Hinderaker writes: "On Monday I got a phone call from a man named Easton Elliott. We talked briefly on Monday, and have had additional telephone conversations since then. Elliott*," with an asterisk, "is a businessman who lives in the Las Vegas area, and he thinks he knows what really happened to Harry Reid. This is the story as he related it to me."
Here you go. Elliott, the caller, who wanted to speak to Hinderaker and me, "Elliott spent a portion of last New Year’s Eve at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Henderson, Nevada," which, for all intents and purposes, is Vegas. "His AA group has meetings every hour on New Year’s Eve, along with a pot luck supper. There were approximately 20 people present at the meeting during the events," that you will next hear about.
"Some time between 10:00 and 11:30 p.m., a man entered the meeting. His appearance was striking: there was blood on his clothing, beginning around his midsection. His left hand was swollen. He appeared to be somewhat intoxicated and was visibly agitated," and he wanted to share, at this AA meeting.
"He introduced himself as 'Larry.' In a group discussion that was heard by a number of people, Larry said that he had just had a fight with a family member. Larry said he had been at a family get-together, and he didn’t remember much about the fight because he had blacked out. When he came to, he was rolling on the ground, fighting with a family member, and his clothes were bloody," and in fact that's how he showed up at the AA meeting. "Now, he said, he was frightened that the Secret Service would come after him."...
So here you have these people at the AA meeting who don't know this guy. He walks in for the first time ever and says his name is Larry. He's drunk. He's bloody. His left fist, his left hand is swollen, and he says he just had a fight with a family member. He blacked out, came to, wanted to come to the meeting, and is looking for a place to hide out because he fears the Secret Service is gonna be coming after him.
Now, according to the guy talking to John Hinderaker and me, the group did not take the Secret Service reference seriously. They thought that it was just some conspiracy kook that was drunk that wandered in and for some reason needed the comfort of an AA meeting. They all did agree that it was obvious he had indeed been in a fight, but they thought the Secret Service was tinfoil hat type stuff.
So this guy, Larry, "stayed for the rest of the meeting, and for a while afterward. There is a front room where coffee is served, and he remained there for a while. At some point during that time, he asked whether anyone could give him a ride to Searchlight. Larry’s appearance at the AA meeting was memorable, as references to fighting, bloody clothes and so on are extraordinary in that group." It's not something that happens at every AA meeting.
And the guy we were talking to, Easton Elliott, he didn't think much more about this guy, Larry, until several weeks later when "he saw a newspaper story about Larry Reid, Harry Reid’s brother, being arrested for DUI and assaulting a highway patrolman. The story was accompanied by a photograph, and Elliott --" again, the guy talking to John Hinderaker and me "-- immediately recognized Larry Reid as the 'Larry' who had attended the AA meeting," weeks previous, who was drunk, who was bloody, who had a swollen left fist, and claimed he had been in a fight with a family member and was worried the Secret Service was gonna follow him.
Then everybody said, "Whoa, wait a minute! The guy who came in here who we thought was a kook is Harry Reid's brother?" So they started putting two and two together because this story's accompanied by a photograph. Easton Elliott "immediately recognized Larry Reid as the 'Larry' who had attended the AA meeting on New Year’s Eve. Putting that fact together with news stories about Harry Reid being admitted to a hospital on New Year’s Day, and with Larry’s references to the Secret Service, he concluded that the family member with whom Larry fought was Harry Reid. He also knew that Harry Reid’s home is within a short distance of the location of the AA meeting."
So these guys at the AA meeting who think a kook came in, weeks later see his picture in the paper after being arrested for DUI, and, lo and behold, it's Harry Reid's brother. So now they are starting to think they know what happened to Harry Reid: Family fight and his brother beat him up. Larry Reid is 73, a short, pugnacious guy, and is a well-known brawler, by the way, subsequent research has indicated.