The recent celebrity death wave isn't over. You know, the one that's taken out Billy Mays, Dom DeLuise, Koko Taylor, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Pina Bausch, Sky Saxon, John Keel, Paquito Cordero, Secret Storm's Ken Roberts, Steve McNair, Sam Butera, Allen Klein, James Baker Hall, Gale Storm, Robert McNamara, Tim Krekel, Bob Bogle, David Carradine, Walter Cronkite, and Gordon Waller, all in a short span of time. It seems to still be ongoing (Gwenda Bond waggishly jested "these things come in twelves now", but I think now that baker's dozen comes with lagniappe).
The world of Boxing isn't safe from the new zeitgeist of passing spirits either - we lost the great Arturo Gatti, of whom Wikipedia reports:
On July 11, 2009, Gatti was found murdered in a hotel in Ipojuca, Pernambuco, Brazil. Gatti's widow has been charged with first degree murder after the strap of her purse was found stained with blood. Gatti was to attend his sister's wedding the following day. Rodrigues could not explain how she spent more than ten hours in the hotel room without realizing Gatti was dead. Former boxing champion Acelino Freitas, who was a close friend of Gatti, claimed Gatti and Rodrigues were having problems and were about to separate.
Like the song says, "Women can't be trusted". Beware of ladies holding a thermal detonator. Cherchez la femme.
And just this past weekend, Vernon "The Viper" Forrest was putting air in his tires at an Atlanta gas station when some weasel walks up and robs him and kills him. According to the police report, the shooter and a second person left the scene in a red Monte Carlo, and they're still at large. Bring me the heads of these men. Seriously. Go.
On July 11th, we lost the great Irish boxer Johnny Caldwell, not to a psycho girlfriend or an errant lowlife, but to the big C. After a long battle with it, I should add. Caldwell's glory days were from 1955-1964, and he took home the Bronze in the 1956 Olympics.
And at the beginning of the month, Alexis Argüello allegedly committed suicide. Argüello had retired from boxing and gone on to a prestigious political career as Mayor of Managua, Nicaragua. The eternally sketchily-sourced Wikipedia again:
Argüello died around 1 a.m. local time on July 1, 2009, after he allegedly shot himself through the heart in Managua, according to a report from Channel 8 national television. Reports now say there could be some foul play involved.
The national police have confirmed the death, but are still awaiting the results of the autopsy.
Those close to Alexis are saying that he was becoming progressively disenchanted with the Ortegas and the Sandinista government, and was planning an imminent departure from the Sandinista political party. To keep this from happening which potentially could have fomented revolution against the Sandinistas, the Ortegas had Alexis killed.
- - JSH