2013 Obits – December

Dec. 24: Jacob Wernitznig, 28 – brother of Jennifer Sebena, took his own life on the one year anniversary of his sister’s death. Jennifer Sebena was fatally shot by her husband, Benjamin Sebena, while she was patrolling in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin on Dec. 24, 2012. Jacob was Jennifer’s only sibling. Just hours before his death he posted a photo of himself with his sister as children near a Christmas tree. He is survived by his mother.

Dec. 23: Gordon Hinkley, 88 – known as the “Granddaddy of Milwaukee radio” with a show called “Ask Your Neighbor” that ran on WTMJ-AM (620) for more than 30 years, died at the Village at Manor Park in West Allis.

Dec. 23: Jeffrey Pollack, 54 – he directed Booty Call, Above the Rim, Lost & Found and served as a producer on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Pollack was found on the Greenbelt in Hermosa Beach, CA early morning by an unidentified woman who was jogging. He was dressed in jogging clothes and carrying an iPod. It’s believed he died of natural causes.

Dec. 23: Ricky Lawson, 59 – studio drummer, a collaborator with musicians including Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Al Jarreau, Bette Midler, Quincy Jones and many others died in a suburban Los Angeles hospital following a brain aneurism. He was a Detroit native.

Dec. 23: Mikhail Kalashnikov, 94 – inventor of the iconic AK-47 (aka choppa, chopper, AK, stick) assault rifle had been suffering from heart and intestinal problems and in mid-November was admitted into intensive care in Izhevsk in central Russia (where the plant that produces AK-47s is located). The official cause of death will be known following an autopsy.

Dec. 21: Bernard McGinn, 50s – Irish republican IRA member, convicted of conspiracy to murder and firearms possession, a notorious terrorist was found dead in a house in the Irish Republic.

Lord Infamous

Lord Infamous

Dec. 20: Ricky Dunigan, aka Lord Infamous, 40 – passed away during a visit to his mother’s house in Memphis from a heart attack. He was an original Three 6 Mafia Founding Member, recording albums such as “Mystic Stylez” and “When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1.” In 2006, DJ Paul, along with Juicy J (Jordan Houston) won an Oscar for best original song for the Hustle & Flow soundtrack title “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.”

Dec. 19: Ned Vizzini, 32 – a successful young adult author who had found a place in Hollywood committed suicide. He is survived by his wife Sabra and their son.

Dec. 17: Bernard L. Shaw, 68 – a former San Francisco police officer who became the bodyguard and husband of Patty Hearst, died at his home in Garrison, NY after a long illness. The direct cause was not specified.

Dec. 14: Peter O’Toole, 81 – died after a long illness. He received an honorary Oscar in 2003, having initially turned it down.

Dec. 13: Daniel Escobar, 49 – best known for his role on Lizzie McGuire died of complications from diabetes at a hospital in Los Angeles.

Tom Laughlin

Tom Laughlin

Dec. 12: Tom Laughlin, 82 – star of the Billy Jack films and husband to actress Delores Taylor since 1954 died in Thousand Oaks, CA.

Dec. 9: Shane Del Rosario, 30 – Promising UFC combat sports heavyweight died after suffering cardiac arrest two weeks earlier in Newport Beach, California.

Dec. 5. Nelson Mandela, 95 – South Africa’s greatest son and one of the most beloved leaders of the 20th century died of a lung infection.

December 3: Ronald Hunter, 70, American actor (Along Came Polly, Law & Order, The Big Bang Theory) died from heart and kidney failure complications at Woodland Medical Center in Los Angeles.

December 2: Billy Beckwith, 38 – HGTV “Curb Appeal” host and Bay Area contractor was killed in a motorcycle crash in San Francisco’s Haight district.

Dec. 1: Walter Ellis, 53 – died at a Sioux Falls hospital, apparently of natural causes, after serving less than 3 years of a life sentence for strangling seven women. Ellis was arrested in 2009 and sentenced in February 2011 to 7 consecutive life sentences with no possibility of parole for the killings of 7 Milwaukee women from 1986 to 2007 who ranged in age from 16-41. Ellis was being housed in South Dakota under an interstate agreement.


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