Indianapolis News and Headlines


After 40 years, the target of famous Indianapolis hostage situation breaks his silence

Posted at 2:07 PM, Feb 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-08 23:35:02-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- From time to time, Dick Hall says he still pictures Tony Kiritsis' face. 

It would be hard not to, after Kiritsis held him hostage for 63 hours in one of the most famous events in Indianapolis history.

On Feb 8, 1977, Tony Kiritsis entered a mortgage company's office and wired a sawed-off shotgun to Hall's head, then paraded him around downtown Indianapolis.

Kiritsis was upset about a mortgage he had fallen behind on. Hall, an executive with the company, threatened to foreclose on it, according to WIBC.

Kiritsis was arrested when he unwired the gun to shoot out a window, proving it was loaded. Kiritsis, who died in 2005, was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

"I've slept well," Hall said Wednesday at an event in Indianapolis. "I haven't had any nightmares, and I've been kind of blessed by it not affecting me too much."

One issue Hall has had over the years is the belief that he was the "bad guy" in the situation, something that some people still believe today.

"That hurt," Hall said. "We did no wrong. ... He almost made it seem like he was the little guy that was taken advantage of and we were the big guy and that was what we did.  That was far from the truth."

In fact, Kiritsis' not-guilty verdict was announced at a Pacers game. Many people at the game cheered.

"That kind of aggravated me because I realized at that time that we dealt with the public and I was going to have to do something to try to rectify that," Hall said.

James Baldauf, a friend of Hall's, told Indianapolis Monthly in 2007 Hall wasn't the bad guy.

"He foreclosed on a loan," Baldauf said. "There are foreclosures every day. It was just business. Tony was a nutcase and an idiot."

After 40 years, Hall wrote a book on the ordeal, called "Kiritsis and Me: Enduring 63 Hours at Gunpoint." It will be released April 1. One of the reasons he decided to write it now was because of his son, who didn't want people to think his dad was a wimp. Another reason? Hall's age.

"I'm 80 years old, and if I'm gonna tell it I better tell it," he said.