"Death Wish Live"

 

by Tim Cridland AKA Torture King


The first thing I should say is that I am healthy and unharmed and back in my home in Las Vegas.
 
Many of you know that I was just in England for a TV show called "Death Wish Live."
 
The Program was a series of 5 shows, each with a person doing a dangerous stunt, broadcast live on channel E4.
 
In my segment, which aired

Feb. 1st,  I lay on a bed of nails and had an SUV, a Land Rover to be exact, drive over me.
 
I had done a stunt like this twice before, but with smaller cars.
 

The first was in Sept of 1998 in Sacramento, CA as a publicity stunt for the Evolving Times Expo. This was filmed for local news and picked up national.

 

The car they used to drive over me was a Volkswagen Jetta, weighing over 2000 pd.


The next time was for Ripley's Believe It or Not TV, for a show that original aired in Feb. 2000.
 
Ripley's originally wanted to use a light truck to drive over me, but as it got closer to doing the stunt, the producers realized how dangerous it was going to be, so he got a smaller vehicle, a Geo Metro that also weighted in at about 2000 pd.
 
When the producers for Death Wish contacted me, they asked if I could have an SUV drive over me?

I told them that I had only done this stunt with small cars, but I was certain that I could do it with a larger vehicle.  We settled on Land Rover, weighing in at 4730 pd., it is more than twice as heavy as any of the cars I had used before.
 
The other times I did the stunt, I used heavy wooden ramps. The ramps had to be very sturdy, to ensure that they could support the weight of the vehicle. This time we planned to use metal ones. I was in hopes that the ramps would be built out of high tech lightweight metal and would weigh less than the wooden ones which I used before.


It turned out that the people who were responsible for building the ramps could not or would not complete the ramps.  The production company had someone else make the ramps, but they made them using big slabs or metal which increase their  weight to 300 pd APIECE.
 
It was at about this point the folks from the production company started freaking out and were concerned that I would be unable to do the stunt as planned.  I went and did some calculations that calmed them a bit, it showed that I could handle the massive weight, even with the added weight from the ramps.

 

They were more concerned with the nails.  I told them that I was more concerned with the total weight of the vehicle and ramps compressing me. As it turned out, this was a very valid concern.
 
Those of you who saw the show already know what happened.
 

I started out with a few stunts which always helps to build up to the climax. When it came time to do the stunt, I lay on the nails which had already be placed  under the ramps. The jacks that were holding them up were removed, that's when I felt the weight of the ramps for the first time.  I could barley breath just from their weight.  The driver took the SUV up and over me.  I remember the first tire passing over me, seeing the host of the show, who was in the passenger seat, and then I went to dreamland.


The next thing I remember I was looking at the floor upside-down, with the feeling of nails hard pressed in my back.  I looked up and saw the host of the show, Alex Zane looking at me. "What happened?" I asked. "You just got run over by a truck." 

 

It was at that moment  I realized what had happened. The weight had compressed down on me so much that I had passed out.  I had no idea how long I was out, but I was told that I had been out for only about 30 seconds. The show was still live,  and Alex asked me if I would like to see a replay of the stunt. Since I had missed it, I told him YES.


My back was deeply indented, but not one nail penetrated.


After the show, the paramedics, who were always on set for every show, examined me and gave me oxygen. They said it was very likely that, in addition to being unable to breath, that the weight on my chest had been so great that my heart was unable to beat for a few seconds, and that my body was still trying to get back into synch after the weight had been removed. It was the next day, after I had rested, that I realized the seriousness of what had happened, if this was true, I had been technically dead for a few seconds, and on live TV.
 
I need to stress how dangerous what I did was. The SUV drove complete over me, up one side and down the other.  If it had slipped off the ramps, there would have been no way to get it off me.

 

Once the front tire was on my chest, the quickest way to get it off me if something went wrong was to keep driving it on over me. There would have been no way to quickly get it off me.
 
The company that produced the show made this dangerous stunt as safe as it could be. The driver of the SUV was a professional stunt driver, guided by another professional stunt director.  There were paramedics standing by.  All the equipment was test and retested many times. There were people ready to pull me out if something went wrong. In addition, members of the Qadiri-Rafai'i Sufi Order, the group that I am a member of, were there providing personal and spiritual support..
 
This is the most dangerous stunt I have ever done, and it is unlikely that I will do it again, at least with that much weight on top of me.
 
People have asked if it will air again, or air in the US.
 
The program was produced for Channel 4 in the UK. Now that it is all over, they own it, so it is all in there hands.  It is likely that they will replay it on Channel 4. There is a strong possibility that there will be a DVD, with extras which they did not have time to get the into the show.  No doubt segments from the show will end up in the US in some form. 
 


 

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