(June 16, 2018): Iron Butterfly – Scorching Beauty

K-SHE Classic. Title track from the 1975 album, Scorching Beauty.  By this point Ron sweetmeatBushy was the only original member of the Band still left. Erik Braunn did not join until In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. Braunn died young at 51 from a heart attack, but the far stranger story relates to the bassist on this outing, Phil Kramer. As Discogs relates:

After [his stint with Iron Butterfly, Kramer] obtained a night school degree in aerospace engineering, worked on the MX missile guidance system for a contractor of the US Department of Defense and later in the computer industry on fractal compression, facial recognition systems, and advanced communications. His disappearance on February 12, 1995 caused a mystery lasting four years.

On February 12, 1995 he drove to Los Angeles International Airport to pick up an investor. He spent forty-five minutes at the airport but failed to meet the investor. Kramer did make a flurry of cell phone calls, including one to the police during which Kramer said, “I’m going to kill myself. And I want everyone to know O.J. Simpson is innocent. They did it.”

He was never heard from again. This led to a massive search, many news reports, and talk show segments including an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, America’s Most Wanted, The Unexplained (“Strange Disappearances,” first aired 5/7/2000) and Unsolved Mysteries some years later. An article in Skeptic reported numerous conspiracy theories about his death.

On May 29, 1999, Kramer’s Ford Aerostar minivan and skeletal remains were found by photographers looking for old car wrecks to shoot at the bottom of Decker Canyon near Malibu, California. Based on forensic evidence and Kramer’s emergency call to the police, authorities ruled his death as a probable suicide committed on the day on which he was last heard.

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