Episode 32: GATOR and the Horrific Death of Jessica Bergsten

The story of professional skateboarder Gator is a distinctly American tale about a rocket to success and a tumble to disgrace. It is also a story about the history skateboarding and Southern California culture, a story of celebrity and fame, of bizarre religious mania, sexual sadism and murder.

Mark Rogowski was just a child when his mother brought him from Brooklyn to San Diego, and the beach culture of Southern California, which involved surfboards and expensive clothing, seemed unobtainable to him, something out of his grasp.

But he’d go on to be one of the greatest skateboarders in the world at the time, and come to personify the California sexiness and wild punk spirit of skateboarding, having an entire clothing line modeled after him. He’d also be a symbol of rockstar lawlessness and debauchery.

But after a drunken decline, he fell into a strange combination of religion, alcohol and hard drugs, resulting in the brutal assault and murder of an innocent girl.

Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the story of Gator and the horrific and utterly tragic death of Jessica Bergsten told in five chapters.

And be sure to check out I’LL BE GLAD WHEN YOU’RE DEAD‘s Indigogo campaign, links:




Website: www.murdercoasterpodcast.com

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Creepy Amusement Park theme by Brandon Fiechter and Derek Fiechter, used by permission and with many thanks.


THRASHER MAGAZINE June 1984, April 1986, June 1986, July, 1987, and November 1987,


STOKED: The Rise and Fall of Gator documentary film directed by Helen Stickler

Mark “Gator” Rogowski: Free Fallin’ – The Village Voice

SHATTERED Television Show, Season Two Episode 6: The Darkside

Parole grant reversed for ‘Gator,’ former skateboard superstar convicted for 1991 rape, murder – The San Diego Union-Tribune (sandiegouniontribune.com)


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