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White Hot Trash!

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The epithets also flew as Kenneth Lakeberg left a courthouse in Indiana last year after a probation hearing. The wife of a cousin Lakeberg had slashed with a butcher knife shouted at Lakeberg, among other things, "You're nothing but scum." Lakeberg is the unemployed welder whose wife gave birth to Siamese twins, and who became notorious after he blew the cash people had sent in to help pay for the risky operation to separate them. Lakeberg spent $8,000 of the contributions on a car, expensive meals, and $1,300-worth of cocaine.

He promised a judge he would quit drugs and reform. And the media did their part to help lick away his shame. His lawyer, Lloyd Remick, sought to sell the family's ordeal as a movie of the week, and did succeed in peddling part of it to the National Enquirer, which trumpeted Angela's survival of the operation: LITTLE MISS MIRACLE GETS HER FIRST HUG FROM MOMMY.

Alas, in June, when baby Angela succumbed to an infection, her father was in a drug-rehab center in West Lafayette, Indiana. His wife later had to bail him out of jail so that he could go to his daughter's funeral. "Apparently, allegedly, Kenny borrowed a car from a friend, never returned it, and pawned it for drugs," Lloyd Remick told me. "I don't know what he's up to, but the headline is TWINS' DAD ARRESTED AGAIN."

Had he done wrong taking the money? Lakeberg, a walking ad for No Excuses, never thought so. "We ate at nice places," Lakeberg said of his spree. "We traveled good. I think we deserved at least that much." True trash takes what it needs and claims it's what it deserves. True trash is one long boiling tantrum, primed to explode. True trash is the terrible twos forever.

The culture is in a panic to find its collective inner child. Well, here he is.


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  • Archive: “Features
  • From the Aug 22, 1994 issue of New York
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