ABC 20/20 will be on TV tonight, but there will not be a new episode. 20/20 is re-airing one of its most popular episodes, “Siegfried & Roy: Beyond the Magic” which aired as the season premiere. The episode airs at 9/8 C Friday, April 17, 2020, on ABC.
The show digs deep into one of the most shocking moments of Las Vegas history. It was Roy Horn’s 59th birthday on October 3, 2003, when he was performing in front of a large crowd at The Mirage Resort and Casino in the Las Vegas strip. The show suddenly turned garish when Horn was attacked by his tiger, Montecore.
Here’s what you need to know:
Roy Horn Contends the Tiger Attack that Left Him Partially Paralyzed Was His Mantecore’s Attempt to Save His Life
Roy Horn has contended Montecore, or Mantecore, did not attack him. He claims the white tiger was trying to save him. Mantecore died of natural causes in 2014. At that time, Roy wrote a touching post about the tiger on Facebook.
It is with great sorrow that I am writing you this note today that on March 19, 2014 in the early afternoon our beloved 17 year old White Tiger Friend and Brother, ‘Mantecore’ left us and is now with his siblings in White Tiger heaven. My lifesaver, ‘Mantecore’, who was the one responsible for pulling me to safety where the Paramedics could help me after my high blood pressure made me dizzy on stage. He is greatly missed, however, I have my memories and I know that now he is playing with his brother and sister.
I remember that when someone passed away my Mother always said, ‘They never really leave us they just go ahead’. For me, without ‘Mantecore’ the Secret Garden feels empty; however, there are still 11 more White Tigers and 2 White Lions to remind us of our Ark of Noah – not to forget our 2 Black and 6 Spotted Leopards! Spring is in the air, so things could change as we have at least 2 females who are of age for breeding giving me hope for a New Generation.
The incident on October 3, 2003, ended the careers of Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn, and left an audience of 1,500 horrified as they watched the 400-pound tiger bite Horn and drag him offstage.
The tiger mauling case was officially closed in 2004 with no official determination of what provoked the tiger to attack, according to CBS News. It left Horn partially paralyzed after damaging an artery that carries blood to his brain and crushing his windpipe.
Last year, animal trainer Chris Lawrence told The Hollywood Reporter Horn did not spend enough time with the tiger to bond before the show, and made alterations to the routine without practicing those changes with Mantecore. He said he encouraged Roy to perform with Montecore at the show instead of a cub, a moment which still haunts him.
“This moment haunts me to my core and plagues me with overwhelming guilt,” Lawrence told The Hollywood Reporter. “I actually talked Roy into using the tiger that would ultimately maul him and end the most successful stage show in the history of Las Vegas.”
Siegfried & Roy Met on a Luxury Liner Early in Life, When Siegfried Fischbacher Was Getting His Start in Magic
Siegfried Fischbacher discovered magic when he found a book on magic at a bookstore in his village at age 9, according to Lifetime.
“My eye caught something in the window; it was a book on magic. I knew I had to have it. I can’t explain, even now, why that was. All that stood in the way was five marks—for me a fortune, a fortune for any little boy in Germany in 1947,” he said on his website.
Siegfried’s first magic act was on a luxury liner, TS Bremen, where a young Roy Horn was working as a waiter, according to Las Vegas Weekly. Fischbacher left home as a teenager to work at a small resort in Lago di Garda, Italy, where he was hired as a dishwasher. He moved up to a bartender position and later began entertaining guests with close-up magic tricks. He was then hired as a steward for the luxury liner and performed magic acts for the crew. Once the captain heard about his magic performances, he asked Siegfried to perform for guests.
Roy had developed an interest and affection for exotic animals at a young age. Siegfried met Roy and asked him to perform with him in his magic acts. And thus, Siegfried & Roy was formed.
“I asked Roy—and this is part of our story from a hundred years ago—if he would help me out on the ship, and the audience loved it and was very happy,” Siegfried told Las Vegas Weekly.
A passenger on the ship, Frau Fritz, owned a nightclub in Breman, Germany, called Astoria Theater. He saw the act on the TS Bremen and asked them to perform at the nightclub.
“We knew the nightclub, there were professional entertainers there, and we could be part of it,” Siegfried told Las Vegas Weekly. “That changed everything for us.”