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No. 8 of 2012: Lake Villa Bears fan dies in Fla. bar

William Christopher Pettry Lake Villa. | Special Sun-Times Media

William Christopher Pettry of Lake Villa. | Special to Sun-Times Media

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William “Chris” Pettry of Lake Villa and his best friend headed down to Jacksonville, Fla., in October to watch his favorite team take on the Jaguars when his life and trip was cut short by a man in bar who cut his throat because he saw him talking to his wife.

Pettry, 42, was inside Fionn MacCool’s, an Irish-themed bar and restaurant close to the Hyatt hotel where the Bears and their fans were staying before the game the next day. Pettry, a married father of three, died later at a Jacksonville hospital.

Quincy Asbury Jr. described his cousin as “good natured” and “a hard worker.” He said Pettry and his friend, Nick Viverito, were in a patio area of the bar with hundreds of other Bears fans when he said he was going to the bathroom and then he was going to go to the bar and get them new drinks.

He never returned.

Witnesses told police that Matthew Reid Hinson saw Pettry talking to his wife and he walked up to him, took out a knife and cut his throat. He then walked calmly out of the Irish-themed pub, a bloody knife in his pocket, Jacksonville sheriff’s investigators said. He told police that he remembered cutting the victim, but didn’t remember why.

Pettry was a devoted father to his two daughters and son, who played football in Lake Villa, and was mentioned by Bears Coach Lovie Smith the next day at a press conference.

“Like we talked about last week, our fans were outstanding,” Smith said. “From the hotel and throughout the game, we had a lot of people who came down to support us. Pettry was one of them. You know, one of our loyal supporters was killed as he came to Jacksonville to support his favorite team, so our prayers definitely go out to his family,” he said.

Bears players held a fund-raiser in Wrigleyville to raise money for his wife, Karen. The Monsters of the Midway were transformed into the Monsters of Rollins Road in October as more than a half-dozen Chicago Bears were deployed into the dark, winding hallways of the Realm of Terror haunted house at Kristof’s Entertainment Center in Round Lake Beach.

“Roofing, flooring, you name anything that needed to be done in a house, and he could do it,” said Viverito, who had season tickets and was always asking Chris to go to a game with him, but he was always working. Finally, he got him to agree to go to Jacksonville.

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