Gimme Shelter (1970)
Frequently Asked Questions
According to Wikipedia, Alan Passaro, a member of the Hells Angels whose stabbing of Meredith Hunter during the concert is captured on film, was aquitted of criminal charges on grounds of self-defense. Passaro drowned in 1985 with police calling the death "kind of suspicious". As shown in the film, Hunter died on his way to the hospital.
Nobody appears to know for sure why. I worked with the Maysels the winter they made Gimmie Shelter (I was a 'gopher' - I was in high school at the time and had a 7 week "Independent Study Project" that my aunt helped fix, working in NYC with the Maysels). The story about Meredith that flourished then (and I believe reported in the magazine "Rolling Stone") was that Meredith had an 'altercation' with one of the Hells Angles and was roughed up prior to getting the gun. He returned to confront the biker and the following is what is shown in the 35 or 40 frames shot (unknowingly) by Eric Saarinen.
Meredith enters the frame from the far left, an empty ring, possibly 6-8 feet in diameter, opens in the crowd with a lone girl in a white dress (Meredith's girlfriend - Patty Bredahoff) standing in the middle, Meredith enters the ring and as his hand raises past Patty's dress the silhouette of a gun is clearly seen. At this point a member of the Hells Angels (later identified as Alan Passaro) enters the frame from the lower right and lunges into the ring, grabs and raises Meredith's gun hand with his left, turns Meredith around counter clockwise and forces Meredith away from the stage in the direction he came from. You see Alan perform two stabbing motions towards Meredith's back before the ring closes and Meredith is pushed off frame. (I almost started to believe in the supernatural when I saw that photographic evidence of a hole in the crowd opening right in the front of the stage at a Rolling stones concert!)