Horkheimer Hospitalized

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Vol 31 Issue 13

Woman Injured In Hostile Makeover

NEW YORK—Area resident Julie Milner is in stable condition following a hostile makeover Monday. According to witnesses, Milner was looking at mascara at the Elizabeth Arden cosmetics counter at Macy's when several salespeople violently descended upon her, applying thick coats of rouge and eye shadow until she fell unconscious. "It was horrible," witness Stacie Hull said. "They had her in autumn colors, and she was obviously a winter."

Congress Raises Killing Age To 19

WASHINGTON, DC—Making good on a promise to curb juvenile crime, Congress passed legislation Monday making it illegal for anyone under 19 to commit murder. "If you kill someone, your parents will be notified and you may even spend time in jail," said Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS). Previously, murderers as young as 14, depending on state of residence, were considered to be acting within the law. President Clinton approved the bill, though he had recently threatened to veto it if youths between 16 and 19 were not granted certain killing privileges with parental consent.

Police Sketch Artist Admits To Only Drawing People Who Have Wronged Him

HOUSTON—Dozens of wrongful arrests were brought to light Saturday, as longtime Houston Police Department sketch artist Daniel Lampert confessed that for years he had used his artistic skill to indict innocent people who had angered him. "Remember that serial rapist eight years ago? That was a sketch of my neighbor," Lampert told reporters. "Son of a bitch wouldn't leash his dog." Lampert also revealed that Houston's notorious heroin kingpin Brad Manning, arrested hours after his sketch was completed, stole Lampert's girlfriend in college. "Jerk thought he was so big," Lampert said. "Showed him."

Indonesian Nine-Year-Old Loves To Volunteer

SURABAYA, INDONESIA—They don't come much more dedicated than nine-year-old Sibu Sandakan. Unlike most boys his age, who would rather spend their free time skateboarding or hanging out at the mall, this generous youngster spends every chance he gets doing volunteer work.

The McVeigh Trial

With the Oklahoma City bombing trial about to begin, many observers are questioning whether defendant Timothy McVeigh—the subject of intense media scrutiny for nearly two years—can get a fair trial before an unbiased jury. What do you think?

High-Definition Television Promises Sharper Crap

WASHINGTON, DC—In the most dramatic leap in television technology since the advent of color in the 1950s, on Monday the FCC approved a 10-year plan to shift to digital, high-definition TV, technology which will make barely watchable crap far sharper and more detailed than ever before.
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Horkheimer Hospitalized

MIAMI—Jack Horkheimer, director of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium and host of the PBS program Star Hustler, was rushed to an area hospital Monday after collapsing from hyperventilation on the set of his popular astronomy-themed show.

The Hale-Bopp comet, whose arrival caused Jack Horkheimer (inset) to collapse from excitement.

Over-excitement brought on by the exceptional brilliance, rareness and favorable viewing position of the Hale-Bopp comet, described by Horkheimer as "the single most incredible celestial phenomenon of this century," is believed to be the cause.

"Jack loves astronomy with all his heart," Star Hustler producer Eileen Franks said. "But this is a case of a man who just loved too much."

According to witnesses, Horkheimer became increasingly manic while taping a Star Hustler episode about the comet, describing the beauty and magnificence of Hale-Bopp with flailing arm gestures and staccato bursts of superlatives. Increasingly red-faced and gulping for air, Horkheimer's voice reached a fever pitch as he related the "staggering, shimmering majesty of this unbelievable, once-in-a-lifetime, heavenly radiance!"

The portly host, wide-eyed with near-orgasmic delight, his jowls visibly vibrating with excitement, cried out, "Hale-Bopp is expected to be the most widely viewed comet in the entire history of humankind! Do not miss out on this history-making, epoch-defining, momentous cosmic visitor from the stars!" Clutching his throat, he then fell off a blue-screen-projected backdrop of a ring of Saturn, plummeting 25 feet to the floor of the sound stage below.

Horkheimer's famed Member's Only jacket was not damaged in the incident, sources said.

Horkheimer is currently receiving oxygen treatment at Dade County Hospital. Though he is listed in stable condition, doctors stress that he is not out of danger at this time. To minimize the risk of relapse, he is being kept in a locked room under strict orders not to be allowed to observe the night sky between 9:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. through April 21, when viewing conditions are considered most favorable.

"Every time he regains consciousness, he mutters, 'Greetings, star-gazers!' and starts ranting about the comet again," Dr. Hargrove Lowell said. "I've never seen a person with such a high metabolic rate in all my life. We're trying to keep him sedated, but we've had to administer massive doses of Thorazine just to keep him down."

Added Lowell: "God help us if there's an unexpected supernova, and he hears about it on CNN. He'd be a goner, for sure."

<I>Star Hustler</I> stagehands rush to the aid of collapsed host Jack Horkheimer.

According to Star Hustler's producer, the show will remain on hiatus until Horkheimer's health is restored. When Horkheimer does return, the program will no longer feature the usual effects of him "jumping" from planet to planet, "beaming in" at each episode's opening, or "zooming" from star map to star map at light speed.

A planned blue-screen superimposition effect depicting Horkheimer "riding" the tail of Hale-Bopp like a bucking bronco has also been cancelled.

"I should have known something was wrong," Franks said. "This whole week he's been acting strange. He even invented a dance he called the 'Hale-Bopp-A-Lu-Bop" and performed it on the air. I found that disturbing."

"At one point during the taping of that last show," Franks said, "Jack became so animated that he actually screamed at the camera, urging audience members to get up out of their seats and go look at the comet 'right the hell now!' It's not like Jack to use such language. He clearly was not himself."

Though Horkheimer's collapse is largely due to physical stress, psychological factors may have also played a role.

"I believe Mr. Horkheimer has enormous subconscious resentment that the most significant astronomical find in years was made by two amateur astronomers and not by him," said noted psychiatrist Dr. Eli Wasserbaum, who recently visited Horkheimer in the hospital. "He blames himself and is tormented by guilt that he was not watching when the comet appeared. During my visit, over and over, in a half-conscious murmur, he kept saying, 'Why didn't I keep looking up? Why didn't I keep looking up?'"

Friends and relatives remain confident that Horkheimer will pull through. "Jack's a fighter," longtime neighbor Bob Raemisch said. "That man has never backed down from a struggle in his entire life. He's a rock among men, I tell you."

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