Woman's suicide note 'apologised' to handgun she had to leave

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The Independent Online
TIM CORNWELL

Los Angeles

The 23-year-old British woman who shot herself soon after the suicide of two other young Britons addressed her death note to the Glock 10mm pistol found beside her body.

The body of Jane Greenhow was found in her rented car in rural northern California last Thursday, one day after 22-year-olds Ruth Fleming and Stefan Bateman shot themselves in an Arizona shooting range more than 1,000 miles away. "I'm so sorry I had to leave you now - the only one I'm reluctant to leave behind," Greenhow wrote, in a note obtained yesterday by the Reuters news agency. It was left behind with nearly 100 pages of rambling notes that local police said displayed the "mindset of an extremist".

"I'm so sorry we never got to consummate our relationship. I know we could have had such fun together," it continued, addressed to "my Glock". "Alas, too many regrets."

Greenhow fired a single shot through her mouth with the handgun, a coroner said. Police also found a cheque for pounds 6m, presumed to be a fake, a wig and tapes of the British rock band Joy Division. Ian Curtis, the band's 23-year-old lead singer, hanged himself in 1980.

Shasta County deputy coroner Lieutenant John Boyle said Greenhow may have been inspired by the far-right ideology of US militias or possibly part of a cult group that identified with Joy Division. Guns appear to have exerted a hypnotising influence over the three Britons, who are not known to have used weapons before they came to the US. Bateman and Fleming made several return visits to the Arizona range, testing out different weapons.

As their families struggled to understand the deaths, Bateman's mother, Joan Bryan of Leicester, told the Daily Mail that her son went to America to "buy a gun. Stephen had this idea he had to be able to protect himself properly."

The three wore black combat trousers and leather boots and had their heads shaved close. It is thought that their travels around the country this year, from Michigan to California, were an attempt to link up with neo-Nazi groups.

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