The Tiger and the Tragic Trick: Siegfried & Roy’s Animal Handler Breaks Silence on Mauling, Alleges Cover-Up

The Tiger and the Tragic Trick: Siegfried & Roy’s Animal Handler Breaks Silence on Mauling, Alleges Cover-Up

Chris  Lawrence was onstage when a white tiger viciously attacked Roy Horn in 2003 during their Las Vegas show. Now, after a 15-year battle with PTSD, Lawrence is finally ready to discuss the human error that triggered the incident and the story he believes was concocted to protect the legendary illusionists

Up close, deadly close, a tiger’s scent is “piss and pheromones,” says Chris Lawrence. While it’s a uniquely pungent thing, it can smell a bit like burnt

buttered popcorn, or maybe a whiff of a truck’s muffler. You never forget it.

When Mantacore — a 400-pound, 7-foot-long striped white male tiger — bit and held Roy Horn in his mouth during a performance at Las Vegas’ Mirage hotel 15 years ago, animal handler Lawrence was there, grabbing the tiger, desperately attempting to pull the cat back by the furry nape of his neck. A moment earlier, Lawrence, whose responsibilities included the daily care of Mantacore, had found himself on his back, expecting an imminent demise.

Soon, as Horn’s decades-long partner, Siegfried Fischbacher, cried out and the evening’s audience of 1,500 people watched agape, Mantacore dragged Horn’s unconscious body offstage through the ball-fringe curtains.

The events that unfolded that night — Oct. 3, 2003, Horn’s 59th birthday — are now part of the pop culture firmament: Horn suffered an onstage stroke, the story goes, and Mantacore lunged at him in a misguided instinct to help. After the incident, the show — a Vegas mainstay that grossed $45 million a year — shuttered permanently. Mantacore, deemed blameless, was reintegrated among the rest of the duo’s big-cat menagerie. (The tiger, often misspelled as “Montecore” in the press, died in 2014 at age 17.) Fischbacher, now 79, went on to extravagantly care for his lifelong friend and former lover Horn, 74, at their Little Bavaria estate in Vegas, whose sprawling, rustic grounds are outfitted with hip-high rails along winding paths to make it easier for Horn to get around. Today, he’s able to stroll short distances when not confined to a scooter and can talk only with difficulty.

Yet Lawrence — a figure central to the story, now speaking for the first time — says the official narrative of the night put out by the show isn’t what really happened. He contends it was a version shaped by the illusionists to protect the brand, save face and cover up for a series of onstage handling errors made by Horn. “While Roy, unfortunately, bears the physical scars of the attack,” says Lawrence, “he definitely isn’t the only person that was left suffering in the aftermath of it.”  READ MORE..

The Vault – REVOLT by Geraint Clarke – A Review

The Vault – REVOLT by Geraint Clarke – A Review

The Vault – Revolt by Geraint Clarke – A Review

Geraint Clarke has produced a video of three cards effects. Each is similar in style, but very different by nature. Here is the ad copy:

“Welsh underground superstar, Geraint Clarke, offers three brilliant playing card divinations from a shuffled deck in use. But these are far from your standard ‘pick-a-card’ trick. Each effect is more impossible than the one before, with the magician revealing the chosen card though there was no way to for him to have any idea what the card was. Each effect is diabolical, practical and most of all, potent for a lay audience. This is Revolt. Here’s what you get:

Essential: A FREELY CHOSEN card is selected at random and the spectator is then able to shuffle the card into the deck, losing it completely. The magician is able to locate the card despite these test conditions. This effect relies on a very clever principle that, once mastered, will help you create miracles in this and countless other effects. Geraint offers several ways to get into and out of the effect, and offers advice on how to handle less than optimal conditions to create the strongest effect possible.

Alter Ego: A card is chosen at random and lost in the pack. The spectator can then shuffle the cards, losing the card legitimately. The magician is able to divine the name of the card without ever having to touch the deck. The method is genius, can be set up while interacting with the audience between tricks, and has the potential to create a real moment of astonishment.

Momentum: You’ll be using this one within moments of seeing this clever method. Again, a freely chosen card is selected and replaced in the pack and can be lost in the deck. Before the cards have been handed to the spectator to be shuffled, and without turning ANY cards face up, you will instantly know the name of the selection. Momentum allows you to take a very commonplace item, one that you carry with you daily, and turn it into an impromptu gaff. Get miles ahead in your card work, creating true miracles with pasteboards. ”

My thoughts:

I know.. three card tricks on a video aren’t going to impress anyone – quantity wise. But, REVOLT has a couple of things going for it.. One, three good effects for $6.00 IS something to get excited about.. And Two, three good effects that are thoughtful, magician foolers, are more than I’ve gotten from some double dvd sets.

