Episode 05: Movie Theater Manager Sells Blow (2020)
1:51PM Jan 18, 2023
Welcome to Just curious media. This is that to crime. I'm Jason Connell.
And I'm Sal Rodriguez.
All right sound we are back for another episode, episode number five of our somewhat still newer show. And I'm really excited about today's episode.
I'm excited about it, too. This is a fun and funny episode. I mean, when I say funding, I mean, I have a lot of opinions and thoughts on a case like this, so I'm anxious to get into it.
Yes, we are covering a very recent case, it might be a shorter case. There's not a lot of articles written about it. But today we're covering the True Crime Story of movie theater manager sells blow from 2020. And the manager criminal and this matter is Jamie Lynn Honaker. Yes, Sally
blow in the popcorn like that was the way that she would sell it. I guess as you maybe give a special password when you order popcorn, like, hey, I'll take an extra extra large you're like, Oh, okay. And then you slip them the cash. And then they put the cocaine in a bag and then they put the bag at the bottom of the popcorn. I guess that was her scheme there.
That's exactly what her scheme was. You gotta give her the wink, I guess. But the article headlines read a Minnesota movie theater manager sold cocaine and bags of popcorn at the cinema. Sal, this headline would probably drive certain people to visit said cinema.
And what movies were playing at the time? Would they like to look at Scarface marathon at this time? That would have been great.
Yeah, this obviously was not in Los Angeles. Because movie theaters, I don't even know if they're open yet. Or maybe most recently, but this is last July when this case actually happened. Although it just became news to us, most recently. But I guess across the country, certain places opened up faster than others and movie theaters were opened. Now. So when was the last time you actually went to a movie theater?
You know, I have a lot of emotional entanglement when it comes to movie theaters. Because for years, my girlfriend and I were able to go to the movie theater for free. We had the ultimate golden ticket, unlimited usage for party of two to AMC movie theater. So we were able to how did you get that? Well, my girlfriend was involved in some party some events. And as a result of doing those events, with catering, she was able to get a gift bag and in the gift bag was the golden cocaine, cocaine and an MC golden ticket. I'm telling you this movie theater ticket, we would present it at the box office and even the workers would say Where the hell did you get this ticket? It was for a party of two unlimited movie viewing for a year. And we had this card for about three years running. That being said allow you got a new one every year. Oh yeah, a new one every year because the party would happen every year. The event happened every year. So we would have a new card every year. That being said, though, I don't think it's been over a year since I've been to a movie theater. There's been a lot of shutdowns, more shutdowns than a lot of the other areas in the nation in Los Angeles over the last year,
and we lost Arclight not that long ago, which is completely sad. And yeah, I can't believe they're gone. And they're not coming back now. Someone will probably take over their establishments, but that was my favorite chain, versus the one in Hollywood the
original and Cinerama dome,
I believe, as well. Yeah, that's the original. So someone hopefully will come in and take that maybe an AMC Cinemark, or maybe the independent outfit, but yeah, that's pretty sad. I remember the summer of 2019 seen once upon a time in Hollywood. I saw that twice in the theater, my favorite movie of the year and my second favorite movie parasite. And that was probably one of the last films I saw prior to the shutdown. But I did go to a movie. Oh, several weeks ago, it was great to go back. I saw nobody with Bob Odenkirk a lot of fun, but it was like six people in the theater super spread out. So you can do that course that was in Pennsylvania. So I was visiting. So yeah, it's sad. The things we took for granted now on the whole movie pass thing and let me just chime in on that because kudos to you and Lisa for having the hookup at AMC, but I used to get the same kind of hookup from the lows, Felice three and the VISTA because of my affiliation to the film festival and running those theaters out for so long. I got a pass that was never ending. If it was like three years and they give me a new one. I could go to any movie take a guest and free concessions.
Well, I think that even supersedes my past. No, we did not get concessions or cocaine. We got neither.
Well, I got none of the latter. But it was a great hookup. But at the same time, we injected a lot into the theater because of the festival for so long and the connection the relationship but I remember going to see some of his like when Barack came out and it was a sellout crowd at the VISTA. Yeah. And I came up there with my past thinking well, they're not gonna let us in this time, and they literally got me A two chairs like two VIP chairs is what got these chairs, stuck them in the back of the theater. And I was able to see that so that was like super V and they brought me popcorn and drink to me in a seat. So that was big time that night.
