INDIANAPOLIS — Dick Hall, the mortgage company owner who had a shotgun wired to his neck in 1977 and was marched through the streets of Indianapolis in front of TV cameras, has died, according to multiple sources.
As of right now, there is no cause of death or further information available.
Hall was involved in a multiday incident that started on a Tuesday morning in February 1977, when Tony Kiritsis went into the offices of Hall’s family-owned Meridian Mortgage company, convinced he had been shorted in a land development deal.
Kiritsis’ loan had been extended a couple times as he missed development opportunities arranged by his brokers.
Once inside the offices, Kiritsis pulled out a shotgun, wired it to Hall’s neck and walked him through the streets of the city with armed officers and Indianapolis Police Chief Eugene Gallagher close behind, until he commandeered a patrol car and drove to an apartment on the west side.
What followed was two days of Hall being held at gunpoint inside an apartment Kiritsis claimed was booby-trapped to explode if police stormed in.
After making contact with police, Kiritsis met officers at the top of the steps outside his upper floor apartment and was in control as he walked with Hall to the community room at the complex where a live press conference was conducted.
At the end of the press conference, Kiritsis allowed police to snip the wire connecting the gun barrel with Hall’s neck and then, for good measure, the aggrieved gunman discharged his weapon outside just to let everyone know that it was indeed loaded and that his hostage had good reason to fear for his life.
Hall said he immediately tried to move on with his life but the notoriety of those three days 40 years ago never went away.
Kiritsis was found not guilty by reason of insanity, a ruling that so outraged state legislators that Indiana law was changed to provide a guilty but mentally ill verdict that also forced the burden of proof of insanity on the defense.
After 11 years of psychiatric treatment, Kiritsis was released from custody.
He returned to Indianapolis to haunt the halls of the City-County Building, berating public officials and reporters, and lived in Speedway where he feuded with neighbors, garnered the attention of police and died of natural causes in 2005.
“I thought, ‘Now I won’t have to listen to his voice anymore’,” said Hall of his relief when Kiritsis died.
Hall emerged from the incident with a mixed view of the press that covered his incident and invaded his privacy, a drinking problem and a nagging doubt that his side of the story had been fully told.
Hall said he leaned on a 12-step program to ease his problems with alcohol.
He also wrote a book and regrets not remembering more of the hours he spent literally staring at death in the form of Tony Kiritsis’ shotgun.
“I think everyone ought to realize what they can do when they have to,” he said. “Don’t give up and just continue your hope and let that be your guide.”
Again, FOX59 does not currently have additional information on the situation surrounding Hall’s death. This article will be updated with more information as it becomes available.