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 Marilyn <I>Windwehr</I> Klinghoffer

Marilyn Windwehr Klinghoffer

Birth
USA
Death 9 Feb 1986 (aged 59)
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Kenilworth, Union County, New Jersey, USA
Plot Aaron and Shifra Peterman Family Circle
Memorial ID 22654348 · View Source
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Wife of murder victim Leon Klinghoffer. She and her husband were celebrating their 36th wedding anniversary by taking a cruise aboard the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro, when it was taken over by Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorists, and her husband was murdered.

She and Leon were married on September 18, 1949, and they had two daughters, Ilsa and Lisa. Leon was an appliance manufacturer, and after her children were grown, Marilyn had worked in the human resource department of the Gralla Publications company, located near Times Square in Manhattan. Gralla Publications produced specialty magazines such as "Kitchen Business" and "Furniture Merchant." In the fall of 1984, she had been diagnosed as having colon cancer, and had been undergoing chemotherapy since then. In 1985, Leon and Marilyn decided to celebrate their 36th wedding anniversary by taking a cruise aboard the Achille Lauro, an Italian cruise ship scheduled to a round trip tour of the eastern Mediterranean Sea, with stops in Egypt, Israel and Capri. Boarding in Genoa, Italy, the ship stopped at Alexandria, Egypt on October 7, 1985, where some 660 passengers left the ship for a shopping trip in nearby Cairo and with plans to reboard the ship at its next stop at Port Said, Egypt. After half of the passengers left at Alexandria, the ship departed port with 11 American tourists and 8 British tourists still among the passengers for its next stop at Port Said. On the afternoon of October 8, 1985, four Palestinian terrorists seized control of the ship, and ordered the American and British tourists together, to be held as hostages for their demands of the release of 50 Palestinian guerillas held by Israel. Leon was immediately separated from his wife because he was Jewish, and taken on deck, while the rest of the passengers were herded into the ship's dining room. When Marilyn asked where he was, she was told he was taken to the infirmary. Instead, Leon was taken up on deck and shot twice, once in the back and once in the head. The ship's barber and a waiter were ordered to throw his body and wheelchair into the sea. Refused access to any other port, the ship sailed to Port Said, Egypt, where the 4 hijackers were granted safe passage to Tunisia in exchange for the safe release of the crew and hostages. Marilyn was released and at that point, the Captain informed her of Leon's death at the hands of the terrorists. In the meantime, the four terrorists and their PLO mastermind, Mohammed Abul Abbas, had been captured by American authorities, taken to Italy, and turned over to Italian authorities. On her return flight back to New York, she stopped in Italy where she identified the four terrorists for Italian authorities. Marilyn succumbed to her colon cancer just four months later, on February 9, in New York. Her children and other family members were at her side at the time of her death, she was 59 years old. (Bio by Kit and Morgan Benson)


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  • Created by: Kit and Morgan Benson
  • Added: 4 Nov 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 22654348
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Marilyn Windwehr Klinghoffer (5 Oct 1926–9 Feb 1986), Find A Grave Memorial no. 22654348, citing Beth-David Cemetery, Kenilworth, Union County, New Jersey, USA ; Maintained by Kit and Morgan Benson (contributor 46483611) .