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Obituary: John ‘Jack’ Brosky

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Sheriff’s deputies discovered long-time Pine Cove resident John (Jack) Brosky’s body last Saturday, after neighbors noticed a strange odor coming from the house. Neighbor Annamarie Padula said deputies believed Brosky probably died the week before, owing to the condition of the body at the time of discovery.

Investigating Deputy Alfonso Tovar said there was no indication of foul play. The Riverside County Coroner’s office has not released a cause of death.

Brosky, approximately 58, lived alone and was known, according to Padula, as “a bit eccentric … he was a nice, decent person who always treated Louie [Padula’s husband] and I respectfully,” said Padula. “We used to bring him dinners because there were times when he just wasn’t thinking clearly. … He may have been bipolar, but when he was on his meds, he was fine,” Padula remembered.

The Padulas have had a cabin in Pine Cove since 1985 and Brosky was a Pine Cove fixture when they arrived. “Everyone knew Jack,” said Padula.

Brosky experienced a bit of both fame and notoriety beginning in 1995. Notoriety came in 1995 when in the early morning hours of April 20, he fired about 20 rounds from a large-caliber weapon into Idyllwild’s Bank of America front window and automatic teller machine (ATM). The bank (now Guaranty Bank) was unoccupied at the time.

The vandalism was not discovered until the next morning when bank employees came to work. There were no signs of forced entry, the bank alarm was not activated, and nothing was taken from the bank.

Brosky was subsequently arrested on July 6 and charged with felony counts of vandalism with enhanced circumstances of using a firearm in the commission of vandalism. Upon his arrest, according to Padula, Brosky, who she said “thought in a survivalist mode,” showed arresting officers a variety of locations throughout the Hill where he had stashed a large cache of weapons.

He served more than a year in county jail awaiting a jury trial, a scenario of delay occasioned by sick judges, absent defense attorneys, and many requests by the defense for continuance. The deputy public defender unsuccessfully attempted to use Brosky’s mental capacity as a basis for defense. After serving 573 days, Brosky was released.

Brosky’s share of fame came in 2002 when a screenplay he wrote, “Bathsheba,” won a number of awards including a first place in the Hollywood Screenplay Awards, a competition designed “to bridge the gap between Hollywood and emerging screenwriters from the global creative community.”

Based on an actual historical incident, “Bathsheba” told the story of Bathsheba Ruggles Spooner, the daughter of Brigadier Gen. Timothy Ruggles, soon to become one of the most detested loyalists in revolutionary New England. Her father left her behind in an unhappy marriage when he was forced to flee with the British Army that evacuated Boston in 1776. Bathsheba, who had come to detest her husband and had an alliance with a 16-year-old Continental Army soldier, first asked her young paramour to dispatch her husband. When he botched the mission, she persuaded two household servants and two escaped British prisoners of war to finish the job.

The quartet successfully relieved Bathsheba of her husband, whom she called “Old Bogus,” but all conspirators, including Bathsheba were convicted on capital charges and hanged in 1778, despite the new widow’s pleas that her execution be stayed pending the delivery of her unborn child, conceived with her 16-year-old lover.

Bathsheba’s unhappy life, and death as the first female executed within the new United States, served Jack Brosky well as the basis for his successful screenplay.

Padula said Brosky will be missed.

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Category: Obituaries

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