The Harvard Crimson identified the man as 35-year-old Somerville resident
Mitchell Heisman who posted a 1,905-page document on suicidenote.info, a
website he created, arguing history, politics, religion and death. His
mother reportedly told the Crimson to publish his name to let people know of
his work ?because that?s what he wanted.? She said he worked on his book in
Harvard libraries and from his Craigie Street home. She also told the
Crimson he seemed happy to be finishing his work.
Friend Jared Nathanson said he and about 400 others received an automated
e-mail from Heisman on Sept. 18 at 4 p.m. containing a link to his site with
the book attached. "Several of us wrote responses trying to dissuade him,
not knowing it was too late," he said. "I am deeply saddened and surprised
by his death."
The incident took place at about 11 a.m. Sept. 18 when Harvard Police
received a call about a shooting outside Memorial Church, and responded to
find a man with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head, lying in a pool
of blood. A silver revolver was found near the body, and a bullet was found
lodged in a nearby column, according to the police report.
Cambridge Fire and Rescue responded and pronounced the individual deceased.
Harvard Police, Cambridge Police, State Police and the Middlesex District
Attorney responded to the scene and determined that there was no continuing
public safety threat.