I’m famous and didn’t even know it

Was that my distant cousin at the scene of the OJ murder?

By Phil Riske | Senior Reporter/Writer

There are 913 people in the U.S. with the last name Riske, according to howmanyofme.com. Statistically, it’s the 29,447th most popular last name, compared to 2.8 million people named Smith (including my eldest daughter’s husband). The site says there is only one Phil Riske, but I am aware of another one.

Historically, the name was Riskev, but the v was dropped from the Russian name (maybe because it identified a KGB agent.)

I decided to dig into the name after seeing this headline in Phoenix New Times: “Here’s Illya Riske’s Secret to Having Three Guitarists in a Band.”

Besides to a musician, my research led me to an LA cop, major league baseball player, a woman tennis star and a Star Wars character.

The first police officer to find the bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman had a long stint on the witness stand in O.J. Simpson’s murder trial. Under questioning, Robert Riske acknowledged that no photographs ever had been taken of a cup of melting ice cream, and that evidence such as a bloody glove, watch cap and envelope was disturbed when the bodies of the victims were moved.

David Richard Riske is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher for the Cleveland Indians.

Alison Riske is an American professional tennis player. She has won one WTA title, six singles and one doubles title on the ITF tour. She reached the third round of the Australian Open in 2014, the third round at Wimbledon in 2013 and 2014 and the fourth round of the U.S. Open in 2014.

Jerv Riske was a former bounty hunter who served as the personal bodyguard of Passel Argente. He teamed up with Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Lorana Jinzler to foil an assassination plot against the Corporate Alliance leader, although it was Jedi Master Jorus C’baoth who was finally responsible for saving Argente’s life.

I guess the other 900-some Riskes will leave this earth with little if any notoriety, but I can always claim those mentioned here as a direct relative.

By the way, it’s not “Risk” or ‘Risque;’ it’s pronounced Risky.

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October 2017