This Day in Death

4.30.12: Crazy Texas Poker Guy Thomas ‘Amarillo Slim’ Preston – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:30 am May 1, 2012


Before it mutated into an elaborate hoax to get Jennifer Tilly’s cleavage on television more often, poker was considered a game. A game for cool, sophisticated guys in polo shirts and green visors who quote “The Cincinnati Kid” to you hoping you’ll think they actually made those lines up themselves. Whether you knew it or not, Thomas ‘Amarillo Slim’ Preston was the man responsible for bringing that subtle melange of class and borderline insane redneckery to the game. Or maybe not, I dunno. To be honest I really don’t know a lot about poker. Personally I prefer games that require me to remember which previously flipped card had a cartoon elephant on it. It sounds easy, but it’s really not. The best games are like that.

Thomas Austin “Amarillo Slim” Preston Jr., a poker champion whose brash style, fast talking and love of the spotlight helped broaden the professional game’s appeal and made him one of its most recognizable characters, has died. He was 83.

Preston’s son, Bunky Preston, said he died Sunday of colon cancer while in hospice care in Amarillo, where he lived.

He got his “Amarillo Slim” nickname playing pool, according to Preston’s son, and with his cowboy hat and southern drawl, he wouldn’t have been out of place gambling in an Old West saloon.

Preston would bet on just about anything, and he mastered the art of stretching the truth. Among his many claims laid out on his website are that he played Minnesota Fats in one-pocket billiards using a broomstick; beat Bobby Riggs, of Billie Jean King fame, at ping pong using an iron skillet; and outran “a horse for a hundred yards (no one ever said nothing about the race being straight-away).”

This guy seemed delightfully unhinged. I have nothing negative to say about him, so let’s just wrap up this post and get on with our lives. That is, assuming there isn’t more to the article, especially something that would drop an uncomfortable pallor over his life. But what are the odds of that?

Preston’s later life brought charges that he molested…

Oh shit. No good sentence ever begins like that.

…a young relative.


Records show a 2004 conviction on three misdemeanor charges of assault causing bodily injury in Amarillo in a case involving the 12-year-old girl. Preston, 75 at the time, was sentenced to two years’ probation with deferred adjudication and fined $4,000.

The plea came after a Randall County grand jury indicted Preston on three counts of indecency of a child by sexual contact, a second-degree felony.

Preston’s attorney at the time was quoted in an AP story as saying prosecutors were willing to drop the felony charges because they couldn’t prove their case.

Preston later told an interviewer for a poker website that the incidents stemmed from a misunderstanding when his grandchildren were with him in the cab of his pickup truck and at a swimming pool.

Ugh. See, this is why I need to hire a weekend guy. I really don’t feel like handling this one anymore. If you live in Texas, own a pickup truck and/or a swimming pool, and have ever done anything in them with a 12-year-old, there WILL be “misunderstandings.” Especially if the name of the game you’re famous for playing is a common innuendo for casual sexual penetration. It’s in the state constitution, for fuck’s sake.

He said he pleaded guilty to protect his family from embarrassment.

“It would have been very easy for me (to win),” he said. “But I didn’t want my family dragged through a trial and being made my enemy in the court. I didn’t want my 12-year-old granddaughter to have to take the stand.”

And there’s the one situation where having it legally declared that you were molested by your grandfather is the *less* humiliating option. I do however like that he still managed to turn it into a competition by insisting that he could’ve won the case easily. You got this one, Slim!


Source: Sports Illustrated

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03.08.12: Austin, Texas Street Transvestite Leslie Cochran – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:17 pm March 8, 2012

“Fine, Leslie. You can wear the pastel halter top with matching thong, but I’m putting on the Superman cape and neon orange mukluks. I swear, we go through this shit every Sunday before church.”


Austin, Texas weirdo/transvestite/frequent hobo Leslie Cochran is dead, leaving behind only Soy Bomb and Crispin Glover to carry on the proud legacy of being pointlessly weird and getting rewarded for it. Sorry, I’m just bitter because that was my major in college and it’s done jack all for me.

