Chicago Reader Discovers Human Face Behind Public Suicide

november 15, 2006  11:50 am
When a Chicago man burned himself to death near a busy expressway, initial news reports failed even to provide an identity. But with the help of local musicians, the Reader's Peter Margasak soon determined that the man was Malachi Ritscher, a fixture as a fan and a player on the local jazz scene. On Ritscher's music-focused Web site Margasak unearthed a self-penned obituary and a suicide note that suggested the self-immolation was, at least in part, a protest of the War in Iraq.