Monday, May 28, 2007

Suicide and Self-Importance

When someone decides to commit suicide, I suspect that part of the motivation is to send a message to the rest of the world. "You drove me to this! Look at what you did!"

But what if the message is never received - or is received decades later?

Siegfried B disappeared shortly after his 50th birthday in March 1985, telling his wife that he was going out. He took with him a blanket, a pillow and a bottle of schnaps but never returned....

22 years later, his wife decided to repair the garage roof.

"When they removed the layers of asbestos they discovered the mummified skeleton," prosecutor Wilfried Lehmann told the German press. "Siegfried B was hidden in the roof, and next to him were a schnaps bottle and a suicide note."

For those keeping score, Siegfried B's body was undiscovered for decades...which makes the discovery of Vincenzo Riccardi's body after only a year - only a year? - pale in comparison.

Some think the death may be attributable to the Cold War:

When German doctor Siegfried B. went missing in 1985, Ronald Reagan was in the White House, the Communists still ruled eastern Europe and Boris Becker won Wimbledon.

He has now been found after lying dead for 22 years in the former East German village of Bergholz-Rehbr├╝cke, southwest of Berlin....

Local media reported rumors among villagers at the time that he had been in trouble with the East German secret police, the Stasi, and that he had been a critic of the Communist regime.


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