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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Murder-Suicide

    Back in March of 1992 the Plantation, Florida Police Department reported two deaths. The deaths of an elderly couple from Tamarac, a part of the Miami–Fort Lauderdale–Pompano Beach Metropolitan Area, were classified as a murder-suicide. To the couple`s daughter the deaths were an act of love.
     The man had met his future wife Angela in Cleveland, Ohio, her place of birth, where he worked for the Cuyahoga Valley Railway for 32 years. Angela worked as a long-distance telephone operator and later in a Chevrolet automobile plant in Cleveland. They had were married 62 years and had moved to Tamarac in 1973. 
     The husband sneaked a handgun into his ailing wife's hospital room and shot her in the temple and then turned the gun on himself. They were found shortly after 4:15 p.m. when a nurse checked the room after hearing noises. The 80-year-old woman was found dead on her bed and her husband, 84, was found on the floor by the bed. He was barely alive and died in the emergency room 15 minutes later. 
     The couple's daughter said her father couldn't bear to be apart from his wife nor could he take the pain of watching her suffer. Her mother had been in the hospital nearly two months suffering from a circulation problem affecting her legs and she was expected to lose one leg and eventually the other. 
     She added that her mother's health had gotten really bad the past few years. She had lost her left eye in a cataract operation and about three years earlier had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Then her left leg started ulcerating and the sores got very big. Through it all her husband was there to care for her. For 52 days he watched her suffer in pain and every day sat with her for 4 or 5 hours holding her hand and trying to feed her and give her her medicine. 
     She was scheduled to be admitted to a nursing home in a couple of days, but didn't want to go and didn't want to lose her legs. All she wanted to do was go home. Her husband couldn't bear to see her suffer and cried for his wife every day. A neighbor told how the old man often spoke of his wife's suffering and had said she didn't want to live, explaining that she was in a lot of pain and wanted to die. 
     The old man had founded the local chess club about 10 years earlier and served as its president. During that time he carved his own chess set.  He was a member of the National Woodcarvers Association and while reading their magazine saw an ad for exotic hardwoods from the rain forests, ordered the wood and then shaped the pieces the shaped on his lathe. Putting his wife's needs first, he eventually stopped attending club functions because he hated to leave his wife at home alone when she was ill. 
     Soren “Sam” Korsgaard was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and arrived in the United States when he was 14. Korsgaard learned the basics of the game from an elderly lady who lived in his neighborhood in his native Copenhagen, but only began to play chess seriously after he moved to Ohio and joined the Parma Chess Club. In 1970, Korsgaard won the club's championship. After his death Tamarac club members named a tournament in his honor.

1 comment:

  1. Back in 1988, 76 year old Sammy Reshevsky gave a 21 board simul at Sunrise, Florida, with 80 year old Korsgaard being one of his opponents. Is their combined age of 156 the biggest for two players playing against each other in a simul?