People & Places

Best Local Girl Gone Bad 

Deanna Vinson

A multimillion-dollar mortgage business, a lover in the hoosegow, a newfound passion for firearms and one messy divorce: Deanna Vinson's life lately reads like an Elmore Leonard novel. As founding partners of American Equity Mortgage, Deanna and her then-husband, Ray, amassed a fortune complete with luxury homes and his-and-hers private jets. But there was trouble in paradise. After suing for divorce, Deanna hired local private dick Joe Adams, paying him $21,000 a week as a bodyguard; it wasn't long before Adams was doing a whole lot more to Deanna's body than simply guarding it. In the end a St. Louis County judge awarded Ray 37.5 percent of the marital estate, plus the family spaniel, Bogey. Deanna got control of the mortgage company and 62.5 percent of the couple's assets. Hey, just because you've gone bad doesn't mean you end up doing bad.

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