Resentment from coworkers hurt, and led to her eventually being pulled off the Senate beat. Trim and upholstery durability was much improved but the bodies were twisty and creaky and mechanically they were rubbish. The more things change, the more they stay the same. The only other “death by station wagon” celebrity event I know of is the 1962 death of the actor/comedian Ernie Kovacs in Los Angeles. were in doubt AND this is a website about cars and their owners…. "Savitch was in danger after she began looking into the life and death of Italian banker Robert Calvi," the Post said in a story published yesterday. Considering this story was pulled once because a few details about the car Ms. Savitch was killed in, (or was about Oldsmobile Cutlasses?) If she and Fischbein had been arguing, say, about that very intervention, he could have been distracted and Savitch may have directly contributed to her own demise, Such a happy first post in the new year . If you can improve it, please do. Copyright 2011 - 2021 Curbside Classics. That’s good enough for me. After her death, her family filed an insurance suit against New York Post, who had insured the car Fischbein was driving at the time of their death. Jessica was the daughter of a clothing store owner who died young. The powers that be were convinced Jessica was going insane and would kill herself. The car went off the bridge, Kennedy escaped the car and left the scene, and didn’t report the crash until the car, with Kopechne’s body inside, was discovered next morning. This “Curbside Collaboration” idea sounds pretty good for the given context. Always loved these A/G body station wagons and finding a good one that hasn’t been ruined or chopped up is rare today. At KYW in Philadelphia, she carved a stylish, hard-hitting niche with flawless looks, tough talk and in depth stories. Please, don’t get me wrong. Life’s struggles are definitely more important than a character line along the side of a car and what someone else might think about it. Callahan told the Post that he plans to continue his investigation. Lillian Savitch was born January 17, 1905. He died at the age of 81 in September 1980 in Orange County, California. But Rosko said he won't reopen the case until somebody steps forward with hard evidence. This CC catches me a bit off guard. There was an optional button in the glove box that released the glass from the inside. Growing up, it seemed that both beer and wine were less taboo than hard liquor, and obviously, any of the above will cause intoxication. MAP: Where coronavirus is in Pennsylvania, Lehigh Valley outdoor dining guide: More than 125 restaurants with al fresco retreats. I guess we’re not supposed to call them ” stew bums ” any more either ? Sources: Nash, Alanna. And I apologize if a few folks here think I should praise/love all the features here…or just shut up. At KHOU she was hailed as the first anchorwoman in the South (although that would be contested). Sadly as per GM edict of the day they didn’t possess adequate reliability and performance until the last years of the series and by then they were standardized, dulled down and stripped of their personalities. Here’s a new idea for the New Year at CC: Paul, what if articles that are say 90 per cent complete but could use some constructive input and suggestions from the experts here are noted in the opening paragraph a “Curbside Collaboration” ? Lynne, it does have something to do with cars. He wouldn’t have been nearly as good as a President. A common thread has emerged in the comments on this article that leads back to my opening statement. I didn’t see this personal element in this story. Compared to the man, the “ad” was full of taste. The article prompted my to look her up and read her quite compelling story. Learn how your comment data is processed. And she wasn’t the driver, either; that honor (?) Sadly, Elizabeth Vargas seems to be suffering similar problems. Lieut. Did anyone else notice how radically different her appearance was in her final news broadcast versus the other photos? According to Wikipedia, the car flipped over and landed in 4 feet of mud/water. All Rights Reserved. It was posted two days ago but was temporarily withdrawn for revision. So don’t click on the title link and comment then .?.. These had some interesting engine options. It was to happen on a Monday. $8 Million Settlement Reached in Death of NBC Anchor Jessica Savitch January 28, 1988 GMT PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ The estxecutive Martin Fischbein, died when the car in which they were riding plunged into a canal during a rainstorm. Ironically, if the car had stayed upright, they might have easily escaped. . That happened right after the first of the Ted Kennedy comments! Am I the only one who noticed the Burberry trench coat, muddied and soaked on the passenger seat? Her father suddenly died when she was just 12 years old. After finishing their meal, Savitch and Fishbein drowned when their car plunged into the Delaware Canal while they were attempting to leave the restaurant's parking lot. In March 1976, the USA’s most famous skier, Spider Sabich, was shot and killed in Aspen, CO by his singer/actress girlfriend, Claudine Longet. She just kind of faded from my periphery. