|KAREN DEATS AND MICHAEL DEVINE|
Karen was the daughter of the late Leroy and Lois Deats, brother to the late Bruce Cressely, mother to Rebecca Deats Miliron and Judy Deats; grandmother to Logan Deats, Noah and Dallas Miliron. She was not just a daughter, mother and grandmother; she was also a professional wrestler.
Karen, who was born in Pennsylvania began her wrestling career in Houston, Texas where she trained under Texas wrestling great Tug Taylor and for whom she would wrestle for under the name Sgt. Karen Slaughter. Karen often told me how tough the training was in Texas. Tug Taylor did not take pity on Karen because she was a woman, he was probably tougher on her because she was a woman. This was in the day of women wrestlers like Susan "Tex" Green, The Fabulous Moolah, Velvet Mcintyre, Leilani Kai. These were women wrestlers not bikini clad "divas" showing off their 'puppies'. The women had to work harder than the men not just for their spot on the show but for their respect. Karen shared with me a story about when she was training how demanding it was and that it toughened her up and made her ready for the ring. Wrestling in Texas back in those days were tough; the crowds and the other wrestlers. Karen had taken the military styled gimmick of Sgt. Karen Slaughter, the niece of Sgt. Slaughter. This Sgt. Slaughter, however, worked for the border patrol because whenever she saw a Latino audience member she would ask for their green card or would just harass them the entire time. She got plenty of heel heat as well as plenty of threats but she did not mind. She enjoyed what she did in the ring. She loved professional wrestling with all her heart. Unfortunately, a serious back injury ended her in ring career but not her interest in the business. When she moved back to Pennsylvania she began working with Jim Miller with Pro Wrestling Xpress and NWA East as well a Chris Lash with Allied Powers Wrestling Federation. She knew what made sense in the ring and what she wanted to see. She was the general in the locker room making sure everything went well and ran smoothly. It was while she worked for Allied Powers Wrestling Federation that she and I would meet. At the time I was wrestling for Championship Pro Wrestling out of Martinsburg, West Virginia as Mohammed Kane. A group of us [Shane Shadows, "Combat Kid" Gene Harrison and Bob Keller] from CPW had been booked to appear on the APWF show. I was booked to face the Giant Leviathan, who was 6ft 9in tall. While I was getting ready for my match I got the idea to see what the crowd was like. I went to the kitchen area of the building we were in and there I saw this short woman watching the action in the ring while issuing orders to several staff members. I still remember my first thought when I saw her barking orders, which was this is one tough lady. It did not take long before she and I were friends. She dubbed herself The HBIC, Head Bitch In Charge and soon she would later become my agent under the banner of Venenzia Management; helping me get bookings in other wrestling promotions as well as being my adviser. Whenever I had a question or an idea concerning wrestling she was was always there with good advice. Over the years she and I grew closer, I got to know and watch her family grow over the years. I became the godfather to her first grandson and I would be forever dubbed "Uncle Mo" or just Mo.
Over the years Karen experienced and overcame some tough times both personally and health wise. Her back injury from her wrestling had always been a nagging problem as well as a "bionic" knee replacement, diabetes and heart problems. But Through it all she continued to stay in the fight. We would talk everyday, I was there for her and she made no move without consulting her friend Mo. When times got so tough that she felt she could not make it she and I would talk and afterwards she knew had a different point of view of the situation and she did the same for me. There was a time when I was apart of an wrestling angle that I just could not understand, try as I might. She and I talked for hours and she gave me some great advise on how to handle the situation, which I took and as always it worked out just as she knew it would.
They say that you can't pick your family but you can pick your friends and that is true. But I don't know if I could ever pick a friend as great as Karen. I miss her physical presence. I will miss being able to call her. I will miss how she use to say "Hey Mo man," when we talked. I will miss her laughter, her wisdom, and her support. I know that when I think about her I will forever have those memories and in those memories she will live forever. I do know one thing. Sgt. Karen Slaughter is standing at the gates of Heaven with Gabriel and all the angels standing at attention and informing them all that the HBIC is now in charge.
Thank you Karen for being my best friend and so much more. I miss you and will never forget you.