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"William L. Toomey" was an alias used by a man who committed suicide in a church by swallowing cyanide tablets, he was found lying dead across a pew's kneeler.

Case

On December 4, 1982, a well-dressed man walked into the Sacred Hearts Church in Boise, Idaho at roughly 4 PM. He apparently wanted to go to the confessional, but it was occupied at the time. As parishioners entered for the 6 PM mass, one of them, a woman, found the man lying dead across a pew's kneeler. She told her son, the head usher, to examine the man. He then got another parishioner who was a registered nurse to help him. The nurse confirmed that he had no pulse and was rigid and cold. She assumed that he was an older parishioner and was surprised to discover that he was a younger man.
The police were called to investigate. None of the church members recognized the man and he carried no identification.

An autopsy determined that he had committed suicide by swallowing cyanide tablets.

Clothing and accessories

  • The man was dressed in Western attire
  • Belt was brown leather with a large buckle displaying a Mexican 100 peso coin in the center
  • Bolo-type tie made of turquoise and silver
  • Wallet, but all items of personal identification had been removed, worn spots on the wallet indicated that it had previously held several items
  • $1,900 in cash and a typewritten note which stated:
    "In the event of my death, The enclosed currency should give more than adequate compensation for my funeral or disposal (preferred to be cremated) expenditures. What is leftover, please take this as a contribution to this church. God will see to your honesty in this."

Sources

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