On December 28 the founder of the Debian distribution died in somewhat strange circumstances which had a lot of people scratching their heads.
During the evening, Ian Murdock tweeted he had been beaten up by coppers near his home on Green Street, San Francisco, and was threatening to kill himself. Fearing he was going to take his own life, his friends on the internet called the city’s police department, who sent round a cop to check on him.
A copper broke down the door and found Murdock naked and lifeless with electrical cord around his neck. He was confirmed dead at 7.40pm. But there were some weird injuries on Murdock’s chest, abdomen, back, arms and legs that prompted somepeople to mutter about conspiracy.
However the autopsy report is out and it does look like Murdock did send himself to the afterlife.
Adam Hellman and Kendall Fudim, investigators at the San Francisco medical examiner’s office, commented on the bruises, but reported “no obvious signs of external trauma or foul play”.
Two days earlier Murdock was arrested after drunkenly banging on a neighbour’s front door with such force it was as if he were trying to break inside. He reportedly fought with cops when they showed up, and was ticketed for resisting arrest and assaulting an officer. He was taken to hospital after banging his head on the inside of the police car he was being held in.
He left the hospital and went back to the neighbour’s home to bang on the door again. This time when the cops arrived, they took him to the county jail to sober up and calm down, and he was released later that day on a $25,000 bond. He killed himself the following evening. Scattered around his home were many empty wine bottles.
Murdock had just split up with his girlfriend and was facing eviction. The Linux pioneer was a heavy drinker who got out of control from time to time.” Murdock’s sister told officials he had had “psychological issues for about 20 years”.
In signing off the autopsy report, Dr Amy Hart, assistant medical examiner, said the death was suicide by hanging, noting that Murdock suffered from “alcohol abuse with withdrawal seizures and Asperger’s syndrome”.
Murdock was the Ian in Debian while his girlfriend at the time, Debra Lynn, was the Deb. They married that year and divorced in 2008.
Murdock was working for Docker in San Francisco at the time of his death