"Dead Man's Line" Movie Available on Kiritsis Crisis Anniversary
INDIANAPOLIS--A new documentary called "Dead Man's Line" is being released today on the 41st anniversary of the "Kiritsis Crisis". Tony Kiritsis believed Dick Hall and his father, who ran Meridian Mortgage in Indianapolis, had done him wrong in a land deal, so he wired Dick Hall's neck to a sawed-off shotgun and took him hostage.
The Kiritsis story
Kiritsis paraded Hall down several city streets as people watched, then had Hall drive them in a police car to Crestwood Village Apartments, where Kiritsis lived, where Kiritsis negotiated with police for 63 hours.
"I was just really surprised by how no one got injured by this," said Mark Enochs, one of the film makers. "It was handled very well by a police department that was not prepared for this at all. It's impressive."
Why make the film?
Enochs and Alan Berry spent years interviewing people who were involved and finding video and film footage of the incident and a press conference at the apartments, after which Kiritsis let Hall go and fired off a round of his shotgun.
Berry said he wanted to make the film so that people who were not alive or were not aware the incident ever happened would know about it.
What you might not know
He said you'll find out some parts of the story you may not have known about if you watch the film, which is available at Amazon and on iTunes.
"He took his sister and barricaded her in this trailer at gunpoint and demanded $50,000 from the family," said Berry, of an earlier incident in which Kiritsis held his wheelchair-bound sister hostage, but did not wire her up to a gun as he did with Hall.
If they could talk to a dead man
When asked what they would ask Kiritsis if they could, both men had different answers.
"I'd want to talk to him about his childhood and the years he spent at the trailer park," said Enochs. Kiritsis worked as a maintenance man at the family-owned mobile home park for about 11 years.
"I'm not for sure I would want to talk to him," said Berry. adding that Kiritsis was aggressive and abrasive. "I'm afraid if I did sit down with him it would be just what Tony believed to be true as opposed to what was really true."
One man who did talk to him was WIBC's then news director Fred Heckman, who later became a negotiator in the crisis. You can hear the story of Heckman's involvement and what happened when Kiritsis and Hall finally came out of the apartment in this WIBC documentary "Dead Man's Wire: The Kiritsis Crisis".
PHOTO: Dick Hall at Emmis Communications Building, 2017. Chris Davis/Emmis