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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 February, 2005, 11:30 GMT
Cannon send-off plan for Thompson
Hunter S Thompson
The writer had been suffering a series of health problems
The family and friends of cult US writer Hunter S Thompson plan to honour his wish for his ashes to be fired out of a cannon.

The author, who committed suicide on Sunday aged 67, said on several occasions that he would like an artillery send-off for his remains.

"If that's what he wanted, we'll see if we can pull it off," said friend and historian Douglas Brinkley.

He said Thompson had probably planned his suicide due to declining health.

'Entirely fitting'

Let the world know that Dr Hunter S Thompson died with his glass full, a fearless man, a warrior
Thompson family statement
"I think he made a conscious decision that he had an incredible run of 67 years, lived the way he wanted to and wasn't going to suffer the indignities of old age," said Mr Brinkley.

"This was not just an act of irrationality. It was a very pre-planned act. He was not going to let anybody dictate how he was going to die," he added.

Benicio Del Toro, Hunter S Thompson and Johnny Depp at the premier of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Johnny Depp played Thompson in a film version of Fear and Loathing

In a statement, Hunter's wife Anita and son Juan said: "It is entirely fitting that Hunter, as a master of politics and control, chose to take his life on his own schedule by his own hand, rather than submitting to fate, genetics or chance."

"Though we will miss him bitterly, we understand his decision. Let the world know that Dr Hunter S Thompson died with his glass full, a fearless man, a warrior."

Health problems

Before his death Thompson, who was renowned for the 1972 cult classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, had spent the weekend with his son, daughter-in-law and grandson.

He had been suffering from a series of health problems including a broken leg and hip replacement.

Talking of Thompson's wish for an artillery send-off, fireworks expert Marc Williams said it was not uncommon for US families to spread the ashes of loved ones through the sky in a fireworks shell.

He said: "If you were going to light up a flash-bomb worthy of Hunter S Thompson, you'd want to make it an earth-shaker."

Obituary: Hunter S Thompson
21 Feb 05 |  Arts
Hunter S Thompson: Your tributes
21 Feb 05 |  Have Your Say
Fear and Loathing at the Book Festival
25 Aug 98 |  Edinburgh Festival

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