google10fa0980c6101c7f.html The Many Faces of Death: DEATH Fight in the Skies: "Len" Koenecke, USA


The stories mentioned on this site are of real deaths (famous or otherwise), and may contain graphic pics, text and/or videos. This site is NOT for the squeamish or Faint of Heart! You have been warned.

Strange as their stories may be, they were flesh and blood once, and were loved by people who knew them. Let's respect the deaths of those who have been mentioned....

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

0 DEATH Fight in the Skies: "Len" Koenecke, USA

Leonard George "Len" Koenecke (January 18, 1904 in Baraboo, Wisconsin, USA – September 17, 1935 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada) was an American baseball player who played Major League Baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. He is most widely known for his unusual death.

Koenecke was the son of a locomotive engineer and had worked as a fireman

Koenecke made his professional debut for the Moline Plowboys in the Mississippi Valley League in 1927.

In 1928 he joined Indianapolis in the American Association.

After being sent home from the road trip he caught a commercial flight for New York. During the flight he drank a quart of whiskey and became very drunk. After harassing other passengers and striking a stewardess, the pilot had to sit on him to restrain him as he was shackled to his seat. He was removed unconscious from the flight in Detroit. After sleeping on a chair in the airport he chartered a flight to Buffalo.

While flying over Canada Koenecke sat up front with the pilot. At first he was quiet, but soon began to get restless and started nudging the pilot. The pilot sent him to sit in the back with his companion but, after a short time, he started poking the pilot from behind. When the companion tried to stop him, they got into a fight.

In the scuffle, the companion tried to hit Koenecke with a small fire extinguisher, which got dropped. Then Koenecke "made for" the pilot, who picked up the fire extinguisher in one hand while holding the controls with the other, hit Koenecke two or three times. "He kept on fighting so I hit him again." The struggle went on for 10 or 15 minutes, during which the plane was veering wildly. "Then I had to come to a decision. It was either a case of the three of us crashing or doing something to Koenecke. I watched my chance, grabbed the fire extinguisher and walloped him over the head."

By the time Koenecke had been "quieted" the pilot had no idea where they were. He steered toward the nearest open field, which happened to be a race track in Toronto, and made an emergency landing. Koenecke died of a brain hemorrhage.

The two pilots were charged with manslaughter but were found not guilty in a trial soon after.


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