According to multiple reports, former WWF and SMW wrestler Johnny K-9 — real name Ion Croitoru — died earlier this week in a halfway-house in Toronto. He was 53 years old.
Croitoru is best known for his run as an enhancement talent — a guy that always loses — with WWF back in the 1980s. While not a star, Croitoru did wrestle matches against superstars like Hulk Hogan and Paul Orndorff, according to the Wrestling Observer.
After his run in WWF, Croitoru spent some time in Smokey Mountain Wrestling (SMW), which was run by Jim Cornette at the time. There, as “Bruiser Bedlam”, Croitoru spent probably his most notable time tagging with Terry and Dory Funk Jr. After his run in SMW, Croitoru spent time on the independents, with his biggest matches being against Mick Foley and Marty Jannetty.
After his wrestling career, Croitoru experienced a myriad of legal problems, including spending time in prison for bombing a police station in 1996. No one was killed in the bombing, and Croitoru spent 33 months in Canadian prison after conviction.
Croitoru was also charged for murder in 2005 in the 1998 deaths of an attorney and her husband. Those charges were later dismissed, but Croituro would spent the rest of his life in and out of jail for various crimes.