Friday, November 06, 2015

David Vitter - the Helis connection

Yesterday, WWL-TV's David Hammer ran this story on Senator David Vitter's "strong-armed" attempts to get drilling, actually fracking, permits approved in St. Tammany Parish for the company Helis Oil and Gas:

Vitter's position on Northshore fracking project angers group

The story is of particular interest to me because it reveals a relationship between Helis and Vitter.

I posted a story on October 22 that detailed an alleged sexual liaison David Vitter had with two escorts in one night, at a party on St. Charles Ave back in 1996. Jeanette Maier, the Canal Street Madame, explained how she had sent three escorts to this party and upon return two of them told her they had sex, for money, with Vitter at the party.  Vitter would have been a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives at the time.

Jeanette declined to identify one of the women, but did identify the second...her name was Michelle Mosgrove.


Michelle Mosgrove was found dead of an alleged self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on August 7, 1997, at the age of 28.  The purported suicide took place on a boat docked in Point Cadet Marina, Biloxi Mississippi, and owned by a man named William Andre Droulia , or "Big D...Big Daddy" to his friends.

A public records request for the police report only turned up the first page of a five page report, with the name of the boat owner redacted.  I did, however, confirm through a second party, a former captain of the boat, that the "Aera" was owned by Droulia at the time of the suicide.

Why does this matter?  It just so happens that William Andre Droulia was an heir to the Helis Oil and Gas empire.

The information from people I've spoken to who knew "Big D" described him as a troubled man with a penchant for excessive drug use.  He frequented the company of escorts both on his boat and in the French Quarter through the 90's. Big D lived on the 800 block of Burgundy and oversaw a limited number of rental properties in the Quarter owned by his family's enterprise.

Droulia had at least one run in with the law on December 5, 1995 when he was charged with possession of cocaine after being stopped on Burgundy and St. Ann Streets for public drunkenness:

State V. Droulia 

Wendy Ellis knew both Droulia and Michelle Mosgrove.  She told me that Droulia was Michelle's "sugar daddy" and that the two of them spent a lot of time together in the days leading up to her death.

Of all the information I've uncovered on this story, Mosgrove's death is the most disturbing.

Everyone I've spoken to, from Wendy Ellis to numerous unnamed sources who knew Mosgrove, have stated they do not believe Michelle committed suicide that night on the Aera. They all believe something more nefarious took place and the crime scene was made to look like a suicide.  When I asked what the motive for the murder would have been, three of the sources stated the same thing, "She was running her mouth".

Let me be clear, I'm not suggesting David Vitter was involved in the "suicide" of Michelle Mosgrove. But, I have reason to believe Senator Vitter had a relationship with William Droulia in the 90's and may have been on the Aera, himself.

Vitter will not allow me to interview him but if he would speak with a mainstream reporter or even better, a federal law enforcement officer, I would like him to answer the following questions:

1.  What, if any, was the nature of your relationship with William Andre Droulia in the 1990's and/or the estate of Helis Oil and Gas?

2.  Did you ever come into contact with Michelle Mosgrove and did you have sex with her?  Did you pay to have sex with her or did someone else pay for you to have sex with her specifically at a party on St. Charles Avenue circa 1996?

3.  Were you ever on the boat, the "Aera"?

4.  Were you ever on the boat, the "Aera", with Wendy Ellis (Cortez)?  Was there a picture taken of you on the Aera with Wendy Ellis (Cortez)?

5.  Do you have any firsthand information about the suicide/death of Michelle Mosgrove on Dec. 7, 1997?

My hope, aside from any election issues, is that a new investigation, preferably federal, will be launched into the death of Michelle Mosgrove.




lil'oya said...

suggest you run the name "helis" and related individuals in the property records databases in orleans, jefferson, lafourche, & st. tammany parishes.

Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

Why don't you ask Big "D"?

Jason Brad Berry said...

Try hitting the link. But I have been asking a lot of living people that were associated with the story.

Anonymous said...

How about this - William Droulia Jr. was married to Becky Ann Barber. Her parents were Peggy Sharpe and Winston C Barber, Mr. Barber owned a company called Progress Petroleum Company.

Anonymous said...

Correction, his name is BABER, not Barber.

Anonymous said...

And this - William Helis Jr., uncle of William Droulia, was the owner of Canal Oil Corp beginning in 1930s and within a few years in trouble with the law:

in State V Maestri 1941

Plaintiffs allege, in substance, that the defendant, Robert S. Maestri, was Commissioner of Conservation for the State of Louisiana, and as such a salaried officer from December 1, 1929, to August 17, 1936, inclusive; that the Canal Oil Company, *5454 Inc., was created as a Louisiana corporation on December 21, 1934, the object of the corporation being to produce, refine, and market oil, gas, and other minerals; to purchase or lease lands and other property, and to do all things permitted to be done generally by corporations under the provisions of Act 250 of 1928; that on December 26, 1934, the defendant Maestri advanced to William Helis the sum of $225,000, and in May, 1935, the sum of $60,000 for the purpose of acquiring certain oil and mineral properties situated within this State.

Plaintiffs allege, on information and belief, that the money so advanced was to be used, and was used, in exploiting the natural resources of the State, particularly oil or gas, or other liquid or gaseous hydrocarbon minerals by the Canal Oil Company in the New Iberia and Little Bayou fields in Iberia Parish and the Leeville field in Lafourche Parish; that the money advanced by the defendant Maestri was to be repaid and was actually repaid out of the profits made by the Canal Oil Company.

Canal Oil Corp became Helis Petroleum in the 1950s.

Anonymous said...

What does Big D's last wife have to say? She looks pretty interesting in my research.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Would love to know, myself.

Anonymous said...

You don't know anything about her or you know and she won't talk to you? I'll share what I found via email if you are interested.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Yes, please share.

Anonymous said...

Check out the linkages between the late William G. Helis Sr. and his partners and associates in such businesses as Alliance Distributors (holders of the exclusive distribution rights in the US for both King's Ransom and House of Lords whisky brands) and Tanforan Racetrack in California.

Bill Helis Sr. was also a baseball fan apparently.

Anonymous said...

william helis + frank costello


Helis trust has so much covered, hidden, protected by privacy, etc., etc. You may not have much luck with this suggestion, but I do suggest Jason, that you should meet David Kushner - Lawyer for the Trust for a cocktail. And, talk to him 'off the record'.