Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Another Dead Hero.

Another hero just ended his life.

At 46, Michael Whitmarsh committed suicide through carbon monoxide inhalation at a friend's house, leaving behind two daughters and a wife.

In addition to Olympic glory (a 1996 silver medalist in beach volleyball), Whitmarsh achieved considerable, sustained success on the pro volleyball tour, garnering 28 titles. At 6-7 he also excelled as a basketball player, starring at one of my alma maters, the University of San Diego, and playing professionally in Germany for three years.

At first blush, one might find it odd why one who breathed such rarefied air would end it all. Few mortals have ever experienced the chorus of praise that Whitmarsh did. However, maybe there is something about those who achieve so highly that they cannot cope when the public adulation wanes (or its effect does). Whitmarsh is now at least the fourth celebrity I'm familiar with who has committed suicide in the last couple of years. The other three are: Brad Delp (Boston lead singer), David Foster Wallace (writer), and Richard Jeni (actor/comic). I'm thinking it's not coincidental.

via:,0,1619006.story; and

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