Poignant tribute to son

A YEAR after her son's death, a grieving mother has today shown the last picture taken of her son – still in the camera in his pocket when he died.Eric Black was a 36-year-old twice-married scriptwriter, actor and comedian at the time of his death on September 21 last year.

A YEAR after her son's death, a grieving mother has today shown the last picture taken of her son – still in the camera in his pocket when he died.

Eric Black was a 36-year-old twice-married scriptwriter, actor and comedian at the time of his death on September 21 last year.

Eric, who was brought up in Ipswich, moved to America at the age of 19.

He had been out celebrating with friends the night he was run over on the central reservation of a Detroit motorway at 2.30am.


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When police gave his mother, Janet Turner, the belongings he had on him they included the camera complete with film.

She had it developed and now treasures the pictures that tell of her son's last few hours alive.

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She said: "It hasn't got any easier to handle as the year has passed on. I still can't take it all in.

"My son was such a prankster that I keep expecting him to call and tell me this was all just a joke – but of course that will never happen."

But Mrs Turner, of Donegal Road, said she can take some solace in the fact that she has the pictures taken on that last night and those taken on a visit home just weeks before.

She added: "His friends from America also made tribute tapes which they sent to every member of the family.

"On mine it has him messing about in his home and I love to play it to hear his laugh – it comforts me to know I will never have to forget the sound of his laughter."

Eric studied at the University of Michigan and won a place to train and perform at Second City in Detroit, which had also played host to the late John Candy and John Belushi.

His face had become known worldwide when he appeared in an advert for Ericsson mobile phones three years ago. He also had the same acting agent as Vinnie Jones.

His funeral was attended by several friends from America and many old school friends from Thurleston High School.

Mrs Turner said: "He kept in touch with all of his friends and had so many. On his visit to England weeks before his death he was best man to an old school friend. The friend then repaid the favour by reading out a speech at his funeral.

"Many of his friends still keep in touch with us now. One of his best friends Larry Campbell even sent me flowers on Mothers Day saying 'from your adopted son'."

Eric's brother Ted Black, of Acton Road, Ipswich, also spoke of how difficult the year has been.

He said: "It just doesn't seem real. I wake up every morning and think it has been a dream. Especially because he lived so far away – I just keep thinking it is him when the phone rings."

The family are holding a memorial at The Flying Horse, on Waterford Road, Ipswich, on Sunday night .

Ted said: "We wanted to do something to mark the first anniversary of his death and many of his American friends will be travelling over for it. If any of his old friends from Ipswich wish to come we would love to see them."

The event will be held from 7-10.30pm.

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