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In the early 1970s, Cardiff resident Rick Crocket met the love of his life in a physics class at Encinitas’ San Dieguito High School. The couple went to prom, dated for a year after his graduation, and were engaged to be married.

In the summer of 1973 — exactly 40 years ago — Rick’s life changed forever: his fiancée and her family seemed to have disappeared off the face of the earth.

Rick had graduated a year ahead of his Class of 1973, to be able to start college and eventually marry Kathy B. (last name withheld). It was agreed that the couple would finish college before tying the knot. While Kathy went off to St. Thomas Aquinas College in New York, Rick was a welcomed guest around the large Rancho Santa Fe home of the B’s.

Three weeks after the engagement announcement, Rick says he showed up to the family’s home. A strange man answered the door. The man said he had just bought the house and referred Rick to the realtor — at the time, the only realtor in the Rancho Santa Fe village.

The realtor claimed no knowledge of the former owners and then directed Rick to the local attorney who handled the private sale and brought the deal to the real estate agency. According to Rick, the attorney stated, “We we’re told to expect you.” He offered Rick a 3˝ x 5˝ index card and said he could write a short note. The attorney would not disclose any information about the family or their whereabouts. If Kathy or her family wanted to reach Rick, they could, from his note. He’s never heard from them again.

Rick suspected perhaps a witness-protection program was involved.

Mr. B. was a big contractor in the early development of Carlsbad’s La Costa Resort. At the time, several news publications reported La Costa was built and run by Chicago mobsters using Teamsters pension funds. Names associated with eastern organized crime families maintained hillside homes in La Costa. Other than a few arrests for prostitution in the resort’s lounge, the mobsters kept a low profile while in SoCal.

In the mid-1980s, with increased state and federal law-enforcement scrutiny, the mob reputedly divested itself of their collective interest in the La Costa Resort. Just like the mob’s exit from Las Vegas, large corporations have owned La Costa ever since.

Rick contacted St. Thomas Aquinas College numerous times. The first year Kathy would have been at the school, his phone messages were taken, supposedly to be passed on to her. In what would have been her sophomore year, when his letters started being returned, he was told no one was there by “that name.” However the reaction from the dorm’s mother superior, threatening to call the authorities if Rick didn’t stop calling, was an indication to Rick that Kathy B. was actually there.

Rick assumes Kathy took vows to become a nun before her sophomore year and assumed her Catholic name, which he believes is Mary Catherine (thus, he reasons, the mother superior wasn’t lying when she stated “Kathy B.” was not there.)

“It’s affected my entire life,” says Rick. “It took marriage, family, and children off the table for me.” By the time he was ready to start dating again, almost a decade later, Rick says most of the female acquaintances from his church were already married or engaged. He admits he’s limited his chances of finding true love by keeping to his strict Christian values, which doesn’t allow for relationships with those that have been divorced. If he were to find love again, “It’s the widows now,” he jokes.

Years later, a fellow San Dieguito High classmate informed Rick that he might have traced Kathy to a convent in Kansas City, under the name Mary Catherine. The convent would not allow Rick to try to communicate with the possible former Kathy B.

Most recently, about ten years ago, a nun named Mary Catherine posted an entry on another classmate's website.

Rick, a computer systems designer who most recently worked as a rocket payload engineer for a NASA-funded project, now lives on a large plot of land in the high desert, about two hours northwest of Palmdale. He still keeps an expensive set of dishes, purchased for Kathy almost 40 years ago, in a hope chest.

Although he's attended two previous San Dieguito High School reunions, he’s been unable to get any additional information from other classmates. At the school's tenth reunion, he found out one of Kathy's best high school friends had died. He says he is looking forward to attending the upcoming San Dieguito Class of 1973 40th reunion, slated for this fall. He’s hoping someone will know something more about Kathy B.

“I just would like to know what happened,” he says.

Disclosure: The writer is a fellow classmate of Rick Crocket and knows the other classmates that provide Rick with information. The writer does not remember Kathy B.

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Maxwell July 21, 2013 @ 12:12 p.m.

Ken, you need too go on Facebook and check out posts by Rick Crocket. He has told four different versions of a story about how his "girl friend" from high school disappeared. In one version, she was murdered. In another, she mysteriously disappears, but no mention of being a nun, In that version, he spends years searching the backroads for her body. In another, she was killed by a drunk driver and Rick mourns her for years while working with addicts and fighting drunk driving. And now this version.

