Sunday, 10 July 2016 19:06

Debian founder Murdock hanged himself: report


The founder of the Debian GNU/Linux project, Ian Murdock, took his own life, according to a autopsy report obtained by CNNMoney.

The report, from the San Francisco medical examiner, said Murdock, 42, had hanged himself using the cord of a vacuum cleaner. The time of his death was put at 9am local time on 29 December.

The news of his death became public last December, coming soon after he wrote a series of disturbing tweets on 28 December, which made it appear that he had been arrested and mistreated by the police.

It now appears that some of his friends who were alarmed by the tweets, called the San Francisco police department and asked them to investigate. An officer who went to Murdock's home found him dead.

The report said there was no evidence of any illicit drug use but many empty wine bottles were strewn inside the house.

Murdock's neighbour told the police that he had been going through a series of problems, having broken up with his girlfriend, and facing eviction from the premises at the end of December.

The report said he had been arrested by police on 26 December on suspicion of being intoxicated, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.

Murdock founded Debian in 1993. The project has grown to be one of the most successful open source projects.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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