Questions Swirl Around Michael Scott's Untimely Death

Scott looked upbeat in the weeks before his death, and he didn't leave a note

The Cook County Medical Examiner ruled Michael Scott’s death a suicide. But not everyone is on board with that diagnosis.

Questions are swirling about the death of the Chicago Public School Board President, and some are having trouble believing that an upbeat man like Scott would take his own life. 

"We know what the ME ruled," said Police Superintendent Jody Weis during a press conference. "But there are a lot of questions out there."

The Sun-Times’ Michael Sneed, for instance, wants to know why Scott neglected to leave a suicide note. One would assume a man with that many ties to the community would want to say goodbye.

"In many instances, a note apologizing to family and loved ones is left behind by a suicide victim," a source told Sneed.

The Chicago Tribune’s John Kass asks what a 60-year-old man could have been doing in a desolate, unlit part of town.

“The place where he fell is a no-man's land along the North Branch of the Chicago River, a difficult place to reach, especially for a 60-year-old stumbling around in the pitch darkness, over uneven ground, with no light and no moon,” Kass writes. “It is not a place for public men like Scott. Rather, it is a place for homeless junkies and rats. It is a place to hide.”

Another Sun-Times columnist, Mary Mitchell, can’t reconcile Scott’s jovial attitude with that of a suicide. Mitchell saw Scott just two weeks before.

“If you had asked me to describe his mood, I would have said he was as upbeat as I've ever seen him,” she writes.

Her sources are having trouble with the death, too.

"I have met with Michael Scott over the years and I have never seen a suicidal tendency in his spirit," said Conrad Worrill, a longtime professor at the Jacob Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University, to Mitchell. "I just do not believe Michael Scott committed suicide.”

The Chicago Daily Observer, a web-based news and opinion site, openly raised the question of foul play.

“While the news reports indicate that it was a suicide I do hope that an appropriate investigation is done to make sure that it was not a murder masked to look like a suicide. There are many angry people in this world and you never know who might act out. But either way, we have lost a great civic treasure.”

Much of the reaction on Twitter mirrored what the city’s newspaper columnists are writing.

“I just really do not believe that Michael Scott's death is a suicide. Puh-leez....the dangerous game of Chicago politics...smdh,” wrote missgambrell.

“What really happened to CPS board President #Michael Scott? Suicide or homicide?” born2boss tweeted.

The Chicago Police Department will continue with its death investigation as more and more questions mount.

One of the first places they plan to check is Scott’s will to see if he amended the document recently, the Sun-Times notes.

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