KISS's True Crime Report: The Secret History

Former KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent was arrested last week for allegedly assaulting his wife and keeping the carcasses of dead dogs in his Tennessee home.

The arrest has astonished the public, but to insiders, Vincent (birth name Vincent Cusano) and his former colleagues in KISS have long been known as both the greatest and most felonious show on Earth. We hit the record books and can reveal today the secret criminal histories of KISS.


4. Gene Simmons

Criminal history: Petty larceny, 71 counts, 1994 to 2009

Simmons is known for his promiscuity, so we assumed that his record would be littered with fines for groping stewardesses. His arrests actually stem from the more vanilla crime of deliberately unpaid restaurant bills.

For nearly 20 years, Simmons has been witnessed darting from cluttered tables at Denny's, Sizzler, and Hometown Buffet restaurants, leaving behind autographed napkins in lieu of payment along with the following note to servers:

“This napkin with my autograph is worth ten times the cost of my meal. Put it on ebay and you'll see! Your pal, Gene Simmons.”

Although star struck waiters have tried to sell Simmons' autographed (and gravy-smeared) napkins online, many report that the autographs draw bids of no more than $8 each, despite Simmons agreeing to telephone prospective buyers and vouch for their authenticity.

Simmons has been less lucky with waiters who are not KISS fans, as they tend to call police when the “God of Thunder” tries to speed away in one of his Lincoln Continentals or, in one appalling 2003 incident, on his son Nick's skateboard.

Officers at one local police department told us off the record that they no longer pursue Simmons-related complaints, explaining that while Gene always promptly surrenders without a struggle, he “spends the entire ride to the police station lecturing us on why our pensions suck and how he could quadruple our benefits if we got the union to invest in the world's greatest entertainment company – KISS.”

3. Paul Stanley

Criminal history
: Illegal entry into the United States, 14 counts, 1999

A dozen years ago, Paul Stanley fulfilled his lifelong dream of performing in a musical when he joined the cast of The Phantom of the Opera. Although the august stages of Broadway declined Stanley, the more forgiving theater scene of Toronto welcomed him for a pair of month-long residencies in 1999.

Stanley had no problem gaining a work visa and entering Canada for his Phantom shows. The problem occurred when Stanley tried to return to his New Jersey home. Although a US citizen, Stanley was turned away by Customs at the Buffalo, NY airport, who allegedly urged him to “Stay in Canada, because it's a way better country.”

Stanley was eventually denied entry to the US eleven more times over the next two weeks. According to records we obtained, officials declined Stanley's reentry for reasons including, “He's not wearing his Star Baby makeup in his passport photo,” “This is what he gets for firing Ace Frehley,” “His wigs violate the Geneva Convention,” and “America just instituted a 30-year waiting list for guys named Paul.”

Customs went on to jail Stanley after spotting him trying to cross the Peace Bridge in a minivan while disguised as an elderly woman. After spending three weeks in custody and hiring a high-priced immigration attorney, all charges were dropped and Stanley was finally able to go home.

When reached by phone this week, a Customs official said, “It is the official policy of US Customs that Judas Priest is way better than the gimmicky clowns in KISS. Rob Halford can bring it and Paul just kind of stands there and howls. So we figured, let the Canucks keep him. Maybe he can join Rush.”

2. Peter Criss

Criminal history: Indecent Exposure, one count, 1986

Although the records have long been expunged, we spoke to a sheriff's department official who confirmed longstanding rumors that an inebriated Criss “became aroused while touring the Meerkat House of the San Diego Zoo and expressed his arousal in a gross physical manner.”

Because Criss completed 400 hours of community service and avoided reoffending for 5 years, no other details are available, but we're sure you can piece together what happened.

1. Ace Frehley

Criminal history
: DUI, 1983

After learning that the water slides at Rye Playland in upstate New York were closing early for repairs one May afternoon in 1983, an enraged Ace Frehley refused to leave the facility until he spoke to a manager and received a “full refund plus voucher for one steak burger.”

Despite assurances that the slides would reopen the next day, Frehley, then 32, put 14 year-old lifeguard Dominic Calabrese in a Full Nelson hold and threw 16 year-old concession employee Danny Elwes headfirst into the wave pool.

Frehley fled the scene in his Delorean, leading police on a high-speed chase through White Plains, NY. Officers caught up with Ace after he ran several other motorists off the road and charged him with driving under the influence.

When reached for comment, a Frehley rep confirmed the high-speed Delorean chase but denied the Playland incident, saying “Paul is the one who likes water slides and Ace is into bumper cars.”

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