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Old 05-30-06, 06:40 PM   #1
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Club Warren Schwartz (a.k.a Ryder Schwartz, Red Ryder)

"A man was found dead in the parking lot of a south
Austin aprtment complex Sunday. The complex, Travis
Park Apartments, is located on East Oltorf just west
of Interstate 35. Residents who live in the complex
said the man suffered from multiple stab wounds.
Police said 39-year-old Warren Schwartz was stabbed
several times."


From KVUE:

Stabbing victim a well-known Austin juggler
04:24 PM CDT on Tuesday, May 30, 2006
New details were released Tuesday about a man stabbed to death outside a South Austin apartment complex over the weekend.

Warren Schwartz, 39, is also known as the "Red Ryder" to patrons of downtown Austin's Esther's Follies comedy club. Schwartz was a professional juggler and frequent performer.
Austin police say Schwartz suffered multiple stab wounds. Residents at the Travis Park Apartments on East Oltorf found him in the parking lot Sunday morning and called police.
It was unclear was led to the killing.
"Red Ryder" started at Esther's Follies when he was only 19-years-old and performed there for 20 years. He was the warm up act and friends say he kept his act fresh.
According to his friends and colleagues at Esther's Follies he was constantly looking for ways to make his act better. Everyone who spoke with KVUE News had nothing but great things to say about a great friend whose loss they are just starting to feel.
Esther's Follies has a profile of Schwartz on its Web site.

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Old 05-31-06, 12:08 PM   #2
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From The IJA Forums:,3760

Below is an obituary written by Ryder's father.

Red Ryder; may he rest in peace.

Donations to:
The family respectfully requests that memorial contributions be made to the
Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research at the University of
Texas at Austin, P. O. Box 7458, Austin, TX 78713-7459.

The sweet, gentle soul of Warren „Red‰ Ryder Schwartz was taken from this
world in the early morning hours of Sunday, May 28, 2006. Born September 6,
1966, his special gift was evident to many even at a very young age ˆ he
loved to entertain people. Longtime Crestview residents remember the young
boy, already an accomplished gymnast, who labored for hours in the yard off
of Woodrow, tossing ball after ball into the air, learning at last how to
artfully catch each one in the lyrical dance of juggling. Starting as a
young boy at the Renaissance Festival, Ryder practiced his self-taught art,
gathering a following with his playful banter and skillful artistry.

He made his first appearance at the International Jugglers Association
championships at the age of 14, where he was named „Most Promising
Performer.‰ In 1988, he was the silver medal winner at the same prestigious
competition. He performed with the national cast of television‚s Fame at
the Paramount Theater at the age of 18. He joined the eminent comedy troupe
at Esther‚s Follies in 1987, a move that gained him a second family, as well
as a lifelong professional home.

Early in his career, he trained at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey
Clown College in Sarasota, Florida, and went on to perform for audiences
worldwide, including England, France, Monaco, Switzerland, Germany, the
Mediterranean, Argentina, and Japan, earning him international acclaim as
one of the very best at his craft. At home, he delighted audiences with his
juggling, clowning, unicycle riding, and comedy vaudeville routines as the
warm-up act at Esther‚s. He was a tireless perfectionist in his craft,
working on his act for hours on end. He entertained children the best, and
they loved him, surrounding him at local festivals and at the Magic Camp,
where he was a perennial favorite.

A one of a kind vaudeville performer, Ryder liked to stand out on Sixth
Street between shows, entertaining people walking by with his tricks and his
infectious smile. Those closest to him, though, knew of his private,
lifelong struggle, a dependence on substance that kept much of what he
cherished most about life unattainable.

He dearly loved his parents, his sisters, and his daughter, but his illness
often kept him out of their reach. He loved tradition, family, and
holidays, and struggled with a most extraordinary resiliency and
youthfulness to find normalcy in his life. Predeceasing Ryder were his
grandparents C. H. and Emily Lester and Geneva Vessels, all of Austin, who
loved him dearly. He is lovingly survived by his family: daughter Estelle
Sarmiento of Galveston; sister Shelly Schwartz and her son Canyon Schwartz
of Houston; sister Julie Hershberger of Houston; mother Beverly Lester and
her partner Martha King and her daughters Kelly and Lauren Shugart, all of
Austin; father Bill Schwartz and wife Paulette Schwartz of Austin; and many
aunts, uncles, cousins, and countless friends and acquaintances who will
miss him dearly.