Hey, All Ablog Austin, why don’t you take a moment out of your busy schedule of having a name that doesn’t make any fucking sense and give me a block quote?

Mayor Lee Leffingwell was expected to proclaim Thursday and every March 8 forward Leslie Day in Austin. Friends and fans planned to gather at City Hall at 6 p.m. and parade to Sixth Street beginning at 7:30. Romness encouraged attendees to wear boas and tiaras.

When reached for comment, Leffingwell added, “Because we have absolutely nothing else to do here. Seriously, my ‘desk’ is just a mini-fridge full of PBR. I’m pretty sure this whole town runs on some sort of gypsy curse because I haven’t signed a piece of paperwork in years.”


Source: All Ablog Austin

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6.17.14: Cadillac Ranch Patron/General Weirdo Stanley Marsh 3 – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:37 pm June 24, 2014

MARSHMarsh, in front of one of the cars in his famous Cadillac Ranch art installation. Sure, it’s missing tires and will most likely explode the second you turn the ignition, but it’s still safer than any of the flaming deathwagons that GM keeps rolling out. GM: Because Fuck It.


Insane rich guy, sort-of artist, and probable child molester (ooh, the Bryan Singer hat trick!) Stanley Marsh III has passed away due to pneumonia. Actually, that should be “Stanley Marsh 3,” as he’d had the “III” legally replaced with the Arabic numeral, insisting that Roman numerals were too pretentious. And the producers of The Fast & the Furious franchise slowly nodded their heads in respectful agreement before purchasing suits made out of pure cocaine.

He once turned a football-field-size swatch of ranch land into the likeness of a pool-table top: he had the prairie painted green and supplied giant billiard balls and a 100-foot cue stick. He had a colossal necktie tied around the chimney of his mother’s home. And he had dozens of fake traffic signs scattered around the city offering cryptic or lighthearted messages like “Road Does Not End,” “You Will Never Be the Same” and “Ostrich X-ing.”

When one such sign was stolen by a local teenager, Marsh hunted the thief down to his family’s property, locked him in a chicken coop, and proceeded to berate and threaten him. The incident brings up a mess of interesting questions about things like civil rights and trespassing laws, with the biggest one being what kind of teenager can’t escape the clutches of an out of shape 56-year-old man trying to stick you in a chicken coop? The kid even had home-turf advantage. I blame these video game consoles, making youths all soft and doughy. When I was that age I escaped from older men trying to trap me in all kinds of things, from overturned shopping carts to poorly-constructed bear snares to discarded refrigerators down at the dump. Life used to be a lot more fun.

Source: The NY Times

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10.18.13: Coach Bum Phillips – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 12:00 am October 24, 2013

BUM_PHILLIPSPictured: Tasteful sophistication, Texas-style! I bet you anything he’s curing jerky under that hat.


You all should know by now that I don’t do many posts about sports. The main reason being that if I wanted to read about young men getting the hell beat out of them by entire swarms of pigpiling jocks I can refer back to my LiveJournal from 7th grade. Ha! Childhood trauma!

Point is, you’re gonna have a real hard time convincing me to give a wet one about sports. So, in order to keep myself amused while you read this block quote about former Oilers coach Bum Phillips’ death, I’m just gonna imagine what popular athletes would be named if they were depicted as loveable animal characters in a Saturday morning cartoon show. So far I’ve got Mike Bison, Donovan McCrabb, Patrick Earwig, Shrew Brees, and Tiger Woods. That last one was… less than imaginative.

Bum Phillips, the homespun Texan who was caricatured as a cowboy but possessed a keen football mind that built the Houston Oilers into one of the National Football League’s leading teams of the late 1970s, died Friday at his ranch in Goliad, Tex. He was 90.

God, it’s a good thing Phillips was from Texas or I’d have nothing to make fun of here. In fact, I’m kinda having the opposite problem: I’m not sure if I should mock the whole “Boss-Hog-crossed-with-a-gay-Eskimo” style he’s rocking in the banner there, or the fact that Texas has some of the worst literacy problems in the country, or that Texas gave up significant portions of their land in a desperate plea to be admitted into the U.S., or the fact that nobody in Texas will be able to respond to any of this because the only guy in the state who knows how to “do computers” keeps his Netscape Navigator locked firmly onto shady bestiality sites. In the end, the best course is probably just to- Oh! Kareem Abdul-Jaguar! This is a fun game.