Although not self working, all three effects are easy enough that a beginner can learn them, and perform them, successfully in short order.

ESSENTIAL uses a borrowed, shuffled deck. There is no setup. You ask a spectator to select any card at random, and after the card is returned to the deck and the spectator allowed to shuffle the deck, you can tell the spectator the card he picked. I appreciated the various ideas and tips Geraint offered up. Sometimes there may be a slight bit of fishing, very slight, but the wording nullifies it. The audience is non-the-wiser.

ALTER EGO uses the same premise.. a card is selected, lost in the deck, the deck thoroughly shuffled by the spectator, and the magician can name the card afterwards without touching the deck. (Except during the selection). This is as close to self working as it gets without being actually self working. You do need to conduct a little subterfuge, but it’s a natural movement and will slide by the audience.

MOMENTUM is a thoroughly modern version of an early 1900’s card technique. The method is old as the hills, but the dirty work is accomplished with a very modern tool everyone carries. Practice your handling and this will be ‘maybe’ the killer of the three. Actually, Alter Ego may be my personal favorite, because of the lack of handling, but I’m not totally sure… duh…

For six dollars.. you can’t go wrong. The video is well recorded. Sound and lighting are good. And the total length is about 23 minutes. This probably ranks as one of the best deals for the money of all the videos I’ve reviewed for Murphy’s…. and that’s a LOT of videos.

Z MATRIX ( Impossible One Handed Matrix ) – A Review

Z MATRIX ( Impossible One Handed Matrix ) – A Review

Z Matrix.. (Impossible One Handed Matrix) – A Review
Effect by Ziv.. Review by Rick Carruth

If you are a fan of Matrix coin effects, this is for you. The ad copy says: 

“A fast, easy to do, impossible matrix routine from Ziv. You’re not hiding the coins under any cards – in fact, there are no cards at all! Amazingly, this all occurs using only ONE hand and it happens FAST! Spectators won’t believe their eyes as the coins assemble and return to their positions.”

Includes bonus routine Z – SPELLBOUND, whereby coins impossibly vanish, reappear, and turn into other coins. Incredible!

My Thoughts:

I was not familiar with Ziv before watching this video. Actually, I was familiar with a couple of effects created and/or sold by Ziv that I did not realize were his effects ( CORNER, for one ). If you purchase this instant download from Murphy’s Magic, you’ll STILL not know a lot about Ziv, other than he is very, very good at what he does. In this case, a one-handed matrix and a second effect titled Z-Spellbound that uses a silver dollar size coin and a Chinese coin.

Now, as for the ad copy.. If you read the second line of the description, it says you are not hiding coins under cards. That’s partially correct. The first part of Z Matrix does use playing cards, three cards, to conceal coins. This in itself is a series of very magical moves, then.. the cards are discarded and the one handed matrix is displayed. It does not use cards. It IS fast.. and it is fairly easy to do. It is also one of those things you wil

l be asked to ‘do again’, since the audience will not be sure they saw what they thought they saw.

I like Z Matrix. This is definitely something I would purchase as I could not stand not knowing the secret. I will tell you that the real secret, aside from some nice handling, is a gimmick. You are left to create your own gimmick, taught on the video, and you can create it in about a minute. This is one of the few DIY gimmicks I didn’t mind making.

Z Spellbound is a coin-in-hand routine that produces and vanishes both a Chinese coin and a dollar size coin. The handling is ideal for anyone who enjoys working with coins. You will have to practice a little.. it’s not self-working.. but I honestly think you’ll appreciate the time invested.

The quality of the video is very good. It was obviously created over a period of time and with care. The total video is silent, accompa

nied by background music, and a careful series of frames to show you exactly how to perform each aspect of both effects. Words really weren’t necessary, and I’m sure they realized that.. Magic knows no boundaries..

A quick note.. the video is a crisp 6 minutes long. This was long enough to teach everything needed to successfully perform the effects. I know this doesn’t sound long, but once you watch it, you’ll know all is well..

If you want to add a couple of strong, quick effects to your repertoire, I recommend Z Matrix. I am not a strong coin guy, but I would, (and did) fell confident tackling Ziv’s effects.

You can download Z Matrix instantly from Murphy’s Magic and their customers. $9.95