Also surviving Ryder is the loving cast of Esther‚s Follies, in particular
owners Shannon Sedwick and Michael Shelton, who since the beginning have
given him an unconditional love and exceptional support. The family
respectfully requests that memorial contributions be made to the Waggoner
Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research at the University of Texas at
Austin, P. O. Box 7458, Austin, TX 78713-7459. A memorial service will be
held Thursday, June 1, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. in the Smith Chapel at Riverbend
Church, the Reverend Gordon Smith presiding.
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Old 05-31-06, 12:11 PM   #3
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Default Video of Ryder

Alan Plotkin has posted a memorial clip of Ryder-- part of a demo he filmed a few years ago-- on his website:

Direct Link: (slow to load, crashed my browser.)
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Old 05-31-06, 03:38 PM   #4
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Love fly Red fly

Riding on horses without any reigns
Running down trails that tracked his own pains
Rushing to places that angels fear tread
Flying from futures, so full of dread
The sun set so swiftly in the cloud-covered sky
With Red riding off, waving a final good-bye

Last edited by Butterfly Man; 05-31-06 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 06-01-06, 02:21 AM   #5
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Default Red Ryder has gone home

For those of you who know Red Ryder, the juggler from Austin who won silver at IJA in 1989(?) and Most Promising Performer when he was 15, has left us.

Ryder, a wonderful gentle soul and amazing juggler,
was stabbed to death in Austin in an apartment parking lot. sad, horrible and brutal.

Many sad people around the world. He performed at Esther's Follies in Austin, TX for 20 years as the opening act, and also travelled to Japan and many other countries for his work.

You can visit and on the front page lower right is the story. His legal name is Warren Schwartz. You may have to sign in to see the story and video. There is also a guest book you can read and sign. He was a wonderful gentle soul and Austin has lost our shining star, even in his troubled times. Blessings to you Ryder. You will be missed.
Cap'n Connie Leaverton
Laughter is the universal language.
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Old 06-01-06, 08:48 AM   #6
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Default Here's the article Connie refers to, in case it goes away...

Murdered man was world-famous juggler

Friends to have memorial Thursday for Warren "Red Ryder" Schwartz

By Marty Toohey
Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Warren Schwartz, who was found dead Sunday in a South Austin apartment complex, was a world-renowned juggler known as "Red Ryder," a troubled but gentle soul who struggled with drug addiction and lost his home after a divorce, according to friends and fellow performers.

"Almost an otherworldly talent," said Austin performer Connie Leaverton, whom Schwartz taught to juggle.

"He was incredibly kind, really a simple person," said Tom Rolls, a fellow professional juggler and Austin resident. "He was very polite, even when his life was rough at the edges."

For 20 years, Schwartz was the opening act of the magic/vaudeville/improv show at Esther's Follies on East Sixth Street. He toured the world, performing in places such as Germany, Japan and Monte Carlo. Rolls said Schwartz finished second in the International Jugglers' Association championships in 1988 and graduated the same year from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Clown College, the mecca of American clowning.

Peers remembered Schwartz not only as a juggler but also as a showman. He started as a child and performed as a teenager on Sixth Street, where he attracted notice from Esther's comedy troupe. The red-headed, baby-faced Schwartz often wore a top hat and could juggle five pins while pedaling around the stage on a unicycle.

"I would say there are maybe 10 people in the world who can do that," said Ray Anderson, the Esther's Follies magician and a longtime friend of Schwartz. "He really loved what he did, and his juggling really encompassed his life, I think. In our dysfunctional little Esther's family, he was a brother."

Police found Schwartz, 39, dead early Sunday in the parking lot of the Travis Park Apartments on East Oltorf Street near Travis High School. He had been stabbed in the neck and back. Residents said he lived in the neighborhood but was homeless.

