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The Three Other Victims of the Altamont Speedway Concert (1969)

The Altamont Speedway concert in 1969 in California pretty much embodied the chaos that was 1960s. The Woodstock Music festival which occurred earlier that year in New York State is best remembered for it's peace and love atmosphere (The Concert did have three deaths). The legacy of Altamont will always be about violence.

The California based concert was filmed as part of a documentary called "Gimmie Shelter." It had such major artists as the Rolling Stones, "The Grateful Dead", the Jefferson Airplane as its headlining acts. However, from the beginning the concert was plagued by poor planning and a security arrangement literally from Hell.

In an atmosphere filled with alcohol and drugs, it didn't take long for concertgoers to be doing battle with each other as well as members of the notorious Hell's Angels Motorcycle club who had been hired to provide security. Numerous fights between the concert attendees and the Angels were captured on film, with the Angels always getting the better of their foes. But perhaps defining moment of the concert was captured on film and involved the infamous stabbing and bludgeoning death of 18 year old Meredith Hunter. The teenager was had been attached by several members of the Hell's Angels motorcycle club after he pointed a gun at Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones on stage. Alan Passaro is seen on film attacking Hunter and eventually several Angels take him to the ground where he eventually dies from bleeding out.

Passaro was arrested but in a criminal trial followed he was found not guilty. No other Angels were ever charged in Hunter's death and the incident has remained a lightning rod of controversy ever since. In 1985, Passaro was found dead in the Anderson Reservoir which is about 75 miles south of San Francisco. His death was viewed as suspicious but was never ruled a homicide.

There were however, several other deaths that occurred at the concert that remain unsolved yet never got the attention of the Meredith Hunter homicide.

There is the mystery of an unidentified man who drowned in an irrigation canal shortly after the concert festival started. There is also the tragic deaths of two men who were hanging out by a campfire only to be crushed by a car leaving the concert at around midnight.

Who Killed Mark Feiger and Richard Savlov? Unlike the Hunter incident. There were few witnesses as to who ran them over. Both men were 22 years old and had just moved to Berkely, California. Savlov, was from Elizabeth, New Jersey.and Feiger, being from the town of Union in the same state. The car involved was a Plymouth Sedan. Besides the two deaths, there others that were seriously injured from the Hit and Run Driver. To date, the driver has never been identified and the Alameda Sherriffs Department has never announced that they had any leads in the case.

Not much has been released about the John Doe who drowned in the irrigation canal. He was allegedly high on LSD at the time of his death. He was a white male, with sideburns, a mustache and long hair. He also had a metal cross that went through his right pierced ear. It is likely that the individual went to the concert by himself and could have been doing a lone roadtrip from anywhere in the country. His information is not in Government's National Missing and Unidentified Person System.

Forty plus years later, Altamont still resonates with negativity. In truth what really doomed the concert was not only the poor planning, but the mass consumption of alcohol and illegal drugs.
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