Saturday, December 08, 2007

'Dead' poker player hid in couple's home

The wife of back-from-the-dead poker player 'Wild' Bill Hickok has said he was living in their family home for over fifty years after he was declared dead.

Lily Hickok, who is expected back in the US this weekend, told reporters her husband hid in another part of the couple's house when their sons and daughters visited as he did not want them to know the truth.

"For five decades, while virtually everyone close to us believed Bill was missing presumed dead, he was actually at home with me playing online poker," she said.

Hickok is currently in police custody after he was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of fraud.

He disappeared from the couple's home in Las Vegas in 1955 and was presumed dead. That was until he walked into a New York police station last Saturday.

She told reporters her husband had talked about faking his own death to escape debts.

"We had a lot of debt, in the tens of thousands because he had become a pretty rubbish poker player. He couldn't cope with the new kids on the block like Annette Obrestad. He said there was only one way out of the situation and that was to fake his death," she said.

But Mrs Hickok insisted she did not know he had gone ahead with the scam until he turned up on her doorstep one decade after he went missing.

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