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Rest in Peace, Tom Deishley December 12, 2013

by Kayla Iacovino , Filed under: Celebrity,Conventions/Events/Attractions , trackback

It is with a heavy heart that I report the passing of Thomas Deishley, known to Trek fans as General Motog from Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas. Deishley was found dead in his home in Las Vegas from an apparent gun shot wound. He was found during a welfare check after friends reported that they had not been able to get a hold of him for several days. Police say there was evidence of a break-in. Friend of Deishley and Star Trek: The Experience historian Vernon Wilmer recently posted a video tribute to Tom. Click more to see it, but have your tissues ready.

Save us a spot in Stovokor, Tom!

Tom Deishley was loved by many, including many of us here at TrekMovie. He played the beloved General Motog at Star Trek: The Experience for its entire 10 year run, and he brought Star Trek to life for so many fans. It is always tragic when a man like Tom dies, but given the circumstances in this case, it is even more upsetting. What we can say for certain is that Tom Deishley died with honor. Q’plah!

His long time friend and Star Trek: The Experience co-worker April Hebert told TrekMovie how devastated all of Tom’s friends are.

“Tom Deishley was a cast member at Star Trek: the Experience from its very beginning, and has been an integral part of our Trek family for over 15 years. He was always the consummate performer; his character, Dahar Master General Motog, was a proud, gruff, and honorable old warrior who truly embodied the Klingon way. He had quite a devoted following; even a brief interaction with the General was something a guest would not soon forget!

Although The Experience has been closed for more than five years, the friendships we made have continued, strong as ever, bound by our love of all things Star Trek and of the amazing experience we shared with our guests at the Hilton Timestation for that unforgettable decade. At every meetup or party, Tom was there, sometimes tired due to medical issues, but always his lovable, irascible self.

Tom has been stolen from us; we are sad and very angry, but determined to remain close, honor him and cherish the memories that we created together and shared with fans throughout the world.”

News Reports about Deishley

Local Las Vegas news stations have been airing Tom’s story. Below are videos from Fox 5 and News 3.

FOX5 Vegas – KVVU

Comments

1. crazydaystrom - December 12, 2013

Wow. Sad, sad news.

2. Nick C - December 12, 2013

My wife and I were fortunate enough to meet him on several trips to The Experience. As others have said, a consummate professional, and a talented actor. We were very, very sad to hear of his passing, and are absolutely gutted for his friends and family.

3. Sem Holloway - December 12, 2013

See you in Stovokor Tom. I pray for justice and peace for his family. Qapla’ General.

4. TrekMadeMeWonder - December 12, 2013

Klingons in heaven sounds cool.

Peace, Thomas Deishley.

5. Red Dead Ryan - December 12, 2013

Hope he died with honor??? WTF!?? How does one consider death by murder to be honorable?

Tom Deishly was a human being who only pretended to be a Klingon some of the time. He was a fellow human being who was (allegedly) taken in cold blood in a home robbery.

This event is pure tragedy and horror. There was no need to make light of this with stupid Klingon quotes and references. A Klingon did not die. A fellow human being did.

There was a distinct lack of sensitivity on display with this article.

6. Viking - December 12, 2013

R.I.P, Tom. I hope the authorities catch the savage responsible and justice is meted out is the most efficient and expeditious manner that our system allows.

Barring that, let the perp be stupid enough to ‘resist arrest’ while being apprehended on a suspicion of murder charge. Justice will still be served.

7. Micki Flansburg - December 12, 2013

Tom was also a valued member of our Shakespeare Troupe. He was King Duncan in Shakespeare in the Park Macbeth in the fall of 2010 and he played Santa for all of us at our holiday party .
We will miss him.

8. I'm Dead Jim! - December 12, 2013

@5 Ryan, you show a distinct lack of sensitivity bitching about it.

Peace to you, Mr. Deishley.

9. Red Dead Ryan - December 12, 2013

#7.

Hey Einstein, someone just died in a horrific manner. It’s a bit insensitive to start resorting to Klingon quotes and referring to his alleged murder as “honorable”. He didn’t die honorably…..he died in the most unfair and unjust way imaginable.

10. Red Dead Ryan - December 12, 2013

Opps, I meant the reply for I’m Dead Jim.

11. Phil - December 12, 2013

@5. Yes, dying at the hand of another is tragic, and a crime. While I don’t know if it is a question of honor, somewhere in the back of my head I had always figured that if someone was in the process of inflicting injury at the point of a gun (or any other weapon) that the last thing I’d do is give that individual any satisfaction by begging. To that end, if Mr. Deishley passed from this world to the next knowing he was at peace here, and with his maker, then he did die with honor. As The Experience, and his role in it, meant that much to him in life, it honors him in death to remember him at his best, doing what he loved.

I didn’t know the man, but I do understand the intent of the article. I don’t believe harm was intended.

12. Red Dead Ryan - December 12, 2013

I didn’t mean to get angry over this, or lash out at Kayla. I know there was no ill intent here. But discribing someone’s murder as “honorable” just rubbed me the wrong way.

13. Pensive's Wetness - December 12, 2013

Pretty much i won’t even consider the human element so often has it been defacated upon. But i’ll consider what it is, loss for the rest of us…

14. Rob McLean - December 12, 2013

I had met General Motog many times at the Star Trek Experience, I had met Mr. Mr. Deishley on a few occasions as well. The last time was at the Las Vegas Convention, simple in passing. My daughter looked up to him, when she worked for the Experience, she is broken hearted. He was a warrior to the end, there is no doubt in my mind. He will not be forgotten.

RK McLean, poet

15. Buzz Cagney - December 12, 2013

A man is murdered, apparently, and still there are arguments.
How depressing.

16. crazydaystrom - December 12, 2013

Rest in peace Mr. Tom Deishley.

Red Dead Ryan-

PEACE

17. DonDonP1 - December 12, 2013

May his soul live long and prosper. Rest in peace, Tom.

18. LOFC_Ed - December 13, 2013

God help the b*****d who did this; he’s gonna need ALL the help he can get.

19. Jim Nightshade - December 13, 2013

Tom was wonderful as was april, vernon n everyone else at the experience….Tragic loss….rip general and may justice prevail for his loved ones n family….he was one in a million…as was the experience n all who worked n performed there…those who never got to experience the experience you will never know what you missed….thanks to april n vernon n all who help to keep the memory of the trek experience alive in our hearts n memories….hes not really gone long as we remember…

20. Jim Nightshade - December 13, 2013

Ground control to general tom…

21. I am to Smurfy - December 13, 2013

RDR,
I seriosly doubt that he would take offense by it, He loved being a part of Star Trek the Experience anyone who visited it and encountered him could tell that.

Kayla wrote a very nice artice paying tribute to a man who brought a lot of joy to a lot of people doing what he loved and was known for.
There is nothing wrong with her statement that she wrote.

I think the fact that you are the only person to cause an uproar over it so far speaks volumes.

22. Tom Occ - December 13, 2013

The matter of saying he died with honor shows that Star Trek fans are just goddamned juvenile at times.

Break out of the fantasy, let go of the illusion. Trek is a fictional universe of characters and an American franchise.

You espouse nothing fanciful by calling his murder “honorable.” I understand that you merely meant to honor him by recognizing his Trek connection…. but seriously, pull your head out of Fantasy Land for just a moment.

He is to be mourned. His life can be celebrated. But a man was heinously murdered, and donning him in an imagined Klingon costume for a big sendoff is inappropriately childish.

23. Jim Nightshade - December 13, 2013

I believe Commander Cheroq (another Klingon) on the Experiences last day wished everyone in the bar well and stated “May you all die with your eyes open and your underwear dry.” Well said Commander, Well said!

The General, Commander and all the other wonderful characters there were so good that you did believe they were Klingons or Borg Drones, or Andorians and Vulcans….so I also feel that giving them respect for their wonderful creations by referencing their characters beliefs is a most honorable way to say goodbye…I hope the general is enjoying his live food in Stovecor since at the time station he was always complaining about all the food there being dead….:)

24. Jim Nightshade - December 13, 2013

Tom also mentioned in the WONDERFUL final day documentary that once he puts on the costume,,,,,,,, that tom is gone and only the GENERAL remains….that’s how much magic Tom and April and Vernon and the rest all gave us when we visited….I know Tom would feel honored that so many of us are so upset about his passing and especially the way it happened….While I am sure Tom was a gentleman, The General would have been very POED and would have surely taken care of the foe that had NO HONOR!

