Gardel’s final flight and the conspiracy theory

Below is a photo of the plane that crashed while carrying Carlos Gardel, taken on the day of that flight. This photo was taken in Medellin, Colombia, on June 24, 1935. Alfredo Le Pera and Gardel’s guitarists also died in the crash.

The plane was a Ford Tri-Motor Model 5-AT-B, nick-named the “Tin Goose.”

The most likely cause for the crash is believed to have been wind shear at the end of the runway.

The plane that Carlos Gardel died in

After the crash, the autopsy of Gardel revealed a bullet in his chest. This gave rise to long standing conspiracy theories that a fight had broken out on the plane.  The fight ended with gun shots, resulting in an explosion. However, Gardel was shot 20 years before his death and the bullet was never removed.

On December 10th of 1915, Francisco Canaro and his orchestra were scheduled to perform at the Palais de Glace.  Carlos Gardel planned on celebrating his 25th birthday there.  At this time, he had not started singing tangos professionally.  A year earlier, the first Internado, a notorious dance event organized by medical students, was held at Palais de Glace, and become a yearly event.

Gardel was accompanied by a friend and actor Elias Alippi. Unfortunately, a hitman by the name of Roberto Guevara was waiting for Gardel at the door.  Guevara shot Gardel in the left side of the chest.  He was admitted to the Ramos Mejía hospital. The attending physician, Dr.Donovan, found the bullet lodged in Gardel’s left lung, close to his heart.   The doctor thought it was too dangerous to remove the bullet, and did not remove it.   Gardel quickly recovered and began touring the country with his partner José Pepe Razzano.

Gardel had been having an affair with Giovanna Ritana; also known as “Madama Ritana.”  She was the wife of Juan Garesio, who was the owner of the Cabaret “Chantecler” where Juan D’Arienzo would later become famous. Garesio had ordered the hit in retaliation.

The grudge was forgotten years later, and Gardel went on to have the most remembered singing career in Argentine history.