Nearly 36 years after a slaying at a Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Speedway marked the end of the peace-and-love '60s, investigators have closed the case, dismissing a theory that a second Hells Angel took part in the stabbing.
Meredith Hunter, 18, was killed during the free concert on Dec. 6, 1969, that was billed as a West Coast Woodstock. The concert, which drew an estimated 300,000 people, was later immortalized in the film documentary "Gimme Shelter."
As the Stones played on stage, a member of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang, hired by the band to provide security, stabbed the young man.
Alan Passaro was acquitted after a jury concluded he acted in self-defense because Hunter was carrying a gun. But there had been rumors over the years that a second unidentified assailant had inflicted the fatal wounds, and the case remained open.
But Alameda County sheriff's Sgt. Scott Dudek said Wednesday that after a renewed investigation over the past two years, authorities concluded that Passaro, who died in 1985, was the only person to stab Hunter and did so only after Hunter pointed a gun at the stage.
Dudek said Passaro's lawyer confirmed his client was the lone assailant. In addition, enhanced and slowed-down footage from the film shows Hunter brandishing the gun just before Passaro leaps from the stage and stabs him, Dudek said.
Hunter's relatives said Wednesday they had always held out hope that someone would be convicted in the case.
"The problem is the wounds that have been reopened are still devastating to the family," Hunter's sister, Dixie Ward, 63, told the San Francisco Chronicle.