Rat Pack Party Girl: Jane McCormick with Patti Wicklund
Some stories are told with passion, heart and feeling. Some stories need to be told in order to enlighten the world about events that might not always be in the headlines of a newspaper or a newscast but need to be brought to the public. This story needs to be told and retold so that women, children, young boys and girls, young adults become aware of the pitfalls of falling for the lies, deceits, deceptions and unsavory behaviors of those that would prey on the weaknesses of others.
When a young child who is innocent and wants to trust the adults that are supposed to nurture and care for him/her and early on learns that it’s not so. What happens when a mother turns a blind eye to what her husband is doing to her young five year old daughter all in the name of pushing the truth aside, not finding herself at this person’s mercy and allowing right before her eyes this person to molest and rape her young daughter. Jane McCormick early on learned that her stepfather Woody was one of the worst pedophiles alive. Within her own mind as a child she began to believe that she had to resign herself to this fate or face his wrath. So, distraught that at nine years old she attempted to run away with her best friend Lana who decided that if Jane was scared and upset they would find away to get away together. But, unfortunately they were caught and brought to the police and when Jane recanted her story and told it to the authorities they refuse to listen with open ears and she was sent home only to endure more abuse and then seeing a psychiatrist but would this person believe her?
Moving again her mom introduced her at 14 to a boy named Allen thinking that having a boyfriend would help her. But, sometimes the best what her mother thought intentions turned out to be the start of Jane’s downward spiral into a world that she would soon regret entering.
Believing Allen and then Jim was the start of what she tried to play the innocent girl at least for a while. But, this backfired. Friendships with Carol and Curly were on the positive side till this day but introducing her to Bob not the best friendship in the world. Jane fell hard and too fast for his slick lines and his ways. Knowing that he would be away for long periods of time in the service did not faze her but his behavior and his at times callous treatment of her should have been a serious red flag. But, what happened next is serious as Jane was raped and prayed that her child would be alive and live. Her legs bruised her life upside down feeling all alone. Mae, Bob’s mother claimed she did not know where he is and turning to anyone else was out of the question.
Tyler the pimp came next and when Jane got an eviction notice taped to her door owing two months rent she had no choice but to call Bob’s mother Mae to care for her two daughters while she waited for the divorce to become final. Using her to make money and whoring her out was her first step into the world of prostitution. Feeling used, dirty and degraded played in the back of her mind as she realized that she was making tons of cash and hoped it would help get her girls back. Men wanted her and working in a bar was the start until the owner learned she was not of age.
Here is where her life changes even more as she enters the world of Las Vegas the nightlife and slot machines. Her luck was amazing at the slots and even at the tables where some of her johns enjoyed giving her money hoping she would be lucky for them and even for herself. But, becoming pregnant was a disaster and the end result you have to read for yourself, as it will warn others what happens when you do not go to a reputable doctor to take care of your abortion.
Then reality sets in when she has to go for custody of her girls and does not get it. Left with no money and Tyler leaving her things were about to take on a different turn as she becomes involved with some high rollers and famous people.
Joe E Lewis, Vic Damone, and many others as she rolls the dice and wins. Flamingo Lounge more parties, going up to Joey Lewis’s room and earning money sets the tone for many years to come. Going to the Candlelight Room with Damone but when he learned more about what she does to make money he dropped her.
Frank Sinatra became one of her regulars and he treated her like a real queen. Money poured in and many types of soirees in his room along with several other women at one time. Jane soared in this area as she became proficient at please more than one man at a time. Sammy David Jr., Joey Bishop, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and entire Rat Pack and she became their primo party girl. The scenes are quite graphic and the encounters with these stars many but in between she manages to see her two daughters but at the will of Bob and his mother. Jerry Lewis, Harry James, jockeys, actors and even the man who played Tarzan her reach for clients knew no boundaries but things we not always be the same and eventually she would meet two men that would be her downfall. Being kept and controlled by men and thinking each one really cared about her to the exclusion of anyone else would eventually bring her down in more ways than one. Jane just wanted someone to love and care for her but while this might have happened she still went out at night or any time of day and made hoping to entertain as many clients and bring home as much money to send to Mae for her children and to feed her new lavish lifestyle.
Imagine meeting Dan Blocker and enjoying time with him. Jane’s wealth increased for a while due to all of the stars she serviced but was she really content or satisfied with her life? Meeting Johnny she thought was the start of something wonderful but she would learn later on that Johnny Patterson was anything but wonderful. Her friend Annette was always there for her as Carol was too. But, sometimes things change and the person you want to count with you don’t. Learning slowly at times and only wanting to have someone special in her life Jane would later learn that the only person you can depend on is herself and no one else. A hard lesson that comes with a lot of pain and sorrow.
Howard Hughes, Irving an elderly man with lots of money who made Jane feel special and who gave her many gifts not only to keep her in line to want to be with him but to justify in his own mind cheating on his wife who of course common sense reigns would never divorce his wife who was not blind to his transgressions. So, Jane became a kept woman in New York City and for a while that was fine until it was not. But, first she makes a serious mistake and allows Johnny to find her after she wisely left and hopefully she would realize that no matter what she needed to free her of him for good. Would he follow her and what happens when she arrives on her mother’s doorstep knowing she is married to Roger now? Within Chapter 20 she finally says it all to her mother and although it appears that she cleared the air what Jane still allows reader’s to hear are her feelings of desertion, unhappiness and still wondering why her mother never came to her aid against Woody. But, Jane would get even one night when she sees him in a bar and what she does and how she acts lets readers know she is finally on the right path and the scene is priceless.
Going to a gay bar was the first step she made believe it or not in the right direction but before realizing that there is another world out there for her she had to deal with Johnny and come to terms with his abuse and rid herself of him forever. Meeting several women and beginning relationships she finally meets Patti and her life was change forever. In 2007 her perspective on life took on a different turn and Jane would decide to write a book called Breaking her Silence: Confessions of a Rat Pack Party Girl and Sex Trade Survivor. The title was Patti’s idea and a good one. Printing over 2000 copies and things changed greatly as the interviews came and as Jane Harvey using Bob’s last name she met with FBI agents, law enforcement agencies and more hoping to help other women. Chapter 31 explains how she and Patti have helped other women, dealt with her adversities and had the courage, bravery and forethought to come out and tell this story. This is a story that although some of the scenes are graphic and the language strong should be read by young adults and adults starting out in life teaching them what never to do. Never let anyone own you body and soul. Never become someone you are not. Never let anyone tell you that you are worthless and never stay silent when someone abuses you. Schools need to be more vigilant, parents need to be more aware and Jane your story needed to be told. Some women wind up with STD’S, AIDS, and other communicable diseases some just give up. Jane chose to stand tall and look herself in the mirror and be able to realize she is special, she counts and most of all deserves the admiration of so many for telling this amazing first hand account of what happens when you have to do anything to survive. Told in narrative form and told with heart and soul this book deserves FIVE GOLDEN STARS.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine