A Kentucky Man Lit Himself On Fire After Running Into Money Trouble


Photo: nick see | Flickr

Weeks after a California man shot himself over an eviction notice, another consumer’s financial struggles reportedly led him to commit suicide.Michael McReynolds, 60, lit himself on fire in his front yard while his wife was at home last week, police told the Knoxville News Sentinel.

McReynolds was apparently waiting for some kind of financial assistance from a private organisation, but a spokesperson would only confirm the money wasn’t from a government program. 

“McReynolds was employed, his home did not face foreclosure and police are unaware of any history of mental problems,” police told Fox News. 

News of his death came a month after Los Angeles resident Norman Russeau shot himself on Mother’s Day after finding an eviction notice from Wells Fargo on his front door. 

Russeau and his wife had been battling the bank to save their home from foreclosure for years, including a failed attempt at a loan modification.

Deaths like McReynolds’ and Russeaus’ underscore the harsh reality of the recession’s effect on not only bank accounts but the minds of consumers as well.

After following more than 34,000 consumers over a three-year period, a team of University of Manitoba researchers found close ties between income, mood disorders, and, ultimately, suicide attempts. 

“Low levels of household income are associated with several lifetime mental disorders and suicide attempts, and a reduction in household income is associated with increased risk for [the incidence of] mental disorders,” the group concluded. “Policymakers need to consider optimal methods of intervention for mental disorders and suicidal behaviour among low-income individuals.”

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