Fan report: Connor Cochran is “trying to hipcheck Peter Beagle out of his own life and legacy like some self righteous cuckoo.”

When Peter Beagle sued his ex manager Connor Cochran, many fans were confused. For many years, they were misled to trust that he was in good hands. Cochran used emotional ploys to exploit their trust and take over Peter’s career, with false promises about rescuing him from bad business deals. The truth is that a predator pushed out others to take their place.

Now Cochran is trying to push out Peter himself to profit from his work.  This update brings hindsight to help understand the betrayal.

Good news for Peter, and continuing deception by Cochran and Conlan Press:

Peter just announced a new novel.  A friendly movie producer who had worked on remaking The Last Unicorn commented on the announcement:

“Connor was the reason why I withdrew. Now you see what happened and I am happy to support your case. BTW his claim about ITC is utter nonsense. They are even distancing themselves from him now.” – (Michael)

This is the producer who got Christopher Lee on board for a remake so many years ago – which will never happen because of Cochran’s greedy destruction against Peter’s career and legacy.

Betrayal is the perfect word for Cochran’s sales of Peter’s work to fund legal attacks against him. It’s being hidden so fans won’t know what they’re paying for:

Scamming against customers continues in April/May 2016:

  • “will the goods ordered during the @LastUnicornTour in March 2015, ever ship?? My emails go unanswered and I’m still waiting” – (@Besweets2u)
  • “Ohh I thought those update emails from Conlan Press about why the book I preordered wouldn’t be signed seemed scammy” – (@MlleLorelei)
  • Conlan Press took my money and still has not sent me the book I preordered. I thought it seemed sketchy. Ugh.” – (@EMJacke12)
  • “i sent you several mails about my order but got no reply” – (@dofain)
  • Emailing Conlan Press repeatedly and sending their Facebook page messages is getting me nowhere.” – (pavoniata)
  • “Is there any way to buy The Last Unicorn without supporting Conlan Press but still support Beagle?” – (Reddit)
  • “DO NOT BUY IT FROM CONLAN PRESS. They scum.”  – (@blunderbussed)

Hindsight about the betrayal.

Con artists are skilled at manipulating trust. Remember that “normal people don’t act this way“. Let’s go back to when Cochran began with Peter.  This fan report nails it:

“i met this guy in Dallas in 2007 and something felt really skeevy about the whole affair. i tried to ignore it because peter was so happy about having more control over his IP but i did not like cochran or the way he insinuated himself into the Peter S Beagle Phenomenon, casting himself as the white knight. in the newsletters i would read about PSB sleeping at fans’ houses between tour evens and it seemed awfully fucked up, he’s an elderly dude and that can’t be good for him.

a few months after the newsletters stopped, i found out why: it developed into full blown elder abuse and the motherfucker is full-on trying to hipcheck peter s beagle out of his own life and legacy like some self-righteous cuckoo.

good luck, cochran, proving that peter is senile and frail and confused and that’s why you need to be in charge of his finances and work him 14 hours a day doing signings and appearances and make him sleep on fucking couches and take his money–you were trying to take real good care of a helpless oldster. douche.

beagle is sharp as a tack, he’s just very trusting. you told me so yourself in your own goddamn words, saying how naive beagle is about trusting people and letting them control his money and getting ripped off, and how you were here to stop that from ever happening again.

where did that go, cochran?

i remember this vividly, because that was the weekend i got to meet peter s beagle, my fucking fantasy hero since i was a little kid. and some guy, his new business partner. didn’t like that guy. now i know why.”

The betrayal has been building since Cochran met Peter, but the roots are deeper. Let’s go all the way back. Here’s a story from 2006 told by 51-year-old Cochran, who fondly remembers doing petty crime as a 14 year old boy. This is very meaningful.

In his own words, Cochran boasts about “stealing Beagle”.

Stealing Beagle – by Connor Cochran:

“Childhood is not generally known as a time of precise ethical definitions… I was not precisely a shoplifter, then, but more of a shopswapper. A one-boy tribute to the flexibility of personal definitions… I only stole one book in my entire life: the 1969 Ballantine Adult Fantasy paperback edition of The Last Unicorn. And I got caught… The store manager nailed me not four feet past the front door. Nimble of finger? Not so much anymore, apparently. But nimble of tongue? A different story. I spun out a line of bullshit so completely bland and affect-less and perfectly honed that this poor fellow realized that he didn’t have me: I had him. He simply could not prove that the copy of The Last Unicorn in my pocket hadn’t been tucked away there before I even entered his establishment.”

