April 11, 2019

Irwin Jacobs - Photo Courtesy of Jason Sealock - Wired2FishPhoto Courtesy of Jason Sealock - Wired2Fish

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune on April 10 2019, Irwin Jacobs and his wife were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide. A close friend of Jacobs says that a handgun was found on a bed inside the Lake Minnetonka home of the prominent businessman. 

The two people were found dead Wednesday morning by authorities in the Lake Minnetonka area home of prominent businessman Irwin Jacobs, and a close friend and business associate said they died from murder-suicide.

Orono Police Chief Correy Farniok said that the bodies were in a bed along with a gun, which was recovered by officers who responded to the Shoreline Drive home of Irwin Jacobs and wife Alexandra shortly after 8:30 a.m.

Someone who “enters the house routinely” called authorities about the deaths, said Farniok, who said the official release of the two people’s identities will be made by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office by Thursday.

Dennis Mathisen, a longtime business associate of Irwin Jacobs and close friend, told the Star Tribune Wednesday afternoon that Irwin killed his wife and himself.

Mathisen, who described himself as a “very dear friend” of Irwin Jacobs, said he learned of the deaths and that Irwin was responsible while speaking with son Mark Jacobs and a secretary for Irwin Jacobs.

Mathisen said Alexandra Jacobs, who had been Irwin’s wife for 57 years and mother to their five children, “had been in a wheelchair for the last year or so and had signs of dementia. Irwin was just distraught over her condition.”

Jacobs, 77, owned a minority share of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1980s, before selling that share. He also bought the Grain Belt beer company in the mid-1970s, along with its distinctive brewery in northeast Minneapolis, and later sold the beer brand to G. Heileman Brewing Company and the brewery to the city of Minneapolis.

Jacobs made a fortune as a corporate raider who bought and liquidated failing companies at a profit.

For more than 40 years, he has owned J.R. Watkins Co., the Winona-based maker of soaps and other household products that are sold around the country. He owns Jacobs Trading Co. in Hopkins, a retailer specializing in liquidation of merchandise.

He owned boat maker Genmar Holdings Co., which went through a lengthy bankruptcy restructuring earlier this decade.

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