This article was last modified on January 8, 2015.


The Death of Football Star Alfred Klug, 1957

Klug spent the afternoon and evening of June 13, 1957 at the Wisconsin Club. After leaving, apparently drunk, he tried to get into a car belonging to Louis Thompson, whom he did not know. Klug continued on to the Tower Tavern (720 North 11th Street).

Following his ejection for annoying other patrons around 10:30pm, he swung his fists at two men in the bar, fell over, and hit his head on the curb. policeman Fred Moore saw Klug lose his balance and fall. Moore, sitting in a car across the street, was the only person to witness what happened outside the tavern. “I could hear his head crack,” he later said. Moore also saw a wristwatch fly from Klug’s left hand, so he picked it up and gave it to another person, instructing them to bring it to the police. They never did.

Klug was picked up by Veterans’ taxi driver Wesley O’Connor, who recognized Klug. The driver was asked to bring Klug home, but after passing out in the back seat he was instead brought to the county emergency hospital and admitted to the alcoholism ward at 11:38pm. O’Connor stayed around almost an hour to make sure the doctors knew who Klug was and that he was okay. He died 10:15am the next morning, June 14, of a skull fracture that doctors had not noticed until mere minutes before his passing. He was presumed drunk on arrival, not injured.

For two days, 28 witnesses were called before Deputy County Medical Examiner Joseph A. LaMonte. Bartender Carmello C. Caputa, 25, and liquor salesman Frank A. Cicerello, 43, declined to testify after being advised by their attorneys, Robert W. Schroeder and Clyde E. Sheets (a former city attorney).

On July 3, a panel of six men returned their verdict of accidental death just before midnight after deliberating for an hour and twenty minutes. Jury foreman G. H. Ahrens of Wauwatosa said they took multiple ballots before coming to a consensus, but the deciding factor came down to policeman Fred Moore’s testimony.

On July 5, District Attorney William McCauley called the coroner’s ruling “the only reasonable verdict that could be reached… unless new and unforeseen evidence develops.” Attorney John Udovc, representing widow Jean Klug, agreed with McCauley, and said the death was a result of a lack of attention from hospital staff. “I believe that in any case where the history of the patient is not known and where there is any evidence of a possible head injury, an X-Ray should be taken. The evidence certainly showed that the routine of the hospital should be improved.”

Also try another article under Organized Crime
or another one of the writings of Gavin.

2 Responses to “The Death of Football Star Alfred Klug, 1957”

  1. Drew Hunkins Says:

    Gavin,

    This is why I enjoy perusing your website, I just never know what interesting tidbits of information you’re gonna randomly offer up.

    Having grown up in the Milwaukee area in the 70s, 80s and 90s I always find that I have a certain fascination over the stories you present on your website that focus on Wisconsin history or Milwaukee organized crime history. You tend to dredge up stories that have long been forgotten but are nonetheless utterly enthralling.

    I remember distinctly as a boy in the early 1980s when the local Milwaukee television stations actually put a live scroll on the bottom of the screen when Frank Balistrieri’s indictment was handed down.

    Keep up the tremendous work Gavin. I eagerly await the smorgasbord of short stories, FBI file notes and other historical anecdotes you bring to your readers.

    Sincerely,

    Drew Hunkins
    Madison, WI

  2. gavin Says:

    Thanks, Drew. As you know (and is obvious from that write-up), everything on the site is very much a work in progress.

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