Six Brothers

And now there is only one. To live through the horrific cycle of suicide and tragedy that wiped out the other f ive, Kevin Von Erich has relied on the strange code of the professional wrestling world his family once ruled: What’s real is never certain, and what’s fake is never, ever talked about.

IN THE SUMMER OF 1983, the center of the pro wrestling universe, in terms of time and space, was indisputably Friday night, Dallas, Texas, in a white, corrugated-tin coliseum called the Sportatorium. Grandfathered out of city building codes thanks to the political connections of Fritz Von Erich, the imperious don who ran Texas wrestling, it stood defiantly—exposed wiring, iffy plumbing, no AC—in an increasingly sketchy area near where Industrial Boulevard runs under Interstate 35. At one time it had housed the Big D Jamboree radio broadcasts, and Elvis Presley played there in 1955. But even then the stage was a converted ring. The Sportatorium was a wrestling arena, and the frenzy that greeted the King seemed sleepy compared with the bedlam wrought in the eighties

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