Ewwww... (Actually he stole plenty more – ask cheated fans and publishers who had to sue him.)  There can’t possibly be enough emphasis on this:

“I spun out a line of bullshit so completely bland and affect-less and perfectly honed that this poor fellow realized that he didn’t have me: I had him.”

Notice a pattern? And notice something important missing?  There’s not a shred of empathy about the shopkeeper he ripped off.  Boasting about his cunning tricks to get away with it is glorifying what he did as a young person against an older one. He’s proud of this. (It pales in comparison to seizing an elder’s entire legacy.)

This cracks open the core of Cochran’s personality, showing the missing piece in his brain.  Cold, calculating, sociopathic greed didn’t arrive full blown one day – it bloomed and festered over a lifetime. Cochran took pleasure from this as a child, and it’s what he does now as a 61-year-old scammer.

Of course, he’ll protest that it was a youthful phase and it’s crazy to dig up something so old. But he’s the one who dug it up to brag. So here’s a supporting detail about his own words: Teenaged Connor also earned the name “Talky Li’l Blaggard” from adults he sought to impress. (See this fanzine.)

Cochran never grew out of this. He spent his life practicing scummy manipulation. See extensive evidence on this site that he consistently deflects people with a “bland affectless line of bullshit”. If that doesn’t work, he flips the role of victim and victimized: “he didn’t have me: I had him.” It describes everything he does to excuse petty rip offs against fans, to game the court system, and the diversions and smokescreens against people suing him.

Storytellers have imagination. Teachers have heart. Crafters have skilled hands. Cochran has a lying tongue. Stealing Beagle could be the title of his life’s memoir.

“Saving” Peter.

Cochran began deceiving fans by soliciting donations to Peter (actually to pay Conlan Press, a for-profit BUSINESS solely owned by Cochran).  It was here for many years: http://www.conlanpress.com/youcanhelp.  A 2005 fan notice said:

“I’m a huge Beagle fan, and I certainly want him to receive the recognition and recompense he deserves for his work; still, the page feels manipulative to me, and more like an emotional appeal than a factual discussion.” – (Jed)

Now his page is not only deleted, but caches of it are scrubbed away. It’s interesting how a company supposedly in the business of promotion has intentionally hidden the history of their key work for their sole source of income.

Other pleas spread widely:

In 2011, the File 770 blog gave background with a hopeful but futile title:  “Peter Beagle Getting Paid”.  It has familiar names: Charles Petit is called Peter’s lawyer (4 years after losing his license for fraud).  Richard Mooney was lawyer to help Cochran get Last Unicorn movie rights – he now represents Cochran to attack Peter.

Sympathy ploys didn’t work on everyone. This fan had a crystal ball in 2006:

“I’m pretty convinced that Connor Cochran is a fake. Why would Peter Beagle’s business manager be posting on a random fansite like this? Why can’t Beagle speak for himself? Why is it continually, ‘Peter says this,’ ‘Peter likes this’? The guy is a con artist… He asks for donations to help Beagle, but the mailing address and Paypal account both go to him. Why isn’t the money going directly to Beagle? I wouldn’t believe a word he says”. – (Leah)

It’s very important to remember that spreading the sympathy ploy was Connor Cochran’s only income. Every time he claims credit for Peter’s career and boasts of some accomplishment… remember that he positioned himself on the receiving end.  Any benefit to Peter only trickled down with little to no accountability.  There was nothing but Peter’s work funding his own living, house and vacations and dinners and shmoozing with Hollywood producers.  While “professional ethics” and “conflict of interest” are indispensable concepts to anyone else managing careers… to Cochran, they’re lip service.

At least previous business cheating was only about money, not something worse.

Then there’s trying to skin someone and wear it for an ego trip.  But most people won’t believe what a predatory sociopath is capable of (that’s how they get away with it.) One fan’s comment:

“they typically are HARDWIRED in the head for it. Most Con-Artists (let’s call a spade a spade here…) are Personality Disordered, typically Narcissistic or Borderline Personality disordered. BPD’s are harder than hell to spot unless you’re in very close personal contact with them regularly. They’re an ugly core of a person with multiple facades of a person not quite like but very, very reminiesent of Sybil in nature.” – (Frank)

We were sent a 2005 interview with Cochran (see near bottom.)  It shows why he’s described as having a raging case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  He boasts of impossible publishing promises:

“I am also having a great time now with the business that I’ve been building since 2001. Within a year we’ll have published at least a dozen books and a half-dozen audiobooks; released three or four CDs; put out prints and posters from multiple artists; and moved a half dozen film stories closer to actual production.”

