Calvin Demarest was a national amateur and professional billiards champion from Chicago in the early 20th century known for an open, crowd-pleasing style of play. He later gained notoriety for stabbing his wife and injuring his mother during a suicidal psychotic episode. Demarest studied music as a child, at the behest of his parents, his father a renowned organist in Chicago, and his mother a singer. At an early age he developed his own interest in pool and, after mastering that game, balkline billiards. Demarest won major amateur championships in 1907 and 1908. On March 14, 1908, he broke the world's amateur record for the high run in the opening game of the national amateur 14.2 balkline billiards tournament with an impressive high run of 168. On March 9, 1907, he set a new record 14.2 billiard average of 27 311 during the national amateur championship tournament in New York City. Starting in 1909, he competed in professional as well as amateur tournaments, winning at least three professional championships. In 1910, he defeated the renowned French champion Rerolle for the international amateur championship. By the mid-1910s, Demarest's mental state began to deteriorate. Among other things, he would experience hallucinations regarding his wife, often that she was robbing him. On June 16, 1915, Demarest stabbed his wife in the throat several times with a pocket knife, wounding her severely, and then attempted to slit his own throat. His mother attempted to restrain him and was cut on the hand. He was deemed unfit to stand trial and was remanded to the Elgin Asylum for the insane. He was reported to have died there, on February 22, 1925, but the following day's New York Times read, "Dr. Hawley, Deputy Superintendent at the asylum, is at a loss to explain how the report of Demarest's death occurred."
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