Odd Trio of Obits: Ludlum, Downey, Lucas

I was greeted by an odd trio in the obit section today, with something to depress or cheer everyone: mystery writer Robert Ludlum (73), talk-show host Morton Downey, Jr. (67) and particularly creepy serial killer Henry Lee Lucas (mid-60s).

Odd to say that I’m relieved about your post, but there it is.

I’d seen Morton Downey Jr. and Ludlum’s deaths, went to the Doctor’s office, came back checked the board, see your thread title, know that you keep us posted on all the news that Hollywoood has fit to print, and thought OHMYGOD!!! George Lucas too?!!!
Imagine my relief that it was the serial killer/former Michigan resident (we like to keep this kind of stuff in the family - I think it had something to do with the PBB stuff in the cattle feed… )

Back to the OP, yes, that certainly is an odd grouping.

God said "Zip it!!!"

Errr… ahem

This Lucas character, didn’t [sub][sup]Jerry Springer[/sup][/sub] visit him once in jail? If so, that was one scary creep indeed.

Godspeed to the other two.

[Edited by Coldfire on 03-13-2001 at 09:44 AM]

Henry Lee Lucas really had to be the creepiest serial killer—unlike Ted Bundy, he looked like he came right out of Central Casting, with his one blank eye and all. I remember some female journalist interviewing him, and him telling her how he would wait to see some woman pulled over on the side of the road, and what he would do to her . . . You could see the journalist trying to control her panic.

It seems, from his obits, that Downey had gotten considerably less jerky since his illness, that he left a “Smokers’ Rights” group and started doing public service ads against smoking; also he apologized for how incredibly trashy his old show was. P.S. he was the son of Barbara Bennett, who was the sister of movie stars Constance and Joan.

Ludlum? never read 'im, but I hear he was quite a good writer if you like mysteries.

I too thought George Lucas and also Robert Downey Jr, probably of a drug overdose!

IIRC, Henry Lee Lucas confessed to the murder of Adam Walsh, whose death inspired his father John Walsh to start American’s Most Wanted.

It seems a friend of Lucas’ confessed to that, tho there still seems to be some doubt if it was true or not. Ole’ Henry Lee loved to tell stories, claimed (at one point) to have killed scads of people, and law enforcement folks from around the country were clamoring to interview him. he thrived on the attention.

here and here

This reminds me, who was it that was running the “SDMB Death Pool 2001” ?

I don’t think anyone had Downey or Ludlum . . .

(ironic sig huh ?)


I put a post on the Deathpool thread this morning. Drain Bead had Morton Downey Jr. and scored 32 points.

As long as we’re doing a tally, may I add one?

Richard Stone, 47, Emmy-winning composer of the themes to Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain,and Freakazoid!, died March 8th of pancreatic cancer. Great musician and scholar, sorely missed.

Of interest locally:

S. Dillon Ripley II, who helped expand the Smithsonian in DC, died today. He was the first director to put the carousel in front of the Castle. I remember riding on it for AGES when I was little…

Story on him can be found here.

Just a note on Ludlum:

I’m not sure I’d categorize him as a Mystery novelist. He wrote “Thrillers” and “Spy Novels,” Ala Tom Clancy and John LeCarre. Their books do show up in the Mystery section at the bookstore.

I haven’t read much from him lately. His Bourne Books are excellent (at least the first few). He also wrote 2 comedy novels called “The Road to Gandalfo” and “The Road to Omaha.” Both excellent work.

As for Morton Downey Jr, I heard on the Radio that he wrote the surfer classic “Wipeout.” Could this possibly be true? Well according to USA Today:

What a crazy world.

Then why was he so damned ugly?

Well, no tragedy losing him. GLAD to be rid of Henry. And the only loss from the death of Ludlum was that there are still three of his God-awful books in the pipeline. What tripe! and I LIKE the genre.

I believe that Morton Downey Sr wrote Wipeout.


I am hijacking yet ANOTHER thread…why don’t you just email me at scotticher@earthlink.net and we can talk about the record player?

This way we can carry on without annoying all the good folks on this board?


As for the Dead Pool 2001. I would like to say that I got Anne Morrow Lindberg (Charles Lindberg’s wife) who died on Feb 7th, or thereabouts.

I think I got a whopping 6 points for her.
(I was going to pick Ray Walston, but eschewed him for someone else. He died Dec 31. Kinda weird.)

Really? The Bennett girl’s father was a friend of my great-grandfather’s. Daddy Paul was a painter who lived in and around Hollywood from 1910 until his death. He actually did a watercolor portrait of Daddy Bennett (an old-time Hollywood director, IIRC). Bennett’s wife didn’t like the picture, so Daddy Paul kept it – it was my favorite. It moved out of our family a few years ago and I sure wish I had it back.

Robert Ludlum died? I loved reading “The Road To Omaha” and “The Road To Gandolfo”.
Do you have a link? i would really like to see it.