Martin Manley details suicide, sets off treasure hunt

Screen shot of Martin Manley's website with inset of Manley. The Kansas sports journalist explained his suicide on the site and left clues to a possible hidden treasure.

Martin Manley, a Kansas sports journalist, left behind a website on which he explains in detail why he chose to commit suicide.

A Kansas man who committed suicide on his 60th birthday set off a treasure hunt when he indicated on a website he created that he might have stashed thousands of dollars' worth of gold and silver coins in a city park.

Martin Manley, a former Kansas City Star sports statistics editor and blogger, killed himself outside an Overland Park police station on Thursday morning.

Police declined to release details of the suicide, but local media reports said Manley shot himself. Police told MSN News on Friday that no one witnessed the suicide.

Manley extensively documented his reasoning for killing himself on a personal website, Martin Manley: My Life and Death, that he put up on the day he died. (A mirror site is here if that site is inaccessible).

"I always thought I might commit suicide someday. When I considered the options of living to be old and all the negatives associated with that alternative, I knew there was no way on earth I was going to allow myself to deal with such an intolerable situation," he wrote. "In order to guarantee that I avoided it, I also knew that I had to commit the act before I was incapacitated and unable to carry it out."

On the website, Manley said he bought $30,000 worth of gold and silver coins 15 years ago and estimated the stash is worth more than $200,000 today. Immediately following that, he posted a set of numbers that appeared to be GPS coordinates.

The coordinates mapped to a spot inside Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.


Several people — "probably less than two dozen," according to Overland Park city spokesman Sean Reilly — showed up at the park on Friday, many with geocaching devices, hoping to locate the rumored stash.

But Reilly said police had swept a 1,000-square-foot area in the park with search detectors and didn't find anything.

"What we know from family members is that this individual did buy gold but at some point he sold it or gave it away. They feel this is a hoax and not true," Reilly told MSN News.

Reilly later told MSN News that Manley had also sent a letter to his sister in which he revealed:

"You will see that I've given away almost all of my personal possessions. I've also given away a lot of money over the past several months to people that need it infinitely more than I ever would including all of my gold and silver."

As for the disappointed treasure hunters, Reilly said, "I would imagine their hopes and dreams of sudden riches are not being fulfilled."

Related: Can this famously sad song really cause people to commit suicide?

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