Ed Kramer’s extradition to Georgia last week on child-molestation charges dating back to 2000 has again cast a spotlight on his relationship with DragonCon, the Atlanta convention he helped found nearly 26 years ago.
The 51-year-old Kramer hasn’t been directly associated with the event since his arrest in August 2000 on charges of sexually abusing two teenage boys. However, he continues to receive annual dividends from DragonCon — $154,000 for 2011 alone, according to Atlanta Magazine — after attempts to buy out Kramer’s stake in the for-profit corporation proved unsuccessful. The litigious Kramer has filed two lawsuits against co-founder Pat Henry and DragonCon/ACE Inc.
But horror author Nancy A. Collins, who was among the first to speak out against Kramer, contends DragonCon organizers haven’t done enough to extricate themselves from its co-founder. And so in a proposal circulated Monday by Stephen Bissette, the former Swamp Thing writer calls for professionals to boycott the convention in an effort “to cut off the flow of money” to Kramer, “who has been using the 150K+ a year he receives each year from DragonCon to avoid trial and manipulate the justice system.”
“No matter what DragonCon does or says, funds from the convention will continue to go to Edward Kramer until either he dies or the corporation that runs the convention dissolves and reincorporates under another name,” Collins writes. “DragonCon knows what needs to be done, but has been dragging its feet on this matter, and has gone to great trouble over the last 12 years to hide the fact that they continue to fund Edward Kramer’s lifestyle. [..] It is up to the Professionals — we writers, artists, musicians, editors, actors, and film-makers — to make a stand, as we are a large part of what attracts (at last count) 50,000 fans to the convention each Labor Day.”
As Atlanta Magazine reported in September, the wildly successful convention made Kramer wealthy enough that he’s been able to afford to file motion after motion to stall his criminal case for more than a decade. A month after his initial incarceration in the Gwinnett County (Georgia Jail) following his August 2000 arrest, he fell and hit his head, an injury that, when coupled with his other unusual health requirements, led to his release in November 2000 on $75,000. He was back in jail within a few days — a neighbor reported seeing a teenage boy enter his home — but he was placed under house arrest following claims of a January 2001 assault by a deputy.
Even a reindictment to include a third alleged victim couldn’t keep the litigious Kramer in jail. His declining health, which apparently required the attention of 16 physicians, led to one hearing delay after another, and repeated petitions to the court resulted in 11 modifications to the conditions of his bond.
The next decade would see Kramer successfully petition for Social Security disability benefits and fail in a bid to emigrate to Israel, all while continuing to stall his prosecution. It wasn’t until Kramer was arrested in September 2011 in Connecticut on a bond violation — he was allegedly caught in a motel room with a 14-year-old boy — that he finally ended up back in jail. But even then, he fought extradition back to Georgia for more than a year.