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard such a thing. Jessica Savitch, Actress: Nasty Habits. “National Lampoon (magazine), the original humor magazine from 1970 to 1998”-wikipedia. It was a parody by National Lampoon. A friend then got her a job part-time reading the local news … Jessica Savitch was born on February 1, 1947 and died on October 23, 1983. Whether the car landed upside down or right side up, the thick mud made opening ANY door/tailgate pretty much impossible. Both books about her talk about open sores, scratches from “coke roaches” and her paranoia that sometimes manifested in manic rages. She came back to DC after anchoring the weekend news in New York and found her husband hanging from her dog’s leash in the basement. . I do remember this accident being in the news. One more thing-I remember the week she died as being a big week for news; first the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, and then the Great Big Battle of Grenada. If that’s an actual picture of the car involved, then the story is wrong. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. one in the photo above. While getting drunk on beer=you have an alcohol problem. All the cars I ever had from Olds were decent and reliable, except the last one. Savitch was one of the first women to anchor an evening network news broadcast alone, following in the footsteps … Drug use led to promiscuity and sometimes threatened her standing at the station. The last thing I personally want this site to be is ‘Stepford Carstories’. The Post story quoted private investigator William Callahan, who alleged that Calvi was murdered after his Milan-based bank collapsed, costing the Vatican $250 million. There are stories on these pages that have a sadness to them. Jessica Beth Savitch (February 1, 1947 – October 23, 1983) was an American television news presenter and correspondent, best known for being the weekend anchor of NBC Nightly News and daily presenter of NBC News updates during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Seven hours later, the bodies of 36-year-old Jessica Savitch and Martin Fischbein were pulled from the canal. CC has very high standards on the automotive details, so that is my only beef with it. That was the front-wheel-drive A-platform, which was introduced for the 1982 model year. Recently, legendary Detroit anchor Bill Bonds passed away. Stay calm, lower a window (if lower-able) float thru. Savitch died the night of Oct. 24, 1983, after she had dined at a New Hope restaurant with a companion, Martin Fishbein. Can’t believe it’s been 31 years. I would read more stories on notable figures who died in cars. According to Dunne, who chronicled his experiences dealing with studio executives in his book Monster: Living Off the Big Screen, the majority of these changes were made in order to appeal to a broader mainstream market. But all was not right in Jessica’s world. They resumed production of the Oldsmobile, but have not manufactured the Pontiac for several years. Jessica Beth Savitch (February 1, 1947 – October 23, 1983) was an American television broadcaster and news reporter, host of PBS's Frontline and New York weekend anchor of NBC Nightly News during the short-lived Roger Mudd/Tom Brokaw era. I remember her well, and as an aside her younger sister Lori worked at WPXI TV in Pittsburgh as a local anchor in the early 1990’s. Personally, any celebrity that has a strong connection with a vehicle, even if it’s only through death, is worthy of inclusion. Unfortunately the A-body replacements were just the opposite. According to the window sticker mine actually came with a no charge 3.08:1 rear gear or code GU4 as a 2.73 was standard on 231 V6 wagons and sedans came with 2.41 gears. It’s always sad to see one who’s light shines so brightly , flame out . As a side note to a previous posters comments: I moved from Florida to Tennessee and then back to Florida a few years ago. Savitch was born in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, about 35 miles west of Philadelphia. As for the report in the Post, Rosko said, "It's a crazy story. Rosko said yesterday that he stands by his ruling in the case. "We also know she was about to do another. Savitch died the night of Oct. 24, 1983, after she had dined at a New Hope restaurant with a companion, Martin Fishbein. They aged well. David Savitch, nicknamed Buddy, was the son of Benjamin and Lillian (Dinaberg) Savitch. Lifetime's telling … “I was walking down the street and saw this wino who was eating grapes. The TV universe was narrow – three or four national networks and their local affiliates. And R.I.P Oldsmobile. According to the Post, Savitch was one of "a growing cast of characters with two things in common -- they had links to the Vatican banking scandal and they died violently.". Her end came in an Oldsmobile station wagon. This could be a sub-category for Curb Side. Jessica Savitch has been regarded as merely a footnote in broadcast news history, which is tragic in itself; after all, Jessica did break new ground for women in