Death Notices

Photo: Timothy Leary
“The real war is between those who are turned on, and those who are uptight.” -Timothy Leary (October 22, 1920 - May 31, 1996)

The Associated Press, via CNEWS, reports:

ALTA, California (AP) - It was like a scene from a horror film: A 27-year-old man plummeted into a gaping hole that suddenly opened beneath a house, trapping him beneath foundation rubble and killing him.

Authorities say the home, built in the 1980s, may have been sitting atop a decades-old underground mine. Recent rains could have softened the ground under the home, in an isolated area near Lake Alta.

“It’s unbelievable,” Placer County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Dena Erwin said. “From the front of the house, it’s absolutely normal. Then, in the middle of the house, is this enormous hole.”

Tensor, a dazzling 8-by-10-foot wall of 64,800 multicolored LEDs, was created by Kevin McCormick. Some of McCormick’s works were shown in local galleries.

Sally Jacobs, Boston Globe Staff, reports:

The party at Warehouse 23 was a high-tech marvel, even by geek standards.

But what struck one young attendee most vividly was not the astonishing sea of guests churning through the vast industrial space in the Fort Point district. Or the towering sculptures of thousands of tiny lights blinking in rhythm to the music. Or even the lasers overhead and the fog machines pumping dense clouds around video screens.

No, for Emily Chew, then an 18-year-old freshman at Simmons College, it was the solemn way in which the drugs were distributed. The tiny tabs of acid were passed about, she recalls, in a silver cigarette case. And for each guest who took one, another person stepped forward to be a sober companion, a sort of designated driver for the trip ahead.

Stunned by what she calls ‘’the gravity of the process,” Chew took nothing and fled to another room. A few minutes later, the party’s host, Kevin D. McCormick, known to his friends as ‘’Frostbyte,” appeared at her side and said, ‘’You don’t look like you’re having a very good time.”

McCormick, an MIT-trained engineer and highly regarded artist, led her to a far wall. He flipped a switch and thousands of lights erupted into a shimmering band of color shaped like a rainbow.

‘’The whole crowd just stopped and looked,” recalled Chew. ‘’The entire room went quiet.”

It was a vintage Frostbyte happening. McCormick, who was found dead in Warehouse 23 last month, was a young man drawn to the edge, always pushing beyond the conventional limits of knowledge and sensation.


Photo: Richard Pryor

Jeremiah Marquez, Associated Press, reports:

LOS ANGELES — Richard Pryor, the caustic yet perceptive actor-comedian who lived dangerously close to the edge both on stage and off, died Saturday. He was 65.

Pryor died shortly before 8 a.m. of a heart attack after being taken to a hospital from his home in the San Fernando Valley, said his business manager, Karen Finch. He had been ill for years with multiple sclerosis, a degenerative disease of the nervous system.
“We loved him,” his ex-wife, Flynn Pryor, said from her Florida home.

AMALIE NASH, Ann Arbor News Staff Reporter, reports:

Four years ago, her story was one of a survivor who persevered and had hope for the future.

Today, it is a story of tragedy, of succumbing to the depression she battled for years.

In January 2001, Julie Harrison jumped from the upper levels of a parking structure in downtown Ann Arbor and lived. She was left partially paralyzed and hospitalized for two months, but a year later told a reporter she had turned her life around and wanted to live.

On Wednesday, Harrison made her way in her wheelchair to the top of a different parking structure, and she again jumped. This time she died.

She would have been 30 on Dec. 16.

Duncan Gardham, The Telegraph (UK), reports:

Daniel Hindle, 17, an A-level student from Richmond, Sheffield, had a ring put through his lip and his girlfriend had her eyebrow pierced.

His mother, Christine Anderson, broke down in the witness box as she told the inquest in Sheffield that the first she knew about the piercing was when her son walked through the door.

“My first reaction was shock. ‘Eurgh,’ I thought. I suppose it’s a normal motherly reaction.”

Photo: Rev. Kyle Lake
The Rev. Kyle Lake in a January photo.

The Associated Press :

WACO, Texas (AP) — A pastor performing a baptism was electrocuted inside his church Sunday morning when he adjusted a nearby microphone while standing in water, a church employee said.

