Frampton would return home from campus — he’d been a professor in the physics and astronomy department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for 30 years — and his computer would buzz. ” They’d chat on Yahoo Messenger for a while, and then he’d go into the other room to take care of something. She was tired, she said, of being a “glamour model,” of posing in her bikini on the beach while men ogled her. When she finally agreed to meet him in person, she asked him to come to La Paz, Bolivia, where she was doing a photo shoot. 7, 2012, Frampton set out for Bolivia via Toronto and Santiago, Chile. When Frampton explained what he was up to, Dixon became alarmed.
At 68, he dreamed of finding a wife to bear him children — and what a wife. His warnings to Frampton were unequivocal, Dixon told me not long ago, still clearly upset: “I said: ‘Well, inside that suitcase sewn into the lining will be cocaine.
Frampton was married for the first time at age 50, to Anne-Marie Frampton, then 52, a Frenchwoman living in the United States, who calls herself a physics groupie: “I couldn’t completely follow everything Paul said, because of the mathematics, of course, but either I could understand the words, or I could just listen to the music, the music of physics.” The pair divorced in 2008 but are still on good terms.
In November 2011, Paul Frampton, a theoretical particle physicist, met Denise Milani, a Czech bikini model, on the online dating site Mate1 He hoped to meet Milani the next morning, but by then she had been called away to another photo shoot in Brussels.
She was gorgeous — dark-haired and dark-eyed, with a supposedly natural DDD breast size. But he remembered how comforting it felt to be chatting with her, like having a companion in the next room. She promised to send him a ticket to join her there, so Frampton, who had checked into the Eva Palace Hotel, worked on a physics paper while he waited for it to arrive. A ticket to Buenos Aires eventually came, with the promise that another ticket to Brussels was on the way.
In some photos, she looked tauntingly steamy; in others, she offered a warm smile. ” Frampton had been very lonely since his divorce three years earlier; now it seemed those days were over. All Milani asked was that Frampton do her a favor: bring her a bag that she had left in La Paz.
Soon, Frampton and Milani were chatting online nearly every day. Milani told him she was longing to change her life. “Do you think you could ever be proud of someone like me? Frampton tried to get Milani to talk on the phone, but she always demurred. While in Bolivia, Frampton corresponded with an old friend, John Dixon, a physicist and lawyer who lives in Ontario.
But there were good things about not being in a private cell, too.
A number of the prisoners on the pavilion had their own TVs.
On Sunday mornings, Frampton would turn on the classical-music station, Arpeggio, so he could listen for a few hours before others got up and switched the channel back to music videos.
Whenever his case was reported on local news channels, pictures of Denise Milani would flash across the TV screen, eliciting catcalls and applause from the other prisoners. From the moment of his arrest he had maintained that he was the victim of a scam — even if it didn’t occur to him right away that the Milani with whom he was corresponding was not the real Milani — and he projected a sense that all that had happened to him was a mistake that would soon be resolved.
Frampton flew from La Paz to Buenos Aires, crossing the border without incident.