I’m trying to remember exactly how long ago it was when I met Trevor McGrew. I’m thinking I need to backtrack from the present to get to anything resembling an accurate year even. That’s not saying much for my memory I know but shit…it gets a little bit hazy. The easiest way for me to put things in their sorta proper time frames is to base it off of my daughter Ciara Mandich’s age and go from there. I definitely know that Ciara is 14 years old and was born on May 16th, 1997. I found out Heather was pregnant with Ciara sometime in September of 1996ish. I was working at TSA Clothing as Accounting Manager at that time and our warehouse was still at the end of 18th Street in Costa Mesa. I remember that me and Jim Waataja went to some cell phone place on Harbor Blvd. that day and that Heather had given me a little cute letter all folded up that I opened while me and Jim were getting our cell phones.
Not that it matters but the letter said, Dear Tony, It’s true. I have a bun in my oven. Love Heather. Cute huh. I’m chuckling at that right now because what does it really have to do with the topic of this story about Trevor?
I found out Heather was pregnant. That was September of 1996. I was living on Superior right across the street from Hoag Hospital with Jim Waataja. Rene Prospero and Chad Muska also sort of lived there. Chad slept on our couch a lot. Rene had the tiny closet downstairs. That was his room ha ha ha ha. It was literally like six feet deep by three feet wide and he made it into a bedroom and I would always boss him around and tell him to get to his room. We called him Stick Dog. It would be like this:
“Shut the fuck up Stick Dog. Go to your room Stick Dog. Shut the fuck up”.
For some reason he would totally listen and go to his room with his little ass blankets and stay in there. Strange kid.
Again I digress.
I met Jim like five months earlier then that so maybe April of 1996. At that time I still was working like at FHP Healthcare or Talbert Medical Management Corporation and I was living in Huntington Beach. I had just gotten my convertible BMW which was a sick sick car. I lived on Pensacola Circle with this idiot named coincidentally Jim. He was a total moron but fuck that I’m not gonna get into that. Believe me I could but I won’t. Before Pensacola Circle I was on Fern Street in Newport Shores living with Scotty and Gerald. I only lived there for a short time because they had this friend named Monica who sold coke and weed and one night when I was totally fucking wasted I went over to her house and pretty much robbed her. She had this dude there like some friend of hers I don’t remember his name. She wasn’t there. I forgot where I was earlier that night but I’m pretty sure it was like El Ranchito with Trevor McGrew, Joe Huff, Joe Todora and some other dudes. Like I said I was so fucked up. Long story short, the dude didn’t wanna let me in which is totally reasonable seeing that I was fucked up as hell, Monica wasn’t home, and he didn’t know me. Total asshole move by me, I ended up getting into a long and drawn out fist fight with the dude. He was about my size and sober and relatively tough but I think I ended up getting through him and into Monica’s room. She had this jar, like a Mason jar, full of little baggies with one nugget of crip weed in each one but I wasn’t there for that. I hate weed. I wanted coke for sure. I know I didn’t find any coke. I don’t know what the fuck I was thinking like I said this was a total bad move by me. I ended up grabbing a couple of twenties of weed that I didn’t even want and fought my way back through the house and outside. By this time Monica was arriving home as I was running down the sidewalk. I lived like one street over from her. Duh. So anyways, the dude I fought with must have told her what I did right.
Pause right there and keep in mind we are in Newport Shores which is totally densely populated as fuck so the ruckus I had caused getting into the room to begin with to steal the chick’s weed that I didn’t even want had woken some neighbors or something and someone called the cops I guess. I don’t know because I never saw them that night I only heard about it the next day when I was so insanely hungover and bumming so hard on my out of control self and the shit I had caused. So as the dude tells Monica that I stole her drugs and I’m hop scotching it the fuck down the sidewalk, Monica, righteously furiously angry is screaming, “That dude stole my drugs……”.
I guess the cops heard that, went into her house, searched it, (she had a warrant anyways, like a bad bench warrant for a third DUI she failed to appear for), found the drugs, arrested her and wow. Just made my stupid drunken idiotic move even that much worse. So yeah bottom line, my friends I lived with who hadn’t even really known me that long to begin with and were totally long time friends with Monica were totally pissed and I had no choice but to run from the scene basically. Luckily I found that place on Pensacola Circle in HB. Otherwise I would have been living on the streets for sure. I’m thinking that must have been maybe January of 1996. Backtrack a little bit more and I was living at 116 37th Street right down in the war zone or fun zone or whatever its called down in Newport. I lived there about 8 months. Insanity for sure. Not even going to tell any stories about that right now or else this won’t even be a story about Trevor you know what I mean. I’m reaching as it is.