That never happened. 12 years later, tens of thousands of dollars worth of audiobook sales from that time were never delivered, and the hardcover of TWO HEARTS is never produced.  Compare his failure to finish the first thing he started to this crack-smoking ego masturbation:

“The majority of my waking time – and since I only sleep about five hours a night, that’s a lot – is devoted to building the company. The structure is simple. There is a central holding corporation called CCI, for Connor Cochran, Inc. I am chairman, president, secretary and treasurer. CCI operates sub-divisions which deal in specific tasks and/or media: Conlan Press is the book and audiobook publishing division, ACE-Kobata Music handles live performances and recordings, Changeling Films is the cinema division, Silver City Graphics & Fine Arts does prints and posters and anything purely visual. Church of Superdog is the artist management group, etc. There are at least 20 such divisions already launched or on the planning board. Each has someone {or several someones} who is actually in charge of the local turf, while I kibitz at will and keep the whole multi-division machine spinning together productively… Conlan is the first division to go public, via the conlan press website. Our initial release is an unabridged audiobook of Peter S. Beagle’s THE LAST UNICORN, which we are promoting by also putting out a limited edition hardcover of “Two Hearts”… CCI may never wind up going toe-to-toe with Disney or Sony or Universal someday, but we’ll make a good run at it, and have a lot of fun in the attempt. The art of business, the business of art, and a chance to change the world… Who could say no?”

It’s interesting how “Changing the world” came to mean ripping off elderly writers, and trying to sue their girlfriends and forcibly put them under control when they finally say “NO”.  And this judgement of him is the final word:

“Connor has consistently defrauded people, lied about it, and generally shown all the characteristics of an advanced example of Narcissistic Personality Disorder…” – (Deb)

True fans of Peter, please pay careful attention to what he’s fighting.  Support the right side and share the truth.

9 thoughts on “Fan report: Connor Cochran is “trying to hipcheck Peter Beagle out of his own life and legacy like some self righteous cuckoo.”

  1. I think he made that theft story up. I don’t think he is or ever was a fan of TLU… Who steals a book anyway? It was probably just a tale to amuse his potential customers.

    I do think he likes to talk and therefore make up a lot of stories. However, I’m sure he was prone to theft and lying at an early age.

    • The pride he takes in the story doesn’t sound made up to me. I think he was a sort of “fan”, the sort that would prefer Peter as a taxidermied specimen in his trophy room over the live one.

      • Hey Kevin (:

        ‘..the sort that would prefer Peter as a taxidermied specieman in his trophy room..’

        Lol (: Another line that made me laugh was the ‘ego masturbation’ comment on the newest update.

        But while we’re on the subject of narcissism, have you noticed how he likes to hint at the truth? That is, delivering ironic little inside jokes to say “hey, this is my true intent, but none of you can prove it.” See, I’ve taken notice to this tongue-in-cheek approach he has; he’s not a con without a little snark. Examples are 1) When he jokingly told Peter, “I can’t rip you off, because you have no money. We need to bring in money, then I can rip you off.” 2) When he told me (and undoubtedly others) that the guy running this site tried to scam him. He said that. 3) When he was quoted to have said that his fortune cookie (was it) was telling him to do what he knows is right (secretly he knows he’s doing what’s wrong) and that he went on a hike with some sort of public official (thus saying indirectly he doesn’t have to do what’s right, because he can’t get caught due to his powerful connections)

        Kevin, you see what I’m getting at? So, when I read that he told an amusing story about how he stole TLU book, I thought that was another inside joke because 1) He admits he’s a thief. 2) He indicated that, by stealing, the author got no royalties. 3) He sugar coats this gloat with “I’m such a long time fan, I stole this book once.” Now I don’t think the tale is truthful, because he’s an excellent liar and tends to make stuff up: 99% of what he tells everyone is a lie. After all, he fancies himself such a good storyteller that he attempted fiction himself (didn’t he try to write a novel?) He also has ripped so many people off non-unicorn related. So I don’t think he has ever given a damn about this author’s work. I just think it was another of his twisted jokes he wanted to throw out there, because it amuses him how he can reveal himself in such a way and yet not get caught.

  2. I stumbled across this quote while rereading Peter Beagle’s intro to Mirror Kingdoms “Two Hearts itself exists because Connor noodged me into creating a bonus gift of a new story for the first 3,000 people to order the CD of the audio book of The Last Unicorn….he said in response to my initial refusal.”

