The nursery industry suffered a tremendous loss on the opening day of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Fourth-generation nurseryman Todd Bachman – president and CEO of the Minnesota-based Bachman’s flower, home and garden stores – was murdered, apparently at random, by a distraught Chinese man. Bachman and his wife, Barbara, were both stabbed by a knife-wielding assailant at Drum Tower, a popular sightseeing spot in Beijing. The man then jumped off the tower, falling 130 feet to his death. Todd died shortly after the assault. Barbara was critically wounded and underwent eight hours of surgery. She was upgraded to stable condition today. Their tour guide suffered minor injuries. The couple was walking with their daughter, former Olympic volleyball player Elisabeth Bachman McCutcheon, who was not harmed. In addition to running family-owned Bachman’s, which employs 1,300 people, Todd recently had become chairman of Hortica Insurance & Employee Benefits, which provides insurance and risk management to the floral and horticultural industry. He was the great-grandson of company founder Henry Bachman, Sr., who started in 1885 by growing vegetables, later switching over to flowers in the 1920s. The company grew through the generations to the point where it has 29 stores today. Bachman’s has set up an information page for the media and public, as well as an online guestbook for those wishing to share memories, thoughts and condolences.
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