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Woman Blinded in Infamous 1959 NYC Crime Dies 

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Old 01-24-2013, 06:34 PM
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Woman Blinded in Infamous 1959 NYC Crime Dies

Linda Riss Pugach, who was blinded in one eye from a lye attack ordered by her lover and eventual husband Burt Pugach, has died.

Also known as caustic soda, the chemical term for lye is sodium hydroxide, a dangerous substance that causes blindness when applied to the eyes.

Pugach went blind in one eye after her then-lover and eventual husband, Burt Pugach, ordered men to frighten her in 1959 after she decided to call off their affair. She died Tuesday night at age 75 after suffering from rheumatic fever.

Yet, she went on to marry Burt Pugach, and their bizarre love story was the subject of the 2007 documentary “Crazy Love.”

“We had a fairy tale marriage,” a grief stricken Burt Pugach told the New York Daily News. “She was extremely loyal to me … I don’t know how I’m going to be able to continue without her.”

He served 14 years in prison for his role in the lye attack. Pugach hired three men to “frighten” his mistress, and he denied ordering them to use the lye to blind her, the New York Times said.

“I asked one guy to find someone who would beat her up, to try and get her back,” he told the newspaper. “I didn’t ask anybody to throw lye at her.”

Dan Klores, director of “Crazy Love,” said the relationship between Burt and Linda Pugach “was on some level tragic, but also psychologically fulfilling.”

The couple’s story made tabloid headlines in New York in the 1970s, and a book about their love, “A Very Different Love Story,” was published in 1976, an article in the New York Times said.

Burt Pugach told the newspaper that he and his wife spent the time after the attack declaring their love for each other in the media.

“We loved each other more than any other couple could have,” he said. “Ours was a storybook romance.”

Twenty years after the attack, the couple’s marriage was in the limelight again when Burt Pugach was on trial for alleged sexual abuse and threatening to kill a woman who he had been carrying on an affair with for five years while still married to Linda Pugach.

Linda Pugach testified during the 1997 trial and supported her husband, who was convicted of harassment but acquitted on more serious charges. Burt Pugach was sentenced to 15 days in jail in the case.

“You’re a wonderful, caring husband,” she testified, the New York Times quoted her as saying at the time.

Linda Pugach was viewed by some as an Elizabeth Taylor look-alike, and Klores said she suffered after the lye attack.

"She was a sheltered, naïve young girl,” he told the Times. “Her identity was centered around her physical beauty. When she had this romance with this older man — this obsessive relationship — he worshiped her for that physical beauty. And when that was taken from her, the scars weren’t merely on the outside.”

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Old 01-24-2013, 06:36 PM
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Re: Woman Blinded in Infamous 1959 NYC Crime Dies

Some photos:

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Old 01-24-2013, 08:34 PM
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Re: Woman Blinded in Infamous 1959 NYC Crime Dies

Weird case

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Old 01-24-2013, 09:05 PM
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Re: Woman Blinded in Infamous 1959 NYC Crime Dies

She was beautiful. Looks like he messed her head up. Poor woman. Wonder who his next victim will be?

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Old 01-24-2013, 09:57 PM
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:00 AM
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Re: Woman Blinded in Infamous 1959 NYC Crime Dies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megamel29 View Post
She was beautiful. Looks like he messed her head up. Poor woman. Wonder who his next victim will be?
She was. I guess once he blinded her she didn't feel like she could do any better...at his age I don't think he'll have any more victims..still, the case is fascinating...

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Old 01-25-2013, 07:14 AM
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Re: Woman Blinded in Infamous 1959 NYC Crime Dies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Broadjumper View Post
She was. I guess once he blinded her she didn't feel like she could do any better...at his age I don't think he'll have any more victims..still, the case is fascinating...
I hope you're right about him not having any more victims.

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Old 01-25-2013, 07:36 AM
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Re: Woman Blinded in Infamous 1959 NYC Crime Dies

stupid woman

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Old 01-25-2013, 02:35 PM
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Re: Woman Blinded in Infamous 1959 NYC Crime Dies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megamel29 View Post
I hope you're right about him not having any more victims.
Well, he IS 86, it's not like he's gonna have a lot of options.

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