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Ken Weitzner Double Suicide 6 Month Anniversary

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:
Oct/06/2010
Ken Weitzner

October 10, 2010 will be the sixth-month anniversary of the shocking death by suicide of one of the online gambling world's most controversial figures, Ken "The Shrink" Weitzner.

Weitzner, 54, who created two of the Internet's first websites devoted to information about online betting, The Prescription (www.therx.com) and Eye on Gambling (www.eog.com), killed himself last April 10 in his Chesapeake, Virginia, USA home. His wife Jackie also killed herself at the same time.

Many questions about the deaths remained unanswered, as Gambling911.com has continued to probe the grisly incident over the past six months.

Here now, some questions answered, and some answers questioned, on the six-month anniversary of "The Shrink's" stunning suicide:

Q-Was it ever definitively determined why "The Shrink" killed himself?

A-Yes. His wife made him do it. Because of financial problems, stemming largely from a huge losing wager he made on the NCAA basketball championship game a few weeks before his death. On July 4, 2010, Kristin G. Davis, an investigative reporter for the Virginian-Pilot, a newspaper in Norfolk, Virginia, USA, near Chesapeake, wrote a front-page story about the Weitzners' double suicide. She investigated the case and learned the truth behind the deaths, but declined to go into detail in her article. But four days later, on July 8, 2010, Davis appeared on "Sports Parade," a radio show on KCAA in Los Angeles, to talk about her article. She told host Fred Wallin: "I did hear from a source, and this was second-hand information, which is why I did not include it in the article, that a debt that arose over March Madness was at the center of the suicide. And that basically after this had occurred, that the wife did not want to go on any more, and that Ken did not want to be alone, so he actually went along with it."

Q-So he lost a big bet. Didn't he have any other money to cover the loss?

A-Apparently not enough. After Weitzner's death, Gambling911.com spoke with a Las Vegas man who "bearded" or made bets for professional sports bettor Billy Walters. Weitzner also bearded for Walters for a time. The man said Weitzner told him last year: "I'm worth half of what I was worth five years ago," and blamed the drop on severe losses in the stock market. "The Shrink" also mentioned his financial woes in an 18-page suicide note he and Jackie left for family members.

Q-Speaking of Walters, is it true he had a falling out with Weitzner before the suicides?

A-Yes. The falling out led to Walters firing Weitzner as one of his beards, after several years of employ. But the split apparently wasn't that bitter. On the Virginian-Pilot's online obituary page, a guestbook was set up for Weitzner so mourners could post comments, and 44 people did. One of those 44 was Walters.

Q-What happened to Eye on Gambling, the website Weitzner was running at the time of his death?

A-When he died, Weitzner didn't own the site he founded. He sold majority interest in the site several years ago to an online sportsbook called Bet Phoenix (www.betphoenix.com). Under the deal, Weitzner retained a minority interest in the site and continued to run it, but majority owner Bet Phoenix called the shots. When Ken died, nothing changed--Bet Phoenix continues as the site's majority owner, calling the shots, but with new puppets in place to run it. As for Ken's minority share in the site, under the terms of his will the share was split between his two step-sons, who have little involvement with day-to-day operations.

Q-What about Ken's house, that was put on the market just days after his death?

A-Apparently there's not much of a market for a house where a double suicide occurred. Gambling911.com spoke to a real estate agent involved with the sale of the house, who said just "a few" people have looked at the home but none expressed serious interest. The house was listed with a $1.6 million price tag.

Q-Did Ken's death make the Las Vegas newspapers?

A-It did not. Apparently "The Shrink" was not as famous in the gambling capital of Las Vegas as he thought he was. In fact, the only newspaper in the world to report his death was his hometown Virginian-Pilot.

Q-Is Ken's Facebook page still up?

A-Yes. It's eerie, but it remains. Apparently, the folks who run Facebook have no idea that Ken--and thousands of others with Facebook pages--have died.

Q-So is this Gambling911.com article the end of the Ken saga?

A-No. ESPN's biweekly print publication, called ESPN the Magazine, is working on a story about Weitzner, and may reveal new information. No publication date for the article has been announced. When the article comes out, there may be an accompanying segment on ESPN's investigative TV show, "E-60."

By Tom Somach

Gambling911.com Staff Writer

tomsomach@yahoo.com

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