25. Jim Nightshade - December 13, 2013

And Vernon thank you for the touching and wonderful Tribute Video to Tom…yes I watched it and tears leaked from my eyes….I still remember april introducing you to me and Sheri 2 weeks before The Experience Closed….she called you the EXperiences Documentary expert and five years later you still are….Thanks again Buddy for this awesome tribute…and everything you and April and everybody else do for us Experience Fans….STAR TREK THE EXPERIENCE 4EVER…..

26. Adam C - December 13, 2013

RIP

Such an amazing person, never experienced it first hand, but it seems there was a clear picture of him being extremely fan orientated trekky, doing loads of conventions and fan projects

A massive loss to the trek community!

27. Jerry Modene - December 13, 2013

I think the use of the word “pretending” to describe the work and talent demonstrated by Tom, April, Mark, Vernon, Richard and everyone else in the cast and crew is woefully inadequate and borderline disrespectful. These people take their craft quite seriously, and justifiably so.

I only met Tom a handful of times, but I remember walking away each time quite impressed with his passion and professionalism. I’m sorry I didn’t get to know him better.

28. Scifikabbal - December 13, 2013

Thank you Tom for bringing Star Trek to life for so many years. I hope that your family sees these posts and realizes that so many are grateful for your work. Your place in Stovokor is assured.

29. I am not Herbert - December 13, 2013

…very sad =(

R.I.P. General Motog

“Star Trek: The Experience” was my FAVORITE Vegas attraction… =D

30. I am not Herbert - December 13, 2013

Red Dead Ryan: Give it a rest, please…

you are ALWAYS looking for “insult”, and throwing people under the bus… =(

you seem to have anger, that probably should be worked-out elsewhere…

31. Lt. Bailey - December 13, 2013

This is very sad when we found out from our friends in Las Vegas on Monday that he died. Now that it turns out he was murdered, it angers us even more than anyone can know. No reason for it at all.

However, we do have many photographs from when we were at STTE with the General and getting to know him just as Tom after the closing of STTE is a blessing. Its true he was a great friend and gentleman, Klingon or not, he did have honor and respect. His presence at the Vegas Cons will now be sorely missed.

Rest in peace Tom/General, you gave us so much while you were on the Time Station and we will never, ever forget that. I can never thank you enough for makeing my wife and I feel that we were actaully in Star Trek when you were on deck at STTE.

32. Rastaman - December 13, 2013

Thank you to Kayla for sharing this news. Although I never had the opportunity to visit The Experience, the tone of the article seems very appropriate given how much the role meant to him. I am saddened by this news. My condolences to his family and friends.

33. WhoDunnit? - December 13, 2013

It was probably done by TOS fans…they hated TNG

34. t'cal - December 14, 2013

I have pictures with him and my sons! This is a sad day. Rest in peace, sir.

35. Jack - December 14, 2013

I’m with Ryan on this. “He died with honor” has no business in a story about a homicide…

36. Son of Jello - December 14, 2013

Good old gun control. I just goes to show how irresponsible Americans are with there rights, America seems to fully support the right of people to have a life of no accountability. America has no concept of freedom and responsibility unless there is a pile of bullet ridden corpses for it to feel free about. Dont feel sad be proud he was American who was shot by another American who was only expressing the American style of individual freedom.

We don,t have this issue in Australia we decided to be adults about things and have taken the approach that freedom is a privilege and not a unquestionable right. So here in Australia we don’t have to fear for our lives and the lives of our children because with responsibility comes trust. I doubt I would trust an American and I have a feeling the rest of the world feels the same.

37. WW - December 14, 2013

So by adults you mean like the Quakers Hill nursing home massacre?

38. WW - December 14, 2013

or better yet the Melbourne gangland killings! You may not use guns but people find other ways of killing.

39. Son of Jello - December 14, 2013

38 WW
clutching at straws there buddy.

40. Son of Jello - December 14, 2013

MW your reading the words and not the content. Giving me examples is missing the point.

