If you believe the FBI, the late daredevil Evel Knievel made it a habit of harassing his rivals. He even ordered his enemies to be beaten, especially if they wouldn't back down from challenging his records.
That's according to a 290-page file on Knievel released by the FBI earlier this year.
Click the image to see a larger version.
And according to
obtained recently by The Juice, one of the people beaten was here in South Florida.
The FBI interviewed an alleged Knievel victim in South Florida in March 1973. It isn't clear from the documents where the beating happened, but the files mention an investigation that took place in Miami and in West Palm Beach.
A victim interviewed by the FBI claimed he was beaten on August 23, 1972. His assailant said the assault was "on behalf of motorcycle daredevil Knievel," according to the documents.
Knievel had also previously threatened the victim by phone, the documents claim. Knievel had ordered the man to discontinue some activity that's redacted from the FBI documents.
The documents indicate that the FBI planned to continue its investigation by interviewing someone in West Palm Beach. But the files released to The Juice don't include a follow-up.
Knievel died in November 2007 in Clearwater. I tried to call his son, daredevil Robbie Knievel, and got as far as his manager, Jeff Lowe.
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"Robbie won't want to talk to you, but I know what he would say. It was a 35-year-old file that had no merit then and has no merit now," Lowe said from his office in Montana. "If it had merit, they would have gone after him."
Lowe said Robbie has tried to ignore the reports about the FBI file. "But if you're writing a story," Lowe said, "make sure to mention that he's jumping the volcano at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas on New Year's Eve."
-- Eric Barton