You wrote: "At a recent family reunion, I asked about the first wife and the coincidence in her having the same name as I do. This sent him off the rails , in a spitting nails fit of cruelty and rage, directed at me."
I would be concerned about his reaction. I've known people who go nuts over a simple question. He may be a very abusive person, who does not communicate effectively. That should be your main concern.
The rest of what you've written, just sounds like this is all your perspective, and none of it his perspective towards you. Going by what you've written, I would NOT pursue a relationship with him.