HISTORY FEATURE: The Most Accident Prone Human Target

Michelle Bordeaux featured as the most accident prone human target in a knife-throwing act, Trio Fantastic, which toured the clubs and sidehow alleys of Australia in the mid-sixties. Partner Bob McGowan, often as not
blindfolded, threw the knives and fired bullets at Michelle but had a bad habit of hitting what he was trying to miss. Three times in [the decade], Michelle became a human dart-board. Each time she dismissed the accident as an occupational hazard.

December 1964, Melbourne. Two successive knives gashed her left arm. A crowd of 300 saw McGowan, blindfolded, wound Michelle twice with 30 centimeter knives. She made no sound as the blades slashed her arm and the thrower did not learn of his mistake until his blindfold was removed.

June 1966, Auckland. Michelle was shot in the face during a show at Heathcote Services and Citizen’s Club. She put her hand to her face and said “Oh” before running from the stage with blood streaming from her wound. A bullet from the .22 calbre rifle passed through the side of her cheek.

November 1966, Adelaide. Six stitches were inserted in a wound across Michele’s left hip after a knife went off target during an act at the Port Adelaide Football Club’s premiership dinner.

“In this business you have to expect this sort of thing,” Michelle said. “The audience makes me much more nervous that the knives or bullets. The audience just let out a gasp when it happened. I think they enjoyed it.”