On today’s episode of “The Clear Decline of Civilization”, we’re going to be discussing Russian Roulette. Nope, not the drinking game annoying frat boys play; and not the smartphone game; the real game.
The real game involves loading a revolver, or a “six shooter” with just one bullet, and the players pass it back in forth. Before pulling the trigger, the player removes and re-adds the bullet to the the cylinder to reset the somewhat favorable odds of not fatally wounding yourself, that is until your luck runs out.
Though often associated in media like the Deer Hunter, Meet The Feebles, and others, there have been documented instances of Russian Roulette being played in real life.
In the early 80s, Jon-Erik Hexum was an actor. Handsome and charming, he had landed rolls opposite Joan Collins in Making a Male model and also the short lived series “Voyagers!”
Then he landed a role in the spy show Cover Up! which had premiered in September of 1984. The show was popular enough, because they were still in the principal photography stage by the next month it had been on the air.
On October 12, Hexum had been tasked in a scene involving the loading of a .44 magmum. The crew had provided him with a functional, real life gun to be used for the scene… With blank cartridges of course.
Fastidious, the director of this seventh episode of Cover Up was displeased with the scene and opted for a recess in shooting a retake, and in a fit of extreme boredom, Hexum had held onto his real life .44 magmum and began simulating the game of Russian Roulette. This is to say, he had unloaded all but one blank from the gun. “Surely,” Hexum may have thought, “this will kill some time…”
Hexum was brought to Beverly Hills Medical Center upon firing the gun. Unbeknownst to Hexum, blanks cartridges can cause injury when used within close proximity to a target.
According to Wikipedia, blanks use paper or a plastic wadding compacting the powder. When a the firing pin initiates a spark, and this impact may expand up to a yard.
The impact did not penetrate his skull, but the blunt force trauma of the shot did cause a piece of his skull to become propelled into his brain. After five hours of effort to save Hexum, he had become declared braindead.
For what certainly looked like a suicide to anyone who may have witnessed, the death had been ruled as accidental.
Just a month after the incident, Cover up resumed production casting Antony Hamilton in a similar role as Hexum: a CIA operative with the cover of a male model. The series went on for six more seasons following the recasting. Wait did I say six seasons, I meant 6 months.
If only Hexum had a Gameboy or a smartphone to distract himself from boredom instead of playing with a real gun… He could have gotten himself killed some different way.
Not all cops are meant to uphold the law, to serve and protect the people. But some of them play Russian Roullete.
Fox 2 St. Louis reports that Hendron had subverted GPS tracking while on duty by “did not log in /and/or manipulated the GPS system.” and also he had reportedly left his district, ignoring a call to answer a building alarm.
A fellow officer texted Hendron “WTF dude, what is so important that you can’t take this call?” The suit had also indicated the had been “drinking alcohol and unknown substances at 720 dover place”.
What transpired was a small party with the off-duty Katlyn Alix and on-duty Nathaniel Hendron. There drinking and substance abuse escalated to the inevitable: russian roulette.
How the game concluded:
Hendron spun the cylinder with one bullet and shot away from Alix.
Alix took the gun and shot at Hendron, no shot had been fired.
Hendron took the gun and shot, and the bullet propelled into Alix’s chest, fatally wounding her.
Hendrons lawyer had argued the death was indeed, a “tragic accident”. Who knew that shooting a loaded weapon at someone, could mortally wound them? But Alix’s family filed a suit that Hendron had a history of playing Russian Roulette with girlfriends.
Editor note: Fun fact: instead of playing Russian Roulette with your girlfriends, you can try having sex with them.
A third officer was with the pair, and reiterated to the cops that were indeed police officers, and NOT to play with guns.
Hendren was sentenced to the maximum term of seven years for involuntary manslaughter.
On June 11, 2016.. MMA fighter Ivan JD Cole was discovered deceased by what was evidently a self inflicted gunshot wound.
“[T]hey report He was playing Russian roulette And I still Haven’t gotten back an autopsy.”
On a GoFundMe page that his wife she wrote that she had lost her husband “to gun play” and added, “he made a bad decision that cost him his life.” Yeap, you got that right.
“Some say it was about money, someone said something about Russian Roulette, but I don’t have any facts now,” Cole’s mother admitted the New York Daily News.
Around the time of Cole’s death in 2016, Dallas police department reported quote “The death of Mr. Cole will be classified as an unexplained death pending the results of the autopsy”…
And now, revisiting this case four years later I see that official result is…. Oh dear. Nothing.
In conclusion: What can be said? Russian Roulette is a very dangerous game. There are other players who have gone unmentioned in detail here: Who would attempt to play or force it upon others? People who act with poor judgement, that’s who. Don’t be one of them.
There’s so many other things you can do to pass the time: you can walk on the beach; you can do the dishes; play video games; anything, really, bit pointing a loaded gun at you and your friends and pulling the trigger.