You had a lot of history with the Los Feliz three in the VISTA with the Yes, la United Film Festival, of which I was honored to be host moderator for many years. Yeah, you had a relationship with them?
Yeah, we brought four different people or five different people to do the handprints and part of the VISTA. So yeah, good connection. I can't wait to get back there when things reopen. And this case is also near and dear to my heart because in high school, I worked at a movie theater the annex seven it was the United artist theater. And then in college, I worked for the Carmike cinemas and I went from selling popcorn and drinks to managing so I have always been around a movie theater so I read this I was like, oh my god, this is hilarious. So we'll dive into this episode, which I think is very unique episode and Sal probably not the first time this has taken place, but at least the first time I've heard about it. Yeah, I've never heard
of anything like this at the movie theater. My favorite movie theater story, aside from my own golden ticket, and we go to the movie theater for free was my friend Mario, my lifelong best friend met his wife at the movie theater. They were both working at the movie theater working concessions working the booth I don't know you know the work in their staff. Yeah, they meet their fall in love start dating, and then quit on the same day and go on a nationwide road trip it to me it's a very romantic tale. I still together Yeah, still married to this day with three children.
Wonderful. So you're ready to jump into this episode?
I'm ready to talk about Jamie Lynn and her unfortunate case.
Okay. Jamie Lynn Heidecker 39 years old, was named in a criminal complaint charging her with narcotic sales Honaker is was probably more appropriate, the general manager of the four screen spotlight theatres in Mankato, which is about 80 miles from Minneapolis now. So I've actually been to Mankato on one of my trips to Minnesota. And I went there one time and saw the Minnesota Vikings training camp. Not that I'm a Minnesota Vikings fan. But I was in town and I'm a big NFL guy. So I popped by. And it was a lot of fun. First of all, to see them practice up close and personal. But Mankato is a very small town.
This is the kind of thing you want to do in a more populated town. I would think you don't want to stand out when you're doing stuff like this. You want to be very low pro. Jason, let me just say this. The reason I'm very upset about this, because the penalty for drug sales can be very severe. Oh, yeah. In this instance, Jamie Lynn can face a 20 year prison term. And the reason that upsets me is because if I were to go out right now onto the street with a hammer, and hit a stranger over the head with a hammer, I would not get 20 years, and yet this person would get 20 years potentially. So drugs are illegal. You got to pay the penalty. Fine. But I do think the penalties for drug sales and use are incredibly severe.
I agree with that. I absolutely do. It's just the way it is. And it's the way it's been for quite some time. It's a harsher punishment for drugs over violent crimes. Absolutely.
You know what, that's just the way it is. Some things will never change. Jason little Bruce Hornsby there for you.
I appreciate that. Any chance to work in a little karaoke? Sal.
I sneak in karaoke. Whenever I'm talking to somebody, you other people online offline. I'm doing karaoke. There we go.
Fair enough. So now back to the story. Heineken was the target of a Minnesota River Valley drug task force. I liked that acronym. So Mr. VDT F. And she was part of this probe. And according to a probable cause affidavit, which I guess you have to file so when these things kind of go into motion, in fact, I saw the affidavit and shared it with you. So there's some actual intel on that, and never seen one of those before. So that was kind of cool. So an investigator reported that he knew through previous investigations, that Heidecker worked at a movie theater and the sale of cocaine typically took place behind the theater, in an alley or at the theater and a popcorn container with popcorn. So they had the CI go in and so yeah, what's your intel on? confidential informant? It's a snitch or in some ways a snitch, right. Yeah, exactly. Right, right.
I mean, here's the problem with selling drugs. So I've heard you sell somebody drugs in good faith. They give you the money, they take the drugs, they go about their life, you go about yours, but the problem is they get busted. And then the cops will give them a plea bargain deal. Hey, you tell us where you got the drugs. And we'll go easy. Don't you with your punishment? So the problem is, you know, if you're trying to make an honest living selling cocaine, and then someone's gonna get busted, and then it's gonna come back to haunt you.