Source: The NY Times

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5.14.13: Con Artist/General Dick Billie Sol Estes – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:18 pm May 24, 2013

BILLIE_SOL_ESTESOften forgotten amongst his other crimes was the time in 1994 when Estes stole the entire set from a Fancy Feast commercial. What a monster!


Billie Sol Estes, 60’s con artist and conspirator, died last week at the age of 88. AARP, who described Estes as a “wheeler-dealer” because using a term that anyone has heard in the past 60 years would just be stupid, issued the following summary from beneath their funny-smelling afghans. Ha! They’re old and I’m not!

He concocted a scheme that enabled him to steal $24 million from finance companies by getting them to write mortgages on nonexistent fertilizer tanks on farms, and a second cabal to swindle farmers out of federal cotton subsidies. Eventually, in 1965, he was convicted on federal mail fraud and conspiracy charges and sentenced to prison, but not before the Kennedy administration was scandalized by his connections with Agriculture Department officials and then-Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, to whom he claimed to have slipped vast amounts of cash — though the allegation was never proven.

Fascinating. Of course, this being the internet and all, even a story that involves presidential bribery and actual bullshit can’t outshine literally anything involving cats:

His case caused a feline exhumation. The federal government believed Estes had stashed millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains, though they never were able to put their hands on the money. But it wasn’t for lack of trying. After learning that Estes had buried a friend’s cat in the early 1970s, government agents dug it up, in hopes that he had concealed money in the grave[.]

That… is dark. But, as usual, I think I have an elegant solution to prevent this kind of embarrassment in the future. You see, surprisingly, this blog has only paid out approximately $0.00 to date, so until those internet checks stop getting lost in the mail I’ve been earning some extra scratch by renting out my lawn as a pet cemetery. So if you’re looking for assurance that you beloved companion will be allowed to rest in undisturbed eternal peace then you can trust in the solemn dignity afforded by a guy who runs a deathblog, because I personally promise that if I ever exhume your pet it will NOT be because of government intervention, some weird sex thing, or to use their corpse to stage a little playlet about cats exploring outer space. And that guarantee is IRONCLAD, period!


Source: AARP

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11.30.12: “Tank McNamara” Creator Jeff Millar – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 4:37 pm December 3, 2012


Flawless execution of the classic three-panel strip format: Panel one, set-up; Panel two, indisputably hilarious joke; Panel three, explain the joke to make sure that everyone gets to join in on the fun.


Jeff Millar, the creator of the Tank McNamara comic strip, died on Friday after suffering from biliary cancer. If you never got the chance to read it, Tank McNamara was the only thing that Bill Watterson officially endorsed Calvin pissing on. The Lockhorns were actually a pretty happy couple until being on the same page as Tank drove them both to alcoholism, infidelity, and a tragic murder/suicide pact. God, just look at this:

It’s like he finished the strip and forgot there was a fourth panel to fill. Honestly, this thing has the comedic timing of improv night at the methadone clinic, which is an event that exists solely to give me something to compare Tank to. It’s the only comic strip that actually *starts out* as bird cage lining. At least Cathy tried to be interesting by making the main character transsexual, everyone in Tank just looks like they were hoping Gary Larson would’ve called them back by now.

In conclusion, I have to give Tank McNamara a score of 4.5 out of 5 bizarrely-exposed live-action Marmaduke genitals:

Hell, even that image has a more satisfying narrative arc than your average Tank installment.


Source: The Houston Chronicle (which calls itself “The Chron” now, because it’s still 1996.)

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7.27.12: Norman Alden, Allegedly Notable Person – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:06 am August 1, 2012

Pictured: A man who existed [citation needed].


Let’s just… let’s just get right to this.

Norman Alden, an instantly recognizable character actor who recurred on TV series including “My Three Sons” and “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” and sported more than 200 credits in film and television, died of natural causes in Los Angeles on July 27. He was 87.

