In the wake of publisher Philip Merrill’s apparent suicide, friends and family are grappling with the unanswered question of why. Former CIA director R. James Woolsey told the Washington Post that “It still doesn’t seem real to me.” When he last saw Merrill on Memorial Day, Woolsey said “he seemed his normal, happy, exuberant, engaging self.”
Tom Marquardt, executive editor of the Capital, commented that his conversations with Merrill “did not indicate that there was anything amiss,” although Merrill had recently said “he didn’t really know what to do with the rest of his life, as he would say.”
The Baltimore Sun reports that an Annapolis gun shop owner informed police that Merrill had purchased a shotgun. He found it unusual since Merrill’s paper had editorialized in favor of stricter gun control. Police examined the model Merrill purchased to see if it could be fired while turned toward the shooter.
Maryland Natural Resources declined to provide findings until the state medical examiner’s office releases its autopsy report next week. However, Ken Turner, a spokesman for the Natural Resources police, said, the case has “always been a criminal investigation.” Although police do not suspect anyone else killed Merrill, a final determination has not been made. Suicide is against the law.
Final autopsy reports are expected early next week.