Man drops off own obit to paper

If you don’t check your mail often, let this be a lesson to you because the contents of your Post Office box might be very important.

On April 13, a man from Placerville, Calif., delivered an obituary to the Mountain Democrat newspaper. He then hanged himself from a local bridge.

The newspaper opened the obituary approximately 30 minutes after the man, 64-year-old Allan Leo Peters II, committed suicide.

To the surprise of the newspaper staff, Peters had delivered his own obituary complete with a suicide note.

According to the story in the Sacramento Bee, the note from Peters said, “An explanation might be in order. Yes, I have hanged myself (At least I hope I did). … I have had emphysema for the past few years, and lately it has been really hard to struggle to even catch a breath. I really cannot convey to you how very hard it was even to try to take a very deep breath. … My life has been drastically altered in the past few years, and I believe in euthanasia.”

Peters’ body was found at approximately 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. He had delivered the obit the evening of April 13, but it wasn’t opened until around 8 a.m. Wednesday.

The report said Peters “left information at the scene directing coroner’s officials on how to notify his next of kin.”

“The envelope included a picture, apparently of Peters, with a cigarette hanging from his mouth,” the Mountain Democrat reported. “He is wearing a baseball cap with ‘True Value’ written on it. There also was a money order for $90, the exact amount for an obituary with a picture included.”

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About toddvogts 800 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, MJE, is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Journalism Education Association, among others. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at or via his website at