Twelve deaths in eight months, by suicide & otherwise, among the CEO classes

We did a piece some time ago about several mysterious deaths (and one missing person) connected to finance-industry investigations, all within 18 days of each other:

Three deaths and a missing reporter – all with ties to finance and Wall Street investigations

Thanks to Facebook friend StarGazer, it seems we have more of these cases, many more in fact.

StarGazer has assembled a more complete list with links. Take a look:

1. ABC Verlag (greetings cards, not finance) — CEO Daniel Eicher — suicide, left two notes — week of 6/10/2013

2. Swisscom (telecom) – CEO Carsten Schloter, 49 — suicide, found hanging — 7/23/13

3. Bank of America — intern Moritz Erhardt, 21 — seizure due to exhaustion — week of 8/12/2013

4. Zurich Insurance Group AG (insurance) — CFO Pierre Wauthier — suicide, found hanging, left two notes — 8/26/2013

bank-failures5. Wall Street — hedge fund exec Robert Wilson, 87 — suicide, jumped from 16th floor — week of Dec 23, 2013. (He gave away $800 million prior to death.)

6. Wall Street Journal — reporter  David Birdmissing/disappeared – 1/11/2014 (covered in our original piece)

7. Swiss Re AG — U.K.–based communications director Tim Dickenson — cause not released — week of  1/19/2014

8. Deutsche Bank AG — executive William Broeksmit — apparent suicide, found hanging— 1/26/14 (covered in our original piece)

9. JP Morgan — banker Gabriel Magee — jumped or fell from building, Canary Wharf, London — 1/28/14 (covered in our original piece)

10. Russell Investment — Mike Dueker, 50 — found dead next to Tacoma Narrows Bridge, suicide — week of 1/26/2014 (covered in our original piece)

11. JPMorgan — equities trading executive Ryan Crane, 37 — no cause given — 2/3/14

12. American Title (insurance) — CEO Richard Talley, 57 — suicide by nail gun,7 or 8 self-inflicted wounds — 2/7/14

Feel free to click and read. Some of these are obviously suicides, or in the case of the intern (#3), a seizure. But several are at least suspicious, especially with the underlying company under investigation. For example, here’s what the linked news article says about Richard Talley (#12):

Richard M. Talley, 56, was found dead in his Greenwood Village garage Tuesday by a family member, the Denver Post reported. He had shot himself seven or eight times in the head and chest with a nail gun.

Really? All of the other aspects are reasonable; the company was “under investigation” and this is the CEO. But consider the method itself. A nail gun. If you start with the head, can you do the chest? And if you start with the chest, are you really able to do more, pull the trigger 6 or 7 more times?

Remember, this is a nail gun, not a 9 mm pistol. That’s a Jack Reacher, high-endurance suicide, and no one is Jack Reacher, or so I hear.


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Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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