Once and For All: Did Craig James Kill Five Hookers at SMU?

Follow-up question: Has Craig James ever eaten a panda steak?
Follow-up question: Has Craig James ever eaten a panda steak?

As Zac pointed out, the issue about Craig James and the five purportedly dead hookers left in his wake at SMU has again arisen, with Mike Leach signing one of his books with a funny inscription. Well, a few days ago, I called Craig James’ campaign office in Dallas to get to the bottom of this dead hookers matter. They directed me to James’ spokesperson in Austin, Meredith Turney. What follows is a transcript of our conversation:

“There’s been a lot of stuff on the internet about Craig James killing the five hookers at SMU. I feel like I know what’s going on, but I haven’t seen, interestingly enough, anywhere a categorical denial that Craig James didn’t kill five hookers at SMU. And so I thought it was important to nail that down.”

“Wow. Um. Actually, we did address that issue. Very early in the campaign, we sent a tweet out letting people know that we’d been Google bombed.”

“I must have missed this tweet.”

“We mentioned in passing that Craig had been the victim of a Google bomb.”

“If you had killed five hookers, then the Google bomb excuse is the perfect cover. Hypothetically, you see what I’m saying.”

“Yeah, no, I can categorically, definitively say that is absolutely untrue. I know that in this day and age of the internet, there’s a lot of things that people like to do to be funny and to ridicule people. But in this case, it’s very disrespectful to another human being to spread a rumor like that. That is despicable. I mean, Craig is a wonderful family man. I have worked with him since the beginning of the campaign, and I have not met–I’ve worked in politics a long time — I have not met a more honorable, decent human being than Craig James. He is a wonderful Christian man, loves his wife, Marilyn. They’ve been married for almost 30 years. He has four beautiful children. And to spread these kinds of rumors is just malicious. And I just find it really despicable that people would stoop to that level to attack a man’s character.”

“I have to ask you a follow-up question.”


“Has Craig James ever enlisted the help of a gang of criminals to take over a skyscraper at the top of which is a vault containing $640 million in untraceable bearer bonds?”

“Are you referring to the movie Tower Heist or something?”

“You’re close. You’re looking for a Bruce Willis vehicle.”

“I’ve never watched any of those films. If it had been a Monty Python reference, I probably would have gotten it.”

“Okay, let me ask you another one. Has Craig James ever taken the tag off a mattress?”

“You know what? I cannot say that I know anything about that.”

“Uh-oh. See, that could be a rumor, then, that could plague him for a long time.”

“I will need to ask him about that.”

“Here’s an easy one. Has Craig James ever eaten a steak made out of panda?”

“I think we can deny that. No, he has never eaten a panda.”

“Has Craig James ever bred a pegasus for the sole purpose of using it as quarry in a hunt?”

“Is that anything like the thing from Napoleon Dynamite? A liger?”

“Throw in a liger. Has Craig James ever bred a liger or a pegasus for the sole purpose of using it as quarry in a hunt?”

“No, no, I don’t think so.”

“Has Craig James ever attacked, or in any way threatened, Councilman Dwaine Caraway with a knife?”

“No, I don’t think that has ever happened.”

“All right. I just have a couple more here. Has Craig James ever built a house atop an Indian burial ground?”

“No, I don’t think that has ever happened.”

“One final question: can Craig James speak five languages?”

“No. He can’t. Unless Texan is included.”

“All right, Meredith. I appreciate your very frank answers to these questions.”

“I have to say, besides Bob Garrett’s questions [a reporter in the Austin bureau of the Dallas Morning News], these have been the most hard-hitting questions I’ve had to answer on the campaign trail.”

“We pride ourselves at D Magazine on conducting that sort of journalism.”

“Thank you for bringing levity to my day. I appreciate that, Tim.”

“All right, Meredith, thanks.”

“Okay, thanks.”

“I love you.”


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  • Real AP Style Book

    “Internet ” needs to be capitalized in the seventh graf.

  • cbs

    Not sure which is more surprising: 1. that both parties actually handled this interview with directness, style, and humor, or 2. that Craig James’ campaign continues.

    Nice work.

  • @Real AP: It’s our style not to capitalize internet. We also did website as website while AP was still doing Web site. So we think we’re on to something.

  • Eric Celeste

    Zac came up with a) half, b) 2/3, or c) all those and a dozen more that we can see on the DVD?

    PS: Meredith = best ever.

    • @Eric: Panda, pegasus, Indian burial ground, and five languages. The ones that (unfortunately) did not make the cut were Mike Mooney’s. They were probably a little dark for someone who was being such a good sport about the whole thing.