So that puts me at when? Like May of 1995 or so when I moved to 37th Street. I moved to 37th from Fern Street. Same street I was living on when I did my big weed heist which got Monica put in jail for like 200 days (MY GOD I felt like such a fucking dick about that). This was Fern Street Part I though when I lived at 202A Fern Street, downstairs from my life long friend Thadius Daniels. I lived with this chick named Carrie Babbitt (who coincidentally hates my guts to this very day for an incident that I wasn’t even involved with but according to her I had the power to stop from happening and failed to do so etc….long story). I probably moved in with Carrie somewhere around August of 1994. Total guess there but I know I was on unemployment after I had already been living there for a little bit and I ended up going to Las Vegas to work doing tile with my friend Conley Massey and this dude named Dirk (Morganstern?). For sure I was living in Vegas with Conley and still had my room with Carrie during the winter of that year because I remember it being cold as shit over there.
So August of 1994 is the approximate time I moved to Fern Street. We’re going to say anyways. Now I had been coming down to Fern Street for maybe 3 months prior to that and hanging out with Thad and getting wasted etc. So that takes us to about May of 1994.
And thats when I ‘m going to say I met Trevor McGrew. Trevor had a little house right next door to Thad, on the same side of the street and everything. So I guess his address was 204A Fern Street, Newport Beach, California. He was five years younger then me. I just verified that by looking at one of the newspaper articles about his death so that’s a pretty accurate number. He was 36 in 2009 when he died. So minus fifteen years off of that and that puts him at 21 when I met him. For sure he could go to all of the bars because we went to millions of them so 21 is a pretty good number.
Is anyone still actually reading this. I just realized how schizo this story must sound but whatever. I had to go through that little process just to get some kind of a somewhat reasonable estimate of when I met the dude. Damn that was complicated though. Sorry.
Back to Trevor. This is probably one of those stories that if certain people do read it they will totally hate the fact that I’m even writing about him. This is due to the circumstances in which he died. And while I’m definitely sympathetic and understanding of everyone’s point of view about Trevor, how he died has nothing at all to do with my relationship with him or any times I ever shared with him. He totally had an impact on my life in a good way and I loved him for sure so lets just say I’m telling you my own life story and I can’t omit the chapter having to do with Trevor so there it is there.
Trevor was a blond surfer dude with a little gap in between his two front teeth if I remember correctly. He was a good looking guy and had a hot girlfriend named Suzanne Blackburn. They lived together and I can’t remember if they had a roommate or not but I’m pretty sure that they did and it might have been Joe Todora. Don’t hold me to that part though. Anyways Trevor loved to surf and skate and drink and fuck around. He was a wild and crazy dude and totally funny and had millions of friends around Newport and all over. Like a totally popular dude. I had been coming down from Corona to party with Thad and all of our friends most weekends and Trevor was around and I would hang out with him too. I thought he was so fucking cool because…..he was man. Even though I was like this kooky idiot from the Inland Empire and didn’t even live in Newport, let alone Newport Shores, which was such a “locals only” environment, Trevor was still cool as hell. We would get wasted as shit and Trevor would get wild. I mean he was crazy wild. In a good way but still a crazy and kind of scary way. He wasn’t scary in the sense that he was going to get all violent with any of us but he would do crazy shit when he was drunk and he wasn’t scared of jack shit, I mean nothing.
After a just a short time of me going down there to party with Thad, I started hanging out with everybody on Fern Street, not just Thad and our crew from Corona like Gordy, Rick Hagaman, Conley Massey, Mark Hudson, Rob Gubion, Steve Jacobson, Jason Clark, Jason Rhodes, Matt Hopkins, and Frank Colapinto.
These dudes from Newport were nuts and I liked them and definitely wanted to be part of their little crowd. Everybody that lived on Fern Street partied together and went to the bars together and represented the Shores and Fern Street as a little mini kinda gang. Thad was my intro to them all in general but Trevor was the one who made me so easily accepted by everyone who lived down there. Like I said, Trevor didn’t care where I was from. Me and him got along super super super good and hung out all the fucking time. He was definitely like a made man in Newport, liked and accepted by everyone, questioned or harassed by no one. No one fucked with Trevor period. He just had it like that. Chicks loved him, dudes loved him, he had all kinds of fans. I was always with him so nobody fucked with me either which was cool because I didn’t know nobody, I didn’t grow up there and I just wanted to fit in and have a good time.
