Chris Adams Death – Homicide
1955-2001 (age 46)
Chris Adams, best known to wrestling fans as “Gentleman” Chris Adams, was fatally shot on October 7, 2001, during an altercation in his friends Waxahachie, Texas home.
Reported as a “drunken brawl”, the shooter was Brent “Booray” Parnell, a fellow wrestler and friend of Adams.
Parnell was ultimately acquitted of the charges on self defense.
Chris Adams Early Career
Chris Adams was a three-time national judo champion in England. Many with Adams’ background in combat sports stick their nose up at professional wrestling. Chris Adams embraced it.
A few months prior to his death, Adams told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that “it [professional wrestling] appealed to me — the theatrics mixed with athletic ability.”
Adams wrestled briefly in England before immigrating to the States in the early 80s.
By 1983, Adams was wrestling for Frtiz Von Erich‘s Texas-based territory, WCCW.
WCCW, The Dynamic Duo
Chris Adams had a hugely successful run with World Class throughout the 80s where he worked as both a heel and a face. Managed by the late Gary Hart, Adams would finish opponents off with his signature “superkick” – a move that was later adapted by Shawn Michaels.
Fans from this era no doubt recall Chris Adams partnering with “The Handsome Halfbreed” Gino Hernandez, forming The Dynamic Duo tag team.
The Sportatorium crowds came in droves to witness the Von Erichs feud with the Dynamic Duo, drawing big money for WCCW in the mid 80s.
The American Airlines Incident
Signs of trouble for Chris Adams were looming well before his death.
In 1986, a flight attendant claimed that Adams was belligerently drunk on a delayed American Airlines flight. After telling Adams to sit down in his seat, he told her “I make 25 times the money you do, and no one like you is going to tell me what to do.”
Adams proceeded to head-butt the co-pilot and picked up an assault conviction from a federal jury. The story goes that Adams had to be physically restrained by Kevin Von Erich.
Drug Overdose, Manslaughter Trial
Chris Adams’ life had become a whirlwind prior to his death.
He was awaiting trial on a manslaughter charge, stemming from an incident a year and a half prior where Adams and his girlfriend were both found unconscious in a Dallas apartment.
The two were partying the night prior, and had overdosed on a mixture of GHB and alcohol.
Adams would recover, his girlfriend, Linda Kaphengst, would not be so lucky.
In the months following the death of Kaphengst, Adams was hospitalized for depression and undergoing counseling. Friends said that he owed the IRS over $50,000.
Losing It All
During the height of his career, Chris Adams was on top of the world. He owned multiple properties and cars. A few months prior to his death, Adams told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “I thought it would never end. I lost it all through divorces, ignorance and mistakes.”
Adams would ultimately lose his life in the drunken altercation on October 7, 2001.
Chris Adams is buried at the Oak Grove Memorial Gardens in Irving, Texas. The plot is located in the Garden of Faith, Lawn Crypt A-17.