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Hunter S. Thompson Kills Himself

Old 02-20-05, 11:55 PM
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Hunter S. Thompson Kills Himself

U.S. National - AP

Author Hunter S. Thompson Kills Himself

37 minutes ago U.S. National - AP

By CATHERINE TSAI, Associated Press Writer

DENVER - Hunter S. Thompson, the acerbic counterculture writer who popularized a new form of fictional journalism in books like "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," fatally shot himself Sunday night at his Aspen-area home, his son said. He was 67.
Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis, a personal friend of Thompson, confirmed the death to the News. Sheriff's officials did not return calls to The Associated Press late Sunday.

Juan Thompson found his father's body. Thompson's wife, Anita, was not home at the time.

Besides the 1972 drug-hazed classic about Thompson's visit to Las Vegas, he also wrote "Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72." The central character in those wild, sprawling satires was "Dr. Thompson," a snarling, drug- and alcohol-crazed observer and participant.

Thompson is credited with pioneering New Journalism or, as he dubbed it, "gonzo journalism" in which the writer made himself an essential component of the story. Much of his earliest work appeared in Rolling Stone magazine.

"Fiction is based on reality unless you're a fairy-tale artist," Thompson told the AP in 2003. "You have to get your knowledge of life from somewhere. You have to know the material you're writing about before you alter it."

An acute observer of the decadence and depravity in American life, Thompson also wrote such collections "Generation of Swine" and "Songs of the Doomed." His first ever novel, "The Rum Diary," written in 1959, was first published in 1998.

Thompson was a counterculture icon at the height of the Watergate era, and Richard Nixon once said he represented "that dark, venal, and incurably violent side of the American character."

Thompson also was the model for Gary Trudeau's balding "Uncle Duke" in the comic strip "Doonesbury" and was portrayed on screen by Johnny Depp in a film adaptation of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."

Other books include "The Great Shark Hunt," "Hell's Angels" and "The Proud Highway." His most recent effort was "Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness."

His compound in Woody Creek, not far from Aspen, was almost as legendary as Thompson. He prized peacocks and weapons; in 2000, he accidentally shot and slightly wounded his assistant, Deborah Fuller, trying to chase a bear off his property.


A sad evening indeed.
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Old 02-21-05, 12:19 AM
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Damn... I still can't believe this, though I've been reading it over and over for the last hour.

Jesus. Completely knocked me backwards.

I need to go to bed.
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Old 02-21-05, 12:45 AM
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I just saw a pic of him partying at some Playboy function. Crazy news.
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Old 02-21-05, 02:09 AM
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OMG. Can't believe it.

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Old 02-21-05, 02:32 AM
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This is a real tragedy... He will be missed.
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Old 02-21-05, 04:12 AM
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My heart sank deepr and deeper as I heard each detail on the BBC this morning! First I heard he's dead, then I heard it was a gunshot wound and then I heard it was suicide. Heart-breaking news indeed. When I get home today I plan to watch Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas with his commentary track on. My only little personal tribute. It should be a bittersweet experience.
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Old 02-21-05, 07:16 AM
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Obit from his hometown, Louisville, KY.
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Old 02-21-05, 08:57 AM
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There is another longer thread in the Other forum.

I'm so sad right now.
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Old 02-21-05, 09:02 AM
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Old 02-21-05, 09:04 AM
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Truly sad. He'll be missed. Fear and Loathing is one of my faves, definitely top 5.
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Old 02-21-05, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Hinkle
Truly sad. He'll be missed. Fear and Loathing is one of my faves, definitely top 5.
Yes, he will be missed. "Where the Buffalo Roam", "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and the book "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72" were my favorites.
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Old 02-22-05, 04:36 PM
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I loved the man's work, although the way he lived his life and left it was nothing I'd want to emulate, IMHO. I threw a few thoughts about him on my blog and a funny story about the one time I actually met him, if anyone cares.
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Old 02-23-05, 07:21 AM
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no joke, according to IMDb's celebrity news today (23 February):

apparently, his last will and testament asks for his funeral to consist of his cremation and then subsequent firing of his ashes from a cannon across his estate.

fitting, really.
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Old 02-26-05, 01:21 PM
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Just wanted to post to say how depressing this news is.

In regards to the ashes being fired off in a cannon, I hope they do cause' he talked about this in the 1978 Doc. Fear and Loathing on the Road to Hollywood on the criterion DVD
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Old 02-26-05, 07:05 PM
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I'm sure he's in a better place now, alternating downing shots of whiskey and munching on psychedelics with his Attorney
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Old 02-26-05, 09:48 PM
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Sucks to lose him, but he couldn't have gone out in a better way. I can't believe the son of a bitch survived as long as he did with his life style. He probably got some bad health news or something and decided to go out on his own terms. I say good for him.
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Old 02-28-05, 05:39 AM
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I heard about this. It's devastating that people of that age can still go through with it, and why.
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