Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Claudine Longet and Spider Sabich

Change of Lifestyle

At 31, Sabich was enjoying the peak of his career in 1972 when he paired up with Longet, then 34. He was the top slalom racer on Beattie's pro circuit, and he was earning more than $200,000 a year from winnings and endorsements.

Map: Aspen, Colorado
Map: Aspen, Colorado

Longet began splitting time between Sabich's chalet in Aspen and her own home in Malibu — no mean feat when raising three children.

After a year or so, Sabich invited Longet and her kids, then ages ten, nine and four, to move in with him. It was a sobering change of lifestyle for the swinging bachelor, and naturally there were conflicts.

Friends of the skier said Longet could be needy and demanding. Once, she hurled a wine glass at Sabich at a nightclub because he wasn't giving her enough attention.

She forbade Sabich to attend Aspen's annual 'Best Breast' bash, a racy but guileless celebration of the female anatomy.

Not that Sabich and Longet lived like Mormon missionaries.

Aspen was frosted with cocaine in that era. It is reasonable to assume that Sabich and Longet enjoyed the full complement of vices available.

"Spider smoke, drank and did whatever all of us did," his brother Steve said. "Let's not forget, those were the '60s and '70s." 

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