The following details was reported initially on May 27 2012.
Steve was found dead at his girlfriends flat. It is reported that he had self inflicted gun shot wounds. He had been in ill health for a number of years. He had a heart attack. Then less than a year later he suffered a stroke. Last year he had a kidney transplant. He was 63. RIP Steve.
Information provided by Magnus…
“I remember back in the early 1970s Steve looked great and was a top Mr America contender (I recall he won the 1971 AAU Mr USA, 1972 Mr America and 1975 Nabba Universe and more than a dozen other contests). At this time he weighed around 220lbs with a plus 50 inch chest and 28 inch waist at a height of 5 feet 10 inches. A training article/interview with Iron Man magazine in 1972 revealed a relatively conventional training approach with approx. 10 to 20 sets per bodypart, reps around 8 to 15 and he was strong, maybe one of the strongest bodybuilders around at that time. One unique thing he did in training was to perform a multi-poundage stripping set on the last set of each exercise. His training partners took weight off the bar 3 times on that set, so in effect he performed 4 sets in 1 to finish. This was merely a hint of extremism to come.
In 1975 after the Universe Steve was smashed up badly in a car crash and spent 3 years in a wheelchair but ultimately rebuilt himself and entered an IFBB contest in 1980 where Arnold introduced him as the Phantom. Steve could not train heavy, could not train squats or lower back or heavy overhead exercises, instead he went light for medium reps short rests and lots of sets to exhaust his muscles. His set totals kept growing and many a time he performed up to 75 sets per BODYPART! This was fuelled by heavy drug use and Steve became one mean monster. Bodybuilders that trained with him were worked into the ground as Steve took delight in torturing them by punishing himself and forcing them to keep up or cave in. John DeFendis successfully kept up with Steve and forged a great physique from this training which had been named “Intensity or Insanity!” Years later DeFendis wrote about his experiences with Steve and training and admitted it was sheer hell as Steve kept on piling on the sets in an attempt to break his training partners.
Ironically at the end Steve had undergone a metamorphosis into an old wreck who preached loudly against drugs in bodybuilding and would only train young drug-free bodybuilders.
This time his extremism was directed against the way he had lived most of his life. His health was ruined and I guess life was not worth living for Steve unless it was on his terms, so he called it a day. Multiple gunshot wounds? Knowing Steve’s over the top nature I would not be surprised if he found a way to shoot himself several times over – once would never be enough!” ~ Magnus