The guy who runs the Dana Plato Forever site did this interview with me… for some reason he pulled it from his site. I think Dana’s family asked him to take it down.
Q & A With Shane Bugbee
Recently Shane Bugbee, the creator of the Dana Plato’s Last Breath Set, answered some questions from Jonathan Brown of DanaPlatoForever.com in a Exclusive Q & A. In the interview, he tells what plans him and Dana had, what he first thought when Robert called and said Dana died, and much much more.
NOTE: While I know alot of people don’t agree with the views of Shane, I felt this would be an interesting read for people that may not have either read his book or people that just want to find out more things about Dana that they may not have known. Afterall, he was the closest person to Dana outside of Tyler before her death. If you have any comments for either Shane or I please don’t hestiate to post them below Q & A.
Jonathan Brown: When and how did you get into contact with Dana?
Shane Bugbee:The date’s aren’t that clear to me… It was like 120 days before she passed.
After reading a tabloid cover story on “DANA PLATO MISSING” I started to look for her… like everyday, I spent alot of time looking for her, and eventually found her through a guy who did computer repair near Moore, Ok. – He set me up with Dana after I offered $$$$ to both him & her.
I found her through this site :
They had a photo of her, sent in from the Computer repair guy…
Jonathan Brown: After getting into contact with her, was she immediately interested in teaming up with you? Describe her reaction.
Shane Bugbee: At first it was all business… as you can hear on the CD I put out “DANA PLATO’S LAST BREATH” She was professional and polite.
We quickly became Friends & spent hours each day talking about everything under the sun… this was my first indication that Dana wasn’t in the best of situations, as she really needed a friend… I mean, she didn’t have ANYONE who was just a friend to her.
Jonathan Brown: What kind of projects did you guys discuss doing together?
Shane Bugbee: hmmm… well, the first was her MCing this mega rock concert I was putting together… she was gonna come & sign autographs.
I spoke with her about everything from nudes to autograph signing.
Once I fully understood the direction she wanted to go in and that was making enough money so she could buy a house in Moore, OK. and “quit being Dana Plato & start being Tylers Mom” well… the projects started to move more towards books & acting on plays.
We wanted to do 2 books, one, a story of her ups & downs, the other a coffee table style picture book… past & present.
Jonathan Brown: The day before Dana died, she appeared on the Howard Stern show. Many people seem to think that the negative phone calls she received on air drove her to her grave. What do you think?
Shane Bugbee: ha…. This is the furthest thing from the truth… I don’t think this, I KNOW IT! you see I spoke with her before during & after.
The night before, she was a lil’ nervous & asked how she should deal with it… “it” being her past.
I told her the more she runs, the worse it’ll get. I told her to be honest, and get beyond it.
She did… and it was incredible, as I was on the phone with Dana discussing her Stern Show appearance, we had the “Chicago Tribune” calling wanting to do a story on Dana’s past… but not the tabloid past, her acting pact & her acting future… she had another call from a legit theater wanting her to join the cast of a play, a paying gig, a legit paying acting gig.
Dana was so happy, I mean she was so happy she was in tears… shit was looking up in her last hours… no joke, he life totally changed after Stern, but for the better.
She told me she felt a weight lift off her shoulders that day.
Jonathan Brown: She went on the show to deny rumors that she was still a drug addict. To your knowledge, during your relationship with Dana, do you think she was ever taking any illegal drugs?
Shane Bugbee:Doesn’t matter what I think, the autopsy spells it out.. NO. but, you can abuse legal drugs, so, what’s your point?
Jonathan Brown: In your last conversation with Dana, the night before she died, what kinds of things did the two of you talk about?
Shane Bugbee: Her future.
She cried to me, Robert didn’t care about the weight that had lifted from Dana’s shoulders… all he asked was, did Shane wire you the money… when she told him she lost it, he didn’t believe her.
She was going to leave Robert the day after mothers Day & move to Chicago… I had rented an appt. for her above mine… so, he life was looking way up.
Jonathan Brown: At anytime during your conversation with her, did you think there was a problem?
Shane Bugbee: yep, Robert.
Jonathan Brown: When you first received the call from Robert Menchaca that Dana was dead, what immediately went through your mind?
Shane Bugbee: It was some sort of scam so she could back out of the MCing gig & not move to Chicago… a gal in an abusive relationship being controlled by the man…
Jonathan Brown: Did you attend the funeral? If yes/no, why?
Shane Bugbee: No.
I was in the middle of putting on a show, with every dollar I had invested into it, so I didn’t even have the gas money… shit, this entire thing was way hard on me… I tried to not deal.
That, and I hate funerals, I spent my summers in a family funeral home, so I have my reasons for not liking funerals.
Jonathan Brown: After Dana’s death, you received quite a bit of attention since you had formed quite a good relationship with her. How did this affect you?
Shane Bugbee: I hated it.
I cut my long hair off to try & stop some of it… It was hard… fuck, I spoke with Dana every fucking day for like 60 days… she told me so much personal stuff… about her family, her life… we really opened up to each other.
Then, I get a phone call from her son on mothers day asking about his mom… fuck, that shit is crazy hard to deal with.
Jonathan Brown: Shortly after Dana died, you came out with a book and CD called “Dana Plato’s Last Breath.” How was this packaged received by the public?
Shane Bugbee: Some got it…. some didn’t.
Never cared how ANYONE took it… it was something I had to do, I was trying to work thru MY pain.
Funny thing is… nothing in my book/cd is fake.
Jonathan Brown: Did her family ever threaten to sue you to get this product off the market?
Shane Bugbee: Yep… if that’s what you want to call them…. they did as they did with Dana, the let it go.
Dana’s ONLY family was Tyler. Her Mom & Dad were dead… she had no one.
Unless you’re talking about an EX-mother in law, and EX-husband & a person who gave her away at birth.
Jonathan Brown: In your book, you state that you think Dana may have been murdered. What evidence/facts would make you come to that conclusion?
Shane Bugbee: yep. Well, the fact that she was happy thing were looking up. I come to that conclusion because I SPOKE WITH HER hours before she died.
Evidence??? I’m not a COP… I’m a individual that spoke directly to the source.
At this point anyone can see this just doesn’t add up.
Jonathan Brown: After writing the book “Dana Plato’s Last Breath” and listing Dana’s boyfriend Robert Menchaca, Suspect #1, did he ever confront you about your allegations?
Shane Bugbee: Nope.
Jonathan Brown: Why do you think that the police in Oklahoma took Menchaca’s word for what happened when it was evident that his reports changed from time to time?
Shane Bugbee: I have no idea.
I would guess money & power… that’s usually a motivating factor in these kind of things.
Jonathan Brown: Reports are that Mr. Menchaca supposedly took pictures and also filmed Dana while she was dying. When you heard this and his story, were you as perplexed as everyone else?
Shane Bugbee: I was never perplexed because I was directly involved…
As it was happening, I let the story play out… IF Robert had photo’s I wanted them…
I’ll tell you what I’m perplexed by, the Moore police having the photo’s Robert took of Dana as she lay there dying and still nothing.
Jonathan Brown: A little bit after Dana’s death, we supposedly heard that Dana’s family and manager (Johnny Whitaker) were working on opening a restaurant in Tulsa in Dana’s memory, as well as releasing a CD with outtakes from Dana’s life on it. Why has the progress on these things stopped?
Shane Bugbee: Because they NEVER cared.
Jonathan Brown: In closing, what is one thing that the general public would never know about Dana?
Shane Bugbee: She never gave up… She was in a constant state of trying to get over her issues & get on with life.