Thursday, February 18, 2010


Just received this from an alert, inquisitive reader. 

I am trying to do some research on Omaha television news from back in the early 1960s and I am hoping you may be able to give me a helping hand or point me in the right direction.
 As I recall, there was an on-air newscaster, possibly on KETV, in the early 1960s. It turned out that he had abandoned his family and previous life in Minnesota (at least I think it was Minnesota). Someone from Minnesota was in Omaha and saw him on TV and contacted his family. He claimed to have had a boating accident while fishing and suffered from amnesia and settled in Omaha. I believe he then returned to his previous life.
 Does this sound familiar in any way? I am trying to track down the facts of the story. Can you shed any light on it or pass me along to someone else who may be of some help?
This sounds more like a "Guiding Light" storyline or an old "Unsolved Mysteries" segment. However, if any of you oldtimers know can fill in any blanks, please enlighten us via the comments feature, or shoot us an email.

Perhaps YOU could solve a mystery.


Rick said...

Your thinking of Charles Kuralt maybe? He abandoned families all over the country.

kdklown said...

This is a true story. The old timers at Channel Seven used to tell this story quite a bit...the guy used the name "Fritz".

Anonymous said...

World herald had the story. I believe the guy was from Ohio and bacame a sportscaster on TV here.

Checkin' It Out said...

resenting the label "oldtimers".. ;} ..
I do recall the first name of "Fritz" associated with this "scandal"..
It was KETV.
The circumstances sound quite familiar.

Checkin' It Out said...

Title: John F. "Fritz" Johnson

Description: John F. "Fritz" Johnson, the sports director of KETV in Omaha, Nebraska, where he was a champion archer and popular figure because of his pleasant but eccentric behavior; he was identified in 1965 as Lawrence Bader, of Akron, Ohio, who had disappeared on a fishing trip on Lake Erie in 1957; at first Johnson denied that he was Bader, having no memory of his former life, and even suggested that his fingerprints be taken to prove that he was not that man; the fingerprints, however, proved identical and that Johnson was Bader, who had apparently been suffering amnesia for eight years (one of the longest on record if to be believed); with two wives estranged from him and his TV job at risk, Johnson-Bader's fortunes dwindled, but the mystery was never solved in that he died of a brain tumor in 1966.

John said...,1427594

His name was Fritz Johnson

Carver said...

You mean you don't know? It's your blog, you should be able to answer questions about the subject you are supposed to have some knowledge of, no?

HappyGrama said...

I grew up watching Omaha TV, and I remember this entire thing happening. It was so crazy, but it happened!

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