When John E. Atkinson got in a domestic dispute with his roommate, Herbert Van Stephens, Chicago media dutifully reported the news in the local press back in March. They were a socialite gay couple in the city, and Van Stephens was standing accused of stabbing Atkinson to death with a kitchen knife.
But now the national media is reporting on the case because it turns out that Herbert Van Stephens has some very important friends in high places. One of them is Oprah Winfrey who is reportedly worried that she will be called to court as a character witness for her acquaintance.
You see, Van Stephens has worked with several notable celebrities as a costume and wardrobe designer for their attire. He even has one film credit to his name for the movie Peoria Babylon which was made in 1997. More on that here. He is 52-years old. We looked for more about his background, but there are no Facebook profiles for anyone by that name and the same is true on Twitter. Hey aren’t gay men suppose to be hip with the social media?
John E. Atkinson was stabbed to death on March 6th, 2012. Prosecutors say that Herbert Van Stephens did it, the consequence of a lover’s quarrel between the two men that spiraled out of control. It was quite a fight as the defendant himself reportedly ended up clinging to his life in critical condition in a local hospital. Read the details here.
Atkinson was just 24-years old at the time of his passing, originally from Kerrville, Texas. His obituary is published here.
Now the National Enquirer is reporting that Oprah Winfrey fears that she will have to testify as a character witness when the trial occurs later this year. Their source explains that “she doesn’t want to be seen defending a murderer.” Read more about that here.
And who can blame her? This is probably the last thing she wants to be doing as she begins to enjoy a semi-retirement from the television business.