Fauntleroy stabbing victim officially identified as entertainer Hokum W. Jeebs

February 17, 2011 at 9:34 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 34 Comments

We just spoke again to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, which finished its notifications this morning and is confirming that the man stabbed to death in his Fauntleroy home as 60-year-old Robert Stabile, much better known as the entertainer in the video clip above – Professor Hokum W. Jeebs.

He once told a Seattle Times interviewer (for this 2002 story) he only used his real name on his income-tax forms. As Hokum Jeebs, he co-founded West Seattle’s iconic Kenyon Hall in 1993, as Hokum Hall. It gained a reputation as a quirky vaudeville palace; you can read a bit of background here, if you weren’t around back then.

He had a 30-plus-year career of performing vaudeville, with comedy and keyboards, around the world. (There’s more biographical information here.)

As reported last night, police have arrested a suspect, who is expected in court for a bail hearing at 2:30 pm today. (Research indicates he has a juvenile record out of state including assault and burglary charges.) At and after that court appearance, more information will be released about what police believe to be the circumstances of the case. The Medical Examiner’s Office has the cause of death officially listed as “multiple stab wounds.” We have no information yet about a memorial but will report it if and when we do.

34 Comments

  1. extra dose of bummed

    Comment by sophista-tiki — 9:51 am February 17, 2011 #

  2. That face was unforgettable.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdbkGgTFYgQ

    Comment by Ken — 9:59 am February 17, 2011 #

  3. My dear, kind, gentle, talented, intelligent, cheerful, amusing, generous, and beloved friend will be missed by all who knew and loved him, and by thousands whose lives he brightened and enriched with his contagious charm, good humor, wit, and desire to amuse. “A talent to amuse” was a genuine claim he could make. I am shocked and deeply saddened. Goodbye dear friend. Roy

    Comment by Roy Matson — 10:07 am February 17, 2011 #

  4. Condolences to the family.

    Comment by CB — 10:14 am February 17, 2011 #

  5. Hokum could make me cry when he played “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” on the saw. He could totally crack me up with Piano A La Cart (which he said he named the bike after having rejected the name “Minstrel Cycle”). Rest in peace, Hokum. Many, Many condolences to Hokum’s family and larger family of friends.

    Comment by Jane — 10:26 am February 17, 2011 #

  6. No. Way. That is just way too unfair, that guy was amazing!

    I am so sorry to his friends and family, may you find peace and love from all of us.

    Comment by Amanda — 10:44 am February 17, 2011 #

  7. The suspect has a history of assault and burglary, but is this stabbing in fact the result of a burglary? Or do they know this yet?
    .
    From your earlier report, the victim’s wife heard the victim and assailant talking, so I wonder if they knew each other, or if, for instance, the victim was trying to talk the assailant out of doing anything rash?

    Comment by mnb — 10:57 am February 17, 2011 #

  8. During the police briefing yesterday morning, I believe they said it was *not* a break-in case (we have the entire thing on video on our original story if you hadn’t seen it). Again, we expect to have a lot more information within just a few hours. I’ll be in court and will report it as soon as it’s available – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:14 am February 17, 2011 #

  9. This is so incredibly sad. Condolences to Dr. Schaffer and all of his many talented friends and fans.

    Comment by Karen — 11:24 am February 17, 2011 #

  10. What a tragic loss for our community.

    .

    Sincere condolences to “Hokum”‘s family.

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 11:40 am February 17, 2011 #

  11. This is truly a great loss.

    Seattle doesn’t seem to be kind to tuba players….

    Comment by J — 11:42 am February 17, 2011 #

  12. Unbelievably shocking news. Hokum W. Jeebs actaully composed and performed the soundtrack to my 1994 short film “The Gods Looked Down and Laughed.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhmrkU3i5ZI

    Comment by Matt Wilkins — 11:58 am February 17, 2011 #

  13. Watch the inimitable Hokum W. Jeebs on Youtube

    Comment by madashell — 12:00 pm February 17, 2011 #

  14. Roy, what a perfect sentiment. Beautiful. Seems like heaven just gained another ray of smiles.

    Comment by Right On — 12:29 pm February 17, 2011 #

  15. “Freelance Vaudevillian”—awesome job title. Incredibly sad story. :(

    Comment by Kayleigh — 12:34 pm February 17, 2011 #

  16. first tuba man, and now hokum… all the great tuba players in the area seem to be getting killed by thugs.

    maybe they’re trying to tell us something…

    maybe they’re just mindless thugs that don’t care about the history that they’re killing…

    either way, there is something seriously wrong with a society that won’t do anything about it until it’s too late. 8/

