'Off with My Hea-D'oh!'
In Suicide, Much Like Grenades, Sometimes Close Is Close Enough

Botched Suicide Ends in Death

from Sploid

When the French began using the guillotine for executions, the idea was a quick and painless death. In the hands of a suicidal amateur like David Morse, it became an implement of unimaginable suffering.

Cobbling together cinder blocks, a saw blade, some lumber and piping, David Morse built his own guillotine.

He was apparently unaware of the
long-established French standard of an 88-pound blade dropping 7-1/2 feet.

Instead of the relief he so desperately sought, the homemade device merely cut a deep gash in the back of Morse’s neck. Fortunately, for Morse’s purposes, it was deep enough for him to bleed to death.

His body was found in his bedroom, 20 feet from the guillotine.

But there was more to his plan than a not-so-simple death. Once dead, his hope was to turn his home into a funeral pyre.

"He had literally punched holes in the Sheetrock walls of his house and stuffed the bottles in there, but he had also punched holes in the bottom portion of the walls and stuffed them with newspaper," said Sgt. Andy Parsons of the Belmont, New Hampshire, police.

Into each bottle he ran stripped electrical wires attached to timers that were plugged into a power strip. This, too, turned into a horrifying comedy of errors.

"Obviously, his intent, once he decapitated himself, his home was supposed to go up by the Molotov cocktails," Parsons said. "It's no doubt in my mind, if power had been applied to those lines, he would have successfully started a fire with those bottles of gasoline."

But the switch on the power strip was turned to the "off" position.

Rather than burn to death, his corpse was nearly frozen, as his unheated home grew so cold that the toilet bowl froze and cracked. As near as the coroner can tell, the whole ugly tragedy played out shortly before Thanksgiving.

Morse was the usual quiet neighbor who keeps to himself, never causes any trouble and then completely loses his mind. Morse’s family knew all about his lifelong battle with depression.

"He lived there, but I didn't really know him. He was living there when I moved here 13 years ago, but he left for several years and only came back two or three years ago," said neighbor Terry Hickey.

None of us knew him very well," said Neighbor Gordon Bartlett. "He pretty much stayed to himself. He was very much a loner."

"I would have helped him out in a heartbeat," offered Fred Pike, a week too late.


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