Trevor made that happen for me and I loved him for it. Here’s a quick run down of who else lived on Fern Street at that time okay. So there was Dave and Isaac and Joe Todora and Joe Huff and Joe Huff’s girlfriend who was so fucking hot my God I would have given anything to be naked with her. There was Jason Haught, and he was another one that had all the charisma and good looks and surfing ability and chicks and friends and I hung out with him alot too. Jason is a way cool dude. He was with this French Canadian chick named Marie Claude. She was hot as fuck too with no makeup either and she barely understood English, she was just visiting Newport and fell totally in love with Jason. He had it like that. All of the chicks fucking LOVED that guy. He worked at Mutt Lynch’s as a bar back and girls were constantly throwing themselves at him. He got laid like EVERY night. I remember this one chick wrote on the back of her business card “Here’s my number, I want your lumber” and gave it to him. I thought that was so fucking cool man.
Jason lived upstairs from Gerald and Scotty with this dude named EP (Eric Peterson). EP didn’t think I was cool I don’t think. He never really liked me. Guessing he thought I was a try hard, Inland Empire kook who didn’t know how to surf and wasn’t local. He was totally right. I still liked him though. Which is neither here nor there actually.
Trevor had tons of friends like I said and not just on Fern Street. All over. It was rad going to parties and bars with Trevor because you felt totally safe. Trevor liked to get drunk and fight. When he got in fights he always won. He kicked fucking ass man. I guarantee that whoever was stupid enough to get it going with Trevor, especially when he was buzzed, regretted it immediately. He was good for a black eye, busted ass lip, broken nose, lumped up head….shit like that. I never saw him back down, or lose a fight. He never started them on purpose though. He also never held a grudge after. You could fight Trevor, get your ass kicked big time, stand around and bleed and feel sorry for yourself for awhile, but when you were ready to talk about it later that same day or whenever, he never held that shit against you. Trevor would be gracious in victory and humble about it hahaha but really it was better to not fuck with him.
Some of Trevor’s friends that I can remember are dudes like Johnny (Stogie), Litzy (Eric Litzenberg), Jeff Lonzway and his chick Gina and his brother Snowy, and this dude Smitty. They all had known each other forever and it was cool just hanging out with all of them and listening to all the shit they got up to and stories they told. We would go down to bars like Mutt Lynch’s, Stag Bar, and especially Cassidy’s. I always felt so cool if I was with the dudes from Fern Street, especially Trevor or Jason. Couldn’t even begin to tell you how many times I got laid just by hanging with them, especially Jason, because Trevor had a live in girlfriend like I said.
This hasn’t been like some kind of glowing testimonial about what a great guy Trevor was and really that’s my fault because he was a great guy, at least to me. He was a good friend and would totally be cool with anyone that wasn’t a pussy and that would be cool with him. He always made sure that I was included in on everything and he made me way tougher of a dude because he wasn’t into being a coward in any way. I remember not long after that night where I dicked out hard and got that Monica girl arrested and basically acted like a piece of drunk shit, Trevor was still my friend and didn’t join in the bandwagon of people calling me a kook and calling for my head. Trust me I deserved that and in my own mind I totally had an ass beating coming if not worse. It never happened but still I deserved it. Even though I deserved to be shunned and scorned, still though, a lot of the people pointing fingers at me were just jumping on the bandwagon. It was such an easy call you know what I mean. I wouldn’t have blamed Trevor if he joined in as well. He had known that girl for years and years and was totally tight with her.
God bless him though, he stuck by me as my friend. Trevor lived to buck trends and do the opposite of what was expected of him. He was rooting for the underdog always and I was grateful that he didn’t turn his back on me then. Like I said, I didn’t deserve that sorta mercy, but I got it from Trevor. And I can never forget that. The only thing about it was that he didn’t want to see me pussing out about it and hiding my face. We went to El Ranchito like two days after it happened and I’m not gonna lie I was scared. I thought for sure I was going to get jumped by Monica’s friends. I didn’t want to go in the place, I was like whimpering to Trevor before we went in, “what if her friends are there, what if they wanna kill me, what am I gonna do????”
He pushed me against the stucco wall. Hard. Right outside the door of El Ranchito. “Don’t be a fucking pussy. Get in there and don’t worry about it”. That kind of set me straight in my head and I went in there like I belonged. Acted like I owned the place like usual. Nobody had the balls to come up and say a word and the whole story died down pretty fast.
Trevor loved salt water fish tanks. So did I. We both were always buying shit for our tanks and competing on who had the raddest coral and coolest fish. While I knew Trevor in those Newport days, he was always a hard working guy, no matter how fucked up he got the night before he still always went to work every day. His place was always clean and he had a pretty good relationship with Suzie. He definitely loved her I know that. And she loved him too.
