Inspiration for 'The Natural' dies

Associated Press
FILE - In this June 16, 1949 file photo, Ruth Steinhagen, 19, is seen at felony court in Chicago where she appeared for her hearing on charges of assault with intent to murder in the shooting of Philadelphia Phillies ball player Eddie Waitkus at a Chicago hotel on June 14, 1949. Steinhagen died of natural causes at 83 in late December 2012. Her death is the final chapter in one of the most sensational and bizarre criminal cases in Chicago history that made headlines around the country. She was the inspiration for Bernard Malamud’s novel “The Natural” and the 1984 movie starring Robert Redford. (AP Photo/Charles Knoblock, File)

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Ruth Ann Steinhagen, who inspired the movie, "The Natural," died on December 29, 2012 at the age of 83. Steinhagen shot and nearly killed Eddie Waitkus, star first baseman of the Philadelphia Phillies, on June 14, 1949 in one of the first instances of what later became known as stalker crimes.

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