Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of one of professional wrestling’s biggest stars, Kerry Von Erich, who was also known as the Texas Tornado.
Von Erich killed himself with a single gunshot to the heart with a .44 caliber gun on February 18, 1993, on his father’s ranch in Texas. His suicide was the culmination of a lot of injuries and drug, painkillers, and alcohol problems that dented his promising wrestling career.
In June 1986, Von Erich was involved in a horrific motorcycle accident which led to the amputation of his right foot. Whenever you saw him in the ring, he was wrestling with a prosthesis, something that to this day not a lot of fans are aware of. He kept his amputation a secret throughout his career, even from most wrestlers he worked with.
His life went in a downward spiral after the accident and was arrested a couple of times. When he violated probation and was set to get jail time, he ended his life. Two of his brothers also committed suicide before him and many believe that the family is jinxed. There’s only one surviving member of the Von Erich family, and that is Kevin Von Erich.
Kerry wrestled for the NWA, WCCW, USWA, and WWE, winning several titles along the way. His WWE career led him to the Intercontinental title, a title he won from Mr. Perfect at SummerSlam 1990. He was released from the company in August 1992.
His feud and matches with the Fabulous Freebirds and the one with Ric Flair remain some of the best the sport of professional wrestling has ever seen.
Von Erich has two daughters, Hollie Brooke and Lacey. Lacey wrestled for TNA and was part of The Beautiful People for a year.