journalism, having been one of the first female TV anchorwomen in the canon. Jessica Savitch, 35, an award-winning newswoman with the NBC network since 1977, drowned early yesterday after the car she was riding in plunged into … But on Sunday, Jessica had a date with the New York Post’s Martin Fischbein. Unfortunately rust would render them un-watertight and un-liftable in fairly short order. A sad story. Or, I should say, the car model was incidental until your follow-up comment about “limo dreams in a station wagon reality.” This finally tied the car model to the life that ended inside it. The armrest on the driver door looks like a GM RWD A-body from the ’78 – mid ’80s era. No drugs and very little alcohol … It seemed acceptable at the time for news people to personify the stereotype of the hard hitting, hard drinking news reporter that sometimes showed their afflictions on camera. If there is justification for the whining by some commenters, I think it lies in the fact that the car model was incidental to Savitch’s death; i.e., she and her companion would have had the same difficulty opening the doors of an upside-down Mercedes smooshed into a muddy canal bed. It sounds like the whole car flipped upside down as it went into the canal. Those of us who grew up with the Kennedys were quietly relieved that Teddy had knocked himself out of the presidential stakes – he was nowhere near the politician John and Bobby were. I remember Jessica Savage. The big wagon went over the side of the canal (which was usually dry) and the mud sealed the doors shut. OBVIOUSLY, if I had remembered the details I might have skipped this story. New York: HarperCollins, 1988. In Tennessee, liquor stores are NOT allowed to sell any kind of food. Yep…Dad’s was an 83 Bonneville which he drove into the ground…well into the 90s. It is a car story! Not terrible, mind you, it just seems like a couple of more cycles of editing could have buffed out the minor defects before it was published. It was just applied to some other cars within Olds. Interesting, chilling account. The Bonneville version was kind of a rare bird, actually, only produced for 1982-83. The New York Post says so. And that kept him from ever getting to the White House. Linda Ellerbee grew concerned and gathered a group to stage an intervention. However, if you are buying “hard liquor” and look older than 21…it’s the seller’s judgement call if he/she cards you the buyer. American Brands: AMC, Jeep and All Others, Tractors, Lawn Mowers, Off-Road Equipment, Death by Station Wagon: The Fall of Jessica Savitch, Curbside Classic: 1971 Dodge D100 – The Overlooked Option. It was a rental for a day trip to PA. People with money will rent inexpensive cars…the type of car in this instance is entirely irrelevant. And his half-hearted run in 1980 showed just how much the nation didn’t forget. It’s a bit rough around the edges. While getting drunk on beer=you have an alcohol problem.”. Ironically, Fishbein was an executive at the New York Post. Finally, I really hate to say this: this kind of story is NOT what I come to Curbside Classics for. The only chance she might have had would be out the tailgate if it could have been opened from the inside, and even then, it would have to be immediately before the car was completely engulfed in mud. It had a two piece tailgate…the glass part was held up by gas struts which failed often and caused the glass to hit folks on the head (ow)..ask me how I know and the tailgate which swung down. I am not personally affected by their accidents. Good thing GM doesn’t make Oldsmobiles anymore . She was on television at a time when TV news correspondents were lauded as celebrities. That October night in 1983 was foggy and Fischbein, known as a careful driver, was confused about which way to go after leaving the restaurant. QOTD: What Current New Car Would You Save In Your Time Capsule? I don’t remember really listening to NBC news much. At KYW in Philadelphia, she carved a stylish, hard-hitting niche with flawless looks, tough talk … Golden Girl: The Story of Jessica Savitch. She was the first host of Frontline on PBS , (a show that still survies to this day) and the first truly beautiful woman to read the news. No matter how many times in life she threatened suicide in the end instinct took over. Mary Jo Kopechne was another young woman born in Pennsylvania, who met an infamous end in an Oldsmobile under water. Teddy couldn’t hold a candle to his brothers John and Robert. Incidentally I found a TV movie of her life based on her book featuring Sela Ward playng Jessica. The G body wagons were nice, but always looked very plain without the woodgrain. Yes this may be about Jessica Savitch but it’s interesting how she met her end…not in a Mercedes or Beemer but a modest-by-comparison G-Body Olds. You suppose the reader judge by the cover of the book or title of the article? "So far, no one has contacted me," said the Bucks County coroner. Let’s address the worst first. At that point the former rear-wheel-drive A-body was renamed the G-body. Required fields are marked *. Add mine to the thanks for this article. What is being conveyed is that the Cutlass Cruiser name