Dave the veteran explains why he thinks he killed Judy Garland after Jinkx Monsoon Snatch Game

Side by side images of Navy veteran Dave Lara from Drag Race season five and All Stars 7 star Jinkx Monsoon impersonating Judy Garland

Navy veteran Dave Lara has opened up after Jinkx Monsoon absolved him of any wrongdoing in Judy Garland’s death during her RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 7 Snatch Game.

Fans were left in tears of laughter after the second episode of All Stars 7, which saw contestants compete in back-to-back Snatch Games. But the true star of the show was Jinkx’s pitch-perfect impersonation of the late Wizard of Oz icon, often roping the mic and turning directly to the camera for a quick musical break. 

During one direct address to the camera, Jinkx-as-Judy talked about a veteran who appeared alongside Monsoon in an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race season five, who infamously claimed he had played a role in Garland’s death in 1969. Dave told RuPaul and Jinkx back in 2013 that he “might have killed Judy Garland” after he told her about a new sleeping pill before she died of an overdose.  

“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’s Judy told RuPaul. 

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

The reference left RuPaul and Michelle Visage in absolute hysterical tears with Drag Race fans agreeing on social media it might have been the “greatest Snatch Game moment of all time”. 

Dave told Entertainment Weekly that he was “seriously touched” that Jinkx would “do that shout-out” on the All Stars 7 stage. 

“It has gotten the 100 or so people who remember me to talk about me and, to this old man, that’s trending, girl! I loved it,” Dave gushed.  

“It was touching that she would do that, and I really loved the way the judges and everybody were cracking up about that, because I know they remember that I killed Judy Garland.”

The veteran confirmed that he hadn’t been formally investigated for Garland’s death and said the iconic Drag Race moment was the “first time I’d ever told anybody about that”. 

Dave explained that he “hung out for two nights” with Garland and was talking to her about his job as a “hospital corpsman” at the time. He said that he wished that he hadn’t given her a “bottle” with “seven or eight pills” when they met for dinner one time. 

“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, DC, and the newspaper I saw had a piece that said that by the bedside was found a military-grade prescription of Seconal,” Dave explained. 

He said that he doesn’t want to be “castigated or made out to be the villain” by people and that he had a conversation with Ru that “made me feel a little better” on the show. Dave admitted that “we were stupid, we were ignorant” about addiction in the past. 

He also believed that drag performers don’t actually “impersonate” stars but thought they instead “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,” Dave said. “They’re channelling 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.”

He continued: “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?”

New episodes of Drag Race All Stars 7 drop every Friday on Paramount Plus in the USA. Drag Race fans in the UK can catch the episodes afterwards when they’re uploaded onto WOW Presents Plus.