This CNN piece places HST’s suicide in some context:
DENVER, Colorado (AP) — Journalist Hunter S. Thompson did not take his life “in a moment of haste or anger or despondency” and probably planned his suicide well in advance because of his declining health, the family’s spokesman said Wednesday. Douglas Brinkley, a historian and author who has edited some of Thompson’s work, said the founder of “gonzo” journalism shot himself Sunday night after weeks of pain from a host of physical problems that included a broken leg and a hip replacement. “I think he made a conscious decision that he had an incredible run of 67 years, lived the way he wanted to, and wasn’t going to suffer the indignities of old age,” Brinkley said in a telephone interview from Aspen. “He was not going to let anybody dictate how he was going to die.” Thompson, famous for “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and other works of New Journalism, spent an intimate weekend with his son, Juan, daughter-in-law, Jennifer, and young grandson, William, the spokesman said. “He was trying to really bond and be close to the family” before his suicide, Brinkley said. “This was not just an act of irrationality. It was a very pre-planned act.” The family is looking into whether Thompson’s cremated remains can be blasted out of a cannon, a wish the gun-loving writer often expressed, Brinkley said. “The optimal, best-case scenario is the ashes will be shot out of a cannon,” he said. Other arrangements were pending.