Exactly. Maybe they gave the same deal to Heiniger. But who knows? That's not the story.
Hang on, Jason. That brings up another good point. They go to Heidecker, where did you get your cocaine from and then sourcing, she can then turn on the person above her. So unfortunately, there's a lot of turncoats when it comes to drug sales.
Yeah, so in a phone call with Heidecker last year, a confidential informant as we were talking about arranged for the purchase of $100 worth of cocaine So says the affidavit now, I don't know cocaine that well, Sal, but that seems really inexpensive.
Yeah, yeah. How much cocaine Are you gonna get for $100? I don't know. I'm not experienced with cocaine. allegedly tried it a few times in my teens and 20s it never really stuck with me. I thought it wasn't worth the price for you know how much you got to pay for what you get. It wasn't worth it to me. But I don't think $100 is going to get you that month. Maybe if you have like a long pinky nail, maybe enough to fill the pinky nail.
I saw the movie below and Johnny Depp they are making bank but what not $100 worth of sales. But anyway, so after conducting the buy at the theater, which is in the Mankato place mall, which unfortunately, did not visit that establishment, but the informant told cops that they entered the mall and Hynek or put the cocaine in a popcorn bag. Popcorn was then placed in the bag now do you think butter was in there too? Probably not no butter wing.
But you know I think they could have done also is like maybe sprinkle the cocaine as though it were salt over the popcorn. You know, try to hide it. You can just say hey, I thought I was just pouring salt on the popcorn. I didn't know it was
gonna be hard to then digest. Cocaine.
No, you just eat the popcorn and holy cow. This is the greatest popcorn.
Do you get the same buzz from eating cocaine? I don't know.
Not well hang out. We just watched American Gigolo and our hero. Richard Gere takes a little bit of cocaine and puts it on his gums. So you can ingest it orally. It's not just about snorting it.
I think it's a different sensation, though cops always do it in movies, where they're just checking like, Yeah, this is legit cocaine. But I think there's something that has to be snorted or smoke to really get the impact. So I don't think they want it sprinkled on their popcorn per se. But anyway, so I don't think she put butter in this particular bag. And I'd like to know how long this went on. There's a lot missing from this article, because it's just this little thing. I looked on a few websites and it was kind of the same information. But I think it was timely and somewhat relevant to our past and movie theaters. Oh, yeah. And fun to cover. So
I liked that. She was the manager. I think that's yeah, one of the General Manager. Yeah, that's so it's she wasn't just an underling. She wasn't only working the popcorn. She was the general manager. So yeah, nobody was checking her bag when she left the theater at night.
No. So the informant churn the popcorn bag over to the police who say that the cocaine Heinrich are sold on July 21 2020. Weighed point 406 grams.
Is that a lot? Yeah, I don't know. When it comes to coke. I know when it comes to weed. I think 3.5 grams is an eighth of an ounce 3.5. So this is like way less than that. This is point 406. So this is not even a gram. It's $100 worth. Yeah, you see what I mean? You see why I never got into this drug. When I was offered it in my youth tried it for free a few times thought how much of this stuff? How long does it last? Forget it. It's not worth it.
Exactly. Yeah, I really am curious on that. And also curious that, like I've just mentioned how long it went on. I mean, when you are managing a movie theater, which I have done, there is a lot of leeway. I mean, you're busy. You have these downtimes in between movies, your staff, they're either high school kids or college kids, their focus is elsewhere. A lot of times much like your story about Mario and finding true love. A lot of that's going on from having done it in high school, and even college before I became a manager, all the staff is hanging out their buddies that they're dating, or they're planning what they're doing later, or they're gonna go see a movie. So yeah, I could see how Jamie Lynn just said, Hey, you know what, I could run this operation on the side here. Very easy to do. But unfortunately, so she got popped.