41. Son of Jello - December 14, 2013

40 sorry its WW etc

42. Getyourfactsstraight - December 14, 2013

@40 Son of Jello

Why would I give up my guns? I keep them locked in a safe and in parts so there is no way anyone could hurt themselves with it. The bullets are locked in a separate case.

So because people are irresponsible with guns that means I have to give mine up because of some ass hats? That’s not freedom…that’s giving into fear and control.

Canada has more guns per capita than the US and they have nearly zero gun violence.

Do you, living in Australia, have any idea what type of gun crimes are most common in the US? Or where it occurs? Or who are the most frequent offenders?

Freedom is an unquestionable right. Not a privilege bestowed on us by government.

43. WW - December 14, 2013

While I understand what you are saying and while I wish the world was that way, it is not. In this country the places with stricter gun laws have much higher crime (Washington, D.C.). There is a happy medium but, you will never stop people from killing others by many means. I am sorry for Mr. Deishley and his friends. It is absolutely terrible. I met him a few times at the experience.

44. Smike - December 14, 2013

Don’t get me wrong. It is horrible to see someone get killed or die in general but tens of thousands of people are killed or die of natural causes, diseases etc every day.

Of course he was special to his family and friends and maybe to some who visited the Experience at Vegas but the Vegas Experience isn’t even Star Trek “canon”… Why am I writing this? Not because his life was unimportant – no human life ever is – but it wasn’t more important than anyone else’s who has recently died!

This being the only Star Trek news for two days now really tells a lot about the state of the franchise! While each and every movie and TV franchise seems to be expanding even beyond their own good, NOTHING happens with Star Trek. There MIGHT be a movie coming out in 2016, right in time for the 50th (!) anniversary but that’s it…

Paramount and CBS are wasting valuable time, our lifetime! A lot of people will have died for whatever reason until we see Star Trek return to TV… I know it’s a bit selfish, but I think we have waited LONG ENOUGH… it’s been nine years….NINE YEARS without any new Trek on TV… in no time, there’ll be at least 6 or 7 Marvel-based TV shows, a few additional DC-based shows, Star Wars TV shows… I guess we might even get a Silmarillion TV show before we see the Enterprise (or any other ship) back on TV…

And that DESPITE the first two really successful Trek mainstream blockbusters ever… Incredible!

45. Yanks - December 14, 2013

His murderer has no honor and will not be accepted into Stovokor.

R.I.P.

46. Bob Patula - December 14, 2013

I was very fortunate to know Tom on many multiple levels I first met him on the day the experience opened and became his permanent friend the experience opened
and will always be his friend.
I was privileged to watch his Shakespearean performances also was with him at the Renaissance fairs Tom other passions were to the healing arts he was a Reiki practitioner, as well as using his acting skills to teach medical symptoms to budding physicians.

Tom had the unique ability to be your friend on any level and he was always there for you. He was there for his fans and his friends and for anyone that needs him he especially took special care of people with disabilities and did not look at them with disdain or shame but love them and cared for them in that moment. He enjoys giving them their moments of joy.

As a person with a disability I wish to be a voice to thank all those to say thank you for Tom and the crew of the starship experience that for over 10 years made special magic.

And especially I would like to say a special prayer for true peace to his extended family and all of his friends and that true justice be served.

47. Voice of Reason - December 14, 2013

#43

No, you’re not being a bit selfish. You’re being extremely selfish. And insensitive. And ignorant.

Wise up.

48. Jack - December 14, 2013

A non-Americans can’t discuss gun control rationally with Americans. Period. Very few countries have the gun culture that America has. This isn’t a value judgement — it’s just the way it is.

Bottom line, murder rates, suicide rates and accidental shootings are lower in places with fewer guns. Period.

Of course there are still murders and suicides (sometimes with illegal guns) in those places, but humans are prone to violence, sadly — guns makes it a whole lot easier and more lethal. You can’t kill a room full of people as easily with a baseball bat or a knife as you can with a gun or two.

We simply don’t have the experience of guns in a lot of other countries that Americans do — and it just doesn’t make sense to us. I’ve never known a single person, in my entire life, who carried a gun (except for a police officer on the job). I’ve never lived in a house with a gun in it. I was at a big party last week and the conversation was guns, and I was an oddball because I’d shot a .22 rifle at a shooting range when I was a teenager (it belonged to a friend’s dad, who took us to a target range,and was stored in a gun safe) — nobody else there had ever touched a gun.

I’ve never worried, in my country, that I’d be attacked or robbed by a stranger with a gun or that someone would break into my home with a gun. Ever. I don’t know anyone who’s ever been held at gunpoint (including a dad who worked in a bank for 35 years). The majority of murders in this country are by somebody who knew the victim, mostly domestic situations. There are gangs who have illegal handguns and shoot each other. But the rates are nothing like those in the US. I’ve never seen a handgun up close. People have rifles and shotguns for hunting. Personally, I think even those are unnecessary (who needs to hunt in this day and age?) and dangerous. What seems like common sense to me (guns are unnecessary and dangerous) probably sounds insane to you.

Gun control doesn’t stop gun violence when there are loads of weapons already out there — gun crime was the reason for the DC ban in the first place… DC doesn’t have higher crime solely because it has gun control (and I had a gun held to my head once and my wallet taken just walking down the street in DC)…

But it works well here. It should be better… we have a government determined to break down the gun control we have (on long guns — rifles and shotguns — very few people have handguns, only collectors) to placate rural voters in places closer to the US.

Gun control might be impossible in the US because there are already too many guns out there.

Unless somebody beams them into space, or the Organians make them really hot, you’re stuck with them. And everybody believes they have a right to have guns to protect themselves from other people with guns. If nobody had guns, why would anybody need guns?

That said, this might not be the best place to talk about this. It is sad that this man was killed. And I’m sorry for the loss.

49. Jack - December 14, 2013

43. Smike, that’s a disgusting load of nonsense.

50. Red Dead Ryan - December 14, 2013

I knew people here in Canada who owned rifles because they liked to hunt deer, elk, moose, etc. In fact, a lot of Canadians own guns, except most don’t feel the need or thrill to carry them out in public. I don’t own a gun, but I wouldn’t begrudge anyone who does. Our gun laws are sufficient for the most part.

People also like to fire off a few rounds at gun ranges. And Canada’s early economy was built on hunting and fur trading.

I agree with Jack that bringing in gun control after a country is flooded with arms is like closing the barn doors after the horses ran out. Is Pakistan going to be a less unstable country should its government decide to ban arms among the civillian population? Nope. The terrorists will still smuggle in weapons from Saudi Arabia or buy them from the ISI.

You first have to educate and train people on proper gun handling and storage, and keep violent, dangerous criminals in jail instead of repeatedly trying to rehab and release them back into society without any checks or balances. In short, the trouble begins and ends with the troublemakers. Deal with them, and a lot of the problems will be dealt with.

51. Phil - December 14, 2013

First, I’m going to suggest everyone stand down on the gun control debate. This isn’t the thread for it, take it over to chat. Second, all sides seem to be speaking with emotion that they want to carry the weight of fact. It isn’t, and the statistics do bear that out. Can there be better regulation of firearms. Of course. Ban them – not going to happen. And the statistics do tend to bear out that, contrary to misconception, America is relatively safe compared to other free nations with more restrictive firearm policies. There is a balance to be had…and feel free to continue that conversation over at chat.

Please.

52. Crazy Ben Finney - December 14, 2013

My condolences to the friends and family of Tom. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I never got a chance to visit Star Trek: The Experience and I regret that.

That was a really nice tribute you did, Mr. Wilmer. Well done.

53. Basement Blogger - December 15, 2013

Humans say rest in peace. For you Tom, may you enjoy the afterlife in Sto-vo-kor. I don’t know what you’re doing but I’m guessing it’s fun for Klingons. Some say it’s a place where honored Klingons fight an eternal battle against great enemies. Okay, if that’s fun then enjoy it Tom. It’s clear that your friends and family love and miss you.

And from this Trekker, thank you for being one of us.

54. Jack - December 15, 2013

http://m.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/12/the-simple-truth-about-gun-control.html

55. Yanks - December 15, 2013

This thread should not be derailed into a gun control debate.

