Its like a Riddle Me This: Murder or Suicide Edition, except it’s not a riddle. It’s real life. The deaths that I am about to detail, occurred under very questionable circumstances, but were ultimately ruled as suicides by the police. I am going to let you decide.
Eugene Izzi was a crime novelist researching an Indiana white supremacist paramilitary group that he planned to expose in his next work of crime fiction. Unfortunately before the book was completed and could be released, he was found dead on December 6, 1996. He was spotted by thousands of Christmas shoppers hanging by a noose from the window of his downtown writing office like a morbid Christmas decoration.
The cops ruled it a suicide, but something about that decision didn’t seem to make sense: He was found wearing a bulletproof vest with brass knuckles, mace, and notes for his in-progress novel stuffed into his pockets
Oddly enough, the biggest clue was in the most innocuous object: The notes for his upcoming book included transcripts of threatening phone calls he’d been getting. At the time of his death, Eugene was set to appear as a character in his next book, and it detailed his research into the white supremacist group. He felt so threatened by the calls, he moved into a hotel away from his family and carried a gun on him.
At one point, he let a friend listen to his voice mail, and one call in particular stands out: A woman left a message saying he would be hanging by the end of the year.
However, some evidence which go against the claim that he was actually murdered is that his death was eerily similar to a scene in his unfinished novel, right down to the bulletproof vest and brass knuckles. Was this some kind of viral publicity? He did manage to release three books after his death, so that only adds to the air of confusion surrounding his death.
Gareth Williams was a real life James Bond. He was a code-breaker for MI6 and collaborated with the NSA to help thwart planned terrorist attacks across Europe. With a job as dangerous as that, an early death isn’t completely unexpected. What was unexpected were the bizarre circumstances and setting of his death:
In August 2010, only a week before he was supposed to be transferred to a different agency, Gareth’s body was found zipped inside a red North Face sports bag that had been locked from the outside and placed in the bathtub. At first, authorities claimed that someone else would have to have been present for this to be possible, but then in November 2013, they changed their mind, saying he probably did it himself. Somehow.
After 300 failed attempts to recreate the scene, experts told the cops that it is in theory it would be possible to bag and lock yourself up like that, but not without leaving some trace of DNA on the lock or on the bathtub. But somehow Williams didn’t. In fact, there was barely any DNA evidence in Williams’ apartment at all.
Still police ruled it a suicide and even pointed out that Gareth reportedly owned women’s clothes and “visited bondage websites,” implying that it was some weird sex fantasy gone wrong. Many people are unconvinced. What do you think?
Twelve Slits: Danny Casolaro
Danny Casolaro was journalist determined to uncover a vast government conspiracy he called “the Octopus.” The most compelling piece of evidence for his theory? Him turning up dead right as he said he was about to prove it.
It all started with the Justice Department pirating software. Danny, was researching a story about how they allegedly stole a piece of software called PROMIS from a company called Inslaw and started selling it to other countries, driving Inslaw to bankruptcy. Inslaw took it to court and a judge sided them, accusing the Justice Department of “trickery, fraud, and deceit” only for his ruling to be overturned, and for him to lose his job.
While looking into the Inslaw story, Danny met Michael Riconosciuto, a computer expert who said he played a pivotal role in selling the software to other countries. He also claimed to have helped the GOP negotiate with Iran in 1980 to prolong the hostage crisis in order to make sure Jimmy Carter didn’t get re-elected. Only a week after testifying to all of this, Michael was abruptly arrested for dealing meth.
After this, Danny began to notice a pattern: everyone who spoke up in the Inslaw case ended up in a bad situation. Despite that (as well as all the threatening phone calls he was getting), he kept digging. And just as he was supposed to meet with a source who would help him prove everything, he was found dead in his hotel room with 12 slices in his wrists.
A suicide note was found in the room. But none of his case note ever were. And now for the freakiest detail: Danny’s family says that during the funeral, a decorated military man showed up in a limousine, placed a medal on the lowering casket, and left.
What do yo think? Were their deaths cases of tragic suicides, or were their “suicides” just cover stories of a fate much more gruesome.
Conspiracy Theories aside, if you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, please know that you are not alone and that confidential help is available.
For more information please visit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline