HAZING DEATHS - Hank Nuwer Chronology Report


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HAZING DEATHS - Hank Nuwer Chronology Report

  1. 1. listoflists Page 1 of 24 Twitter handle: HazingHank Nuwer Chronology of Hazing Deaths: resulting from hazing and pledging-related accidents (the latter without criminal charges and/oradmissions of hazing by a group or individuals).Site copyrighted by Hank Nuwer, from Wrongs of Passage (revised ed. 2001, Indiana University Press)and book-in-progress, “A Weed in the Garden of Academe,” by Hank Nuwer.Site copyrighted by Hank Nuwer, from Wrongs of Passage (revised ed. 2001, Indiana University Press) and book-in-progress, “A Weed in the Garden of Academe,” by Hank Nuwer.Last additional deaths entered: December 19, 20121) 1838Franklin Seminary (Kentucky)Class HazingJohn Butler Groves died in a hazing incident, according to a family history.2) 1847Amherst College (Massachusetts)Class HazingJonathan D. Torrance died of illness following a drenching with iced water during a hazing custom called “freshmanvisitation,”according to then-President Edward Hitchcock of Amherst.http://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  2. 2. listoflists Page 2 of 243) 1873Cornell University (New York)Kappa Alpha SocietyMortimer N. Leggett died in a fall into a steep gorge while on a walk in the dark required by fraternity members. Familyclaims that Leggettwas blindfolded were disputed by the chapter.4) 1892Yale University (Connecticut)Delta Kappa EpsilonA blindfolded student was killed in an accident in an initiation incident condemned then as outdated “criminalrecklessness”by the national fraternity, according to a published article by Fred Kershner (now deceased), formerly ofColumbia Teachers College and a fraternity member.5) 1894Cornell UniversityBystander accidental deathA non-Cornell bystander accidentally died during a class prank.6) 1899Cornell UniversityKappa Alpha SocietyPledge Edward F. Berkeley drowned while completing a pledging errand.7) 1899Lawrenceville, New JerseyHigh School hazingMartin V. Bergen, 12, died of "inflammation of the bowels" when he was crushed Nov. 22 "when one of the hazersaccidentally fell upon him," according to the Columbus Daily Enquirer of Nov. 23, 1899. Martin was the son of localcouncilman Peter V. Bergen.8) 1899Chicago, IllinoisChicago College of Dental Surgery (also referred to as Chicago School of Dental Surgery)Dental School HazingThe scholarly "Medical Journal" and Boston Globe and other publications reported the death from internal injuriescaused by hazing of James J. Mount of the class of 1903. The schools custom of the time to haze was to pass a newstudent from upperclassman hand to hand. Mount, already ill with an unspecified ailment, was dropped when passedover class seats. The victim was related to then-Indiana Governor Mount.9) 1900Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyClass ScrapHugh C. Moore died following a snapped neck in a traditional fight between first- and second-year students.10) 1900United States Military Academy (New York)Illness that revealed hazing abusesAlthough the death of plebe Oscar Booz was considered illness-caused by a committee of inquiry, those members of the U.S.House of Representatives on the committee determined that he also had been maliciously hazed by upperclassmen.11) 1903University of Maryland, Baltimore campusPhi Psi Chihttp://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  3. 3. listoflists Page 3 of 24Inadequate forensic techniques of the day were unable to provide an exact cause of death other than “congestion of thelungs”for Martin Loew following a hazing by fellow students of the local dental fraternity that left Loew’s body bruised.12) 1905Kenyon College (Ohio)Delta Kappa EpsilonAccidental Death Following a HazingStuart L. Pierson was struck by a train after fraternity brothers left him on a bridge in an incident called “a mystery death”byKenyon historian George Franklin Smythe.13) 1908Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)Freshman hazingDuring a campus hazing battle on Sept. 22, 1908, Emil S. (Ernie) Grau, of Wareham, Mass., a memberof the Class of 1911, died five days later of a fracture of the spine and multiple injuries. [Note: a 1911WPI yearbook has the spelling of "Gran."]14) 1912University of North CarolinaClass hazingFreshman Isaac Rand bled to death following a stunt in which his throat was accidentally sliced by a broken bottle.15) 1913Purdue University (Indiana)Class hazingFrances W. Obenchain died while participating in an annual scrap pitting first-year students against upperclass students.Newspaper accounts of the day and an official Purdue history have differing deductions for the death’s physical cause thatoccurred during the chaotic traditional battle under a water tank.16) 1913Morrisville College (Morrisville Missouri; now closed)Retaliation after hazingStudent Millard Copeland, 26, attacked Bryan Crane, 16, with a weapon (accounts differ as to whether weapon was agun or knife) and killed him.17) 1914St. John’s Military College (Maryland)Class HazingWilliam R. Bowlus was shot and killed while hazing a first-year student.18) 1915University of KentuckyClass Hazing-Related AccidentFreshman Eldridge Griffith was accidentally killed during a celebration over his class’s victory in a traditional class contest.19) 1915New Mexico Military InstituteClass hazingThe family of Ludwig Von Gerichten Jr. blamed his illness-related death on hazing after he was dunked in a horse tank andabandoned in the country.20) 1917http://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  4. 4. listoflists Page 4 of 24College of the City of New YorkPhi Sigma KappaWilliam Ashcom Bullock died of spinal meningitis, and his mother attributed the cause to hazing because members rolled thealready ill Bullock on the ground in a wet blanket.21) 1919Colgate University New York)Class hazingFreshman Frank McCullough drowned when he tried swimming to shore after sophomores abandoned him on an island.22) 1921Northwestern University (Illinois)Cause of Death Unknown following a Class HazingLeighton Mount disappeared after a traditional class rush, and his body was found beneath a pier two years later. His demiseis a mystery.23) 1922Hamilton College (New York)Class Hazing or HorseplayDuncan Saunders, 15, died of a skull fracture and ruptured aorta when he was roughly flung from a bed during an incidentvariously described as horseplay unrelated to hazing and hazing.24) 1923University of AlabamaSigma NuIllness following InitiationGlenn Kersh, who had a faulty heart, died “from psychic effects of excitement” following his fraternal initiation, according tothe coroner’s report.25) 1923Franklin and Marshall College (Pennsylvania)Class HazingSophomore Ainsworth Brown died while injured in a scrap between classes.26) 1923Northwestern University (Illinois)Class HazingLouis Aubere was accidentally killed by a passing car while on the running board of a car as he searched for fellow freshmenabducted by sophomores, according to a letter written by Northwestern archivist Patrick Quinn addressed to researcher MikeMoskos.27) 1928University of TexasDelta Kappa EpsilonHazingPledge Nolte McElroy, an athlete, died from the electric shock when he had to crawl through mattresses charged with electriccurrent.28) 1929Indiana UniversityDelta ChiIllness-related Hazinghttp://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  5. 5. listoflists Page 5 of 24George Steinmetz Jr. died from lung disease after being physically hazed. The death was blamed by his mother on hazing,but cited as illness-related by university then-administrators who nonetheless strongly condemned all acts of hazing.29) 1940University of MissouriTheta Nu EpsilonAlcohol-related hazingHubert L. Spake Jr. died following a drinking session mandated by a fraternity chapter unrecognized by the university. Helikely was thefirst of many fraternity pledges or members to die from alcohol intoxication during an initiation, according toHank Nuwer’s historical research.30) 1945St. Louis University (Missouri)Phi Beta PiFalal Accident During HazingRobert Perry was turned into a human torch and died after members coated his naked body with flammable substances andapplied an electric shock to his skin.31) 1949Brown University (Rhode Island)Fraternity Rush NightWhile on a tour of a fraternity house intended as a rush event to introduce pledges to different fraternal chapters, H. T. Gehl,19, fell down a set of stairs and died two days later.32) 1950University of California, BerkeleySigma PiDeath Following Hazing DropoffPledge Gerald L. Foletta died when hit by an automobile after members dropped him off in the countryside.33) 1950Wittenberg University (Ohio)Alpha Tau OmegaDeath Following Hazing DropoffPledge Dean J. Niswonger was hit by a car as he slept after being dropped off on a road far from campus.34) 1951Natchitoches, LAFreshman prankDrowningA custom of the day was for students to take a freshman out to a high bluff for a supposed hot blind date. Once there,the victim was accosted by a supposedly outraged husband. This time a joker fired a weapon and Allen Kaplan, 18,fell from a bluff into the Red River and drowned. Newspapers and magazines of the day referred in some cases to thedrowning as a prank, others as a hazing because Allen was a newcomer from Massachustts.35) 1954Swarthmore College (Pennsylvania)Delta UpsilonDeath during Hazing DropoffPeter Mertz was killed by a passing car after members abandoned him in the country.36) 1956Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyDelta Kappa Epsilonhttp://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  6. 6. listoflists Page 6 of 24Death Following Hazing DropoffDisoriented pledge Thomas Clark drowned in a reservoir after members dropped him off in countryside unfamiliar to him.37) 1957University of California, Santa BarbaraDelta Tau DeltaDeath During “Pinning” Pseudo-initiationMax Caulk, 22, drowned in a harbor following a silly initiation practiced by members after fellow members got pinned orengaged to a sorority woman.38) 1959University of Southern CaliforniaKappa SigmaPhysical hazing (eating ritual)Pledge Richard Swanson choked to death while trying to swallow a slab of liver at the request of members. The chapter wasfamous as the chapter of USC undergraduate and Hollywood TV star David Nelson. It later became the model for thefictional hazing fraternity in the movie Fraternity Row. Television star David Nelson was a member of this chapter at thetime, but he was to my knowledge never linked to being on the scene when Swanson died. Members did not want to tell arescue worker what had occurred to make Swanson choke.39) 1965Georgetown College (Kentucky)Pi Kappa AlphaDeath During “Pinning” Pseudo-initiationMember Richard Winder drowned in dam waters while hazing a fellow member during a silly initiation practiced bymembers after someone in the chapter was pinned or engaged.40) 1967Baylor University (Texas)Physical hazing (eating ritual)John E. Clifton died while choking down a foul concoction requested by members. The state ruled the incident an accident,and the then-college president said the incident did not meet his definition of hazing.41) 1970Eastern Illinois UniversityAlpha Gamma Delta sororityAccidental death of member during prank abductionA sorority member jumped on the bumper of a moving car as pledges tried to abandon her in the country as a joke. The deathwas ruled accidental by authorities, and a family member argued that her death should be called a prank, not hazing.42) 1971Tulane UniversityDelta Kappa EpsilonRush-related horseplay or hazingWayne Kennedy, 17, drowned after being thrown in a lake during a rush party. Authorities at the time called the incidentnon-hazing horseplay.43) 1972Pierce College (California)Chi Chi ChiDeath Following Hazing DropoffMember Fred Bronner was taken on a dropoff for his alleged bad attitude by members. Taken without his glasses, he plungedinto a gorge and died.http://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  7. 7. listoflists Page 7 of 2444) 1972University of MarylandSigma Alpha MuPhysical hazingMember Brian Cursack collapsed and died after performing calisthenics during pledging.45) 1973Lehigh University (Pennsylvania)Delta PhiPledge leaped from car during abductionPledge Mitchell Fishkin died when he jumped from car while being taken to a dropoff far from campus. School and fraternityofficials called the incident horseplay, not hazing.46, 47, 48, 49) 1974Grove City College (Pennsylvania)AdelphikosFour pledges died following dropoffFour of the 17 pledges taken on a dropoff were killed by a car whose driver had fallen asleep at the wheel. The dead wereThomas M. Elliot,John Curtin, Rudolph Mion, and Gary Gilliland, all 18.50) 1974Monmouth College (New Jersey)Zeta Beta TauPhysical hazingWilliam E. Flowers, 19, suffocated after being entombed in a grave members asked him to dig on a sandy ocean beach.51) 1974Bluefield State College (West Virginia)Tau Kappa EpsilonShooting during pre-inductionMichael Bishop, a fraternity member, was shot and killed by the chapter’s graduate adviser during a bizarre hazing. Canswere put on heads of pledges and knocked off with a stick simultaneously as a gun was fired by a member or the adviser.52) 1975Northern Illinois UniversityWine Psi PhiAlcohol-related hazing deathRichard A. Gowins died following alcohol poisoning mandated by members of a social club not affiliated with the university.53) 1975University of Wisconsin, Stevens PointSiasefi fraternity (spelling is correct)Alcohol-related hazing deathPledge David Hoffman died in his sleep after members took him on a so-called “Death March” during which students drankatlocal bars.54) 1975University of Nevada, RenoSundowners (local drinking fraternity)Alcohol-related initiation drinking deathPledge John Davies died on the bed of a pickup truck at Pyramid Lake after members required three days of marathondrinking. The club was under suspension by the university at the time of death.http://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  8. 8. listoflists Page 8 of 2455) 1975Washington State UniversityTau Kappa EpsilonHell Week death from pneumoniaSleep-deprived pledge John Asher died of pneumonia following a Hell Week in which he voluntarily participated in heavyexercises despite being very ill.56) 1975Cheyney University of Pennsylvania (then-Cheyney State College)Freshman-sophomore class hazingPhysical hazingDuring a brutal session, an upperclassman slammed freshman Theodore Ben into a wall. He went into a coma and died. Thethen-college president denied all responsibility.57) 1976Texas Tech UniversityPi Kappa AlphaMember death during scavenger huntFraternity pledges and members lost track of member Samuel Mark Click. A search party found he had been hit and killed bya train.58) 1976St. John’s University (New York)Pershing RiflesBayonet stabbing during hazing incidentROTC pledge Thomas Fitzgerald, a student at another school (Queens College) who had applied for admission into the eliteSt. John’s chapter, was accidentally impaled by a bayonet blade during a stunt meant merely to intimidate him.59) 1977North Carolina Central UniversityUnrecognized renegade chapterPhysical hazingA pledge died performing heavy exercises at the request of an outlaw group which falsely had claimed a connection with anational historically black fraternity.60) 1977University of PennsylvaniaUnrecognized renegade chapterPhysical hazingA pledge died of a heart attack after weeks of beatings and physical exertion at the bequest of a chapter which claimed it hada connection with a national historically black fraternity. The national disavowed all ties.61) 1977University of Missouri, RollaKappa Alpha Order, and Daughters of LeeInitiation accidentA cannon misfired and exploded during a Daughters of Lee little sisters’ initiation, killing fraternity member RandallCrustals,21.62) 1978Loras College (Iowa)Gamma Psi (drinking club unrecognized by the school)Alcohol-related deathhttp://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  9. 9. listoflists Page 9 of 24Stephen J. McNamara died in a residence hall room following a drinking marathon with members.63) 1978Alfred University (New York)Klan Alpine fraternityAlcohol-related hazing deathPledge Charles (Chuck) Stenzel died following an intense drinking bout requested by local chapter members as part ofTapping Night, the school’s traditional opening night of pledging. The investigation by a local prosecuting attorney neverformally was closed, but no charges ever were forthcoming.64) 1979Louisiana State UniversityTheta XiRitual marchBruce Wiseman was blindfolded when a car plowed into him and other pledges on a dark road in the countryside. He alonedied.65) 1979Rutgers University (New Jersey)Delta PhiAlcohol-related Pledging DeathUniversity officials ruled non-hazing a voluntary drinking bout at dawn that afterwards was a factor when pledge Richard C.Fuhs, Jr., died in an auto accident.66, 67) 1979Virginia State CollegeBeta Phi Burgundy (female) and Wine Psi Phi (male)Pledging-related accidentPledge Norsha Lynn Delk died in a river drowning during a so-called cleansing ceremony and pledge Robert Etheridge diedtrying to rescue her.68) 1980University of North DakotaSigma NuMember stabbed by member during Discipline SessionA member who was being punished with a “cherry belly” by other members disciplining him for his alleged bad attitudeaccidentally stabbed and killed Kingsley Davidson, 19. The member was found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter.69) 1980Clarkson University (New York)Alpha Epsilon PiPledging-related accidentPledge David Masciantonio, 19, died while jogging at 3 a.m. with other pledges when a car struck him. A school spokesmanat the time said no hazing occurred in spite of the hour, but a hazing activist attacked the denial.70) 1980Mississippi State UniversityPi Kappa AlphaPledging-related accidentMember Curtis Huntley, 20, went into a coma and died after leaping from a car filled with pledges who wanted to dunk himin a mudhole, possibly to celebrate his birthday.71) 1980http://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  10. 10. listoflists Page 10 of 24University of MissouriPhi Kappa PsiPledging-related incident then-termed horseplayPledge Lex Dean Batson fell to his death from a bluff following a prank in which pledges and members tried to urinate on astatue below. A family member disputed officials’ finding that the incident was horseplay, not hazing.72) 1980Ithaca CollegeDelta KappaPhysical hazingPledge Joseph Parella, 18, died exercising in a steam room as a form of hazing.73) 1980University of Lowell (Massachusetts)Delta Kappa PhiPhysical hazingPledge Steve Call lapsed into a coma and died following heavy exertion exercises.74) 1980University of South CarolinaSigma NuAlcohol-related Hazing DeathPledge Barry Ballou choked to death after passing out at a ritualized drinking session attended by an alumnus and members.75) 1981University of Wisconsin, SuperiorFEX local fraternityPhysical hazingPledge Rick Cerra, 21, collapsed and died while exercising in heavy clothing on a warm day at the behest of members.76) 1982Towson State UniversityAlpha Omega LambdaSleep-deprivation related accident during servitude actVictor (Ricky) Siegel died wearing a Playboy bunny costume when he rolled his car while on a mission to get signaturesfrom chapter alumni members.77 and 78) 1982University of VirginiaSigma ChiAlcohol-related accident during pledgingTwo young pledges were killed when the rental van they were stuffed into with other pledges and members collided withanother vehicle.79) 1983Tennessee State UniversityOmega Psi PhiPledging-related drinking and physical hazing sessionPledge Vann Watts died of an alcohol overdose. A fellow pledge claimed they had been beaten and made to drink, but otherpledges denied hazing had occurred.80) 1984University of California, Davishttp://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  11. 11. listoflists Page 11 of 24Kappa Alpha OrderAlcohol-related deathA truck filled with pledges and members on a mission to paint a rock with graffiti crashed on Interstate 80, killing Brad Bing,21.81) 1984Texas A & M UniversityCorps of CadetsHazing by calisthenicsSecond-year member Bruce Ward Goodrich, 20, died from heatstroke while performing strenuous exercises at 2:30 a.m. Onestudent was found guilty of destroying evidence (a company exercise schedule, and three pleaded guilty to hazing.82) 1984American International CollegeZeta Chi local chapter of athletic team fraternityAlcohol-related hazing deathPledge Jay Lenaghan, 19, died following a drinking marathon with a blood-alcohol level of 0.48.83) 1984California State University, ChicoTau Gamma Theta local fraternityAlcohol-related pledging deathPledge Jeffrey Franklin Long, 23, was killed by a fellow pledge’s speeding car. Ten pledges consumed at least two gallons ofwine the night of the death. Members still maintain that the press overreacted to the death.84) 1985University of ColoradoKappa Alpha ThetaAlcohol-related Pledging deathUnder-aged Pledge Sherri Ann Clark’s blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit when she fell to her death at a partysponsored by two sororities. Fraternity and sorority national executives then and now have defined giving alcohol to pledgesto be a form of hazing, but Clark’s death at the time was classified as a non-hazing alcohol-related death.85) 1985University of Missouri, ColumbiaLambda Chi AlphaAlcohol-related Pledging-related AccidentA rushee being driven home from a rush party by a member was killed in a car accident.86) 1986Lamar University (Texas)Omega Psi Phi with involvement by non-memberPhysical hazingPledge Harold Thomas, 25, died on a track of heart failure when a non-member in a fraternity shirt made him exercise.Authorities ruled the death non-hazing, but the incident sparked national interest in taking strong measures against renegadechapters and members. Thomas did not have the university-mandated gradepoint average required for pledging eligibility.87) 1986University of TexasPhi Kappa PsiAlcohol-related hazingMark Seeberger, 18, died with a blood-alcohol level of 0.43 when members gave him rum and beer. A Travis County grandjury refused to indict anyone.http://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  12. 12. listoflists Page 12 of 2488) 1987University of MississippiKappa Alpha OrderAlcohol-related fallAlthough the death of Harry (Skip) Cline Jr., 18, was ruled an accidental, non-hazing death by university officials, it occurredafter an annual drinking party at the house in which pledges were encouraged to drink.89) 1987University of ArkansasPi Kappa AlphaAlcohol-related pledging deathRushee Todd Prince, an underage drinker, was killed outside a restroom by a passing vehicle during a fraternity hayride inwhich the chapters upplied alcohol.90) 1987Stanford UniversityZeta PsiAlcohol-related Pledging DeathRushee David Dunshee, 20, died during a fraternity party held on a lake. Alcohol was a factor in the death.91) 1988Rutgers UniversityLambda Chi AlphaAlcohol-related Pledging DeathPledge James Callahan died after members set up more than two hundred mixed drinks for he and other pledges to consume.92) 1988State University of New York at AlbanyTau Kappa EpsilonElectrocution during pre-initiation “cleansing” ritualSchool and law-enforcement officials ruled that hazing did not occur when pledges and members agreed to enter a lake that,unknown to them,was laced with an electric current due to a malfunctioning cable. Pledge Bryan Higgins died in the high-voltage death trap.93) 1988University of Richmond (Virginia)Pi Kappa AlphaAccidental death during servitudeMatthew S. McCoy, 18, died asleep at the wheel while on a pledge errand. A school official ruled the incident was non-hazing although such pledging errands were not permitted by the international fraternity.94) 1988University of TexasDelta Tau DeltaPledging-related Accidental DeathMember Gregg Scott Phillips, 21, fell from a cliff while trying to escape pledges intent on tossing him fully clothed into aswimming pool.95) 1988Rider College (New Jersey)Theta ChiPledging- and Alcohol-related Deathhttp://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  13. 13. listoflists Page 13 of 24Pledge Sean Hickey, 19, died in a car filled with pledges and a kidnapped chapter member. A 19-year-old driver received aone-year sentence for his reckless speeding at the time of the accident.96) 1989Morehouse College (Georgia)Alpha Phi AlphaPhysical hazingPledge Joel Harris, 18, who had an enlarged heart, died after limited physical hazing.97) 1990Dickinson College (Pennsylvania)Alpha Chi RhoPledging-related deathRushee Steven Butterworth fell out a window to his death after consuming ten quick drinks at a rush party. The death wasruled accidental, not a hazing.98) 1990Western Illinois UniversityLacrosse ClubAthletic hazingNick Haben, a non-drinker ordinarily, died from an alcohol overdose while participating in alcohol games for a schoolathletic club.Several members were convicted by the courts of serving alcohol to a minor.99) 1991University of Missouri, RollaSt. Pat’s BoardAlcohol-related hazingMike Nisbet, 28, choked on his own vomit during a drinking initiation into a campus local club.100) 1991University of California, BerkeleyPhi Gamma DeltaAlcohol-related pledging deathPledge John Moncello, 18, came to the house when ordered even though he warned members he had been drinking.Unsteady, he fell to his death from a fire escape.101) 1991Trinity University (Texas)TriniteersAlcohol-related Pledging AccidentPledge Rolland C. Pederson died when struck by a car on the side of the road while headed to a pledge retreat. Even thoughalcohol was involved, the school ruled the incident merely violated its alcohol policy and was not hazing.102) 1992University of VermontSigma Phi SocietyRush party alcohol-related accidental deathRushee Jonathan S. McNamara, 17, fell from a cliff when he lost his balance while on an outing with members of the chapterhe wished to pledge. His blood-alcohol level was 0.125.103) 1992University of VirginiaAlpha Phi AlphaPledging-related Accidental Deathhttp://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  14. 14. listoflists Page 14 of 24Grossly sleep-deprived pledge Gregory Batipps died at the wheel of a car. A county commonwealth attorney called the deathaccidental, but the victim’s father disputed that hazing had not occurred.104) 1992Frostburg State UniversityPhi Sigma KappaPledging-related deathAn ill and exhausted J.B. Joynt III died following a pledge sneak in which pledges rough-housed with members. Thefraternity blamed thedeath on illness and argued that hazing had not occurred. No charges were filed, and police destroyedJoynt’s pledge book.105) 1993Auburn University (Alabama)Phi Delta ThetaAlcohol-related DeathChad Saucier, a pledge even though he was a community college student, died from alcohol intoxication following an annualbottle exchange between members and pledges.106) 1993Alcorn State University (Mississippi)Alpha Phi Omega (inactive, banned chapter at the time)Death During So-Called PrankLeslie Ware, 18, was shot at 1 a.m. on a school light while stealing a chair. He was shot by the boyfriend of the woman whoowned the chair.The surviving pledges originally said they were procuring the chair for a member who requested it, but thenretracted the claim to say they were pulling a prank on their own.107) 1994Bloomsburg University (Pennsylvania)Delta ChiAlcohol-Related Death of Member at Hell NightMember Terry Linn, 21, died following pledging Hell Night with a blood-alcohol count of 0.40.108) 1994Southeast Missouri StateKappa Alpha PsiPhysical Hazing“Candidate for initiation” Michael Davis was pummeled to death by members. Several members served small sentences.109) 1995University of TexasTexas CowboysAlcohol-related Death by DrowningGabriel Higgins drowned in the Colorado River after participating in silly drinking games at the initiation party on the ranchof an alumnus who did not partake in the games.110) 1996University of VirginiaPi Kappa PhiAlcohol-related Death Following Rush FunctionMember Brian Cook, 21, died in an auto accident following a rush event he himself had chaired. A fraternity brother wasconvicted of driving under the influence.111) 1997http://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  15. 15. listoflists Page 15 of 24Texas A & MPhi Gamma DeltaAsthma attack during pledging activitiesA Brazos County grand jury brought no charges against members who soaked a pledge with water on a chilly January day.Although Walker was cleaning the house, members insisted no hazing had occurred. Walker’s family argued hazing was afactor in his death.112, 113) 1997UCLALambda Chi AlphaAccidental drowning during Drinking Event During PledgingPledges Brian T. Sanders and Brian Pearce died during a pledge and member outing in which alcohol was served pledges.114) 1997North Carolina State UniversityTau Kappa EpsilonDrowning Following InitiationSteven Velazquez, 19, died when he and other members and new members dove into a lake for a traditional swim followingthe initiation of pledges. A 911 call reporting the accident said all had been “roughing around” when the deathoccurred.Hazing was denied by participants.115) 1997Louisiana State UniversitySigma Alpha EpsilonAlcohol-related Pledging deathBenjamin Wynne, 20, died at the start of the school year while celebrating his acceptance as a pledge. His alcohol level wasnearly six times the legal limit.116) 1997Clarkson University and State University of New York at PotsdamTheta ChiAlcohol-related hazingBinaya Oja, 17, died from alcohol intoxication on bid night.117) 1997Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyPhi Gamma DeltaAlcohol-related Pledging DeathPledge Scott Krueger, 18, went into a coma and died at a pledge party. Charges were filed against the chapter instead ofmembers,and the chapter merely dissolved with little or no consequence to individuals. The school settled with Krueger’sparents for $6million.118) 1998University of WashingtonDelta Kappa EpsilonSuicide following hazing incidentJohn Laduca, 18, a newly initiated member who had endured hazing but also had personal problems, killed himself in thehouse. The nationalfraternity said the personal problems, not hazing, contributed to Laduca’s suicide. Laduca’s familyinsisted the hazing and sleep deprivation might have clouded their son’s judgment.119) 1998University of MichiganPhi Delta Theta and Chi OmegaFall of Pledgehttp://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  16. 