In his various stories, he either meets this girl in high school, or they meet when they are both 7 years old and are somehow promised to each other in marriage.The stories change each time he tells them.

Crocket has also claimed that he invented the technology that launched Quaalcom; that he has a doctorate in computer engineering; that he has extensive contacts throughout the FBI, CIA and Interpol; that he is on the verge of producing a TV show; and that many of his high school teachers were mind-controlled Soviet agents.

Crocket's Faceboook posts are frequently filled with hate speech against minority groups and religious groups. He is harshly homophobic, anti-Semitic and xenophobic.

I think Crocket's issue is pretty obvious. What isn't is why anyone would post one of his wild stories,


Ken Harrison July 21, 2013 @ 4:56 p.m.

Thanks for your comments. Based on your user name, I think you also knew Rick from San Dieguito. If so, you knew him to be highly intelligent and his conversations were usually way over the heads of most of his fellow students and his teachers. Perhaps too intelligent for his own good. I spent three days on the phone, along with five pages of e-mails from him restating the facts as he believes.

The story of a girl that he was committed to marry at age 7 - that died by a drunk driver - in every conversation with him he has always stated that was a different person, someone that we would not have known from SD. He knew her from his church. He meet Kathy after that incident.

As far as his rants and raves on Facebook, there is a reason God invented the high desert. People that don't like having five 7-11's near them, move to someplace where its okay to have a few screws that may need tightening every now and then.

Although not a close friend, Rick always treated me with friendship and respect in high school. It was a pleasure reconnecting with him and hearing his stories. I look forward to seeing him at our reunion.

Wait til I do the story on how he inspired George Lucas to finish his Stars Wars script!


Murgatroid July 21, 2013 @ 5:20 p.m.

One of Rick's problems is that he believes he is smarter than everyone else and we're all foolish enough to believe anything from slight exaggerations to outrageous claims.


Rocketman73 July 22, 2013 @ 11:55 a.m.

Hi Ken:

I like the article but felt compelled to come to the defense of my almost life long friend Peter Maxwell. I don't believe that is Peter for a moment. He maybe a lefty and I am always right but he is a better and smarter man than to tell these fibs. I do believe this is a poser that has tried to pretend to be part of the old gang. I caught this pretender and exposed him in our group after he threatened physical violence. Then he stated these same lies at that time but as you know, I have always been open and honest and I have invited you to read my post, I mean after all that is what they are there for. I expect to meet Peter and his sister this evening in fact. She would probably brain him if she thought he had written this.

Ken I have always tried to be friendly and helpful to everybody. I was invited into the Gay and Lesbian community on outreach. I have conservative views but they do not allow me to be a hater and I feel the real Peter knows this. Now there is one thing that might be halfway true. About being a Xenophobe. I love animals but will not fellowship someone that practices beastiality.... Me, I am a lover and I know what real love is and that is why I have waited for it all my life. I have a shining example in my folks who will be celebrating their 60th. about the time of our reunion. I have definite instincts about what love, life and marriage are all about and that irks the whey out of some.

I do like the idea of a slightly crazy persona, maybe it would keep me from having to repeat so much....

Cheers, Rick


Ken Harrison July 22, 2013 @ 1:03 p.m.

Peter wasn't the "Maxwell" I was thinking about, but realized the Maxwell I was thinking of lives out of the area and probably doesn't get The Reader. This "Maxwell" that posted has posted comments on other stories in The Reader. Probably a local that has the time to check out people on FB whose names appear in news stories. Sorry about the misspelled name, I should have known correctly. And I don't even know what a Xenophobe is. I'll look it up in that book on my shelf that hasn't been opened in 10 years.


Rocketman73 July 23, 2013 @ 11:34 a.m.

Hey! I happy to say I enjoyed meeting old classmates last evening to work on plans for our 40th. reunion. I took Peter's sister to the meeting and was told in no uncertain terms, that he was not pleased about the phony post under his name.

There was no cat in the hat, there was no green eggs and I certainly wouldn't eat ham that has turned green, would you? Apparently phony maxwell would and then sue Dr. Suess for giving bad medical advice. My writing style (or lack of it) is predicated on the reader's ability to discern humor, satire. cynicsm, sarcasm and facetious rhetoric that I use to puncuate serious matters. I make no appologies to the willfully illiterate.

Go San Dieguito! FaceBook's "San Dieguito High Class of 1973 Page" has 40th. Reunion Details.

Cheers, Rick


Murgatroid July 24, 2013 @ 9:58 p.m.

Well that should be an interesting reunion.


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