|Hunter and his bride, Anita, in
Photo by Louisa Davidson
ASPEN, Colo. -- WAS Hunter S. Thompson's
mysterious death really a suicide?
There are some serious irregularities
surrounding the demise of the gonzo author, who was found
shot to death in the kitchen of his Woody Creek, Colo.,
ranch on Feb. 20, and local cops seemed to have done a
lackluster job of investigating.
Police reports obtained by the Rocky Mountain
News note that cops arriving on the scene heard shots
being fired, that Thompson's son, Juan, was allowed to
be alone with the body, and that there was something odd
about the gun Thompson supposedly used to kill himself.
Before his death, Thompson seemed in good
spirits and was not known to be depressed. And considering
his long-winded style, the absence of a note seems strange
he'd typed only the single word "counselor."
There were no eyewitnesses to the shooting,
only an "earwitness" Thompson's wife,
Anita, who was on the phone with him at the time and who
later drank scotch with the corpse. Her account of the
incident is inconsistent: She alternately has said that
she heard a loud, muffled noise and that she heard nothing
The behavior of Juan, who was in the house
at the time of the shooting, also was unusual. Pitkin
County Deputy Sheriff John Armstrong said that when investigators
arrived on the scene they heard shots, but Juan assured
them he had merely been firing off a salute to his dead
dad. Investigator Joseph DiSalvo also let Juan enter the
kitchen alone and drape a scarf over the body.
And in his report, Deputy Ron Ryan noted
the semi-automatic Smith & Wesson 645 found next to
Thompson's body was in an unusual condition. There was
a spent shell casing, but although there were six bullets
left in the gun's clip, there was no bullet in the firing
chamber, as there should have been under normal circumstances.
DiSalvo said he did not check the gun,
adding, "I think a bullet from the magazine should
have cycled into the chamber unless there was a malfunction."
A spent slug was found in the stove hood behind the body.
Conspiracy theorists make much of the
fact that Thompson had been working on a far-fetched story
about the World Trade Center attack at the time of his
As Canada's Globe and Mail reported, Thompson
had "stumbled across what he felt was hard evidence
showing the towers had been brought down not by the airplanes
that flew into them but by explosive charges set off in