    So Beagle was coerced into leveraging his intellectual property and writing a sequel to his most popular work, something he initially did not want to do, as a sales gimmick for an audio book that, 11 years later, still has not been produced.

    It seems like Beagle has upheld his end of the deal of creating the art, there’s an audio file of Beagle reading The Last Unicorn and Two Hearts has been published in other collections, but Conlan Press has consistently failed to hold up their end of the deal by manufacturing these goods.

    If I was one of those 3,000 people who ordered the Last Unicorn audio book more so to get the limited edition signed hardcover of Two Hearts not only would I feel cheated for never getting what I paid for, but also resentful to see that story published in other formats when I prepaid to be one of the first to receive it. Add that to the list of damages to Beagle and his core loyal fan base has received at the hands of Connor Cochran and Conlan Press.

  3. Approximately Summer of 2007, I was privileged to see Peter S. Beagle in an impossibly small venue in northern Alabama. It was a small library in the middle of nowhere, and I and my travel companion thought it strange that such a huge name as Beagle would appear in such a tiny location–not even ten miles west to the nearest major city, or even at the Birmingham Public Library where he would most certainly be welcome and where he would have a much larger audience. I really can’t stress how small and obscure this place was. We didn’t think much about it, though–we rationalized it as perhaps being due to this being the beginning of his touring, like a test audience. After all, if you can draw a crowd in Nowhere, Alabama, you can draw one anywhere, right? At the time, we just counted ourselves fortunate that one of our most beloved authors was appearing here when many major authors skip over the state entirely.

    Walking into the tiny auditorium–really more of a staff meeting room–I will never forget the experience of opening the door and coming immediately face-to-face with Mr. Beagle. I recognized him at once and, startled, said, “Oh, hi there!”

    His eyes crinkled at their corners, and he smiled at me as if he’d known me since grade school. “Hello, dear.” And then someone I now know was Connor Cochran shuttled him away. I want to say he literally put his hands on Beagle’s shoulders and lead him off, but I can’t be sure of that anymore.

    What I do remember, quite clearly, Connor stepped all over the question-and-answer section, never failing to take less than half the credit for all of Beagle’s legal and publishing accomplishments for the previous few years. Everyone noticed it. I overheard part of a conversation where two of the librarians assigned to supervise the event discussed quietly with one another over whether it was normal for Connor to be talking over Beagle this way. Throughout the signing, when it was clear Peter would have given more of his time talking to individual fans, most of whom were very young women and a few children with their mothers, Connor was brusquely chasing people away…and again, this was a tiny venue that had not exactly well-publicized, and there were all of thirty people there, including staff, and plenty of time for Beagle to interact with fans if he wished. Again, my friend and I rationalized: he’s an old man, maybe he’s tired, maybe they need to keep things snappy for travel reasons, and so on. But brusque was fast giving way to flat-out rudeness.

    While my friend purchased her copy of TLU and Beagle was engaged in signing it, Connor and I passed a few words over the table about how far the friend and I had traveled for the signing. It was casual small talk, and I don’t know what he said that brushed me the wrong way, but I ended up snapping something like “you’re doing alright for an ascended fanboy.” It was supremely bitchy of me, and a look flashed across Connor’s face as if I’d slapped him. I immediately regretted it. Now of course, I retroactively regret nothing and wish I’d said something worse.

    The thing that has struck me more than those two brief incidents was the fact that on the long, late drive back home, my friend and I didn’t discuss the film, or Beagle–who was in all ways charming–or the questions that had been answered. Our topic of conversation was solely how creepy Connor was and what a pall his behavior had put on the entire evening. We spend the entire ride trying to put our fingers on it. The word “possessive” and “vulturous” came up more than once, as did the term “self-aggrandizing schmuck.” We thought it was incongruous how such a genteel, affable man as Beagle had ended up with such a strange, uncomfortable person as Connor.

    That was the takeaway. Not what a wonderful opportunity we had had, but what a creeper this Connor guy was. That was an extremely brief encounter of two people who didn’t have a clue what was going on behind the scenes. A short encounter that has troubled me for literally more than a decade. There has never been a time I whipped out the story of How I Met Peter S. Beagle that it didn’t close with the postscript of That Creepy Guy Who Hovers Over Him.

    If we saw that much eleven years ago, how much have people in much closer contact witnessed? How much has this escalated since? How much has Beagle himself suffered?

    I am sharing this story because it has legitimately troubled me for years. I am sorry to see that my snap judgement of Connor from that time has been proven correct, but very relieved to see that I was not alone in seeing it. It’s very cold comfort being right under such terrible circumstances.

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