Thompson Shot Himself While on Phone with Wife

Thompson Shot Himself While on Phone (AJC)

The widow of journalist Hunter S. Thompson said her husband killed himself while the two were talking on the phone. “I was on the phone with him, he set the receiver down and he did it. I heard the clicking of the gun,” Anita Thompson told the Aspen Daily News in Friday’s editions.
She said her husband had asked her to come home from a health club so they could work on his weekly ESPN column — but instead of saying goodbye, he set the telephone down and shot himself. Thompson said she heard a loud, muffled noise, but didn’t know what had happened. “I was waiting for him to get back on the phone,” she said. […] His son, daughter-in-law and 6-year-old grandson were in the house when the shooting occurred.

Anita Thompson, 32, said her husband had discussed killing himself in recent months and had been issuing verbal and written directives about what he wanted done with his body, his unpublished works and his assets. His suicidal talk put a strain on their relationship, she said. “He wanted to leave on top of his game. I wish I could have been more supportive of his decision,” she said. “It was a problem for us.”

What a selfish, despicable act. What sort of bastard shoots himself while on the phone with his wife and with his family right in the house?

Photo: Screenshot of CNN's posting of Hunter S. Thompson's suicide in the Entertainment section
Update: Others have pointed out that CNN has the story, oddly enough, in their Entertainment section. I’d note that I have this archived under “Popular Culture,” which is a subsection of my “Entertainment” category. Where else would one put this? Still, it makes an odd screenshot.

Ann Althouse finds the story creepy as well, also noting the age difference (which I did mentally upon the first reading, too). Greyhawk doesn’t have any commentary beyond repeating the last line that I quoted above.

FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Very sad in so many ways…

    Still, not too surprising, as what little I do know about Hunter S. Thompson suggests a profoundly selfish person.

  2. McGehee says:

    Sad indeed. Especially, I’m sorry to be the one to say, the part about wanting “to leave on top of his game.”

  3. DBub says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with the family. This will be a tough one for them to get over.

    The widow tells the first-person account of the whole ordeal in the Rocky Mountain News online. It is a bizarre story. It almost seems like he was running a cult.

    Weird guy.

  4. Mark says:

    What sort of bastard shoots himself while on the phone with his wife and with his family right in the house?

    The answer, apparently, is Hunter S. Thompson.

    Even more strange is how we learn that he has been talking about killing himself for a while now, yet all the wife can say is that it put a strain on their relationship. Didn’t she try to get him help?

  5. ZuDfunck says:

    HST: Details We Could Do With Out
    From OTB’s James Joyner: Thompson Shot Himself While on Phone (AJC)The widow of journalist Hunter S. Thompson said her husband killed himself while the two were talking on the phone.

  6. Hunter S. Thompson – Suicide
    Hunter S. Thompson decides to end it all. (H/T Backcountry Conservative) Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) — Hunter S. Thompson, the counterculture author of “Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” killed himself…

  7. paladin says:

    It appears that Thompson’s wife, Anita, was a good match for him. For anyone who has loved, can you imagine saying about your loved one’s desire to commit suicide: “I wish I could have been more supportive of his decision.”?

  8. Michael says:

    CNN put Eason Jordan’s resignation on the Entertainment page, too. Oh well.

  9. BitsBlog says:

    Hunter Thompson Dead at 67
    The fact is though, that in the end, Thompson was merely one of the last victims of the paranoic 60’s counter-culture he never found it within himself to grow out of. And in the end, the paranoia that was always there, not far under the surface, took…

  10. What sort of bastard shoots himself while on the phone with his wife and with his family right in the house?

    My answer: the sort of bastard who would use drugs and alcohol like candy for four decades or so.

  11. Cruelty
    Why someone like Hunter S. Thompson gives into his demons now after fending them off for decades is a mystery….

  12. Headless Indeed
    “It was a problem for us”. I’d say so. Via Outside the Beltway….