I was traveling last night into the depths of what is called central PA. Some refer to it as Pennsyltucky. I was all over the place, from Reading to Lancaster and spent the battery on the crackberry twice.
In between calls I heard a little snippet on the new radio...
"a 57 year old Norristown man was charged with murder, after walking into the Taj Mahal and shooting 55 year old casino worker Ray Kot".
Wait a minute! I'm from Norristown!
"apparently the man was a regular at the Taj and knew Kot."
"57 year old Mark Magee sent a letter to the local news station before heading down to Atlantic city stating that he thought the Casinos were rigged in favor of the house"
Then it hit me. Mark Magee... Norristown... 57 years old...
I kow this guy! He used to work with me way back in 93 when I was a super golf dude at a local course where I was the Director of Tournaments and a PGA apprentice. HOLY SHIT!
Back then, Mark was a super at the apartment complex where he lived. He also was a full time ranger, cart guy, and picked up range balls from time to time. We played golf all the time together. And more importantly, we played poker all the time together.
We would take trips down to the Taj where I would play poker and he would play roullete and black jack. I remember him hitting a couple of big scores while we were there. He was sure that roulette had a system. He read books on it. Lots of books. He carried the Mensa's guide to gambling with him and often read it while sitting in the cart between holes number 12 and 13 while directing players to errant shots.
We took trips to distant golf locations and played in pro ams and sectional qualifiers. He was a good golfer. I also remembered he had a temper, getting fired from the course for beating up another cart guy, or maybe grounds crew guy. I can't remember.
I hadn't thought of him in quite a while, but I remembered him as an overall good guy.
The whole story is here. Quite sad really. How someone could snap like this and carry through a plan that ended with taking a life is beyond comprehension. It would make more sense if he just snapped in an instant.
But to deliberatley send a hand written note to a news station, travel the 2 hours to the location, and all the time in between to obtain a weapon, write a suicide note, pick a target, stop for gas, whatever else, is just really really disturbing.
He apparently wrote a suicide note which noted his intentions to take his own life by either shooting himself or jumping off the parking garage. I guess his cowardice caught up with him and he just couldn't go through with that part of the plan.
You can read the whole story here....
Honestly, I'm in shock.