Verne Gagne Involved in Homicide In Tragedy Fit For The Wrestler
If you thought Mickey Rourke's performance in The Wrestler was depressing, it's got nothing on the tragic tale of Verne Gagne. The wrestler appears to have been involved in the death of his 97-year-old roommate at the memory-loss unit of a Minnesota assisted living facility.
Helmut Guttmann died from complications related to a broken hip he suffered after being pushed to the ground. Guttmann's family believe the 83-year-old Gagne may have been responsible for the injury that led to Guttmann's death. Both Gagne and Guttmann are believed to have suffered from dementia.
According to local police, Guttmann's death is now being considered a homicide. It remains unclear whether Gagne will actually be charged with a crime even if he is found to be responsible. Both Gagne and Guttmann did not remember the fight afterward and may not have been in control of his own actions. Guttmann's family has said that they do not want Gagne to be charged with a crime.
Guttman's death may be a strange coda to Verne Gagne's fascinating life. A former college wrestling star, Gagne played football in the NFL and worked as a professional wrestler and promoter. He played a key role in two wrestling organizations: the American Wrestling Alliance (AWA) and National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and is a member of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. After his wrestling career, Gagne was active in charity work and was considered a civic leader in his hometown of Bloomington.