Befuddled Juror in Thomas Merton Book Verdict

Befuddled Juror in Thomas Merton Book Verdict My copy of the quarterly Merton Seasonal, published jointly by the International Thomas Merton Society and the Thomas Merton Center of Bellarmine University, has arrived, and I see that they have finally stopped ignoring The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton: An Investigation, written by Hugh Turley and yours truly and published in March of 2018. The Winter 2018 edition upon the 50th anniversary of Merton’s untimely and mysterious death in Thailand on December 10, 1968, is on the general theme of Merton’s demise. On the cover is a photograph of Merton’s grave marker at his home Gethsemani Abbey near Bardstown, Kentucky. The modest black and white magazine, 43 pages in length, contains six articles and two…

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Daniel Best: Trump’s Vince Foster?

Hey, Donald, do you see anything fishy here? Snopes.com, of all people, has a good summary of the basic known facts in this very recent high-level suspicious death case: On 1 November 2018, the Trump administration’s senior adviser on drug pricing reform, Daniel Best, was found “unresponsive” near the garage door exit of a Washington, D.C., apartment building. He was pronounced dead at the scene by first responders. A statement released the same day by Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Alex Azar mourned Best as a “friend and colleague” but addressed neither the circumstances nor the cause of his death. No other details were released to the public. Two weeks later, on 15 November, the office of Washington, D.C.’s chief medical examiner announced that…

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Scarce News on Admiral Stearney’s Death

If you are a regular reader of The Jerusalem Post you would have learned on December 1 that the top officer for all U.S. Navy operations in the Middle East, Vice Admiral Scott Stearney, had been found dead in his home in Bahrain. The Reuters wire story that The Jerusalem Post was simply passing on was an official statement from U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, John Richardson. The statement gave no cause of death or any other information except to assure us that foul play was not suspected. If you get your news from The Washington Post, on the other hand, you wouldn’t even know that much, right up to the time that I am penning this report. Try searching “Scott Stearney Washington Post” and…

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What We Know about Thomas Merton’s Death

Paper by David Martin and Hugh Turley presented to Thomas Merton Symposium, Pontifical Antheneum, Rome, Italy, June 13, 2018 The state of knowledge of Thomas Merton’s death can best be described as highly unsatisfactory.  Michael Mott’s 1984 authorized biography, The Seven Mountains of Thomas Merton, has been taken as the last word on the subject. Everyone who has written about Merton’s death since then—and there are many—has apparently accepted his explanation of how Merton was electrocuted by a defective fan, departing from his description on occasion only with their own embellishments, based solely upon imagination rather than new research. This is unfortunate, because Mott leaves a lot of loose ends.  First, he quotes directly from the just-then-revealed conclusion of the Thai police report, a document that only a…

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