Ted Pillsbury apparently pulled his car to the side of road, stepped out, and fired a bullet into his head without leaving a note.
Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department has ruled Pillsbury’s death a suicide.
“He was found on the road beside the car,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Patricia Laney said.
A passerby called police shortly after 3 p.m. on March 26 to report a man was lying dead beside his car at the 11000 block of Hiram Road near I-20 east of Dallas.
Pillsbury, an art expert, major player on the international art scene, and former director of Fort Worth’s Kimbell Art Museum, died from a single gunshot to the head. The gun was found “with the body,” Laney said.
Investigators didn’t find a note, she said.
Friends are having trouble accepting that Pillsbury would do such a thing with no warning.
Pillsbury was almost always impeccably dressed in a suit and tie, and somewhat vain about his appearance. Fort Worth Weekly reporter Betty Brink recalls interviewing him about 10 years ago and being distracted by his hair implants.
Fort Worth resident Morris Matson has been friends with Pillsbury for years, and they exchanged emails the previous evening while discussing, as usual, various art happenings. Pillsbury signed his final email to Matson “with my very best as always.”
“That doesn’t sound like a guy contemplating suicide,” Matson said.
Pillsbury was in good spirits the last time they talked and showed no signs of distress or unhappiness, Matson said.
But Matson isn’t surprised that investigators didn’t find a note. Several years ago, Matson knew three unrelated people who committed suicide within six weeks of each other.
“Not a one left a note,” he said.
Dr. Antoon A Leenaars has researched and written about suicide notes and says less than half of the people who purposely kill themselves leave a note.