16. listoflists Page 16 of 24Courtney Cantor had a small amount of alcohol and possibly a date-rape drug in her system as she plunged from a dormitoryto her death. In some ways, her death was a mystery in that her final movements were unknown. However, both nationalorganizations strongly insist on alcohol-free pledging.120) 1998University of MississippiSigma ChiSuicideDudley R. Moore IV died by hanging. He had been hazed prior to dying, but the family and university blamed personalproblems, not the chapter, as the main cause for Moore’s actions.121) 1998University of TexasPhi Kappa SigmaAlcohol-related deathMember Jack L. Ivey, Jr., 23, died after pledges played a drinking game with him. His blood-alcohol level was 0.40.122) 1999Iona College (New York)Sigma Tau OmegaAlcohol-related deathPledge Kevin Lawless, 18, died during pledging from an alcohol overdose. Seven members were fined and given a one-yearconditional discharge.123) 1999Ferris State UniversityKnights of College Leadership (disbanded from former national fraternity)Alcohol deathPledge Stephen Petz, 19, died during an initiation that was videotaped. Members were convicted for serving alcohol to aminor. Michigan later passed a state hazing law.124) 1999University of RichmondFirst-year class orientation traditionDrowning accidentFirst-year student Donnie Lindsey Jr. drowned after jumping into a campus lake in an unsanctioned ritual following auniversity-sanctioned signing of the school’s honor code.No hazing charges were brought against event organizers.125) 2000University of GeorgiaAlpha Tau OmegaRoad trip deathPledge sneaks—events in which pledges kidnap members—have widely been condemned by national organizations. BenFolsom Grantham III died on an apparent pledge sneak. The university condemned the activity but did not rule hazing hadoccurred.126) 2000Chico State University (California)Pi Kappa PhiAlcohol deathPledge Adrian Heideman died after being encouraged to drink. Some members, including chapter officers, received a lightjail sentence.http://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  17. 17. listoflists Page 17 of 24127) 2001Indiana UniversityTheta ChiAccidental rush deathSeth Korona died from the effects of a head injury contracted after consuming beer during a keg stand.128) 2001Tennessee State UniversityOmega Psi PhiPledging deathA coroner wrote that Joseph T. Green died during an exercise session suggested by members.129) 2001University of MiamiKappa SigmaAccidental drowning of pledge (hazing was ruled out until a May 2002 statement by attorney reopened case)Chad Meredith, 18, of Indianapolis, drowned in Lake Osceola while with two Kappa Sigma brothers. A judgment in a civilsuit awarded the family$14 million from those present at Meredith’s death.130) 2001University of Minnesota, DuluthMen’s and women’s rugby initiationDeath ruled an accidentAlthough Ken Christiansen had been drinking at an initiation party and veteran members scrawled pictures on their faces, hedied of an accident when he fell dead drunk into a creek and died, according to a police investigation.131) 2002Alfred UniversityZeta Beta TauSuicide after beating for revealing hazing traditionMember Ben Klein who was beaten after turning his chapter in for what he considered hazing and later was found dead in acreek near the fraternity house. State investigators ruled Klein’s death a suicide.132, 133) 2002San Diego State UniversityTau Kappa EpsilonHigh-speed Pledging-elated Truck CrashTwo males associated with the SDSU Tekes, on suspension for hazing, were killed when thrown from their truck as pledgeswere being taken somewhere from campus. The dead were identified as Brian Jimenez and Zachary Jacobs, both 18. Anangry mother demanded to know why pledges had been taken out when the chapter was under suspension.134, 135) 2002California State, Los AngelesAlpha Kappa Alpha sorority,Drowning but hazing as yet never establishedThe Associated Press reports that the mother of a drowning victim and her friend may have been partaking in a sorority ritual.The students--Kenitha Saafir, 24, and Kristin High, 22--died in waters off Playa del Rey, according to police officerscontacted by AP. High may have been performing an unsanctioned hazing ritual for Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, accordingto her mother’s allegations. Those present denied hazing occurred. The family has announced a civil suit to come. No hazingcharges have ever been pressed.136) 2002University of Nevada, RenoPi Kappa Alphahttp://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  18. 18. listoflists Page 18 of 24Drowning DeathPledge Albert (A.J.) Santos drowned in a University of Nevada campus lake. He was a pledge of Pi Kappa Alpha. There wereno arrests.137) 2002University of MarylandPhi Sigma KappaAlcohol Link Investigated in Bid Night death (February)Daniel Reardon, 19, was found in a coma in January at the Phi Sigma Kappa house following Bid Night. Authorities and hisfamily blame an alcohol drinking tradition associated with pledging for his death. No hazing charges were filed.138, 139, 140, 141) 2003Yale UniversityDelta Kappa EpsilonDeath after Night of Chapter “Ride” into New York (pledging-related)Following an old custom of pledges taking a senior fraternity member on a “ride” into New York City, a caravan of brothersand pledges returned to New Haven. Near Bridgeport, one of the DKE vehicles hit a semi that had broken down. Four youngmen were killed and five were injured. Yale sophomores Nicholas Grass, Kyle Burnat, Andrew Dwyer and junior SeanFenton perished. The case in 2012 was opened up again as a civil matter.142) 2003Plattsburgh State (State University of New York)Psi Epsilon Chi (suspended and unrecognized at time)Hazing convictionsFollowing the death of 18-year-old Plattsburgh State University freshmanWalter Dean Jennings, 11 fraternity brothers were convicted of various crimes and served smaller sentences. Police statedthat Jennings apparently died of swelling of the brain related to water intoxication.143) 2003Rochester Institute of Technology (New York)Kappa Phi ThetaPledging-related deathJerry Hopkins, 36, a fraternity pledge attending the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, died on a campout with theKappa Phi Theta fraternity in Pennsylvania’s Allegany National Forest. Autopsy was inconclusive.144) 2003Plymouth State UniversitySigma Kappa Omega sorority (a local that formerly was a national sorority)Pledging-related death in car crashPledge Kelly Nester of Coventry, R.I., died following the crash of Jeep Grand Cherokee. 10 pledges were stuffed in theCherokee and on the floor without seatbelt restraints to protect them, police determined. A lawyer for the driver of the vehicledenies that any swerving or hazing occurred. A civil suit has been launched.145) 2003Bradley UniversityPhi Kappa TauRush-related deathRobert Schmalz, 22, died following a rush event in which he consumed a lethal amount of alcohol. He was a member, not apledge.146) 2004University of ColoradoChi PsiHazinghttp://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  19. 