Thursday, December 6, 2012

the last book I ever read (The Good Son: The Life of Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini, excerpt four)

from The Good Son: The Life of Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini by Mark Kriegel:

To Ray and those around him, the news was a relentless conspiracy of circumstance. Over the Fourth of July weekend, referee Richard Green was found in his North Las Vegas home, dead of a single gunshot wound to the chest. Green's work in the ring was universally well regarded. He was as good at the Silver Slipper as he was officiating championship bouts at Caesars. At forty-six, Green had been the third man in the ring for Larry Holmes's destruction of Muhammad Ali, for Duran's loss to Wilfred Benitez and for two of Ray's title fights against Frias and of course, Kim, a fight that earned him kudos for acting with decisive mercy. There was no suggestion that the fatal bout had left him impaired in any way. Green continued to referee and just the night before his death worked an ESPN card at the Showboat Hotel.

"Friends said he did not seem despondent but appeared in good spirits," according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

From the Las Vegas Sun: "Police said Green was found lying in bed with a revolver by his side. Three shots had been fired--one in the ceiling and one in the wall. No suicide note was found."

To satisfy his own curiosity, Ralph Wiley met with the daughter of Green's first marriage. Her name was Regina, and she was convinced her father's death was the result of a professional hit.

"My father had too much to live for," she told the writer. "Everybody liked him . . . I was one of the first ones who found him . . . I live three minutes away . . . Every door in his house was closed, including the bedroom door. I know he never closes those doors. I know my father's routine. And his car door was unlocked. I know if he never locks no other door, he locks that one. You know, I swear it's got something to do with boxing . . ."

Not long after the body was found, Regina began receiving calls at home, a male voice telling her, "Your daddy killed himself."

Green's second wife, a security guard at the MGM Grand, told Regina she had received similar calls.

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