Mark "Gator" Rogovski was one of the most celebrated skateboarders of the 1980s, having become a superstar in his teens. As part of an elite crew of top professional skateboarders, Gator held rank with skate legends Tony Hawk
, Steve Caballero and Lance Mountain
. These and other skateboarding icons recall skating's biggest decade and Gator's spontaneous style, charisma and outrageous antics.
Gator's popularity in the "vertical ramp" skating circuit brought rapid wealth, travel, respect and international media attention, but the end of the decade found him with personal and career troubles. As styles in skating shifted and his fame began to wane, Gator tried unsuccessfully to reinvent himself. No one knew how unbalanced Gator was until the spring of 1991, when at the age of 24 he confessed to the rape and murder of Jessica Bergsten, a friend of his former girlfriend, Brandi. In a plea bargain submitted on the eve of his trial, Gator received 31years to life in prison.