PROMINENT LAWYER IN FIGHT FOR GAY
RIGHTS DIES AFTER SETTING HIMSELF
ON FIRE IN PROSPECT PARK
A lawyer nationally known for being a champion of gay rights died after setting himself on fire in Prospect Park in Brooklyn early Saturday morning and leaving a note exhorting people to lead less selfish lives as a way to protect the planet, the police said.
The remains of the lawyer, David S. Buckel, 60, were found near Prospect Park West in a field near baseball diamonds and the main loop used by joggers and bikers. Mr. Buckel left a note in a shopping cart not far from his body and also emailed it to several news media outlets, including The New York Times.
The police said Mr. Buckel was pronounced dead at 6:30 a.m. in what they said was a suicide.
“Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather,” he wrote in the email sent to The Times. “Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result— my early death by fossil fuel reflect what we are doing to ourselves.”
The earth around Mr. Buckel was burned in a nearly perfect circle. The police said the ground was too scorched to tell, but it is possible that when he went to Prospect Park that day, he took some soil with him, hauling it in the cart. It is possible Mr. Buckel’s last moments were spent spreading it out, making a ring around himself, so that the flames wouldn’t spread.
— The New York Times, April 14, 2018