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Continued: Tevlin: At 27, he packed plenty into a life cut short in Alaska

  • Article by: JON TEVLIN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 21, 2014 - 4:27 PM

Tommy Dixon has known Gen­ghis since they were teens.

“He was a really outgoing, loving guy,” Dixon said. “He knew who he was. He was smart, self-educated, but he didn’t fit society’s norms. He was not violent. He touched more people in his short life than most people ever do.”

“The relationship with Paul was part and parcel of his nature,” said Muskat. “He had compassion for people with problems.”

When they walked his dog, Coffee Bean, through the park, “all the homeless people knew his name,” his mother said.

Before his death, Genghis told his girlfriend that Vermillion once threatened him with a gun. They had been hanging around, when Vermillion suddenly “flipped” and pointed a rifle at Genghis, who left immediately and avoided Vermillion for a while. In the small town, they eventually resumed a friendship, and even spent Thanksgiving together.

Then after 1 a.m. on Dec. 5, Vermillion killed Genghis in the veterans home on Kenai Lake with at least two shots to the head.

When Genghis was born, and family members learned that his parents had crafted a last name from both of theirs, Muskat’s sister sent a small replica of a musk ox from Alaska, where she was living.

“It seems he was destined to end up there,” said Muskat. “It seemed like it was meant to be. The idea of the Last Frontier really appealed to him.” • 612-673-1702 Follow Jon on Twitter: @jontevlin

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