Admittedly, that’s quite prolific, but I’m still not putting anything together here. Either this guy was the goddamn invisible ninja master of film or I’ve been huffing too much Rustoleum. Keep ’em coming, Block Quote…

Alden guested on a vast array of series, including “The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show,” “The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin,” “Perry Mason,” “The Untouchables,” “Bonanza,” “The Smothers Brothers Show,” “The Mod Squad,” “Kung Fu,” “Gunsmoke,” “Alice,” “Dallas,” “The Rockford Files,” “The Dukes of Hazzard,” “Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island,” “Falcon Crest” and “Murder, She Wrote.”

His other appearances on the bigscreen included roles in Jerry Lewis films “The Nutty Professor” and “The Patsy,” Sonny and Cher starrer “Good Times,” “Tora! Tora! Tora!,” “Kansas City Bomber” (he had once skated in roller derby), “Semi-Tough” (he was the football coach), “Back to the Future,” “Ed Wood” (he played Woods’ cameraman), “Patch Adams” and “K-PAX.” In “Back to the Future,” he played Lou Carruthers, owner of a diner in 1955 and of an aerobics center in 1985.

Well, okay. The Back to the Future thing, maybe… I’ll be honest, that entire resume looks like stuff I *should* recognize but absolutely do not. I feel like I pissed off an elderly indian shaman and woke up in some parallel universe where everything is mostly the same but just a bit off. I half expect to see fish flying through the sky and then learn that our holiest tradition is getting together with our families to watch Bicentennial Man every Christmas. Is there something, anything at all that I can definitively place this man in?

A celebration of the life of Norman Alden, voice of Aquaman, will be held in Los Angeles in August and another in Fort Worth, Texas in September.


A celebration of the life of Norman Alden, voice of Aquaman


voice of Aquaman



Oh thank God. Thus concludes the least notable entry I’ve ever written. No offense to Skippy Jeffers or whatever his name was, I’m sure he was the perfect blank template for “ruggedly handsome actor,” but I’d probably get more hits from writing about that horse at the fair that plays Tic Tac Toe. Believe you me, that horse is gonna be HUGE one day.

Sources: Variety and The Inquisitr

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7.11.12: Marvin S. Traub, Bloomingdale’s Impresario – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:33 am July 12, 2012

Damn, sexy mannequin biker chick… how you livin’?

Well, if you had Bloomingdale’s impresario Marvin S. Traub in your deathpool then you’re gonna be a very rich man next week. Also, you’re a goddamn cheater.

Traub is the man responsible for rebranding Bloomingdale’s into a luxurious fashion-conscious shopping destination in the 1970s and 80s. Essentially, Traub and his ilk are the reason that regular ol’ Frankie Feedbags like you and me aren’t allowed into upscale department stores anymore, just because we make our own shoes and prefer to use catheters in public despite no medical requirement to do so. It’s like my “Coexist” bumper sticker doesn’t mean jack to those stuffed shirts over at the Fashion Bug.

Block Quote; kindly escort me out of this paragraph before I cause a scene:

One of the most creative retailers of his era, Mr. Traub made Bloomingdale’s synonymous with luxury, introduced many of the world’s best-known clothing designers and created a national chain that acquired a reputation for status-conscious merchandising and chic interior moods that dazzled the eye.

In the boom times of the 1980s, Mr. Traub added branches on the East Coast and in Florida, Texas and California. Princess Yasmin Khan, Robert De Niro, Barbra Streisand and Faye Dunaway had charge cards. Long before Old Navy T-shirts, women wore panties marked “Bloomies.”

Wow. That… doesn’t sound appealing in the least. That may just be the reason why nobody had sex in the 80s. I had just assumed it was because of all the BeDazzling. The glamour, she blinds me!

Source: NY Times

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5.11.12: Local Strip-Club Patron/Pervert – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:55 am May 23, 2012

Eyewitness reports that the man once scored four touchdowns in a single game remain unconfirmed.


Well, nobody famous that I care about died today, so that means it’s time to mock a private citizen. It’s a little something called journalistic integrity.

A 67-year-old man died after enjoying a number of lap dances at a strip club.

