By Andrew Porter: An unidentified body, possibly that of Welsh-born author F. [Fergus] Gwynplaine MacIntyre, is being held by the Brooklyn, NY, Medical Examiner’s office, at King’s County Hospital, pending identification. The body, burned beyond recognition, was discovered in the author’s apartment in the Coney Island area of Brooklyn on Friday, June 25th. The Medical Examiner told me that they hoped to find some record of dental or other medical work, and failing that, would likely contact British authorities. If you can provide any useful information, contact the office of the NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner.
Google searches reveal MacIntyre — there are questions whether that is his real name — to be highly secretive about his real identity. A source told me that the body was discovered after a suspicious fire, started in four separate places in the apartment, was extinguished. In several places on the internet MacIntyre seemed to be saying goodbye, for instance on IMDB, where a review of the new version of Metropolis posted on June 24th stated, “Nitrate film stock doesn’t last forever, and all good things come to a happy ending. This is my last review here.”
Postscript added by F770: The New York Daily News report of the fire reads:
A Brooklyn man suffering from depression killed himself by setting fire to his apartment Friday, police sources said.
The 59-year-old victim had been telling his Bensonhurst neighbors he no longer wanted to live. On Thursday, he was taken to Coney Island Hospital after police learned he had e-mailed someone close to him a goodbye letter, sources said.
It was not immediately clear why he was released from the hospital. The next morning, fire officials said, the man set two fires inside his cluttered 70th St. apartment and was found dead.
Coincidentally, MacIntyre contributed to the Daily News from 2002 to 2005.
[Congratulations to Andrew Porter, who is celebrating 50 years since his first news column appeared in James V. Taurasi’s Science Fiction Times.]