Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday Weird: Novelist Eugene Izzy Death

In December, 1996, a crowd of Chicago holiday shoppers found the body of crime novelist Eugene Izzi. He had hung himself from the window of his downtown office.

Sad, yes. Weird? No. But of course, this is Wednesday Weird, so we know it can't be all cut and dry as a simple suicide.

For one thing, if you're going to kill yourself, why would you put on a bullet proof vest?
And stuff a pair of brass knuckles in your pocket? Along with mace, some printed notes, and 3 computer discs containing your work in progress?
And hide a loaded gun in your desk?

So yeah, that's a little weird. But sometimes people do weird things before they kill themselves. And maybe the printed notes would provide clues.

Luckily enough, they did.

The notes were transcripts of threatening phone calls Izzi had been receiving. So threatening, in fact, that he'd left his family and moved into a hotel in order to keep them safe, and taken to carrying a loaded gun with him at all times.

At the time of his death, Izzi was researching an Indiana White Supremacist group in order to use in his next novel.

A friend who had listened to some of the voicemails remembered that one, from a woman, told Izzi that he would be hanging by the end of the year. Which, I guess literally happened.

All of that sounds pretty suspiciously less like a suicide and maybe more like a murder made to look like a suicide.

But it gets a little weirder still.

Izzi's death was super similar to a death in his unfinished novel, including the bullet proof vest and brass knuckles. If the White Supremacists killed him, how could they have known about that scene in the book when it wasn't even completed yet? Or, was this some sort of strange advertisement for his book?

Thoughts? Theories?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Maybe they got a hold of the book and decided he should die the same way?

Maria Zannini said...

I remember this news story.

Nowadays we're used to hearing about readers (and authors) going too far to prove a point, but I suspect he wore the vest and kept the knuckles as protection. He might've been better off with a body guard.

mshatch said...

Sure doesn't sound like a suicide to me.

Matthew MacNish said...

Obviously murder, but the prescience is pretty weird.

dolorah said...

Yeah, I'd go with murder. The killers probably read some of his scenes and mimicked them. This is a ghastly mystery.

Rena said...

Sounds like they're Supremacists not illiterates.

Still, there's a bit of a thing going on ther. Oddly enough, the guy who wrote the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo died very suspiciously as well.

LD Masterson said...

Well, I'd certainly classify the death as suspicious.

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