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Connecticut man's odd suicide by cyanide: Leaves note warning first responders

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A Fairfield, Conn. man who killed himself with cyanide was very careful to leave notes around the house so no one else would be harmed from the dangerous poison. Allan Banks, who was 69, went to great lengths to protect the first responders and to inform who ever found his body that despite taking his own life he was not depressed, according to the Connecticut Post on April 18.

Banks left a four page suicide note explaining exactly why he opted to end his life. He even left a small piece of paper announcing his own time of death. He noted in the four page letter that in 2005 he had buried his father, then he buried his wife in 2007. A year later, his mother died, which was back in 2008. His mother’s death left him with no other immediate family alive and he didn’t want to suffer a “lingering death.” He jotted down his reasons for taking his own life, which included:

"This is a suicide, pure and simple. I am one fall or failed capillary away from the American way of death: ambulance, hospital, nursing home, progressive decline, drooling, vegging, dying”…

This was not the type of life he wanted for his dying days. He did note that he was in declining health, so he apparently expected that it was all downhill from here. His body laid at home in his bed for three days until a friend called police when they couldn’t get a hold of him.

The last text message that Banks had sent to his friend was concerning, so he wanted a well-being check done on Banks. While Banks looks to have died from cyanide poisoning, the cause of his death is not official until the toxicology tests come back to the medical examiner.

Police went into the home not realizing what they would walk into. Banks had left a note for the first responders warning them about the cyanide on the bed next to him. He apparently did this so they too would not become victims of this extremely fatal substance. He had also left arrow-shaped signs that he posted around the house pointing the police to where his body lay.

The two police officers and the two firefighters that were the first to enter the house didn’t know about the cyanide until they reached the bedroom. This is where the two empty vials for substance were found on the bed next to Banks. He had ingested the contents of the vials and had been dead about three days. These four first responders were sent to Bridgeport Hospital for an overabundance of safety because at that time they were unsure of the extent of the poison in the home.

They all checked out fine and returned to the scene at Clinton Street. The hazmat team arrived and went to work securing the scene and taking away the vials that the poison was originally in. On the four-page letter, which was his suicide note, Banks attached a small piece of paper. It stated that he took the poison on April 11, shortly after 9:45 p.m., giving the medical examiner a heads up on the time of death.

According to MyFox New York, the street was closed off, but the neighbors weren’t evacuated. Spotlights lit the house where Bank lived as the hazmat team went through the home and then removed Bank’s body.

Assistant Fire Chief George Gomola said that Banks took precautions to make sure the first responders were not poisoned. He said Banks “did not attend to hurt anyone else” with the cyanide. He said that Banks first locked up the house then went to lay down on his bed to swallow the poison.

Bank writes he had a wonderful life and it was a life even better than he ever suspected. He rented the house that he died in about five years ago and the neighbors on the street seem to know very little about him. All that is revealed about his days on Earth was that he was a musician. He also wrote he was “very grateful” for the life he had. He said in the four page letter to give this letter to anyone who wanted to read it.

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