Oh You Didn’t Know? The Greatest Unknown Wrestling Stories- Episode 20


Hey eWn fans, welcome to the 20th installment of OYDK! Today, a true wrestling legend in Verne Gagne will grace your screen, however, for quite a dark tale. Although many readers may know about this, the story is out of this world and I feel deserves to be retold as we pass the ninth anniversary of the retirement home tragedy.

In late April of 2009, Verne Gagne was living peacefully in a nursing home where trained professional staff could take care of his Alzheimer’s disease. His case was slowly getting worse, but eventually hit a breaking point when Gagne reportedly Bodyslammed a fellow resident at the nursing home, effectively killing him.

In this from 1998, Vern Gagne is shown in his Edina home with his championship belt, circa 1960. Gagne, who died Monday, April 27, 2015, fostered the business of entertainment wrestling in Minnesota through his American Wrestling Association. (File photo)

It is not uncommon for sufferers of Alzheimers to have personality changes, fluctuation in mood, and complete memory loss which is what investigators believed set him off.

The widow of the victim claimed that he and Gagne had minor issues with each other in the past, and did not even want to press charges. Neither Gagne or the 97-year old man who later died in the hospital remember the encounter at all. Gagne who was 83 at the time was moved to another facility. No charges were ever made against him.

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