By now you've probably heard of "Pervert Dave" Cummings, the Florida man who vaulted to posthumous fame when an obituary including his peculiar nickname hit viral velocity. But according to a new story, we didn't know the half of it—like the time he shot Wheelchair Skip six times.
Tampa Bay Times staff writer (and president of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers) Andrew Meacham has published a long look at Cummings' life, and it is a barnburner, from the old man's Hepatitis C to his Harley Davidson and his fear of commercial air travel.
An Air Force vet who was discharged for mental problems and wrestled with combat stress, Cummings "claimed to have been aboard three planes that were shot down in Vietnam," Meacham writes.
That may help explain Cummings' propensity for violence toward amputees and females:
Over a 13-month period in the late 1980s, Mr. Cummings killed two people. One was a guy known as Wheelchair Skip, an amputee roommate in Inglis he shot six times during an argument over money. He was also charged with driving under the influence manslaughter when a woman who was riding with him died after Mr. Cummings slammed into a tree.
He claimed self-defense in the shooting death of Furman W. Toney III, the amputee who had his own violent history. (Six months earlier, Toney had fired a sawed-off shotgun at an imaginary intruder, instead hitting a 5-year-old girl in the face; she was not seriously injured.)
Charged with second-degree murder in Toney's death, Mr. Cummings languished in jail for about two years until a judge withheld adjudication.
He then pleaded no-contest to DUI manslaughter in the death of Dale Marie Williams, 31, and was sentenced to a year in prison.
Somewhere in there, Cummings found time for three marriages, as well as his beloved pastime of carving wood on his property in the wilds of Citrus County, two hours (and about twenty years) away from Tampa.
Pervert Dave succumbed to liver cancer at 64, just over a week ago, according to "longtime friend Karen Baker." The Times added:
She has good-naturedly handled the hordes of media inquiries following the obituary she placed.
As for the nickname everybody wants to know about, Baker said, "It's just something he came back with from Vietnam. It was just a nickname given to him."
[Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times]