So much attention was placed on the criminal defendant in the needless, awful death of John Secord II, The Insider fears the victim got lost in the hype.
John Orlando was recently put behind bars for nine to 15 years for running over Secord on Jefferson Avenue in Harrison Township in the early morning hours of last May 9 and leaving him to die in a ditch filled with cold water.
Orlando was drunk. Secord had been drinking, too. He attended a wedding that night at the nearby Gino’s Surf and afterward was shooting pool there. He started calling friends and a cab company for a ride home. Impatient, he decided to start walking along Jefferson.
Secord’s family members weren’t surprised with Secord’s social activities that night. They described Secord as fun-loving, full of life and devoted his 18-year-old daughter, Felicia, whom he raised.
Secord’s humorous nickname was “Johnny Vegas,” not because he was a big-time gambler but because he wasn’t. Tongue in cheek. He was the type of gambler who brought 20 bucks to a casino and quit after losing it. Upon returning from his sole trip to Las Vegas, he jokingly referred to himself as Johnny Vegas. The name stuck. The Chippewa Valley High School graduate even had the name tattooed on his stomach. The real Johnny Vegas is a boisterous English comedian and actor, as well as a delicious cocktail.
“He had a Johnny Vegas attitude, larger than life,” said his brother-in-law.
“He was frugal, but he liked to play the big roller,” said his sister, Patty Krause, 43. “He loved life. He gave great hugs.”
“He was always texting, always joking,” said his mom, Patti Ries of Algonac.
He was a machinist by trade but had a couple of beloved hobbies – taking care of his two pet pugs (one had recently died) and riding his Harley Davidson, although Krause and her husband giggled about him “dropping it” a few times while at a standstill after he first bought it.
He also picked up the nickname “Graham Cracker,” having something to do with his novice motorcycle skills and his passion for singer Uncle Kracker, aka Matt Shafer of Harrison Township.
Secord was engaged to Toni Sikorski, who attended the sentencing, as did his father, John Secord, 63, of Eastpointe, and Jerry Ries, 64.
Whether you knew him as John, Johnny or Graham, your heart was broken last May 9.