Essay Anne Vanderbilt (Stephen Krol) was the subject of an article written by Caleb Hannan called “Dr V’s Magical Putter.” The article focuses on an amazing golf putter Vanderbilt invented. In the course of reporting the story, Hannan learned that Vanderbilt lied about her credentials. Sadly, Vanderbilt committed suicide in October 2013. Upon publication of the article four months later, transgender activists immediately began calling for Hannan’s prosecution for manslaughter/murder. Additionally, transgender activists like the deranged Wesley James Bailey released Hannan’s home address in order to incite violence against him.
In the article, although there are assertions that Vanderbilt demanded “privacy” as a condition of speaking to Hannan, it is unclear that Hannan agreed to those conditions. Indeed, reporters do not generally agree to such conditions, as it would prevent them from reporting on a story. Additionally, it is fairly standard that a reporter would become curious upon learning that his subject lied about her professional credentials. Such lies would inevitably lead the reporter to investigate the background of the subject. Upon doing so, Hannan would inevitably have discovered that Vanderbilt had been involved in litigation in which Vanderbilt also lied about credentials. Specifically:
I also found a lawsuit filed against the town of Gilbert, Arizona, in July 2007. The plaintiff’s name: Essay Vanderbilt, who had accused the town and three of its employees of sexual discrimination. The suit alleged that the previous year Vanderbilt was working as a “vehicle service writer” in Gilbert’s Fleet Management Division. In other words, at the same time that Dr. V claimed to have been working on top-secret government projects in D.C., she was actually coordinating car repairs for a Phoenix suburb. Vanderbilt didn’t win her case. And in 2011, a civil court in Maricopa County, Arizona, ordered her to pay nearly $800,000 to a commercial developer. That judgment may have been the reason why, later that year, Vanderbilt filed for bankruptcy, listing assets of less than $50,000 and liabilities of more than $1 million.
At this point I was still hoping everything I’d found was all a big misunderstanding. I wanted to believe Dr. V’s story. After all, the putter worked. People who knew a lot more than me about golf swore by the club. There were even logical explanations for much of what I had uncovered: Dr. V could have gone to school under a different name; she could have mixed up the dates while telling the story of when she founded Yar; she could have taken the job in Gilbert as an extra source of income to pay her bills; and she may have filed for bankruptcy simply because the golf club business can be cutthroat, and Yar had struggled financially before catching a hot streak in the past year.
I was still clinging to these threads when Leland Frische came along and snipped them all.
Frische is the risk manager for Gilbert, and he had been there when Vanderbilt first came to work for the town. He said she was hired in April 2006 and there were problems almost immediately. Vanderbilt had applied to be the manager of the fleet services division, but she lost out on that job to someone else. She believed she was more qualified, however, and others complained that she did not try to hide that. “She would confront her boss in open meetings,” Frische told me. “She would talk down to people. She really didn’t give us many options.” The town eventually fired Vanderbilt. Not long after, she filed her lawsuit. And that’s when something weird happened, Frische told me.
The town’s lawyers began investigating her background. Like me, they found some big holes, namely an education history she claimed to have but didn’t. The town’s lawyers also suspected that at one point she might have been known by a different name, and they asked her to reveal it. When she refused, the judge asked her to sign an affidavit saying she had always gone by Essay Anne Vanderbilt. She refused that request, too, and with it forfeited the right to continue her lawsuit. Frische said Gilbert’s search had ended there. But while we spoke on the phone, he started saying things that sounded odd to me. “Have you ever seen her in person?” he asked. “What I really hope for you is that you could meet her someday,” he said at another point in the conversation, from what seemed out of nowhere.
He was clearly trying to tell me something, which is why he began emphasizing certain words. Every time he said “she” or “her” I could practically see him making air quotes. Finally it hit me. Cliché or not, a chill actually ran up my spine.
“Are you trying to tell me that Essay Anne Vanderbilt was once a man?”
It took a moment for him to respond.
“I cannot confirm or deny anything on that,” he said, sounding once again like a risk manager. “But let me ask you a question. How far have you looked into her background?”
Hannan also uncovered that Vanderbilt, although she changed her name, did not “change her sex.” From records he uncovered, Hannan further reveals that Vanderbilt herself was accused of sexual harassment.
She was born a boy on July 12, 1953, in Philadelphia. She was given the name Stephen Krol, a person who has not received degrees from MIT or the University of Pennsylvania. She has been married at least twice, and the brother of one of Krol’s ex-wives says Dr. V has two children, possibly more. She was once a mechanic at a Sunoco station that she also may have run in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She filed and subsequently dropped a lawsuit against Sunoco. She moved to Arizona at some point after marrying her second wife in 1997. She ended up in Bonney Lake, Washington, a short time later. She filed a “petition for change of name” on October 14, 2003, in the Pierce County, Washington, District Court. She scratched out an unsuccessful first attempt at writing “Essay” on that petition. She wrote “OLD NAME DOES NOT MATCH ME” where the court paperwork asked why she no longer wanted to be known as Stephen Krol. She worked as general manager at Trax Bar and Grill, an LGBT bar in Kent, Washington. She was the subject of three separate harassment claims from her time there, including one from a male coworker who said she made “inappropriate comments about her breasts and genitalia.” She moved to Arizona again sometime later.
The lawsuit Vanderbilt filed is a matter of public record and is available here. In the lawsuit, Dr. Vanderbilt asserted under oath that she was female. She was not. When she declined to cooperate with the defendants’ reasonable discovery requests, the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, meaning that she could not raise these claims again.
The over-the-top reactions of transgender activists online reflect the general mindset of this community that transgender women, particularly white transgender women, are wholly immune from any kind of reasonable boundaries or criticism. It is also interesting that for all these transgender activists claiming concern for Dr. V., Vanderbilt (who previously attempted suicide long before Hannan met her) had few friends who turned up at her funeral service (because there wasn’t one.) None of her family seems to have shown up either. Indeed, Hannan’s reporting suggests that Krol’s family perhaps wanted nothing to do with her, which is also not uncommon when Men decide they are Women, because these Men are unbearably narcissistic:
What little else I know about Stephen Krol in the years before and after he changed his name comes from people who knew him, but didn’t know him well. My attempts to get in touch with members of his family and his ex-wives were unsuccessful. Some people didn’t pick up or return my calls. Others, like Ewa Kroll, whose name showed up alongside his in searches and whose relationship to Stephen I still haven’t been able to parse, hustled me off the phone as quickly as possible. “I have not talked to him for years,” she said. “I’m just going to have to say ‘good-bye’ now.”
Transgender activists also made great hay out of the fact that Hannan has previously been sued for defamation, by the famous and wealthy true crime author Ann Rule, for a piece he edited while at a Seattle paper. It is not uncommon for public figures with money to sue reporters for defamation when they feel they have been slighted or misrepresented. That litigation is ongoing. Interestingly, when Lesbian Feminists state they will sue Transgender and Liberal publications for defamation for grossly misrepresenting and flat out lying about individual Women, the same transgender activists who look at the lawsuit against Hannan as proof of his badness ignore those claims by Women, saying the Women are lying. The hypocrisy is more than astounding.
Courthouse News Service (On Ann Rule lawsuit).
Washington Courts – Search Case Records (On Ann Rule lawsuit).