19. listoflists Page 19 of 24Gordon Bailey, 18, died after pledges consumed massive amounts of alcohol.147) 2004University of OklahomaSigma ChiAlcohol death of pledgeBlake Hammontree was found dead in the house at 10:30 a.m. following a function at the house. Family called incidenthazing, but coroner termed death accidental.148) 2005Chico State University (California)Chi Tau (college-banned chapter)Hazing deathEight men were charged with crimes in the death of pledge Matthew Carrington, 21. Convictions included one felony countfor a sentence of one year in prison.149) 2005Lambda Phi EpsilonUniversity of California IrvinePledge death under investigationPledge Kenny Luong of Cal Poly Pomona died in August after competing in a football game with other pledges againstmembers of the Irvine chapter. There were many more members than pledges in the roughly played game. The death isunder investigation.150) 2005University of TexasLambda Phi EpsilonAlcohol death of a pledgePhanta “Jack” Phoummarath died of acute alcohol intoxication during a fraternity event. Toxicology ruling cameJanuary2006.151) 2006University of TexasSigma Alpha EpsilonPolice said hazing may have been a factor in the death of pledge Tyler Cross who died in a fall while under the influence ofalcohol.152) 2007Rider UniversityPhi Kappa TauHazingGary Devercelly Jr. died of alcohol poisoning during a hazing incident at Rider University. He was a baseball player fromCalifornia prior to coming to Rider.153) 2008University of DelawareSigma Alpha MuHazing DeathBrett Griffin, 18, of Kendall Park, N.J died in Newark, DE. The Delta Lambda chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu has been chargedwith misdemeanor hazing by the Delaware Attorney General’s office, the Associated Press reported.Newark Police have charged University of Delaware students, all members or pledges of Sigma Alpha Mu, had already beencharged as individuals by Newark police with alcohol and drug offenses stemming from the investigation of the death ofBrett Griffin. However, police emphasized the individuals have no links to the death of Griffin. Griffin, died at a party inhttp://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  20. 20. listoflists Page 20 of 24November. The fraternity is already being sued by Griffin’s family.154) 2008Wabash CollegeDelta Tau DeltaFamily member blames death on hazingThe attorney for the family of 18-year-old Johnny D. Smith of Tucson,Arizona who died of alcohol poisoning took theunusual step of calling a press conference calling for investigation of possible hazing.Smiths grandmother, Monya Ballah,Tucson, wrote that her grandson told her pledges were being pressured to drink alcohol in an e-mail to The Indianapolis Star.155) 2008Lenoir RhyneTheta ChiHazing denied by school but events fit Theta Chi definition of hazingPolice complained that university officials waited two days before asking them to investigate the death of Harrison Kowiak,18, in whathas been called a physical initiation game. The death has not officially been ruled hazing, but the father andmother of Kowiak said the event certainly met the definition of hazing.Earlier in the year the Lenoir-Rhyne women’s soccer team was videotaped in a hazing incident involving alcohol.156) 2008Utah StateSigma Nu (with Chi Omega participation)Hazing (alcohol given to male pledges by sorority members)The death of Michael Starks sent several fraternity and sorority members to jail in 2009. Chi Omega and Sigma Nu weresuspended following the death.157) 2008Cal PolySigma Alpha EpsilonHazingThe death of pledge Carson Starkey, 18, on December 2, 2008 of alcohol poisoning resulted in charges against members.158) 2009SUNY GeneseoPigs Drinking Club (sub-rosa organization)HazingArman Partamian, a recent Eagle Scout, died from an alcohol overdose.159) 2009Prairie View A & M Phi Beta SigmaAlleged hazingA lawsuit by the parents of Donnie Wade Jr., 20, claim that an exercise session in which their son died was a direct result ofhazing.:160, 161 2010Greenville, North CarolinaEast Carolina State UniversityDelta Sigma ThetaSleep-deprivation accidental deathsA 2012 lawsuit by the mother of a pledge who died claims that sleep deprivation caused by hazing contributed to the cause ofthe vehicular-related deaths of Delta Sigma Theta pledgesVictoria Carter, 20, and Briana Latrice Gather, 20.http://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  21. 21. listoflists Page 21 of 24162) 2010Radford University Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE)Hazing ArrestsThe 2010 death of Samuel Mason was called a hazing incident and resulted in seven arrests and minimal fines imposed bythe court.163) 2011Cornell University Sigma Alpha EpsilonLawsuit following deathThe mother of George Desdeunes has sued SAE over allegations this members death was the result of pressure to drink putupon him by the chapters pledges. Cornell University has begun a task force to combat hazing.164) 2011Florida A & M BandHazing under investigation after deathBand member Robert Champion perished following a savage beating to be a part of an elite bus crew. Criminal charges havebeen filed by police.165) 2011University of Northern ColoradoDelta Tau DeltaFatal fall following alcohol-related hazingFollowing a wild night of drinking in which pledge Ross Higuchi was given a great deal to drink by his big brother KyleEdward Riley, Higuchi became argumentative and jumped out a window to his death.166) 2012Vincennes, IndianaVincennes UniversityDelta Gamma Iota (banned chapter at school)Alcohol-related on Bid DayWilliam Torrance, 18, of Greenwood, IN died after a long night of drinking and pledging167) 2012Madison, North DakotaHigh School athletics hazing prankMurderMadison High School graduate Carl Ericcson, 73 received life in prison for the revenge shooting killing of onetime Madisonathlete Norman Johnson who Ericsson claimed had hazed him by flipping a jock over his face.168) 2012Fresno, CaliforniaFresno State UniversityAlcohol-related incident under investigation at Theta ChiTheta Chi pledge Philip Dhanens, a 350-pound former football player, died following a weekend binge. He died at a hospitalwhere he had been taken for assistance.169) 2012Easton, PennsylvaniaLafayette CollegeKappa Delta Rho and other fraternity chapters visited by victim prior to his deathhttp://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  22. 