Top 4 most bizarre Colorado-related deaths

Categories: News

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According to the Denver coroner's office, Rajeev Sharma, 33, was the man who committed suicide Sunday at 1600 Glenarm Place, reportedly by using hydrogen cyanide that forced the evacuation of two floors in the building. It's not the first time this sort of life-ending method has been used locally. In August 2008, Abdirahman Dirie, a Canadian salesman, killed himself at the Burnsley Hotel using enough sodium cyanide that it could have been considered a weapon. But do these demises constitute the most bizarre Colorado-related deaths? Not quite...

Here's a list of even odder exits, originally compiled after the Burnsley incident:

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SEPTEMBER, 1997: The Hitman Who Hit Himself

According to the Associated Press, Rita Quam was attacked in Edwards by a man wearing dark glasses, a black wig and a fake moustache. He was later identified as Arthur Smith, a retired Chicago police officer and longtime friend of Quam's ex-husband. But after firing several shots at her, and missing each time, Smith's gun jammed -- "so he tried beating her on the head with large rocks." Quam managed to survive this assault, and when a deputy arrived on the scene and ordered Smith to lie down, "he collapsed, wheezing in the thin mountain air, and his disguise fell off. Then he had a heart attack and died." Jason Bourne he wasn't.

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DECEMBER 1997: Being a Fan Can Be Deadly

Okay, I know the Colorado connection here is tenuous -- but bear with me. According to wire reports assembled by the Philadelphia Daily News, Missouri resident James Shivers, 60, was watching a Holiday Bowl matchup between the Missouri Tigers and the Colorado State Rams when his son Tony, 26, "deliberately stood in front of the TV." James responded by firing a shot at him with a .22-caliber pistol. When he missed, Tony grabbed the weapon and started hammering his dad over the head with it. So James went to a closet and grabbed a shotgun. This time he hit his target. By the way, the Rams won the contest 35-23. Thank goodness the elder Shivers wasn't anywhere near Fort Collins that day.

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DECEMBER 2005: A Chip Off the Old Block

According to the Denver Post, a man and his partner were removing dead branches from a forty-foot-tall tree near a Loveland home with the help of a shredding machine when the first worker was pulled into the contraption. Anyone who's seen Fargo knows what happened next.

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JUNE 2007: You Know What the Word "Flammable" Means, Right?

The Rocky Mountain News reported that the deaths of teenagers Samuel Hedemark and Christopher Fuller in a Routt National Forest explosion weren't exactly coincidental. During a party attended by about twenty people, the pair climbed atop an oil tank and began dancing. Problem was, they were smoking while they did it. The subsequent blast killed them as well as a dog they'd brought onto the tank with them. Talk about cruelty to animals.

More from our News archive: "Car as murder weapon?: Aurora cops investigate strange death on North Ensenada Court."

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11 comments
Kak0726
Kak0726

Still no "I am sorry for my disrespectful words"?  What is wrong with you? How do you sleep at night? I will never forget Ryan, the tigers, the impact he has had on my life and how he could have changed the world if only he were given more time.  He, and the others in this article. deserve more than you can provide, he would want more than an F&*^ YOU, yet I find myself wishing you dead every single day! Rot in Hell Mr. Roberts!

FU Roberts
FU Roberts

It really is sad that you would even bother to repost this extremely weak article in the first place, but doing so just days after Raj's suicide?  Are you really that hard-pressed for material?  Even sadder that the author responds to a correction regarding the location of CSU, but has nothing to say in response to the comments left by people affected by these tragic events.  That's the wonderful thing about the internet, cowards like Michael Roberts can post (and re-post) whatever they like, and hide from the consequences that result from their insensitivity. Thank you for confirming my low opinion of your publication.

Old Friend
Old Friend

Very insensitive article!  I feel for the families left behind in all these tragic events. Ryan Sayers was an amazing, brilliant young man who did more with his short life than most people ever do. Who knows how he would have further changed the world if only he had been given more time.  He changed Rock climbing with his math and his heart.  The story of his tragic death should never end in a pathetic joke about bad luck. People stil love and miss him.  Show some respect!

Guest
Guest

And the CSU Rams are in Fort Collins, not Greeley.

Raj's last girlfriend, Rita
Raj's last girlfriend, Rita

This is disgusting that you are compiling lists of tragic deaths in Colorado; surely there are other things to write about.  This was a tragic incident and no matter what the circumstances behind Raj's death are, let all of his family, friends and loved ones mourn in peace.   

Stephanie
Stephanie

I feel this article is quite insensitive and disgusting considering Raj's unfortunate death was only a few days ago. You should be ashamed to poke fun at such a tragic subject. His family and friends are still mourning for crying out loud.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

In addition, I've deleted any reference to Ryan from this post and the one that preceded it. Hope that helps set your mind at ease.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

I'm sorry that you found the reference in this post to be disrespectful to the memory of your friend. That was not my intention. I apologize for offending you. My sincere condolences for your loss.

Friend
Friend

I agree - distasteful.

Firstname
Firstname

This entire article is in poor taste. You obviously don't care enough to remove the article in its entirety out of respect for those who lost Raj too early. We all know how karma goes and maybe in some "bizarre" twist of fate, your life will be able to fill the fifth spot in this article. Shame on you.

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