The Rev. Kyle Lake, 33, was stepping into the baptistery as he reached out for the microphone, which produced an electric shock, said University Baptist Church community pastor Ben Dudley.

Rosa Parks (2001)
Mrs. Parks, at a ceremony in Detroit honoring the 46th anniversary of her arrest for civil disobedience. (File 2001/ Associated Press)

Rosa Parks (1956) Booking Photo
A Montgomery (Ala.) Sheriff’s Department booking photo of Rosa Parks taken Feb 22, 1956 (AP Photo/Montgomery County (Ala.) Sheriff’s office)

Mark Feeney, Boston Globe Staff reports:
Civil Rights Pioneer Rosa Parks, 92, Dies
The Associated Press
Tuesday, October 25, 2005; 9:58 AM

DETROIT — Nearly 50 years ago, Rosa Parks made a simple decision that sparked a revolution. When a white man demanded she give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus, the then 42-year-old seamstress said no.

At the time, she couldn’t have known it would secure her a revered place in American history. But her one small act of defiance galvanized a generation of activists, including a young Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and earned her the title “mother of the civil rights movement.”

Mrs. Parks died Monday evening at her home of natural causes, with close friends by her side, said Gregory Reed, an attorney who represented her for the past 15 years. She was 92.

Photo: Bob Denver as Gilligan

Reuters, via BoingBoing, reports:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bob Denver, the actor who played goofy island castaway Gilligan in the 1960s television show “Gilligan’s Island,” has died of complications from cancer treatments, his agent Mike Eisenstadt said on Tuesday.

Denver, 70, died at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Centre in North Carolina, Eisenstadt said.

“Gilligan’s Island” aired from 1964 to 1967, and became one of TV’s most enduring comedies in re-runs.

Photo: ID Badge
Bullet holes are seen on the media identity cards of Waleed Khaled after he was shot in Baghdad’s Al Ghazalea district August 28, 2005.

Alastair Macdonald, Reuters, reports:

BAGHDAD, Aug 28 (Reuters) - A Reuters Television soundman was shot dead in Baghdad on Sunday and a cameraman with him was wounded and then detained by U.S. soldiers.

Iraqi police said they had been shot by U.S. forces. A U.S. military spokesman said the incident was being investigated.

Waleed Khaled, 35, was hit by a shot to the face and at least four to the chest as he drove to check a report from police sources of an incident involving police and gunmen in the Hay al-Adil district, in the west of the city.

“A team from Reuters news agency was on assignment to cover the killing of two policemen in Hay al-Adil; U.S. forces opened fire on the team from Reuters and killed Waleed Khaled, who was shot in the head, and wounded Haider Kadhem,” an Interior Ministry official quoted the police incident report as saying.

“I heard shooting, looked up and saw an American sniper on the roof of the shopping centre,” cameraman Kadhem, who was wounded in the back, told colleagues who arrived at the scene.

The only known eyewitness, he was later detained by U.S. troops and was still in custody six hours later despite Reuters’ requests that he be freed to receive medical attention. His precise whereabouts were not clear.

Photo: Dead Wal-Mart Employee
Police officers gather evidence next to the body of one of two Wal-Mart employees who were shot to death, while collecting shopping carts, in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart Supercenter, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2005, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Roy Dabner)

The Associated Press reports:

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Two Wal-Mart employees were shot to death Tuesday as they gathered shopping carts in the parking lot of one of the retail stores in suburban Phoenix, and police later arrested the suspected gunman.

The shootings occurred in the middle of the parking lot, about 75 yards from the store entrance. At one point, a body could be seen in one of the corrals used for collecting shopping carts.

Hours later, police spokesman Mike Pena said a suspect had been arrested without incident in a retirement community in nearby Peoria.

Photo: Stacy Driver
Stacy Driver, shown with his father, Huey, in this family photo, died Sunday in the custody of Wal-Mart employees after they struggled to detain him in handcuffs for suspected shoplifting.

ROBERT CROWE, Houston Chronicle, reports:

Driver, of Cleveland, was chased by employees after he left the store in the 6600 block of FM 1960 East with items they said he stole. Four employees in the Atascocita Wal-Mart wrestled Driver — who was shirtless at the time — to the ground and struggled with him on the hot pavement for 10 to 30 minutes, witnesses said. He stopped breathing and later died at a Humble hospital.


