Sad Summary of Shooter: Siegfried & Roy Attacker’s Story So Far

Cole Ford Then and Now

The Contra Costa Times (CA) has the epilogue to a story we’ve been covering throughout the year at Quinlan’s Inside Magic

(“Las Vegas Police Arrest Siegfried & Roy Shooter“, Nov. 4, 2004; “Siegfried & Roy Shooter May Plead Insanity“, Nov. 6, 2004;  “Would-Be Assailant’s Hearing Postponed” Nov. 23, 2004; “Would-Be Siegfried & Roy Assailant Competency Hearing Set“, Dec. 18, 2004;  “Judge: Siegfried & Roy Shooter Too Unstable for Trial“, Jan. 19, 2005; “Siegfried and Roy Would Be Assassin Shooting to Stop Magic Conspiracy“, April 9, 2005).

“Ex-Raiders kicker Ford in mental facility after shooting.”

The story gives flesh to the skeletal accounts other papers have
provided about Cole Ford, his college and NFL career, his struggle with
mental illness and finally the imprisonment for firing his shotgun at
Siegfried & Roy’s Vegas estate.

In 1996, Mr. Ford was called upon to kick the winning field goal for
the hapless Raiders.  Despite their terrible record (4-5) they had a
shot at making the play-offs.  With nine seconds left in the final
quarter, Mr. Ford pushed the 28-yard kick to the left and Oakland lost
in overtime. 

“From that short a distance, I’d better make it,” Tampa
Bay kicker Michael Husted said, “or not plan on showing up here on
Monday morning.”

Ford would make it back the next day and for one more dismal season.
And then the bright lights of the gridiron faded, and Ford would fall
further than anyone could imagine.

Mr. Ford moved almost involuntarily up through the football ranks
from high school star, USC Trojan stand-out, NFL Draft-Choice, and NFL
Pro to living in a van, drifting throughout the Southwest, and finally
to the drive of Siegfried & Roy’s palatial Vegas estate.

By all accounts, Mr. Ford was a stellar student, one of the
strongest kickers in college and the NFL.  He was so driven to
succeed he suffered injuries from over-training. 

His release from his
final professional contract funded his later world-travel to
contemplate his life.  As the money ran-out, his travels left him
living out of a van in the Southwest.

His travels took him to Las Vegas, where he turned his
focus to sports bookmaking operations at casinos.

In January 2004, Ford
filed a $5 million suit against the Monte Carlo hotel-casino, claiming
the casino industry took advantage of athletes.

“Sports gaming is placing…

Cole Ford Then and Now

The Contra Costa Times (CA) has the epilogue to a story we’ve been covering throughout the year at Quinlan’s Inside Magic

(“Las Vegas Police Arrest Siegfried & Roy Shooter“, Nov. 4, 2004; “Siegfried & Roy Shooter May Plead Insanity“, Nov. 6, 2004;  “Would-Be Assailant’s Hearing Postponed” Nov. 23, 2004; “Would-Be Siegfried & Roy Assailant Competency Hearing Set“, Dec. 18, 2004;  “Judge: Siegfried & Roy Shooter Too Unstable for Trial“, Jan. 19, 2005; “Siegfried and Roy Would Be Assassin Shooting to Stop Magic Conspiracy“, April 9, 2005).

“Ex-Raiders kicker Ford in mental facility after shooting.”

The story gives flesh to the skeletal accounts other papers have
provided about Cole Ford, his college and NFL career, his struggle with
mental illness and finally the imprisonment for firing his shotgun at
Siegfried & Roy’s Vegas estate.

In 1996, Mr. Ford was called upon to kick the winning field goal for
the hapless Raiders.  Despite their terrible record (4-5) they had a
shot at making the play-offs.  With nine seconds left in the final
quarter, Mr. Ford pushed the 28-yard kick to the left and Oakland lost
in overtime. 

“From that short a distance, I’d better make it,” Tampa
Bay kicker Michael Husted said, “or not plan on showing up here on
Monday morning.”

Ford would make it back the next day and for one more dismal season.
And then the bright lights of the gridiron faded, and Ford would fall
further than anyone could imagine.

Mr. Ford moved almost involuntarily up through the football ranks
from high school star, USC Trojan stand-out, NFL Draft-Choice, and NFL
Pro to living in a van, drifting throughout the Southwest, and finally
to the drive of Siegfried & Roy’s palatial Vegas estate.

By all accounts, Mr. Ford was a stellar student, one of the
strongest kickers in college and the NFL.  He was so driven to
succeed he suffered injuries from over-training. 

His release from his
final professional contract funded his later world-travel to
contemplate his life.  As the money ran-out, his travels left him
living out of a van in the Southwest.

His travels took him to Las Vegas, where he turned his
focus to sports bookmaking operations at casinos.

In January 2004, Ford
filed a $5 million suit against the Monte Carlo hotel-casino, claiming
the casino industry took advantage of athletes.

“Sports gaming is placing challenges on athletes beyond a college
and professional experience,” Ford wrote.

“I believe gaming is stealing
from (an athlete’s) earning potential. The athlete is creating the
results and the sports books are claiming them.”

The lawsuit was dismissed.

Mr. Ford’s attention moved from Sports Betting to the Siegfried
& Roy’s “treatment, dominance and unhealthy intimacy” of their
animals.  The court-ordered mental examination opined

“He felt they
threatened (the) world, and he began trying to figure out how he could
stop them.”

“I’m perfectly competent,” Mr. Ford told the judge in
January as he demanded the right to plead guilty to the shooting and
related charges.  The court disagreed.

“I accept my charges,” he said. “I’m excited to have a felony on my
record. I’m interested to see what the people have to say to see a man
with a perfect record have a felony.

“I’m a perfect citizen. I have a
perfect work history.”

Ford reiterated his fear of Siegfried & Roy, calling them “some
of the most dangerous people in our country.” He also was sharply
critical of the NFL.

“NFL players are much in the environment of the Roman Coliseum. A
lot of sacrificing takes place,” Mr. Ford said.

“It’s possible I didn’t
want to become a successful athlete because maybe then I would have
been sacrificed.”

Mr. Ford has not been close to his family in recent years and only
his mother would discuss his sad case with The Contra Costa Times.  Amy
Ford told the reporter it has been years since she saw her son. She
hopes he gets the help he needs.

The court has scheduled trial in
the matter for September 27, 2006 but only if Mr. Ford is competent to
assist in his own defense. 

The judge ordered Mr. Ford be committed to
a psychiatric
hospital where he is to be medicated and examined.  If found competent
to stand trial, Mr. Ford is facing 27-years in prison.

The former star told reporters he is competent to stand trial and still intends to plead guilty to the crimes. 

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