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October 07, 2008

Evel Knievel

Evel Knievel was suspected of violent assaults

Evel Knievel was suspected of links to organised crime and of being behind a string of vicious attacks, according to documents newly released by The FBI today.

The FBI's records on Knievel have become available since his death in November 2007 and Associated Press obtained copies of them:

The federal government came close to charging Knievel, who in turn threatened to sue the FBI for alleging he was connected to a crime syndicate. Neither followed through.

Knievel's file shows investigators believed he was involved with other violent acts - an attack in a Kansas City hotel room and a vicious beating in San Francisco. All were allegedly carried out by Knievel associates, according to subjects quoted in the file. Authorities also looked into an alleged threat made in Phoenix, but could find no information for the case.

Of the 202 pages of Knievel's 290-page file released to the AP, some were heavily redacted, with identities, interviews and contact information excluded.

Evel Knievel liked to style himself as a bad boy:

The folksy persona Knievel cultivated by draping himself in the stars and stripes was matched by his claims to have been a hold-up man, a swindler and a safe cracker.

but the investigation suggests serious assaults:

Evel Knievel famously held the entry in the Guinness Book of Records for having broken more bones in his body than anyone else. Now it appears that the late stunt rider may have broken bones in several other people's bodies as well.

One attack that Knievel was convicted of saw him sentenced to twelve months in prison:

His most well-known run-in with the law was a 1977 attack on movie studio executive Shelly Saltman, whom the daredevil beat with a baseball bat in the parking lot of 20th Century Fox.  Saltman promoted Knievel's infamous attempt to jump Idaho's Snake River Canyon and then wrote a book about the experience, angering Knievel by portraying him as "an alcoholic, a pill addict, an anti-Semite and an immoral person."

Knievel's widow, Krystal Kennedy-Knievel, who married him in 1999 says she is unaware of any investigation.  Bob Gill, a rival of Knievel's in the 70s actually felt the dare-devil's wrath, but believes these allegations to be unfounded:

Bob Gill said he was part of a confrontation associated with Knievel, but the daredevil later apologized and denied his involvement and the two became friends. Gill was not interviewed by the FBI, but said his run-in mirrored others described in the file. He declined to elaborate.

Gill, who was paralyzed after a failed stunt, said Knievel tried to help him set up a meeting with a doctor who Gill thought would help him walk again. He said Knievel also devised a plan to help pay for the expenses.

"Evel's never done any wrong besides that one little incident," Gill said. "And he's made up for it 1,000 times."

This report following his death contains a few of his jumps

October 7, 2008 in Celebrities | Permalink


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