From my book, The Copycat Effect, New York: Paraview Pocket-Simon and Schuster, 2004: pages 24-25:
Ellen Steele, 81, heard the screams of her 81-year-old husband Robert on September 11, 2001, and couldn’t do anything to save him. But most people never heard about Robert, and how an 11-foot-long alligator near Sanibel, Florida, fatally attacked him as he walked his dog that day. There was something much larger on the media horizon that day. On September 11, 2001, four jet airliners, with Flight 11 being the first, were involved in the largest single homicidal-suicidal effort in history to bring bloodshed, death, and terror to the core of American society.
The Southeastern Outdoors Florida fatal alligator attacks site gives him a different age:
Sanibel, Florida – September 11th 2001, 82 year old Robert Steele was attacked and killed while walking his dog on a trail between two wetland areas in the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. FWC officers later killed a 10’9″ and 6′ alligator.
The State of Florida’s “Alligator Attacks – Fatal” sheet has this:
Robert Steele, 82, was attacked near his house on Rabbit Road in Sanibel on September 11, 2001. Steele was walking his terrier on a narrow path that ran between two wetland areas close to JM “Ding Darling” National Wildlife Refuge when a 10’9″ gator attacked him and dragged him into the water severing his leg. FWC officers destroyed the gator. Another six-foot alligator was also removed.
Florida’s last victim in the wave of alligator attacks of 2001 is forgotten today, by most.
We send out our deepest condolences to all who lost anyone on 9/11/01.
Let’s not have this happen again. No copycats, please.