By Mirembe Martina
Linda Pugach of ‘Crazy Love’ died Wednesday after briefly falling ill.
She fell ill in December, days before they were set to fly to Boca Raton, Florida where they were going to buy a condo. She will be laid to rest in a crypt in Paramus, New Jersey next week, Thursday.
Linda who back in the 1990′s came to the limelight when her lover, who became her husband hired men to kidnap her and try to win her back. She was blinded, he got convicted for the crime but later on, got married to her.
Burt Pugach and Linda had an affair. She did not know he was married. At the time, Burt was a lawyer and Linda, who was in her early twenties was a secretary. The two met in 1957 at a park in Bronx where Linda grew up and fell in love immediately but it did not last for long. Ms. Riss found out that Mr. Pugach was married with a daughter and tried repeatedly to leave him. She was briefly engaged to Larry Schwartz, a man she met in Florida.
In 1959, Pugach became jealous and decided that she was his alone. In his trial in 1961, Ms. Riss told the court that Mr. Pugach said to her: “If I can’t have you, no one else will, and when I get finished with you, no one else will want you.” The men who attacked her poured lye in her eyes which partially blinded and scarred her face. Later on, she lost all of her sight, and spent the remainder of her life wearing thick black glasses.
Pugach was convicted of the crime and sent to prison where he served a 14 year sentence but in 1974, he was granted parole. During this time, he managed to win back Linda’s love and proposed to her. She accepted, something which he says he didn’t and still does not understand. “You won’t believe it, but she won’t tell me (why),” he told reporters at the time. “She’s got to have her secrets too.”
They were married in a civil ceremony, wearing a yellow turtleneck sweater and her signature dark glasses. “I’m very happy we got married today,” she told newspapers at the time. “What else can I say?”
Their love affair caused quite a stir in New York at the time which turned into a documentary, ‘Crazy Love’. “It was a massive tabloid story,” said Dan Klores, the documentarian behind “Crazy Love,” who was 10 when the story broke. “In those days, there were seven papers in New York and it was all over the papers.”
“There’s a place for me there. We’ll be together,” Mr Pugach said of where his wife will be buried. He was ten years her senior, he is 85 at the time.