Friday, January 25, 2013
Rant #891: Blind Love
In the probably end to one of the strangest love stories of all time, Linda Pugach has passed away.
She and her husband, Burt, were together for decades.
That in itself is not that unusual, but the circumstances leading up to their marriage certainly were.
It was one of the biggest stories in the late 1950s in New York City, and the story stretched into the 1970s and beyond, really becoming the longest running tabloid story in the history of the city.
Linda was a gorgeous young lady in 1959, and she had many suitors.
One was Burt Pugach, a lawyer.
He wined her and dined her, but she spurned his advances.
Burt was married, but that didn't stop him at all. But Linda didn't like it, either.
Burt evidently didn't like that, and he hired thugs to throw lye at her, hitting her in the face, and blinding her for life.
Pugach was disbarred, convicted sent to jail, and that could have very well been the end of the story.
Only, it was really the beginning of the story.
Linda was blind, but evidently, love is not blind.
Pugach served his time, and divorced his first wife.
He then went after Linda again, but this time, the quest worked out much better for him.
The two actually married--he proposed on a TV show--but there was controversy in that union.
Friends of Linda said that Pugach convinced her to marry him because he said that with her condition, nobody else would have her.
Further, Pugach continued to be a media darling himself, keeping his and Linda's names in the news.
In a case eeringly similar to the previous case, Pugach had an affair with a woman while married to Linda.
When the woman wanted to break it off, he reportedly told her, "It can be 1959 all over again," and he supposedly threatened the woman with a similar bodily harm as he had inflicted on his wife.
There was a trial for this episode, too, and Linda testified on behalf of her husband. She said something to the effect that her husband was an adulterer, but he could not have made such menacing threats to the woman.
Pugach was acquitted of any crime in that case, and for that matter, has to this day said he had nothing to do with blinding Linda, even though he went to jail for it.
Since that time, the twosome has pretty much laid low.
They came back into the public eye when a documentary about their relationship, "Crazy Love," came out in the 1990s, but otherwise, this long-standing New York City tabloid story was nearly forgotten.
But Linda has passed away, and once again, this 50-year saga has come to the newspapers again.
It's such a bizarre story that it makes anything Lindsay Lohan does look like nothing.
This story was the real deal in New York City, opening the door for other true tabloid fodder that New York newspapers became famous for, such as a case a few years later involving Alice Crimmins.
Crimmins was a beautiful woman who was supposedly in a bad relationship, and because of this, she killed her kids, or so that is what she was put on trial for, and convicted on.
Cameras focused on her beauty while the trial went on, much like they did in the Pugach case with Linda.
I was more familiar, personally, with the Crimmins case, because believe it or not, it happened in the community I had lived in--Kew Gardens Hills, Queens--when I was a very young child, and it supposedly happened about a block away from where I lived.
We had moved by then, but even as a young child, I knew the area and knew the story.
Anyway, the Pugach case opened the door for these kind of sordid stories, and New York newspapers have given them extensive coverage ever since.
So rest in peace, Linda. I doubt anybody really understood your story, but your tale opened the door for so many, many others just like it.
Posted by Larry at 2:31 AM