Okay so that’s pretty much where my story with Trevor ends. I loved the guy but I ended up moving out of that area and didn’t really keep in touch with anybody. I still did talk to Trevor every now and then. I heard stories that he was getting into all sorts of trouble like doing speed and just out of control drinking and that sorta shit. He got married to Suzie and they had a daughter and I heard that he like left her for awhile and stuff. This is just through the grapevine talk. I personally didn’t see Trevor again after about 1996. The last I heard, right after I got home from living in New Zealand in May of 2008, was that Trevor was living in Lake Havasu with Suzie and things were good. Jason Haught is the one who told me that. We found each other on myspace.com and were chatting back and forth for a few months.
Fast forward to September of 2010. I’m going out with this girl from Newport, April Shand. She hooks me up with this dude (no names mentioned) who sells meth and I wanted some. I go over to the dude’s house and his roommate is a friend from back in the Newport days with Trevor. It’s Eric Litzenberg. I hadn’t seen him in years so we are chatting away for a while and I ask him about Trevor, hoping he had his number and stuff so I could get in touch. And then he dropped the bomb on me. Litzy’s like, “haven’t you heard?”.
Uhhhh no. Heard what, I say. And he tells me this crazy fucking story. He tells me that Trevor was living in Havasu and was having marital problems with Suzie to the point where she basically left him and is seeing some other dude. Trevor I guess was pretty out of control, either on drugs or alcohol, or both. I’m not clear on that part. Anyway, I guess one day in January of 2009, Trevor knows Suzie is seeing some dude and he follows her secretly to the guys house. I have no idea what was going on in his marriage or in his mind, I only know the facts as they were told to me by Eric Litzenberg and then what I read on the internet. So, he follows her, waits a little bit I guess and then goes and knocks on the dude’s door. This is in Lake Havasu somewhere. I know that Trevor did have some friend of his with him and they were in Trevor’s truck. Obviously the friend didn’t know what was going to happen. Trevor had a gun with him. Trevor knocked on the dude’s door. I heard that Suzie and the dude were both at the door. I also heard that Trevor put the gun in Suzie’s face. I don’t know if that’s a fact or not, it’s just what I heard.
What is a fact though, is that Trevor shot the dude, 36 year old Matt Gandy. Killed him in fact. Right on his doorstep at about 5:30 p.m. on January 15th, 2009. Then Trevor jumped in his truck and took off. His friend that was with him sustained minor injuries when he jumped out of the truck after seeing what Trevor did. Obviously like I said that was unexpected and the dude didn’t want to be in the truck with Trev after that. Totally understandable. Trevor’s friend was a guy named Brian Corners. I am not familiar with Brian or the guy that Trevor killed, Matt. I’m pretty sure Matt used to live in Newport and knew Trevor and Suzie from California but again I’m speculating. Anyhow, Trevor left the scene and went to his house with the .45 semi automatic pistol and killed himself. I’m not sure when he did that but I do know the SWAT team entered his house a little after 11 pm after several unsuccessful attempts to communicate via the phone and whatever other means they normally use to negotiate with people. When they entered his house, he was dead.
I have to be honest when Litzy told me that story I was floored. I mean, in shock, mouth open, disbelief. Crazy fucking story. Tragic, sad, horrible story. Not a good way to go out. Not a good thing to do killing someone. Not a good way to deal with his situation with his wife. Just bad news all around. I’ve read lots of stuff about Matt Gandy and from all accounts he was a great guy who didn’t deserve to die that way. I believe what I’ve read. I’m sure he was a good guy. I’m really sorry that he died, sorry for his family, just sorry period. I’ve also read that Trev was a monster and all this other shit. That I don’t believe. I know he did a horrible thing. A horrible thing. I’m not taking anything away from that fact. That was wrong and bad.
I’m sorry though, I knew Trevor really well and he wasn’t a monster. Regardless of how his life ended, he wasn’t a monster. He was a good guy with a big heart and he wasn’t evil. I swear he wasn’t. I don’t know what was going through his mind that day but the fact that he committed murder notwithstanding, Trevor, in his heart was a good person.
I’m sure that the family and friends of Mr. Gandy don’t agree and who can blame them. Their son, brother, friend, uncle, nephew was taken from them at such a young age and for no good reason. He was only 36. That totally sucks. My condolences to his loved ones.
But my condolences to those who loved Trevor as well. He was also 36 and died tragically, albeit through circumstances he brought upon himself. It’s still tragic either way and I’m still sad and blown away whenever I think about Trevor. I’ll always love Trev and consider him one of my best friends of my life. I’m sorry I couldn’t have been in more contact with him or helped him in some way. It really sucks.
Anyway that’s the story of Trevor McGrew. A friend of mine that died.