  • JS

    Still not a definitive denial. TimTim says, ““If YOU had killed five hookers, then the Google bomb excuse is the perfect cover. Hypothetically, you see what I’m saying.”
    The lovely Meredith Turney responds, “Yeah, no, I can categorically, definitively say that is absolutely untrue.”
    So she denied that she killed 5 hookers, but nowhere has Craig James denied it! Meredith beat you at your own game, Tim!

  • Bill Marvel

    Other than your own hubris in claiming to speak for the English language, why must internet be capitalized?

  • Brilliant. I would love to hear the audio recording you made of this call. Feel free to add a “boing-ing-ing” sound at the end.
    Please post it soon.
    I love you.

  • heels

    DGs are not technically hookers

  • brett

    @Real AP: it’s actually “Internets”.

  • Wes Mantooth

    So what do we really know now? Only that his campaign denies that number of the counting was 5, and that 5 should be the number of the counting. 5 is right out.

    But nobody knows about 3. It could be 3 dead hookers. Or 4. They haven’t denied this.

  • SecRules

    KJK5H, ask around Dallas.

  • re: Eaten a Panda. Yes he has, or rather thought he has. That’s why he eats at Panda Express.

  • The downside of inflight wifi on an iPad: I don’t have access to photoshop, a photo of Meredith and The Photo.

  • z

    The bearer bonds were in the basement.

  • TheRealDirtyP1


  • Wes Mantooth

    First, National Magazine Award. Now this gets linked to by Deadspin. @Zac Crain, I do not envy you having to abide His Majesty this week. Not one little bit.

  • @Wes Mantooth: You have no idea.

  • Laura Byrom


  • Bill Marvel

    Anybody who demands a capital i in either “internet” or “internets” would kill five hookers AND eat a panda steak.

  • PatentLawya


  • LongCat

    Real AP Style Book: You should have put the first letter of “Internet” in brackets, and “graf” isn’t a word. If you’re going to be pedantic, you really should stop altering quotes and making up words.

  • MeanBobMean

    “I have not met a more honorable, decent human being than Craig James. He is a wonderful Christian man”

    I have, unless perhaps he was simply having a bad day I can say flatly he was a jerk when I met him at Patrizio’s in Plano. but then, Marilyn is paid to say things like that. Kind of makes you wonder about all these rumors about him.

  • Mike G

    Of course Craig James never killed 5 hookers. Get real folks. You could not find five hookers who would even consider having sex with that douchebag.

  • Brian

    @ Mike G – That’s why he killed them

  • Cromulent

    So Craig James’s *spokesperson* denies the story that Craig James killed 5 hookers while at SMU. Can we get that denial from Craig himself? I mean, assuming he isn’t busy killing more hookers and all.

  • Ladd

    Craig has always been and will always remain a LOSER!

  • Skip Mize

    He supposedly started his killing spree at Stratford Senior High School in Houston, Texas.

    However, during that crime spree of his formative years, he was too much of a wimp to testify at a robbery trial.

  • Shoneekwah Chartreuse Sugarhumphrey

    My second cousin on my momma’s side was one of those hard-workin’ girls who got involved with a player in the Dallas area in the early 80’s and she was one of the ones who lost their life. The pastor at our church, The Church of What’s Happening Now, over on East Rosedale Blvd. in Fort Worth has been counseling us and helping to make us safe from these types of monsters who thinks they be above the law!

  • Mark

    I can’t believe Craig James got Mike Leach fired over nothing but typical coaching motivation tactics. He was a great coach and James should be ashamed for his actions.

  • No comments on this? Here’s one.

    • Ted Z Cruz

      I am also commenting on this article

  • Mavdog

    I will take this opportunity to comment on both your comments.

    carry on.

  • MattL1

    Just so we’re clear, what you’re saying is that Craig James definitely killed five hookers while at SMU.

  • Tyler Thrower

    Why is everything in quotes….super annoying.

    • obamaniac

      you know what’s super annoying and not in quotes? tim rogers

  • RompingWillyBilly

    Freedom of the press was noted as a natural right by our American Founders in order to protect the menial individuals in their desire to, on a single page, print up their own political propaganda. Indeed, prior to these little American people being able to add their own few pence worth, they were viewed as commoner members of a nameless and faceless class. During that time, it was the aristocracy over them – they being the “consent of the governed” that propped up the monarchy – that controlled the press.
    Later, the big media was said to be protected by the U.S. Constitution because lawyers had risen to dominate the three parts of the Supreme Court, of Congress, and of the Administration. As our Founding Fathers were natural-law scientists who understood in depth the differences between, on one hand, what existed as cruel old-world legal precedence and, on the other, of a new world civil-purpose that they idealized, the best the legal officials ruling over us today can do is appear on occasion from their social orgy to fart eloquently from their mouths.