Woman who married man convicted of blinding her dies at 75
BY Wire reports
Friday, January 25, 2013
1/25/13 at 5:18 AM
Linda Pugach, who was blinded in 1959 when her lover hired hit men to throw lye in her face - and became a media sensation after later marrying him - died Tuesday in New York. She was 75.
The infamous New York City crime was detailed in the 2007 documentary "Crazy Love."
Burton Pugach spent 14 years in prison for hiring thugs to attack his then-girlfriend Linda Riss after she spurned him. He was married at the time, and the heinous attack became an instant tabloid sensation.
After his release, Pugach divorced his wife and persuaded Riss to marry him in 1974. He proposed on live television.
Two decades after his release from prison, Pugach was accused in another case with chilling similarities, but he was acquitted. He had been accused of threatening and harassing another lover after she tried to end their five-year affair. That woman testified that he threatened to make it "1959 all over again." He told the AP at the time: "Haven't you ever threatened to kill your husband? Did you mean it? Of course not. ... This has been blown out of proportion like I've never seen."
Linda Pugach testified at that trial, calling her husband a good man. Under cross-examination by her husband, a disbarred lawyer who defended himself, she said she couldn't have sex with him after heart surgery in 1990.
She said he was an adulterer, not a criminal.
"He was a naughty little boy and he was caught," she said.
On Thursday, Pugach again denied that he was ever involved in the attack.
"If I had told anyone to throw lye at her, would she have married me? A monster does that," he said.