Watch: After Jinkx's Iconic 'Snatch Game,' Veteran Who Fears he Possibly 'Killed' Judy Garland Explains Himself

Tuesday May 24, 2022

Dave Lara, left, appears on "RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 5, right and Jinkx Monsoon, right, on "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars" Season 7.
Dave Lara, left, appears on "RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 5, right and Jinkx Monsoon, right, on "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars" Season 7.  

It was "Snatch Game" on the latest episode of "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars" Season 7 (an all-winners season now streaming on Paramount+) and Jinkx Monsoon turned it into an iconic moment with her impersonation of Judy Garland. She won the challenge and began trending online for her shoutout to Fortuna Monsoon — otherwise known as Navy veteran Dave Lara, who Jinkx made over for a "Drag Race" Season 5 challenge.

As Judy, Jinkx forgave Lara, who revealed back then that he feared he might have killed the gay icon.

During that makeover challenge nine years ago, Lara confessed that he might've played a part in her passing in 1969, alleging he supplied her with barbiturates.

"I'd like to take a moment. You see, there's a veteran named Dave who's been on your show, and said he was worried that he killed me," Jinkx (in full Judy Garland character) told RuPaul during the latest "Snatch Game."

"And I want to say, Dave, if you're watching, you're not responsible, darling," Jinkx's Judy said looking directly into the camera. "It's alright. You're forgiven."

Judy Garland
Judy Garland  

Entertainement Weekly reached out to Lara to explain just why he thinks he killed Garland.

He recalls how he has pretty much kept it to himself all these years.

"What a fool or a genius I am — that was the first time I'd ever told anybody about that. Why I would blurt that out on TV, I don't know. But I did. I told a couple friends and boyfriends, but I'd never really told anybody that story," Lara said.

In fact, I had to adjust, because the real truth, well... we hung out for two nights. The first night we got drunk together and I was talking to her, this was in 1968, and she said, 'Look, I'm moving to England, people are keeping drugs away from me,' and she knew I was a hospital corpsman because we were talking about my time in the war. She said, 'Can you get me some sleeping pills? I know I'm going to be struggling when I get there,' because she was talking about a comeback. So, I said sure, and she said, 'If you could get me some Seconal, that would be great.'"

"It's a long story," Lara continued. "So, I went to the naval hospital there in Boston and got some, I gave her a bottle [at dinner the next night], it was like seven or eight pills. Here's the scary part, and by the way [Dave's voice cracks] to this day, I wish I hadn't done that. Because when I gave that to her, it had the military label on it, no name, but, when she died — and I only saw this once — I was stationed in Washington, D.C., and the newspaper I saw had a piece that said that by the bedside was found a military-grade prescription of Seconal."

While Jinkx made light of the situation, for which Lara is grateful, the comment also touched a nerve. "I don't want to be judged by people. I don't want to be castigated or made out to be the villain. Ru and I had a conversation on the show where she said [Judy] did a lot to get to this place."

"Judy had a choice, and, like 'The Matrix,' you can take the blue pill and go to sleep and wake up in the morning and never remember any of this, or you can take the red pill and go down the rabbit hole and never come out. She made that choice. Whether I allowed or contributed to that, she was so clever, she would've found the pills anyway. That made me feel a little better, but people don't know about that time. We were stupid, we were ignorant. Giving someone with an addiction pills? I've never given anyone pills or drugs or anything since."

Lara also feels a spiritual connection to Judy through Jinkx. "It's weird, I don't think drag queens impersonate, I actually think they channel some of these people they're portraying or being. As gay people, that pain that we all have in us, we all have pain, I think that's what the drag queens are doing. They're channeling that pain and bringing it to us so that we can understand that life is that way, and sometimes you just have to go with it. I don't want to get all maudlin, and I do think it's funny now how I [revealed] it, so, let me lighten the mood: We're making jokes about Lincoln, so why can't we make a joke about Judy Garland?"

Check out the full interview with Entertainement Weekly for more.