Photo: Peter Jennings (1983)
In this photo released by ABC News, Peter Jennings is shown in Washington in 1983. Jennings, the suave, Canadian-born broadcaster who delivered the news to Americans each night in five separate decades, died Sunday, Aug. 7, 2005. He was 67. (AP Photo/ABC News, File)

Cal Mankowski, Reuters, :

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Peter Jennings, a high school dropout who rose to become prime-time anchorman for ABC News and whose career spanned five decades, has died of lung cancer at 67.

The Canadian-born Jennings, host of ABC’s “World News Tonight” since 1983, died on Sunday at his home in Manhattan. The newsman announced in April he had lung cancer and was beginning chemotherapy.

“Peter died with his family around him, without pain and in peace. He knew he’d lived a good life,” his family said in a statement.

Jennings was the last of a generation of long-serving lead anchors for major U.S. broadcasters.

Photo: the wreckage of an ultra light aircraft
Grand Teton National Park rangers and fire personnel examine the wreckage of an ultra light aircraft that crashed Monday, June 27, 2005 just north of Jackson Hole Airport near Jackson, Wyo. The pilot, John T. Walton, a billionaire son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and a member of the company’s board was killed in the crash. (AP Photo/Jackson Hole News & Record, Bradley J. Boner)

The Associated Press reports:

BENTONVILLE, Ark. –John Walton, the billionaire son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and a member of the company’s board, died Monday in a plane crash in Wyoming.

Walton, 58, of Jackson, Wyo., was piloting an ultralight that crashed shortly after takeoff from the Jackson Hole Airport in Grand Teton National Park, the company said. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and the cause of the afternoon crash was not known, officials said.

Emergency workers search the Kalamazoo River on Sunday for the body of Henry Byrd Jr. after he jumped from a bridge into the river and disappeared. (Kathryn Hemenway/For The Enquirer)

Kathryn Hemenway, The Battle Creek Enquirer, reports:

ALBION — A 14-year-old Albion boy, Henry Byrd Jr., died Sunday after jumping in the Kalamazoo River, according to the Albion Department of Public Safety.

The boy’s body was found about 10:10 p.m. about 31/2 hours after he jumped into the Kalamazoo River at Victory Park and disappeared below the surface of the water.

The Calhoun County medical examiner ruled the death an accidental drowning.

Chief Eric Miller said the boy’s body was found in about 10 feet of water and caught on a cinder block.

ALBERT SALVATO, The New York Times, reports:

Early on Sunday morning, the authorities say, Mr. Moody, 18, got out of bed, loaded his .22-caliber semiautomatic rifle, walked a quarter mile to his grandparents’ home and shot them to death as they made breakfast. He returned home, reloaded the rifle and went from bedroom to bedroom, shooting people as they slept, the authorities say. Mr. Moody, who was to graduate from high school that day, then shot himself.


Jason MacNeil (Toronto), Billboard, reports:

Former Crowded House and Split Enz drummer Paul Hester was found dead of an apparent suicide Saturday in a park in Melbourne. He was 46. “It is not a hoax or a rumor,” reads a message on the official fan site for Split Enz, Crowded House, Neil Finn and the Finn Brothers. “At this point, it has been confirmed though we have no other details at this time.”

“Over the years Paul has swung the extremes of happiness and sadness, but none of us ever thought this would happen,” the message added. “He loved life too much, and it really seems like a bad dream that we hope we’ll wake up from tomorrow. At the moment we are trying to look after Paul’s family — he leaves behind two beautiful girls.”

Christopher Lee and Shankar Vedantam, Washington Post Staff Writers, report:

Ten people were killed and more than a dozen were wounded yesterday by a gunman who opened fire at a high school and a private home on an isolated Indian reservation in northern Minnesota and engaged in a brief gunfight with police before killing himself, the FBI said.

The gunman killed his grandfather and a woman at his house, local officials said. They said he then traveled to the high school in Red Lake, a town of a few thousand on the southern shore of an inland lake, where witnesses said he charged into the school waving his gun and grinning as he shot down students, teachers and a school security guard.