Yeah, well, one of the problems that she did this at work now let me tell you this, Jason, let me share this with you. And our listeners, allegedly in my early 20s. Allegedly, I used to work at a gym. I also sold weed on the side. So that's a crime. I say allegedly this could be this could be fabricated. So people would page me remember paging anybody. Oh my god. So people would page me I would not have them come to the gym. I would walk across the parking lot to the 90 nine cents store. And I would meet them in the 99 cent store for all they knew I worked at the 99 cent store. And we do our little transaction there in the aisle of the 99 cent store, they will take off, and then I would walk across the parking lot back to my workplace. So you cannot do this stuff where you work, you got to do it near where you work, but not at where you work.
That's interesting. And I hear that allegedly that people at the 99 cent store thought you worked there as well as you were there. So
this guy buys a lot of gum. Yesterday, he's here every day buying gum,
he always brings a different friend. So taking a page out of your own playbook sell Jamie Lynn Heidecker actually did a lot of these transactions in the alley. So she was thinking that way. But I guess if they said, Hey, do you want to see that movie? Do you want to see half baked? Sure, come in. And someone said that is still in the bag. Like it probably just was like circumstance that led to this idea of the popcorn bag hiding. But at the same time, if this thing grew over time, she could have had the small bag ready to be bag ready, that big tub ready. And you know, different tiers for her buying, but a general manager is not usually behind the counter selling in the corn. So there's that it's like, oh, what's Jamie lindo and back here today,
for a general manager Jamie Lynn sure does like to pass out popcorn ever seen a general manager? Would like to do
that? Yeah. Wow. It really has good technique. So for getting busted. Jamie Lynn, like you said earlier, this is a felony drug count. And she does face a maximum 20 year prison sentence and fined up to $250,000 for $100. Cocaine transaction. So
let me tell you something, Jason, I'm a big fan of the punishment should fit the crime. So when you look at a situation like this, she should have to do that thing you remember in A Clockwork Orange where they had who? Yes. Say Oh, yeah. Says she should have to like watch her least favorite movie like on repeat for days and days. You know, I mean, give her a punishment. But come on, does she need to go to federal prison? Give me a break, you know, and she's a movie theater manager, make her watch her least favorite movie over and over and over again? Or hey, how about have her watch some after school specials over and over again to talk about the evils of drug use. Brought to you by dare you know, Drug Abuse Resistance Education? Yeah, I mean, come on just throwing her in prison for something like this. No, I'm not a fan of that.
I'm not either. So but here's what's working against her. According to court records. Honaker has previously been convicted of obstruction, theft, malicious punishment of a child, a DWI, and drug possession.
Yeah, she's got a rap sheet. Yeah, that's unfortunate. So it wasn't her first offense. And they take that into consideration. If you get busted for drug sales, and that's all they got on you. That's one thing. But if you have history, you got a rap sheet. You may have seen the judge before. Yeah, they're gonna throw the book at you.
Yeah, this is not a good situation for her. So unfortunately, for us and our listeners, we don't know the verdict. Yet. This is such a newer case that there's no more information yet. So perhaps we will enlighten everyone when we hear more in a future episode of that to crime. But yeah, I never thought to do this and all my years, and the movie theater business. And I'm glad I didn't sell I stayed clean and clear of such choices.
Hang on a second, Jason. You're telling me that you manage the movie theater, and you never let friends in for free through the back door?
Is that a crime? That's a crime. Actually, since I was the manager, I had the keys and we went into the front door, nice VIP treatment. When I was at the theater. This is pre digital projectors. We had the reels and we had to build the movies up. They would come in these canisters and you had to kind of assemble the film. And one of the rules was from the top. I was not the GM. I was just a manager. Before that I was just concessions or a doorman for a while. But you had to build the film. The doorman would Put the film together and someone had to watch it to make sure the reels were in the right order. And the queues were all set. So a lot of times when movies like Trainspotting had come out, my friends wanted to see it we all went up watched it or when the original Star was was rereleased in the theater, like a special edition. So we all went there and did that. And these movies would start after the last movie of the night laid out. So we're talking like midnight movies. But yeah, that access was incredible. I had an amazing time. Even in the one in high school movies like rain, man, we're coming out and I would get asked to Hey, do you want to come up to staffs watching the movie at midnight and I would see it and it was just so cool. So yeah, there's something you know really amazing about movie theater, especially a theater sell that has hardly anyone in it. Because then you're just there for the few friends you guys can spread out. So it's like private screening. Those are the best.
