Memorial Provides Closure For Who Concert Victims

Dec 2, 2015

Thirty-six years after eleven people were crushed to death while trying to gain entrance to the Who concert at the old Riverfront Coliseum, they are being remembered with a marker on the plaza level between the U.S. Bank Arena and Great American Ball Park.

A special ceremony is planned Thursday at 7:00 p.m. to dedicate the tall, black memorial.

One person who will be there is Kasey Ladd. He was two years old when his mother died in the event. "It tortured me, growing up without a mother. I thought it was a senseless death. You know, it could have been prevented."

It took organizers six years to make the memorial idea a reality. The idea came about during a gathering on the 30th anniversary of the Dec. 3, 1979 tragedy.

Gary Miller (left) and Cliff Radel remember how awful the Who tragedy was.
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU

Standing just yards away from the new memorial, former head of the Cincinnati Red Cross Gary Miller says he still gets an eerie feeling. "I do that because I was at 9/11 and all those places, so it does happen, you know, you get a flashback for a second." 

Former Cincinnati Enquirer pop music critic Cliff Radel remembers a lot about the day he covered the Who concert.

Kasey Ladd still gets emotional when talking about his mother. But he said this memorial will help. "It kind of gives me a positive purpose, and you know, now we've got the memorial, (to) keep on moving forward and see what phase two can bring."