trace the call and alert local police. This time Brooklyn District Attorney Eugene Gold will take special care to keep Jacobson under maximum security while he awaits trial on the latest charges against him: escape, forgery and tampering with public documents.