Debian Linux Founder, Ian Murdock (1973 to 2015) Killed Himself

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Debian Linux founder, Ian Murdock died. Seems he killed himself.

(i'm updating the page as i learn more)

Ian Murdock's Last Few Tweets

Ian Murdock suicide tweet 2015-12-28
Ian Murdock suicide tweet

twitter raw text. Ordered by time.

Ian Murdock suicide twitter 2015-12-28
Ian Murdock suicide twitter 2015-12-28


Complete Archived Tweet

from at least 2016 May 29

Proof of Police Arrest

Ian Murdock vineline info 2015-12-28
Ian Murdock vineline info 2015-12-28

Who is “@jacksormwriter wants me dead”

Ian Murdock  Jay Daniels jackstormwriter twitter 1 2015-12-30 Ian Murdock  Jay Daniels jackstormwriter twitter 2 2015-12-30
Ian Murdock and @jackstormwriter (Jay Daniels) twitter exchange.


Seems to be the same person as @writershorde, whose account has also been recently deleted. for longevity:


— from throwaway20325 ,

Chiming in on here...

I reverse image searched his Twitter pic, it's a stock photo from an online retail (clothing) store:

— from AnarchyAo, ,

News Report

i don't know the source of following.

The cause of death is not known at this stage, but it is not believed to be suspicious. A spokesperson for Docker said it was a “private matter.”

According to the San Francisco police, officers were called to Steiner and Union St in the city at 11.30pm on Saturday, December 26, following reports of a man trying to break into a home – that man was identified as Ian Murdock. He reportedly fought with the cops, and was given a ticket for two counts of assault and one for obstruction of an officer. The techie had been drinking, according to the police logs. A medic arrived to treat an abrasion to Murdock's forehead, and he was released so he could be taken to hospital.

A few hours later, on Sunday, December 27 at 2.40am, police were called again to reports of Murdock banging on the door of a neighbor at the very same block. A medic arrived to treat him for any injuries at the scene. Next, the cops took Murdock to the county jail where he was held in a cell.

Murdock was bailed later that day, on Sunday, after a bond, said to be $25,000, was paid. He died the next day.

His family has asked people to respect their privacy during this difficult time.

2017-04-10 addendum

this seems to be the cause. Not sure how reliable it is.

A neighbor told the city's investigators that Murdock had just split up with his girlfriend and was facing eviction. The Linux pioneer had a fiery relationship with his partner, the neighbor claimed, and he was “a known drinker” who “can get ‘out of control’ from time to time.” Murdock's sister told officials he had had “psychological issues for about 20 years.”

[Debian founder Ian Murdock killed himself – SF medical examiner By Chris Williams. At , accessed on 2017-04-10 ]

Ian Murdock death 2017 04 10

also see

To those of you who blame the police he encountered twice before his suicide: not this time. Ian died a victim of mental illness.

It's horrible that such a genius, someone who did so much good, went through that disease and had such a meaningless, unfair, undignified death.

from [Ian Murdock dead By Bruce Perens. At , accessed on 2017-04-10 ]

Bruce Perens is a early figure in the free software community. I can trust what he says about this.