• What Happened To Claudio?

Don't Worry Kyoko - The Lennons Charged with Kidnapping

On the 18th May 1971, aged 23 Curt Claudio departed from California’s LAX airport in the hope of meeting his heroes, The Beatles.


It had been a stressful few weeks for John & Yoko so far. The month before they had been accused of kidnapping Yoko’s daughter from her father and questioned in Majorca. It’s a bizarre and often untold story but it’s worth mentioning.


above: The Lennons arrive in Majorca, April 1971


Yoko and Tony Cox were married in 1962 and had daughter Kyoko in 1963. In 1966 Yoko left Tony for John and lost custody of their daughter to her husband. By April 1971 Yoko was growing more and more concerned that she was still being denied access to Kyoko by her estranged ex-husband and decided to track her down.


They found Kyoko, her dad and his new wife Melinda living on the island of Majorca, coincidentally taking a meditation course with John’s old nemesis Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. They arrived at the children’s meditation camp where Yoko and John greeted Kyoko and took her back to their hotel.


Yoko, Kyoko (ventre) and Tony Cox


Cox called the police and alleged they had kidnapped his daughter. The Lennons took Kyoko down to the station while they were questioned. Access was once again denied to Yoko and couple were escorted off the island.


John and Yoko leave the police station in Palma, Majorca


At the beginning of May Majorcan police had dropped all charges against them. They had secured a court order in Majorca granting them and Tony and Melinda Cox joint custody of Kyoko.


Cox would break this agreement and go into hiding. He and Melinda moved from Majorca to Housten, Texas and joined Church of the Living Word, also known as the Walk. For the next five years lived with members of the sect in rural Iowa and California. The Walk’s beliefs have been described by a cult expert as a mixture of Pentecostalism, occult practices and Eastern mysticism, and Cox became a prominent figure, a “prophet and set-aside elder.”


Yoko wouldn’t see her only daughter for another 27 years.


This is an extract from Finding Claudio by Gavin Munro


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