Hollywood loves a sordid tale, which makes it all the more obvious why the murderous plot of King Cobra would resonate. Now, another of the film’s real-life characters is speaking out about the production.
While there’s much to glean about the power of greed and lust from the 2007 murder of gay porn studio Cobra Video owner Bryan Kocis by two escorts, Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes (above, left), let’s not forget that these two men are and will almost certainly continue to be residents of the US prison system until they day they die.
And Joseph Kerekes, for one, is not staying quiet.
In a phone interview with NewsChannel3 from a Pennsylvania state prison where he is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for second degree murder, Kerekes expounds on his state of mind leading up to the vicious killing, as well as his thoughts on the James Franco-produced film.
“[The movie] is very, very lifelike and very true. Even some of the quotes, I have no idea how they captured them,” Kerekes said, adding, “When you think you can get away with anything, you will try anything.”
The convicted killer attempted to contextualize his downfall, explaining how his ministry career at Bethel Temple Assembly of God in Hampton, Virginia, went “to hell” after he was dismissed due to “fits of rage.”
That’s when he turned to escorting, and after meeting Harlow Cuadra in a Yahoo chat room, the two embarked on starting an escorting business that would become their amateur gay porn company, BoyBatter.com.
“Eventually from the street I would own a million dollar house in Virginia Beach,” said Kerekes. “I mean, I worked my way up in about five years.”
But that’s where Kerekes’ version of events parts ways from Peter Conway’s, a Norfolk resident whose book about the trial, Cobra Killer, inspired the film.
“They had over a million dollars’ worth of bills that they were paying,” Conway said a few days before the movie premiere. “They had to make about $3,900 a day just to stay afloat.”
Conway argues it was the couple’s financial woes that pushed them to murder Kocis in order to embark on a business plan with then-aspiring porn actor Brent Corrigan, real name Sean Lockhart, who was still under contract with Kocis’ Cobra Video.
“They came up with this wild idea that if they killed Bryan [Kocis], there would be no need for the contract between Sean [Lockhart] and Bryan any longer,” said Conway, “and they would make the millions that they thought they would.”
Kerekes didn’t rebuff that theory entirely, saying, “We were blurred and blinded by greed, and we thought that we were Gods.”
But for whatever reason, he’s not copping up to the debt part.
“Even the movie with James Franco got it wrong,” said Kerekes. “We did not do any of this because we were in debt. We did this because we wanted more, and we thought we could get away with it.”
Now he says he spends his days working out and replying to pen pals, noting to NewsChannel3, “I’m in the best shape of my life.”
That may be, but it’s a life that will never again know freedom, something we can all agree is likely for the best.