Ex-reporter leaves website to explain his life, and death


Former Kansas City Star sports reporter and SportsInReview.com editor Martin Manley shot himself in front of a police station yesterday morning. His suicide note instructed whoever found him not to contact loved ones — he had already sent them notes. He also left a whole website explaining his actions.

An excerpt:

I’ve planned to end my own life for as long as I remember. I didn’t put a date on it, however, until June 11, 2012. I never accepted the (what I would call…) archaic notion that I should simply die at some point – either in a long drawn out miserable death or in an instant for which I was not prepared. That was an insane thought in my orderly world and I knew the only way I could be confident about going out the way I wanted was to do it at a relatively early age.

I was pretty much comfortable living a somewhat abnormal life because I was simply not willing to make the necessary sacrifices in order to have a more normative life. Besides, I always felt that being different was something to be proud of. Although “normal” is a moving target and is nothing like it was 30 years ago, I stayed well in front of the term for most of my life and wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Reading through the site’s pages, you’ll quickly notice just how organized and deliberate everything is. He wrote: “I decided I wanted to have one of the most organized good-byes in recorded history and I think I will be successful.”

Where there is organization and obvious intelligence though, there’s a terrible lack of happiness. He wrote on the picture page:

My mom said I was always a happy baby. It seems odd to me that would be the case considering I’m not sure I ever really learned what happiness was as an adult.

Manley had two ex-wives, but no children. He wanted what the luckiest of us have: loved ones to remember him.

The point of this is that with only a brother and sister, no children, no nieces or nephews, I will have been forgotten pretty fast unless I did something that was way outside the box. And, so would my parents have been forgotten. At least on this site, I also remembered them. As long as MartinManleyLifeAndDeath.com exists, so do their memories.

And, for that, I do not apologize.

The least we can do for Manley is to ensure he’s not forgotten. But even better, if there’s a Martin Manley in your life, reach out to him or her.

Suicide.org notes that untreated depression is the biggest cause of suicide. There are resources available in Minnesota, both for suicide and mental health issues.

  • It seems incredibly disingenuous to include that final sentence coda after wallowing in a suicide note/website that seems single-mindedly determined to teach other people why it’s a good idea to kill themselves. I’m really disappointed in this editorial decision, to see the very least.

    • Nathaniel Minor

      Ashley: Thank you for the comment. I certainly am not trying to be disingenuous. If anything, I think that showing how this man thought could be helpful to those who can offer help to people who may be suicidal.

      To that end, I’ve added a few links to resources.

    • Greg Moore

      Ashley, what’s wrong with suicide? He made a decision, obviously thought it out. It was his decision to make.

      • I’m selfish. I think people should stay alive as long as there’s a possibility their life could improve. He wasn’t on his death bed, or in an incredible amount of physical pain.

        Also, his decision was his own to make. Maybe he wasn’t depressed. But plenty of other people are trapped by the incredible weight of depression, and make decisions they might otherwise regret because of it. I don’t want the media to encourage that finality.

        I am a depressed person. I have suffered from suicidal ideation. It’s terrible, and I’m always glad I come out of it. I want other people to have the opportunity to come out of it as well.

        • mamacitaconpistoles

          <3 AL

        • nowisee

          God loves you. He can help you out of your depression. Find Him, he knows your name and will hear your prayers.

        • Greg Moore

          A majority (>90%) of people who contemplate suicide will regret it. The media is telling the story, not trying to sway someone one way or the other. If someone is depressed or not in an able mental state to make rational decisions (_especially_ ones regarding his or her own life) they should not consider suicide or any other choice that hurts themselves.

          However, if you’re in good mental health and feel like it is the right thing to do, you should discuss this with someone who may be able to offer reasons to change your mind or say “okay, i understand.”

          According to U.S. Census Bureau projections, by 2050, one-in-five Americans will be 65 or older and at least 400,000 people will be 100 or older – but a majority of U.S. adults say they would not want to live to see 120 years old.

  • Anonymous

    He forgot to pay enough for the bandwidth and traffic to his site.. so now that its not available till probably next month.. Im sure most people will forget about this unless yahoo decides to overlook the bandwidth issue.

    • none

      I hope that is the case. Wrong or right, he wanted the site up. I hope it is honored.

    • Greg Moore

      here is a mirror: http://www.zeroshare.info/

      • Cheechee

        I went and read it and this man was not mentally incapacitated by far. He stated his reasoning and it is apparent. I am clinically depressed and I am not suicidal but at the same time I do not think that his decision is right or wrong. It was simply his decision to make and he made a choice with much thought.

  • Odyssey2020

    I read Martin’s sports blog for the last 3 or 4 years and I can’t say I’m totally surprised by this ending. He kept on churning out these unbelievable posts day after day after day with no break. About a year ago I figured out there’s no way he could keep the pace up for much longer. He once posted he was going to slow down but he never did.

    Anyway, Martin explains everything on his lifeanddeath site. He had a perfect storm of lifestyle to cause him to commit suicide: His complete and total obsession with sports stats, TOTAL Internet addiction, Lack of love/compassion, fading mental faculties caused by a junk food/cola diet and old age. The roots of all this started when he was very young, which he also explains very well.

    There’s a lot of morals to this story: Take care of yourself, get help if you need it, don’t obsess over one thing, don’t drink 2 liters of soda every day, exercise, interact with people.

    We all have so much, too much. Yes, the Internet and TV and Cable and Sports and Junk Food and Nice house and huge bottles of soda for 60 cents are great. Unfortunately it just makes our brains pleasure center go haywire. Maybe it’s all best that we just go outside and play.

    As for me, my days of drinking soda are O V E R.