Unfortunately, tragedy seemed to dog Cassidy. In 1974 something terrible happened to one of those aforementioned young female fans. When Cassidy performed a show at London’s White City Stadium in May of that year, a stampede took place. Almost 800 concert-goers were hurt. And, tragically, one fan with a heart problem had a coronary and subsequently died in hospital.
Cassidy felt devastated about the incident. The fan, Bernadette Whelan, had only been 14 years old. Although Whelan’s parents publicly stated that they didn’t blame Cassidy, the singer chose not to go to her funeral service. He feared that his presence would turn the event, meant to be a private time of mourning, into a media circus.
Just a few years later, another terrible incident occurred. Cassidy’s estranged father, Jack, died in a house fire. The elder Cassidy was bipolar and an alcoholic, and David hadn’t spoken to him for almost a year. In December 1976 Jack returned drunk to his apartment and fell asleep while smoking. The cigarette dropped and set the room on fire, killing him.