DOCUMENT: Investigation

David Foster Wallace Autopsy

Depressed author bound wrists with duct tape prior to hanging self

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David Foster Wallace Autopsy

OCTOBER 27--Author David Foster Wallace bound his wrists with duct tape before hanging himself from a patio roof rafter in the backyard of his southern California home, according to an autopsy report released today.

The 46-year-old writer was discovered September 12 by his wife, who cut the black belt from which Wallace was hanging. The autopsy report notes that Wallace had nailed the belt to a wooden patio support and that 'there was a lawn chair that was knocked over on its side next to the decedent.'

Excerpts from the report can be found here.

Wallace, who left behind a suicide note, had a 'history of depression with two prior suicide attempts,' his wife told a coroner's investigator. Wallace, best known for his 1996 novel 'Infinite Jest,' had last seen his psychiatrist two weeks before his death, and been prescribed several drugs. The report also notes that Wallace had previously undergone 12 electroshock therapy treatments. (4 pages)