    Comment by przxqgl — 12:46 pm February 17, 2011 #

  17. My oh my. The only part of this loss that’s acceptable is the fact that I was ever blessed with such a wonderful friend at all. Hokum made me laugh deeply and often, and my sorrow today doesn’t trump the years of fine memories I’ll keep. Roy, I’ll probably see you soon, though not how we’d like. Thanks for your post.. I’ll miss that mug an awful lot, too.
    Tony Zafereo

    Comment by Tony Zafereo — 1:16 pm February 17, 2011 #

  18. No one should meet their end in such a way. A life dedicated to bringing joy and smiles to the faces of others is a fulfilled life indeed. Rest in peace good sir.

    Comment by Monosyllabic Girl — 2:01 pm February 17, 2011 #

  19. A tragic loss. I’ll always have fond memories of Hokum and the Hall.

    Comment by Stan Mastalerz — 2:28 pm February 17, 2011 #

  20. We need more crazy! like Maestro Jeebs.

    Comment by madashell — 2:44 pm February 17, 2011 #

  21. We have lost a National Treasure. I will miss you Hokum. Eric J. Shoemaker

    Comment by Eric J. Shoemaker — 3:51 pm February 17, 2011 #

  22. That Piano a la Carte was one of the most delightful things I have ever seen. I’ve lived near Hokum/Kenyon hall for 7 years and I’m sorry I never got to meet him or see him perform. That place is such a treasure and it seems he was, too.

    Deepest condolences to his friends and family.

    Comment by Kelly — 4:02 pm February 17, 2011 #

  23. I never heard my son laugh so long and hard as he did at Bob’s showing of Chaplin at Hokum Hall. Bob played the piano in silent film fashion and added a few Chaplin improv moments that had us all roaring.

    I knew you. I loved you. I was blessed. Even though it may be hard at the moment, may we eventually create your memorial by doing the very thing that you loved most. Making people roar in good ole fashioned laughter and fun.

    Comment by Deone Benninghoven — 4:13 pm February 17, 2011 #

  24. I have never laughed as much as I did at the many performances I was privileged to attend as girlfriend (ex) of a young performer who was supported, encouraged, and championed by Hokum, nor will I soon forget his amazing meals around the piano.
    From that same young performer I learned a sappy song written upon the death of Valentino..”There’s a New Star in Heaven Tonight”, and he quickly wished he’d never taught it to me, as I made him play it for me almost every night on the organ, with bells that sounded like stars.
    For those of us who were given the gift of music, laughter and song from Hokum; a gift that made our lives happier, better, more joyful, I for one hope he’s up there somewhere among the stars.

    Thank You Hokum, wherever you are, and sincere condolences to Anita and family during this tragic time.
    J.A.Emery

    Comment by Jennifer Emery — 5:18 pm February 17, 2011 #

  25. I really liked that guy, that sucks.

    Comment by HunterG — 6:18 pm February 17, 2011 #

  26. Hookum played “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on the saw at my wedding. It blew our minds seeing and hearing his genius. I will miss him for as long as I live.

    Vern

    Comment by Vern — 7:54 pm February 17, 2011 #

  27. so sad. He will be missed.

    Comment by neighbor — 8:47 pm February 17, 2011 #

  28. I was privileged to experience a private, in-home toy piano concert given by Hokum for a few friends more than thirty years ago. He was brilliant and unforgettable. He told us about his dreams and plans for his future. It was such a joy to follow his career all these years. This criminal has stolen a national treasure. I am so sorry to hear this news.

    Comment by Denise Weston — 9:50 pm February 17, 2011 #

  29. Shocking and so sad. My deep codolences to family.

    Comment by Sarel Rowe — 10:42 pm February 17, 2011 #

  30. devastating news. so many found memories. very sad day today….

    Comment by Cole Johnson — 10:31 am February 18, 2011 #

  31. I adored him because whatever he did, it was about the music.

    Comment by shirlz — 11:59 pm February 21, 2011 #

  32. Hokum was a unique and amazing individual. I will miss his spirit and his music.

    Comment by Bruce — 12:39 am February 22, 2011 #

  33. We had some great times together in Europe old buddy. I miss you. May you rest in peace.

    Comment by Barnaby — 6:23 pm February 22, 2011 #

  34. So sad. I saw him perform at Hokum Hall several times and loved, loved, loved the show. It was with terrific sadness that I read the news. He will be missed.

    Comment by Rod — 6:47 pm February 24, 2011 #

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