was moved to the A-body Ciera when the wagon bodystyle was introduced for 1984, the G-body wagons having been dropped. And back then, it was rare to have a female report who handled the “serious” news. I knew the cars are only “Nebensache” (sideshow) in our lives. Instead of the correct was out, he drove up a towpath. According to the newspaper, the television newswoman who died in Bucks County eight years ago was murdered because she was investigating an Italian banking scandal. It *IS* a ‘ Car Story ‘ ~ a sad one to be sure but also a truthful cautionary tale . it’s akin to the James Dean’s Porsche, the Kennedy SS100X Lincoln and Jayne Mansfield’s Electra 225. R.I.P. Her fame was national and it was huge. The interior trim pieces did not last long but I recall the drivetrain as being very durable, which is why Dad liked them. Wiki and People did a better job reporting this….but they didn’t have to find a way to make the car “a killer”. It’s not an ad, but a page from “The National Lampoon.”. This week I'll travel from my home in Kentucky to stand at the spot in New Hope, Pa., where NBC News anchor Jessica Savitch (right) died 30 years ago tonight on the rainy fall evening of October 23.I'll be wearing one of her amethyst birthstone rings - a gift from her sister, Lori, whose website celebrates Savitch's legacy as a a groundbreaking TV news star of the … Jessica Savitch would have been 36 years old at the time of death or 68 years old today. You could get a diesel, a 3.8 V6 and four different V8s. Savitch was one of the first women to anchor an evening network news broadcast alone, following in the footsteps of Marlene Sanders of ABC News and Catherine Mackin of NBC News. 1982 was the first year Oldsmobile spun Cutlass off into its own marque. The image drove ratings. EspecIally in NYC…the wealthy are not so much into cars! Chrysler did the same with LeBaron and New Yorker. He signed out a 1982 Oldsmobile station wagon from the Post’s fleet, and they headed toward Bucks County, PA with Chewy in tow. WizardDuck 02:34, 20 December 2006 (UTC) The dog died … - IMDb Mini Biography By: Matthew Patay. The wagon in the photo is the rear-wheel-drive A-body introduced for model year 1978; it was never sold as a Ciera or Cutlass Ciera. (Okay, enough with the car detailing metaphors.). this book is written with upmost respect to the life of television anchorwomen jessica savitch and her family. She never had a child but was pregnant with her second husband which later turned into miscarriage. Jessica first considered a career in broadcasting while in high school. Jessica Savitch was a pioneer in network broadcasting. (Lynne, I hope we see more to come.) I found the story interesting. This one fits quite nicely within the broad array presented on CC. She may have been getting too close to something someone didn't want made public.". Dad brought home a 1979 green woody wagon back in 1983 equipped with the 305 4bbl Chevy V8 and loads of equipment and we loved that car. . I never understood why getting drunk on wine=totally fine. “This wagon was officially known as a Cutlass Cruiser, until it morphed into a Ciera a few years later.”. She died at the age of 36 from drowning after the car she was riding in ran off the road and crashed into a canal. These were big sellers for GM. At the height of her fame she was known for Gucci belts, Halston dresses, piles of cocaine, penthouses and pills. There used to be people called ‘winos’, but I guess they’re all extinct now. Sadly the dealer trying to sell it to us had a ridiculous price on it at the time and dad passed. Remembering Jessica Savitch (video from NBC archives) Here we see her as a guest of the NBC Today Show, being interviewed by Bryant Gumbel about her book Anchorwoman, and sharing her insight into the role of women and minorities in broadcasting. Jessica Savitch was born on February 1, 1947 in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Usually, they were just issued the light stories. He was driving a Corvair station wagon. The incident caused widespread speculation that she was abusing drugs. Ms. Savitch (NOT Savage as some have called her) was in the back seat with her dog. Probably wouldn’t have made any difference. But it all came to an end on a rainy autumn night in 1983, when the car Savitch was in plunged into a Bucks County, Pennsylvania canal, killing her … No drugs and very little alcohol were present in her system at the time of her death. Thankfully, our attitudes toward substance abuse are becoming more and more enlightened over time. which no one seems to mind. Savitch died a tabloid death one night later that year when she drowned in a car that plunged into a rain-swollen canal. If you want a site tailored only to your specific interests, start your own. Savitch was born February 1, 1947, in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, about 35 miles west of Philadelphia. its amazing how much time and energy people will spend complaining about what they don’t want to read, isn’t it? Instead he bought the unfortunate 1979 blue Fairmont with butt numbing bench seat, no A/C and few options other than the 200 six and automatic. Jessica had