Austin police Sgt. Hector Reveles said Tuesday that investigators do not have a strong list of suspects and are looking for help from anyone who might have information about the slaying. "We're not sure what motivated his death," Reveles said. But, he said, there was a robbery in the complex 48 hours earlier in which a man stabbed a resident, who Reveles said was not badly injured.

Police are treating Schwartz's death as the sixth murder in Austin this year.

Friends said Schwartz — whom they called "Ryder" — was exceptional on stage because he could interact with audiences while performing his seven-minute routine.

Shannon Sedwick, co-owner of Esther's Follies, said the routine was demanding because it needed to put the audience in the mood to enjoy the acts that followed.

Cindy Marvell, a professional juggler from Boulder, Colo., said she admired his "self-possession and ability to put on his persona at the drop of a hat."

"His skills," she said, "were amazing."

Rolls, who performed with Schwartz for a decade, said Schwartz's disposition also set him apart from most performers. Instead of demanding a beverage backstage, "he would ask anyone else if they wanted anything while he went to get one. And he would go get you one if you asked."

Performer Paul Haygood said that in 1999, when he was new to juggling, he and a friend tried performing on Sixth Street. As they were about to take a break, a man came by and asked if he could try.

Schwartz, Haygood said, performed "some of the best club tricks we had ever seen — all the usuals, with grace and mastery." "We talked for a few minutes, and he walked away," he said. "Not really in one direction, just away, alone and seemingly content."

Although Schwartz excelled at juggling, he struggled keeping other aspects of his life together. He had a series of arrests on minor charges. Sedwick and Anderson said he beat his addiction several times, only to slip back.

"He wasn't as good with his personal life as he was with performing," Sedwick said.

Anderson said Schwartz's life took a sharp downturn about a year ago. Anderson said that Schwartz and his wife divorced and that Schwartz later lost his house. Gradually, Anderson said, his fellow performers began to notice him struggling to keep things together. They heard that he was living out of a tent and had presumably started another cycle of drug abuse.

"But this time," Anderson said, "there just seemed to be no bottom."

The last time he saw Schwartz was Saturday, when they performed.

Schwartz's funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday at Riverbend Church. Sedwick said an informal public memorial will be held at Esther's Follies, probably Sunday.

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Old 08-04-06, 05:15 PM   #7
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Arrest made in connection with stabbing death of local entertainer 09:10 PM CDT on Thursday, August 3, 2006

A man has been arrested and charged in connection with the death of a performer at Esther's Follies.

Warren Schwartz, 39, was stabbed to death May 28 on East Oltorf Street in Southeast Austin. Residents at the Travis Park Apartments called 911 when they saw Schwartz lying in the middle of the parking lot.

The Travis County Medical Examiner's Office ruled that Schwartz had suffered multiple stab wounds.

Jacob Zeke Rubio, 23, has been charged with murder, which is a first-degree felony.

Detectives stated in a news release that they believe Rubio killed Schwartz because he saw Rubio committing a burglary at the apartment complex.

"Mr. Rubio just saw him in passing and felt that he would be able to identify him later on, and we believe that was the reason behind the murder," said Commander Duane McNeill, Austin Homicide Unit. "We can't conclusively say that for sure at this time but that's what preceeded Mr. Schwartz's death."

Schwartz had performed for decades at Esther's Follies under the name Red Ryder. Last month, his family and friends announced a $5,000 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of Schwartz' killer.

"I'm happy that this man is off the street. If he killed once, my feeling is he could kill again," said Warren's father, Bill Schwartz.

According to a search warrant, Rubio confessed to his girlfriend that he stabbed Schwartz numerous times.

Austin police say the case is still under investigation.

"We at Esther's are just thrilled that there's been a break in this case. You know Ryder has been on our minds and everyday of every week since this has happened and to have an arrest finally we are absolutely thrilled," said Ray Anderson, Esther's Follies performer.

Rubio's bond was set at $300,000.
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Old 05-31-07, 05:08 PM   #8
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Default In Memory of Red Ryder
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