Chubbie, according to her later interviews, felt an aversion to Haden when she first met him, suggesting that her response was visceral, a recognition that there was something about him that wasn’t sound. Forced into close contact with him, they bonded over a drink or three. When she attempted to get him working on her book, she found him lazy and incompetent, which infuriated her, yet days later she was engaged to him. In her later interviews, she seemed bewildered by the relationship, as if she couldn’t understand what had possessed her. No doubt loneliness, misery and drunkenness played a significant part. However, there was another side to this coin: Haden himself.
While Haden’s correspondence reveals that he was an eloquent writer, a vast gulf exists between writing a letter or article and crafting a book. Seemingly overwhelmed by the ghost-writing task, his solution was to escape the problem rather than knuckle down. He escaped by accompanying Bill whenever he left the house. He escaped into a haze of alcohol and drugs. He had another form of escape as well: sex.
Not only was Haden a serial womaniser, his recurring venereal disease suggests that he had such a strong sexual appetite that he either paid for sex or made the most of any opportunity. With his previous lover, Peggy Brown, out of the way, no money in his pocket and a sexual urge that need sating, the only woman available was Chubbie. Haden had stolen money from a friend. What was to stop him stealing a woman from a friend?
A good-looking charmer, Haden seemingly turned the full force of his charm towards the depressed Chubbie. He might genuinely have loved her but he also saw her as his ticket to fame and fortune. Then his problems began: the venereal disease relapse that forced him to abstain from sex and alcohol; the discovery the day before Bill’s return that he wouldn’t be divorced for nine months preventing him from speedily marrying Chubbie; and the ongoing financial difficulties including the repossession of his car.
Dr Dodge was supposed to testify for the defence at the trial but was unable to do so (he had heart problems while away from Miami and couldn't return in time and the judge wouldn't allow another continuance). Dodge's testimony was intended to provide insights into Haden’s personality. Dodge's qualifications and Carson’s motion for a continuance suggest that Dodge was going to say that Haden was the type of person who might resort to suicide when a cascade of problems descended on him. And Haden, of course, had made a remark to that effect to others.
Without Dodge’s testimony, the only independent information about his personality survives in the report of the forgery expert, J V Haring, who stated that ‘the line qualities of Clarke’s writing indicated a constitutional nervousness which was observable throughout all of his writing.’
This evidence suggest that Haden could have been the type of person who might choose suicide as a solution to his problems.