After defeating Evan “Strangler” Lewis in a match in Chicago, Illinois, Yusuf İsmail (better known as the Terrible Turk) quickly headed back to Europe aboard the SS La Bourgogne ocean liner. He was returning to his native village of Shumen, Bulgaria where he hoped to open a coffee shop. Off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, La Bourgogne crashed into another ship and sank.
Ismail drowned with along with approximately 549 other passengers. Survivors claimed that he acted like a wildman, flashing a dagger and jumping into a lifeboat which he overturned. Legend has it that although he wa able to swim, he was dragged down by the weight of a money belt containing $10,00.00 worth of gold coins from his winnings.