Well, you know, all my life when I would sit in a movie theater and I'm serious all my life, I've done this. Every time I'm in a movie theater, I would always look up and look back, I look up at the projection room, I always think to myself, what's going on up there? Who's up there? Like, is there something happening up there? I'd like to know about it. You know? So did you see some high jinks happening in the projection room?
No, not really, the projection room. It's really calm up there too, because you would have the old like, and it was loud enough. And you could turn up the volume on the projector. So you could also get little speakers up there. You could hear the movie. I really liked the projection room, even ones I visit. Now, it's a lot quieter with the digital projectors. But when we were running the film festival, the United film festivals, I was always up in the booth. You know, we brought in our own projectors, because it was all digital. We were like playing short films on DVDs are screened from video files, and no high jinks up there. But I will say there was a lot of high jinks happening just at the theater. I mean, one night we were showing this Sharon Stone movie Diablo leak. And I wasn't there. But the staff came running in and told one of the other managers that we went to go check on the movie because you know, you're supposed to go check on the theater every so often to make sure it's running properly. The temperatures good. And they looked in there. And there was only one person and he was Buck naked. He went into the theater now that's a crime. If you went into the theater got naked, that was his thing. I remember them telling us about this. After they discovered this, they ran back out told the manager they all went down there flipped on the lights and he went behind the screen and hid literally behind the screen. And he went out to an exit door and got away. They were gonna do anything.
Was the air conditioner broke? I mean, why is this guy?
Yeah, exactly. It was 100 degrees in there. And he's just trying to watch Sharon Stone on the big screen. I don't know. But he would actually come back to the movie theater and people be like, that's the guy.
That's great. That's great. Now listen, I'm no prude. Jason. I just hope you put a towel down. And that's all I
have. Yeah, I wouldn't want to sit in that particular seat. This is way before assigned seating. So Well, folks, that really covers the Jamie Lynn Heiniger story, the movie theater manager who sold cocaine and popcorn bags. And yeah, I mean, this show sound we like to cover everything from a misdemeanor to a murder. And this fits right in the middle.
You know what I'm gonna do, Jason next time I go to the movies to honor Jamie Lynn Honaker. I'm going to say hi, I would like a large popcorn with extra salt. Wink wink and see what happens.
Yeah, you probably just get extra salt. They'll probably say the salt on the back counter. Oh,
yeah. Put it on yourself. Well, Sal, it's
been another enjoyable True Crime Story. I've had a lot of fun before our first four episodes as well. We had DB Cooper, the famous hijack heist of 1971. We had the Baylor Bears basketball murder of 2003 with Carlton Dotson and the very sad unfortunate murder of Patrick and he, then we had data Plato from different strokes. Yeah, we covered her famous video store robbery in 1991, as well as this kind of whole biography on her because she was so near and dear to all of our hearts, and plain Kimberly Drummond on different strokes. And then we covered Sillim Cara, who was the famous coin thief that stole $2.4 million in Edmonton over the course of many years. So, obviously, you can kind of see where we really are. We're in that range. We're from misdemeanors to murders, and we have so many fun things lined up, but this was a lot of fun.
Yeah, I had a good time. And I just want to say, Jamie Lynn, if you are listening, I hope that they go easy on you. You know, I really, I mean, since we're talking, you know, I wouldn't mind if they decriminalized a lot of cases like this. But anyway, I hope you're okay, wherever you are, and I hope that you're living your best life.
And I know you're being awfully kind Miss Honaker. But I gotta say her track record leads me to believe that if it wasn't this time, she probably was gonna wind up back in front of that judge.
Yeah, she's a repeat offender.
So thank you so much for listening. And please be sure to subscribe to that's a crime wherever you get your podcast. You can also really help us by giving the show a five star rating on Apple podcast.
And for all you listeners that enjoy sharing your thoughts. You could leave us a review on Apple podcasts, send us a direct message or post a comment on our social media which is at just curious media.
We also highly recommend checking out our other podcast and visiting just curious media.com