April 24, 1970: Jim Konsevic and the Dojo War
On April 24, 1970, 26 year old Jim Konsevic, Chicago Judo/Karate champion, died in a fight at the Green Dragon Society Black Cobra Hall of Kung Fu in Chicago. 38 years ago Jim went there to back up his good friend John Timothy Keehan aka Count Dante, head of the Black Dragon Fighting society. No one knows for certain who or what started the fight. In the midst of a fist, foot and weapons free-for-all, Jim Konsevic died of multiple stab wounds from a spear and/or sword, bleeding to death on a Fullerton Ave sidewalk.
This is a key story in the making of The Search for Count Dante. It is my intention to do this section as respectfully as possible. Some of the people involved in this fight live away from Chicago now, I have found a few. 1 in Chicago, the rest in Las Vegas and places like California. Getting them to talk had not been easy. Important court records have disappeared. There is no statue of limitations on murder. The Judge acted questionably in the case. Dante's lawyer Bob Cooley ended up in the Witness Protection program, he had been buying Judges for the mob.
Will I get to the truth? I don't know. It is like the whole question of who started a bar fight. I went searching for the man Jim Konsevic was, not the victim. One of his cousins reached out to me. He told me what happened in the aftermath of his death, the effect it had on his family.
No one was meant to die that night. They called Mike Felkoff, a friend to both parties, to be present to make sure it did not go wrong. It did anyway!
JIm's father died a year later of heartbreak. His mother moved close to the cemetary so she could care for both their graves. There is a toll of sadness behind such testoserone driven folly.
Count Dante, "the deadliest man alive" got his best friend killed, they said. Dante accepted the blame and never recovered emotionally from this event. But still he persisted in selling "the character" Count Dante. He was in it too deep to stop.
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