22. listoflists Page 22 of 24The president of Lafayette College said that a student, Everett Glenn, who died after drinking at a banned chapter of KappaDelta Rho. Members of KDRdenied that recruiting had occurred, according to the Lafayette student newspaper. Earlier in 2012, an additional LafayetteCollege student died after consuming a lethal amount of alcohol on his birthday--a non-hazing death.170) 2012DeKalb, IllinoisNorthern Illinois UniversityPi Kappa AlphaThe alcohol-related death of pledge David Bogenbergerwas hazing-related, according to an investigative report by Dane Placko of WFLD-TV, Fox 32.171) 2012Chico, CaliforniaChico State UniversitySigma PiThe administration of Chico State cited hazing as a cause and suspended all Greek groups for a semesterfollowing the birthday celebration death of Mason Sumnicht. Researchers have not heretofore listed thefairly common birthday deaths as a type of hazing. This is very likely a first.--Hank NuwerCases that looked to me suspiciously like hazing but did not meet definition of either school orpolice that investigated. I am listing them as NON-HAZING cases but leaving them here in casemembers or witnesses provide evidence that either confirms or denies the existence of hazingconditions.. Contact hnuwer@hanknuwer.comA)Gaffney, South CarolinaLimestone CollegeAthletic party death2006The death of athlete Zach Dunlevy received little national attention. The college was content to let thisdeath slip under the radar screen with as little public scrutiny as possible. Seehttp://www.stophazing.org/nuwer/dec06column.htmB)Nacogdoches, TexasStephen F. Austin UniversityTau Kappa EpsilonFraternity party death2007The alcohol-related death of Nikolas Gallegos, 18, at a fraternity party led to a letter to the student paperby a relative who pleaded that no fingers be pointed at anyone in the death.http://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013
  23. 23. listoflists Page 23 of 24C)Moscow, IdahoUniversity of IdahoLambda Chi AlphaDrowning death2012A detective investigating the death of pledge Preston Vorhauer ruled that it was a non-hazing deathwhen the pledge died swimming in a deep reservoir accompanied byfraternity members who failed to keep him afloat when the victim faltered.FYI: This list contains the minimum number of deaths from such causes. The section of the title “of hazing, initiation, andpledging-Related Accidents” is used because of legal advice due to strong attempts by interest groups to disassociatethemselves from certain episodes described below. In my books I have tried to reserve the term “hazing” for those incidentsthat have been so identified by state and institutional authorities. If a state hazing law has not been invoked (or a grand juryfailed to indict), or if a school or victim’s family said hazing did not occur even though the fatal occurrence closely matchedstandard definitions of hazing, I use the term “Initiation and Pledging-related Accident” instead of the term “hazing.”Obviously, even with 44 laws on the books, the definition of hazing is often disputed by individuals and their organizations–and evenoccasionally by grieving families of deceased pledges who prefer to think their loved ones died following “horseplay.” At thesame time, some examined deaths due to alcohol use may not fall under the category of hazing. Some deaths may revealother hazing-related deaths, including the deaths of members at the hands of other members disciplining them, deaths ofmembers during pledge sneaks (pledges taking harsh action against members), and other less typical actions resulting indeaths.a) Note: since no official statistics of hazing deaths are kept by a legitimate government agency, this clearinghouse of deathsreported in the United States relies on published accounts (newspapers, university histories, other books, and in one case[1838] a family history). Since state laws include felonies for hazing in some states, it is my hope that Uniform CrimeReports or another legitimate federal agency will take over tracking of deaths and felony hazing (along with death cases ininitiations where the actual conviction is other than hazing such as serving alcohol to a minor or manslaughter). There also is,in my opinion, a need for more surveys conducted in a responsible manner to track actual incidents of hazing in such groupsas collegiate fraternal organizations, bands and athletic teams. For example, it clearly can be shown that the number ofarticles reporting sexual assaults in high school athletic organizations is up, but there is no way of knowing whether or notthose numbers are actually increasing unless surveys are taken or a legitimate agency tracks these. Until a legitimate agencytracks data, media reports of incidents are the only means to keep the public from going back to the days when deaths andserious injuries during hazing were shrugged off by institutional spokespersons as “accidental” or “isolated” cases.b) Judging from correspondence I’ve received, the general public believes hazing deaths in colleges are higher in numberthan can be documented. These deaths below can be verified although information related to several early deaths isparticularly limited.. I try hard to add any information that might cast doubt on whether a death was actually hazing caused orwhere the death cause was disputed by family, members, an educational institution, or an organization.c) I am open to listening to suggestions and to criticism that can make this a better site. My contention is that a governmentagency needs to take over the task of recording deaths and criminal hazing statistics. Surveys and accurate crime reports areneeded to determine whether serious hazing incidents are increasing or decreasing The number of media articles reportinghazing is clearly higher than ever but that may simply indicate parents, victims, institutions, teams and fraternal organizationsare more educated on the subject and thus more likely to come forward when an incident occurs. My position is that even onedeath a year is one too many, and that prevention is everyone’s responsibility–including that of a potential victim and that ofthe organization he or she is joining.–Hank Nuwerhttp://www.hanknuwer.com/hazingdeaths.html 3/28/2013