Kiritsis’ hostage details being held captive for 63 hours in 1977

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Living to tell, 40 years after being taken at gunpoint and held hostage for three days, a survivor is finally telling his story.

Richard Hall spoke publicly for the very first time on Wednesday. He talked about being forced into his attacker, Tony Kiritsis’ apartment, where he was pistol whipped. Hall said he even bonded with Kiritsis.

Hall held a news conference in the lobby of Emmis Communications, which houses WIBC 93.1 FM. WIBC is significant because on the day of the attack, Kiritsis contacted WIBC journalist Fred Heckman to let him know of the hostage situation. Heckman inadvertently became somewhat of a hostage negotiator for the FBI. Hall gives credit, in part, to Heckman for saving his life.

Four decades ago, Hall was thrust into the spotlight. It was a stage he never asked to be on.

On Wednesday, Hall stepped onto a much different stage. At 82-years old, he decided it’s time to tell his story.

“My son said, ‘Dad, I don’t want people to think you’re a wimp. I want them to…why can’t you tell your story,'” said Hall.

Speaking on WIBC and then in the lobby of Emmis Communications, he finally opened up.

The nightmare began on February 8, 1977 when police say Tony Kiritsis stormed into Meridian Mortgage off East Market Street near Monument Circle. Hall was a mortgage executive there. Kiritsis blames Hall after defaulting on his loan. But that wasn’t their first encounter.

“I dealt with Kiritsis for five years. He had been in 40-50 times seeking advice,” Hall remembered.

This time was different however. In his office, Kiritsis used wire to attach a shotgun to Hall’s neck. As cameras rolled and people at home watched in horror, Kiritsis forced him around downtown with the gun pointed at the back of his head. Kiritsis stole a police car and took Hall to his Speedway Apartment. The apartment is where they would spend the next 63 hours.

“I got to point where he became a little unmanageable. He pistol whipped me with a revolver a couple of times. When I raised an objection too much,” he recalled.

But it wasn’t tense the whole time. Hall witnessed Kiritsis’ softer side.

“We were kind of buddy, buddy. He told me some of his life story. He teared up sometimes talking about his mother,” said Hall.

Eventually, after negotiating with police, Kiritsis let Hall go. Now, 40 years later, Hall is letting go, with the help of his memoir, “Kiritsis and Me: Enduring 63 Hours at Gunpoint.” It was released on the 40 year anniversary and details Hall’s horrific experience.

You can order a copy of the memoir by calling M.T. Publishing Company at 1-888-263-4702 or online here.

A jury found Kiritsis not guilty by reason of insanity. He spent 10 years on a mental health facility. Kiritsis died in 2005.

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Mike Fiers, the Astros whistleblower, says he’s received death threats

(CNN) — Mike Fiers, the Major League Baseball pitcher who was the whistleblower in the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scheme, has said that he has received death threats.

“Whatever, I don’t care,” Fiers said to the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday. “I’ve dealt with a lot of death threats before. It’s just another thing on my plate.”

Fiers, who currently pitches for the Oakland Athletics, said to the Chronicle that he’s not concerned about his safety but that he is always concerned about his family’s safety.

In a November 12 story in The Athletic, Fiers said the Astros had engaged in sign-stealing methods in 2017 that violated MLB’s rules. Fiers pitched for the Astros in 2017, the year Houston defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the franchise’s first World Series. The Athletic’s report with Fiers’ on-the-record comments spurred MLB to launch its investigation, which found that the Astros illegally created a system that decoded and communicated the opposing teams’ pitching signs to their own players.

On Tuesday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was asked if the league was concerned about Fiers’ safety — and, if so, what steps would be taken, particularly when the A’s play in Houston this season.

“We will take every possible step to protect Mike Fiers wherever he’s playing, whether it’s in Houston or somewhere else,” Manfred said at a press conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“I want to be really clear about this. Mike, who I do not know at all, did the industry a service. I do believe that we will be a better institution when we emerge at the end of this episode, and without a Mike Fiers, we probably would’ve had a very difficult time cleaning this up. It would’ve taken longer. I think we would’ve done it eventually, but it would’ve taken a lot longer. And I have a real problem with anybody who suggests that Mike did anything other than the right thing.”

Regarding MLB protection, Fiers said Wednesday to The Athletic: “I don’t know how they would.”

He added, “I’m not asking for extra security. I’m here to play baseball and I can defend myself, if anything. We do have National League games and I’m going to have to get into the box (to hit) just like everybody else. It’s part of the game. If they decide to throw at me, then they throw at me. There’s nothing much you can do about it.”

He also said, according to The Athletic: “I’ve dealt with a lot in my life. I’ve dealt with people hating me before. I’ve dealt with a lot of life problems. It is what it is. And if someone’s going to retaliate then by hitting me with a pitch, it’s not a big deal.”

There are strong opinions on either side when it comes to Fiers. One of those against him is former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz, who said on Thursday that Fiers looks like a “snitch” for going public on the Astros’ scandal.

“I’m mad at this guy, the pitcher that came out talking about it,” Ortiz said at Red Sox spring training at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida.

“And let me tell you why. Oh, after you make your money, after you get your ring, you decide to talk about it. Why don’t you talk about it during the season when it was going on? Why you didn’t say, ‘I don’t want to be no part of it?’ So you look like you’re a snitch.”

When asked if he might consider returning his World Series ring, Fiers said he currently has no plans to do so unless it’s mandated for the 2017 team to do that.

“I said from the beginning, ‘I’m not away from this. I was part of that team, I was one of those guys,'” Fiers said to the Chronicle. “Suspensions, fines — I’m willing to take as much punishment as they do. If they ask me to (return the ring), it’s not the end of the world.”