The Von Erich family is a professional wrestling family. Its actual surname is "Adkisson", but every member who has been in the wrestling business has used the ring name "Von Erich", after the family patriarch, Jack (Fritz Von Erich) Adkisson.
When Fritz died of cancer in his Denton County home at 68, five of his six sons had preceded him. His firstborn, Jack Jr., was shocked and drowned in a puddle at the age of six in 1959, outside his Niagara Falls home. In 1984, David Von Erich died in a Tokyo hotel from enteritis. Mike, Chris, and Kerry died of suicide; Mike took an overdose of Placidyl near Lewisville Lake in 1987, Chris shot himself in the head with a 9mm handgun in 1991 and Kerry shot himself in the chest in the family yard in 1993. Kevin Von Erich is the last surviving son.
These deaths are the main basis for a widespread myth about a family curse. The term "Von Erich curse" is also used colloquially to refer to the chain of events. The origin or purpose of the curse is not generally agreed and rarely discussed. More often, the story is presented as a cautionary tale about parental influence, sibling rivalry and various dangers of the professional wrestling business.