The name of the student was not disclosed by officials, but the Associated Press reported that several students said he was Jeff Weise. It was not immediately clear if he was a student at the school.

“At this time, we do believe the shooter acted alone,” FBI spokesman Paul McCabe said in a telephone interview last night. It was the nation’s deadliest school shooting since two students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., killed 13 people and wounded 23 others before killing themselves on April 20, 1999.

The shooter entered Red Lake High School, which has about 300 students, in the middle of the afternoon. The security guard, who was at the entrance, was the first person shot, McCabe said.

On BoingBoing, AV writes:

“George Atkinson, the man who opened the first video rental store in the 70’s has died at 69. To start his rental business, Mr. Atkinson bought 50 movies that had recently been made available on video, including ‘The French Connection,’ ‘The Sound of Music’ and ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.’ He then advertised their availability for rental in a one-inch ad in The Los Angeles Times. Customers arrived in droves and willingly paid the $10-a-day rental fee. (Only the wealthy could afford the $1,000 that VCR’s cost then.)”

Photo: Hunter S. Thompson
Hunter S. Thompson (Michael R. Brands/Associated Press)

MICHELLE O’DONNELL, The New York Times, reports:

Hunter S. Thompson, the maverick journalist and author whose savage chronicling of the underbelly of American life and politics embodied a new kind of nonfiction writing he called “gonzo journalism,” died yesterday in Colorado. Tricia Louthis, of the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, said Mr. Thompson had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Woody Creek, Colo., yesterday afternoon. He was 65.

The CTA tattler reports:

Further update: Brian, who originally shared this story with us, emailed me to say that Chicago Police have indeed classified this death as a suicide. So sad. Brian’s account is below:

A CTA Tattler reader posted a comment here last night with an eyewitness account of the suicide at the Loyola Red Line stop that stopped train traffic for almost an hour last night. Thanks to Brian () for reporting the somewhat gruesome details:

Photo: Johhny Carson
Talk show host Johnny Carson wipes his eye after watching a series of clips from earlier shows during the last taping of The Tonight Show

The BBC reports:

Johnny Carson, the former host of NBC’s Tonight Show, died on Sunday at the age of 79 after losing a battle with the respiratory disease emphysema.

He appeared on network television every night for three decades, and launched the careers of Joan Rivers, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, Richard Pryor and George Carlin.

President George W Bush said Carson “had a profound influence on American life and entertainment”.

From Dieter Gewissler, Mahayana Sutra and Tantra Center (Howell, NJ):

We note with immense sorrow and profound sense of loss the passing of Sermey Khensur Lobsang Tharchin Rinpoche (1921-2004), an eminent lama and renowned scholar of the Tibetan Gelukpa tradition.

The Associated Press reports (via WTOL-TV):

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ A gunman charged onstage at a packed nightclub and opened fire on the band and crowd, killing top heavy metal guitarist “Dimebag'’ Darrel Abbott and three other people before a police officer shot him to death, authorities and witnesses said.

The gunman was holding a man in a headlock and appeared ready to shoot him when the officer fired, police spokesman Sgt. Brent Mull said. Police spokeswoman Sherry Mercurio identified three of the victims of Wednesday’s shooting as Abbott, who played for the Texas-based band Damageplan, and two other men, fan Nathan Bray, 23; and Erin Halk, 29. She identified the gunman as Nathan Gale, 25, of Marysville, 25 miles northwest of Columbus.

Photo: Babs

The Associated Press reports, via CNN, via BoingBoing:

BROOKFIELD, Illinois (AP) — After Babs the gorilla died at age 30, keepers at Brookfield Zoo decided to allow surviving gorillas to mourn the most influential female in their social family.

One by one Tuesday, the gorillas filed into the Tropic World building where Babs’ body lay, arms outstretched. Curator Melinda Pruett Jones called it a “gorilla wake.”

Babs’ 9-year-old daughter, Bana, was the first to approach the body, followed by Babs’ mother, Alpha, 43. Bana sat down, held Babs’ hand and stroked her mother’s stomach. Then she sat down and laid her head on Babs’ arm.

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