The pathologist known as Dr. Death for helping more than 100 patients commit suicide in the '90s built his own killing machine by hand
Jack Kevorkian, the pathologist long-known as the doctor who helped more than 100 people end their lives during the 1990s -- and spent eight years in prison for second-degree murder because of it -- passed away this morning in a Detroit area hospital. He was 83 and had been hospitalized for the past month, suffering from kidney problems and pneumonia, according to the Associated Press' obituary.
I've followed Kevorkian's life for years now. One of the first newspaper columns I ever wrote, as a high school student, was an overblown defense of physician-assisted suicide in which I referred to Kevorkian as the only doctor who truly cares. But this isn't the place for an appreciation. (And you can send your letters to that paper, not to me. Thanks.) What it is a place for, though, is a closer look at some of the technology that made the Armenian-American known around the world as an activist.
Kevorkian's 1968 Volkswagon Vanagon, pictured above, received 28 bids from fascinated individuals when it was listed on eBay early last year. The top offer was $3,400, but there's no telling how much it could have gone for if eBay hadn't pulled the listing from its site. Jack Finn, the seller, purchased the van back in 1997, two years before Kevorkian was sent to prison. Finn, who was a parts supplier for Kevorkian, listed the van with Kruse, an auction firm that handles classic vehicles, after it was rejected by eBay.