The Bronx bombshell whose life would become headline news in the late ’50s through the ’60s and beyond has passed away at 75 years old. She died from heart failure on Tuesday at Forest Hills Hospital in Queens, N.Y.
For those who are not familiar with the story, she was blinded with lye by her obsessive boyfriend, formerly known fondly as Burt, in 1959. He was an older, refined lawyer with money and a nice car. She was somewhat of a simple, yet beautiful young girl from the Bronx, N.Y. And as young women sometimes do, she fell for his charms and money, and the glitz and glamour of the Manhattan nightlife he provided for her. One problem — he was married. Once she became tired of false promises and came to the realization that he was never going to leave his wife, she attempted to break it off. She knew the relationship was not going to work.
End of story? Not even close. He becomes insanely jealous and obsessed and decided to throw lye in her face on the steps of her apartment building. Blinding her and robbing her of her youthful beauty. He went on to serve a sentence of over ten years — justice being served is up for debate — but regardless, he is out of prison. Burton Pugach’s (oh, did I fail to mention earlier that they have the same last name?) plan had worked exactly how he had wished. Upon his release they actually ended up getting married. He had most likely completely stripped away her self esteem, making her believe no other man would want her.
She stuck with him through a lot of other creepy and illegal happenings until the day she died. He was even brought to trial again in 1997 under the accusations that he sexually assaulted and threatened to kill a different woman in Queens.
The documentary Crazy Love is simply an amazing and utterly unbelievable story. I saw it the year of its release in 2007 and it instantly became one of my favorite documentaries of all-time. Directors Dan Klores and Fisher Stevens do an outstanding job of catching the essence of the times and the intensity of their tumultuous and bizarre relationship throughout the entire movie.
Below is the trailer for the documentary movie, Crazy Love and I definitely recommend it.
R.I.P. Linda Pugach.