Thursday, June 19, 2014

Joseph Massengale -- The Last Roundup

Massengale performed rodeo and cowboy stunts in the films The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (1973), The Frisco Kid (1979), Tom Horn (1979), and Stir Crazy (1980).  On television, the stuntman was seen in two made-for-television movies (The Gambler, 1980; The Gambler II, 1983), and on episodes of Little House on the Prairie, How the West was Won, and Father Murphy.  Massengale, 36, and his wife, actress Kathleen O'Haco, were estranged and living apart when he phoned her from his Burbank, California, apartment on the afternoon of December 17, 1983, to plead for a reconciliation.  During the course of the conversation, he threatened to kill himself if O'Haco would not return to him.  Having heard similar threats before, the actress did not take Massengale seriously until she heard a gunshot over the line.  Police found Massengale, still clutching the telephone in his left hand, dead from a bullet wound to his right temple inflicted by a 9mm automatic handgun.

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