More than a half-dozen dead in less than two weeks. Police classified the deaths as suicides even though the causes of death remain vague and in some cases undetermined. The dead died violently but none died via self-inflicted gunshots, the method preferred by nearly 90% of all male suicide victims. And all were prominent financial executives – some working for companies with reported ties to governmental intelligence gathering organizations; others working for institutions that many believe are a part of a vast financial criminal conspiracy.
It began in early January when rumors spread that a Swiss Reinsurance Company director had died under unusual circumstances. Nothing regarding the death was released to the public and the company remained mum. Then on January 11, Wall Street Journal investigative reporter David Bird disappeared without a trace. Two weeks later, on January 26, 2014, police found 58-year-old former senior executive of Deutsche Bank, William Broeksmit, hanging from a doorway in his South Kensington home in London. Police quickly ruled the death a suicide. Little did they know, a spate of similar deaths would spread worldwide over the course of the next few days.
On January 27, the day after the death of Broeksmit, former General Motors managing director Karly Slym died after falling from the balcony of his Bangkok hotel room. Slym had just attended a major Board of Directors meeting that day and was staying with his wife in the hotel. Hotel staff found the body and alerted his wife, who was asleep in the hotel room. An investigator said a three-page hand-written suicide note was discovered at the scene explaining the death. Later that day, reports surfaced revealing that the handwriting did not match Slym’s. The death was ruled a suicide
The next day, on Tuesday January 28, the body of 39-year-old JP Morgan vice president of technology Gabriel Magee was found by JP Morgan workers on the lower-level roof of the JP Morgan headquarters in London. Police ruled that the deadly twenty-four story fall was a suicide despite the fact that less than 24 hours earlier, Magee had texted his girlfriend, Veronica, to say he was about the leave the office and would see her shortly (she had reported him missing the day before his death).
On Wednesday January 29, a fourth financial executive died. Russell Investments’ Chief Economist Mike Duecker, who had been reported missing for three days prior, was found dead near a highway ramp in Tacoma, Washington. Police say the former Federal Reserve Bank economist killed himself by jumping over a 4-foot fence and then tumbling down an angled 50-foot embankment.
After a four-day reprieve free of deaths, 37-year-old JP Morgan executive director Ryan Henry Crane, known affectionately as the “Gentile Giant”, was found dead in his home on February 3, the cause of death unknown. Underground forums ignited when a supposed “insider” came forward saying that Crane had worked closely with Gabriel Magee and that the two deaths were part of a wider conspiratorial cover-up.
Four days later, year another death was discovered. 57-year-old American Title CEO Richard Talley was found dead in his Colorado home with several fatal wounds to his torso and head. Despite the numerous wounds, police ruled the death a suicide and revealed that the weapon had been found – a nail gun.
Was this coincidence, an unlucky series of bizarre, high-profile deaths – or was something afoul in the financial community? Reports indicate that Deutsche Bank was under investigation for rigging foreign exchange markets and Broeksmit may have been on deck to testify. According to a report in the New York Times in November of last year, Russell Investments was one of a number of firms that received subpoenas from New York State regulators who are investigating a pay-to-play schemes involving pension funds based in New York and Mike Ducker would have surely been called to the stand. Others point out that some of the financial institutions (e.g. JP Morgan), have long been rumored to have close ties with U.S. intelligence gathering organizations (.e.g CIA, NSA), and that the deaths came amidst a flood of reports of the governmental organizations abusing their intelligence gathering authority. And Gabriel Magee’s parents are not buying the official story that his death was a suicide pointing out that their son was “a happy person who was happy with his life”. They question how Gabriel gained access to the rooftop of one of the most secure buildings in London and suspect foul play.
Still, according to the police, none of the disappearances or deaths appear to be suspicious even though the chances of more than a half-dozen untimely deaths within the financial community occurring randomly in five-day period is practically nil. According to investigators, the deaths are business as usual.