The 60's Are Finally Over

Via AP: Case of 1969 Altamont Stabbing Closed

Nearly 36 years after a man was stabbed to death during a Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Speedway, investigators have closed the case, dismissing a theory that a second Hells Angel took part in the killing.

Meredith Hunter, 18, was killed during the free concert on Dec. 6, 1969. The show, which drew an estimated 300,000 people, was billed as the “Woodstock of the West,” but the death helped bring to an end the image of the peace-and-love ’60s. The concert, and the stabbing, were captured on film in the 1970 documentary “Gimme Shelter.”

As the Stones played on stage, a member of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang, hired by the band to provide security, attacked, stabbed and killed Hunter.

Alan Passaro was acquitted after a jury concluded he acted in self-defense because Hunter was carrying a gun. But there had been rumors over the years that a second unidentified assailant had inflicted the fatal wounds, and the case remained open.

But Alameda County sheriff’s Sgt. Scott Dudek said Wednesday that after a renewed investigation over the past two years, authorities concluded that Passaro, who died in 1985, was the only person to stab Hunter and did so only after Hunter pointed a gun at the stage.

Dudek said Passaro’s lawyer confirmed his client was the lone assailant. In addition, enhanced and slowed-down footage from the film shows Hunter brandishing the gun just before Passaro leaps from the stage and stabs him, Dudek said.

Hunter’s relatives said Wednesday they had always held out hope that someone would be convicted in the case.

“The problem is the wounds that have been reopened are still devastating to the family,” Hunter’s sister, Dixie Ward, 63, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Tragedy breeds few winners.

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