Home » What Happened To The Von Erichs Wrestling Family? How Did The Von Erichs Die?

What Happened To The Von Erichs Wrestling Family? How Did The Von Erichs Die?

The Von Erichs, known in the wrestling world as the golden family of the sport, have a story steeped in both unmatched success and deep tragedy. Originating from Texas and operating under the wrestling name ‘Von Erich’ as opposed to their actual surname, Adkisson, the family’s journey in the wrestling world was phenomenal. However, the curse that seemingly followed them is what makes their tale all the more heart-wrenching. With A24’s forthcoming film ‘The Iron Claw,’ set to shed more light on their life and times, it becomes essential to delve into the history and the circumstances surrounding this family.

Key Details

  • Original Family Surname: Adkisson
  • Patriarch of the Family: Fritz Von Erich
  • Total Sons: Six
  • Surviving Son (as of the latest data): Second-born son
  • Major Deaths: Five (including three suicides)
  • Upcoming Film: ‘The Iron Claw’ by A24, release date: Dec. 22, 2023

The Von Erich Dynasty: An Overview

The Von Erichs, led by the patriarch Fritz, were not just wrestlers; they were the wrestling royalty in Texas. Fritz, originally portraying a Nazi heel in the ring, built a legacy that was carried forward by his sons. The family’s wrestling prowess was such that arenas were sold out just at the mere mention of a Von Erich on the fight card. Their in-ring techniques, persona, and charisma drew fans like moths to a flame.

The Early Tragedies: Jack Jr.’s Untimely Death

The dark cloud of tragedy seemed to hover over the Von Erichs from the early days. Jack Jr., Fritz’s firstborn, met a tragic end at a tender age of 6. The child was accidentally electrocuted and drowned, setting the tone for the series of misfortunes that would follow the family in the subsequent years.

David Von Erich: The Rising Star and His Mysterious End

David, considered by many to be the best wrestler among the brothers, was on a trajectory to superstardom. However, his untimely death in Tokyo in 1984 shocked the wrestling world. While enteritis was officially declared as the cause of death, murmurs and speculations about a possible drug overdose never truly ceased.

The Legacy Continues: The Second-born Son

Among all the brothers, the second-born son, whose identity has been slightly obscured for privacy reasons, is the sole survivor. He had a flourishing wrestling career, keeping the Von Erich flag flying high amidst the surrounding tragedies. His journey, battles, and resilience offer a glimmer of hope and a testament to the family’s undying spirit.

The Shadows of Despair: Suicides that Shook the World

Kerry, Mike, and Chris, three of Fritz’s sons, each met a tragic end through suicide. Kerry’s demise on his father’s ranch in 1993, Mike’s overdose following a surgical complication in 1987, and Chris’s heart-wrenching decision in 1991 after facing challenges in his wrestling career have left indelible marks on the wrestling community. Their losses, close on each other’s heels, sparked debates about mental health, the pressures of fame, and the challenges of living up to a legacy.

‘The Iron Claw’: Cinematic Retelling of the Von Erichs’ Journey

With an ensemble cast including the likes of Zac Efron and Lily James and under the direction of the talented Sean Durkin, ‘The Iron Claw’ promises to offer a cinematic exploration of the Von Erichs’ story. The movie aims to balance their meteoric rise in wrestling with the personal tragedies they faced. The anticipation surrounding its release is palpable, given the emotional depth and rich history attached to the subject.

The Von Erichs’ saga is a poignant reminder of the unpredictable nature of life. Their story encapsulates the roller-coaster of fame, success, and personal heartbreaks. As ‘The Iron Claw’ readies for release, one hopes it does justice to the legacy of the Von Erichs and sensitively handles the myriad emotions surrounding their journey. Their tale deserves to be told, remembered, and reflected upon.


  1. Who are the Von Erichs?
    • The Von Erichs were a Texas-based wrestling family, originally surnamed Adkisson, known for their success and tragic history.
  2. What happened to Jack Jr., the firstborn?
    • Jack Jr., at 6 years old, tragically died from accidental electrocution followed by drowning in a puddle.
  3. How did David Von Erich die?
    • David died in Tokyo in 1984, officially from enteritis, but some speculate it might’ve been a drug overdose.
  4. How many Von Erichs died by suicide?
    • Three of Fritz’s sons—Kerry, Mike, and Chris—tragically died by suicide over the years.
  5. What is ‘The Iron Claw’?
    • ‘The Iron Claw’ is an A24 film set to release in December 2023, chronicling the Von Erichs’ life and challenges.

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Jack Reuben Fletcher

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