56. ME!! - December 16, 2013

To whom it may concern at TrekMovie,

You know, it’s highly inappropriate to have a huge ad pop up, blocking the screen when people are coming here to read about, honor, & mourn the passing of a fellow human being. Seriously poor taste & a lack of respect.

57. ME!! - December 16, 2013

@54 Jack

HIGHLY inappropriate. Not to mention IGNORANT beyond words.

I’m with you, #55 Yanks.

58. No Honor - December 16, 2013

You can say he lived with honor but to say he died with honor is absolutely insulting to this Man’s memory. He was butchered in his home.

59. VorlonKosh - December 16, 2013

Wow!…I only met him once…he caught me browsing in the gift shop at The Star Trek Experience and was giving me options on what to buy (in his Klingon persona of course!..LOL). He really made my trip there so much more memorable. I’m so sad and angry to hear of this news. He is definitely missed. :(

60. Jim Nightshade - December 17, 2013

Anybody wanting to see more of tuom n cast lookup the ugly couch show on the net they did a handful of last day interviews with the characters n fans of the star trek experience which are funny n touching….also of course the last day documentary on a bonus disc of the collection of tng movies i believe vernon has put that interview online as well in a youtube channel of his…

61. Basement Blogger - December 17, 2013

@ 61

Wow , RIP to Tom. Your allegations that the murderer is “south of the border … a dusky complexion. … Slightly darker skin” IS RACIST.. Your prejudice brings dishonor to Tom and all Trekkers. I’m guessing you have never seen TOS’ “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” or understood that Star Trek blazed a path of equality among races.

So let me bet something about you. You are a troll who threw a flame bait on this site. Because if you are serious, you are a racist. Period.

62. smike - December 17, 2013

@47&49: I do appreciate my statement above was rather harsh to say the least. Insensitive, selfish, disgusting…you name it. But nonetheless it’s utterly TRUE!

There are no relevant news about “real” Star Trek these days while all the other major SciFi and fantasy franchises produce lots of news because the studios actually care about their future, for whatever reason! CBS certainly doesn’t give a darn about Star Trek’s future on TV and even Paramount seems to be staling on the sequel to a less-than-perfect movie. This is why these really sad news about this horrible death have remained on top of this site for almost a week now.

But then again… as much as the death of this individual may have affected his friends, relatives and those who have actually met and experienced his performance at Vegas, it is nothing that has to do with the core canon of Star Trek. We’re luckily not talking about a “larger-than-life” personality such as DeForrest Kelley, Jimmy Doohan or Majel Barret who used to be part of Trek on TV and the big screen. And there IS a difference.

Call it insensitive as much as you want, but you can only relate to an artist if you’ve actually experienced him in some way. As a person, most of us didn’t know Tom Deishley, so I cannot grieve in any honest way apart from expressing my condolences to his loved ones.

Nonetheless, I wish to have Star Trek back on a regular basis ASAP and I want THIS to be the big news at some point in the future. None of us will live forever, but the franchise has to live on. If that notion disgusts you, so be it!

As for this blatantly racist remark of 61…Now THAT is really disgusting, isn’t it?

63. THX-1138 - December 17, 2013

Cheezus, I come here once just to see if anything is happening in Trekland and I come across this article and the subsequent comments.

Now I remember why I left.

64. Vernon Wilmer - December 18, 2013

If the comments made here truly require approval by a moderator as stated, I’d say they’re not doing their job – which is why I didn’t even want this story posted on this site. As a close friend & colleague of Tom’s, I do appreciate the respectful outpouring of love & condolence regarding his death. But the overabundance of soapbox arguments & inappropriate comments (i.e. #33) absolutely disgusts me. There are clearly two separate camps of internet fandom following this site – Trekkies and trolls. Rest in peace, Tom. I regret the portion of sickening ilk that partially comprise Star Trek’s audience who have decided to make your story their playground.

65. Matt Wright - December 18, 2013

Woah what was formerly post 61 slipped by me. It’s gone now.

66. Matt Wright - December 18, 2013

Since people can’t seem to handle this topic without devolving into drum beating the comments will be closed. The previous bit of drum beating had mostly come and gone a few days back, but for whatever reason people can’t resist it.

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