one divorce, then met a doctor with even worse drug troubles than hers, and married him. We took them on many family vacations and hauled a lot of things in their cargo areas. He had the two Cutlasses and the Pontiac Bonneville version. For all the first class tickets and privilege she projected, the Golden Girl of TV news came from an ordinary, if humble background. I did not expect such a somber write up on a typically festive, party filled day. The word "golden" jumps from the title of two new books about Jessica Savitch, the broadcaster who rocketed to network stardom in the 1970s and then died … The reputation followed her to NBC. (The article title should not change; this might cause a disturbance in the permalink universe). Jessica Starr's manner of death was ruled a suicide, a spokesperson from the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office told The Post on Friday. Is that picture in the front seat part of one either Jessica’s or Martin’s dead body? Kind of sad, but still nice to know someone else out there remembers Jessica. With that in mind, I assumed that “Death By Station Wagon” meant this would be a story about how a woman (albeit a celebrity newscaster) was perhaps bored to death by her life as a station wagon driving drudge. I had old blue for over 3 years as my daily driver to college and racked up an impossible 151K miles on her (bought with 62k) and traded her for a 2 door Cutlass with bucket seats to better fit a sportier image after college. ", Here’s how to get the most out of your Morning Call subscription. Fischbein apparently mistook a dirt road for an exit and in a matter of seconds the car flipped off the road and plunged into the canal sinking almost instantly. Classic Cars of Infamy. Jessica Savitch has been listed as a level-5 vital article in People, Journalists. I enjoyed the article. NBC didn’t know what to do. As a kid I remember JS as being prominent in national TV journalism but knew nothing of her personal life or death. In all the articles I’ve read, it just refers to “an Oldsmobile station wagon” and I’m not well-versed on the interiors, especially after they have been upside-down and underwater for a few hours. It really doesn’t have the polish I’ve come to expect at CC. Bucks County Coroner Thomas J. Rosko ruled the deaths were accidental. No beef jerky, no cocktail peanuts, no onions or olives for martinis. She was a bit before my time, and although I’ve never heard of her before now, the story of a celebrity’s downward spiral and death in a car accident sounds all too familiar . That pile was handed down to me until I couldn’t take it anymore and soon after I found myself signing the papers for a 1981 blue Cutlass wagon with the 231 V6, limited slip differential, A/C, split bench seat with passenger recliner and most other options these had at the time. The car was found about an hour, hour and a half after the accident. To the criticism this has nothing to do with cars, in a way it does. As for Jessica, I couldn’t even begin to describe how messed up she was toward the end. Her life was the subject of a Lifetime Television made-for-TV movie, starring Sela Ward, called "Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story." . Jessica, it’s nice to see others besides me remember her. "Miss Savitch's death came shortly after she finished an investigation of Calvi," Callahan told the Post. Jessica Savitch didn’t, or perhaps couldn’t; in that era, such a move would have been a career killer. I am Canadian and I remember watching her on American news programs, so her fame certainly wasn’t “local”, but may have been confined to North American shores. In this photo she’s roughly 35. Investigators say he may have swerved to avoid a parked car. CC Capsule: 1993-94 Ford Explorer Limited – How Did It Escape Cash For Clunkers? She had a pet husky named Chewy the doctor hated. But through all this time, her relationship with the viewing public never faltered – until October 3, 1983: She said she was healing after recent plastic surgery, was tired, faint, had a glass of wine on an empty stomach – there were lots of excuses. This article was taken down because I misidentified the wagon. I want to be constructive with my comments. This is about Jessica Savitch, not so much about a car. Ms. Savitch was born in Kennett Square, outside Philadelphia, and grew up in Margate, N.J. Cutlass was not “made into its own marque” aka Oldsmobile or Pontiac. I remember growing up listening to Walter Cronkite. She died three weeks later by drowning when a car in which she was a passenger accidentally drove into a canal during a heavy rainstorm. Pa. coronavirus cases and deaths: Track them here. At KHOU she was hailed as the first anchorwoman in the South (although that would be contested). On October 23 1983, Jessica Savitch met a fatal automobile accident, while returning home from shopping along with her then boyfriend Martin Fischbein. It was he that encouraged her for a career in broadcast journalism. It would be your call when the article would be edited / updated as complete and the “collaboration” statement removed. 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