Robert Gene White, from El Paso County, Texas, was at the Red Parrot strip club on Friday night.

Manager of the club said the elderly man had been getting lap dances, but when it came to paying the dancers, he was unresponsive.

Employees tried to perform CPR on White and when that didn’t work they called emergency responders.

He was take to a local hospital where he was declared dead from natural causes.

I’m doing pretty well for myself nowadays, if this construction paper top hat is any indication. Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to save money wherever you can, and White had a pretty solid situation going here. I mean, not the dying thing. Or the living in Texas thing, for that matter. Lord no. I’m still hoping that somehow the entire state is just an insanely intricate set for some unfinished Kurosawa film about cows.

No, I’m talking about faking your death and having a couple of fun-loving buddies haul you out of the club, Weekend at Bernie’s style, when the issue of payment comes up. It may not work, but I’ve gotta try something. I used to write strip clubs off as a medical expense but I think my CPA is dangerously close to discovering that “chronic bonerrhaging” has a spotty history in the healthcare community.


Source: Mail Online

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4.22.12: Guy Who was Beaten with an Electric Guitar – UNSURPRISINGLY DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:30 am April 30, 2012

Eyewitness statements have confirmed early reports that the attack was “metal as shit.”


If you’re one of the few remaining Americans who haven’t spent your waking hours meticulously memorizing the contents of this blog in order to be one step ahead when it’s finally admitted into future pressings of most major religious texts, it may have escaped your notice how cartoonishly insane Austin, Texas is. So here’s a story about a guy in Austin who was beaten to death. With a guitar. Man. Living in that town must be exhAUSTINg. HA! You see how that worked there? Fuck you, you probably didn’t even get it anyway.

Police have made an arrest in Austin’s ninth homicide of the year. Police say a man was beaten to death with an electric guitar.

Peter Andrew Levay, 42, is in jail charged with murder. He’s accused of killing 64-year-old Maurice Leray Eckert.

Right now is a good time to mention that all Austin citizens are required to go by three names, otherwise the ghost of Jonathan Taylor Thomas will come to your house at night and beat you with the rusty shovel his grave was dug with.

And now here comes Levay’s roommate to ruin that last joke.

Levay told his roommate, Lavern Fisher, he thought he killed the man who lived upstairs. Fisher says Levay called his sister, who called the Austin Police Department, to check on the man who lived upstairs. When officers arrived, no one answered the door, so they forced their way inside.

According to an arrest affidavit, right after the homicide Levay didn’t know what to do, so his roommate told him to “lay down and go to sleep.”

Well maybe if she would’ve told him to lie down and go to sleep she wouldn’t have come across like someone who spent 8th grade English making bongs out of milk cartons instead of learning the basic rules of language usage. Remember the proper approach to handling a tragedy: Stay calm, assess the situation, and don’t neglect syntax minutia during your deposition. It could save your life (it will never save your life).

Besides that blunder, Lavern’s got the right idea: Most dead people will come back to life within 6-8 hours if you just leave them be. If you accidentally kill someone, just get some rest, freshen up, maybe eat a nice, carb-heavy meal. You’re really gonna need some me time, and tomorrow you’ll see just how silly you were to have ever panicked in the first place.

Fisher says police found the victim’s bloody clothes in Levay’s closet, along with a wallet in the downstairs apartment.

Fisher says his roommate had been drinking with the man upstairs, and he thinks he knows what led to the murder.

“He started making sexual advances toward me and him, and they became violent,” said Fisher.

There’s nothing strange about this. Happens all the time. A couple of A-list, top dawg broheims just chillaxin’, having a few brews and trading off some killer Dave Matthews licks… It’s hard not to get a little turned on. That kind of barely restrained sexual tension is the perfect spark to set off a studio apartment full of testosterone, and the next thing you know someone’s getting a headstock through the cerebellum. The key to avoiding these tragedies is to stick with ZZ Top-style furry guitars when things become heated, and steer clear of more aggresive designs, such as your Flying Vees, or the kind of Rick Neilsen monstrosity that played such a key role in the tragic death of television’s Jonathan Taylor Thomas. We miss you, JTT!


Source: KHOU

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