Gator, the 80s vert god/party animal who raped his ex-girlfriend’s friend before killing her and burying her in the desert, was denied parole yesterday in his first hearing since he was convicted in 1991. While he is quite obviously severely fucked in the brain and the man holding the mallet made the right decision, he’s still one of our favorite dudes to watch ride a skateboard.
If you’re unfamiliar with his story, Mark “Gator” Rogowski was the bees knees in 80s skateboarding. He was worshiped by pretty much every skater alive at the time, and he partied harder than Amy Winehouse. Because he was a product of skating in the 80s, his forte was transition–specifically vert. Gator wasn’t a free man for the vast majority of street skating’s history so it’s impossible to tell how his career would have panned out, but in the beginning he had trouble adapting, which caused him more than a little stress. Around this time his girlfriend broke up with him.
In 1991 he met up with Jessica Bergsten, a friend of his ex-girlfriend’s. It was the first time he had seen her in some time, and after hanging out for part of the day Gator beat her with the Club (that steering-wheel lock thing), raped her, and then put her inside a surfboard bag and strangled her before finally burying her in a desert. The only motive he gave was that Jessica “was of the same mold” as his ex.
In 2002 a documentary was made about Gator’s life, called Stoked, which we reviewed in the Death issue. Here’s a trailer for the film, as well as a few other clips of Gator before he turned into a psychotic murderer.