Suicide Investigator

In some of the questioned-death cases that I've been involved with (see Homicide Investigator), the possibility of suicide has sometimes arisen. In one sensational case, evidence showed a man had tried to make his suicide look like a homicide so his family could collect on an insurance policy (see my Mysterious Realms, 1992, 107-129); in another, I was able to effect a change in the recorded cause of death from "suicide" to "cannot be determined" uncovering evidence that suggested the death was accidental. (The accompanying crime-scene-reconstruction photo is from that case.) In such cases I have worked with psychologists to conduct a "psychological autopsy," as I did also in the disappearance of writer Ambrose Bierce: He had written and talked of suicide, and had given up his cemetery plot, writing his daughter, "That matter is all arranged and you will not be bothered about the mortal part of Your Daddy" (see my Ambrose Bierce Is Missing, 1992, 19-34).

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