Ion Croitoru, aka Johnny K-9, aka Bruiser Bedlam, has died.
First reported by The Hamilton Spectator, we now know that Croitoru died in a Toronto halfway house, possibly of respiratory failure. He was 53 years old, and is survived by his wife and three children.
Wrestling fans might know Croitoru from his time as Johnny K-9 in the WWF in the late 80s, where he served as an enhancement talent, or as Bruiser Bedlam, from Jim Cornette's Smoky Mountain Wrestling, where he got a pretty big push upon his arrival, beating Bob Armstrong and sticking around roughly a year.
After leaving wrestling, Croitoru ran afoul of the law, running with a biker gang in Hamilton, Ontario, and spending time in a British Columbia prison for his part in a conspiracy to commit murder during a 2008 gang war. He also served time after a separate conviction for drug trafficking. He was only recently released in late 2016, and still living at the halfway house where he died.
Croitoru was still a main suspect in a major murder investigation stemming from the 1998 slaying of criminal defense lawyer Lynn Gilbank and her husband. Croitoru, a known enforcer for the Gravelle crime family, was even arrested and charged with two counts of first degree murder in 2005, though prosecutors eventually dropped the case against him, saying their was no likelihood of conviction.
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