From 'free buffet for life' to suicide: A sad tale of depression and obsession in Las Vegas

Las Vegas
Credit: Bret Robertson via Flickr

This is a somber reminder of how a life can unravel to the point of tragedy. Yet the details are so bizarre and, well, detailed, that the story told in the Las Vegas Review-Journal is  morbidly gripping.

A guy named John Noble shot himself to death on Easter Sunday at the casino buffet where his free meals for life were revoked in 2013 because allegedly he was harassing female employees.

The next day, a package from Noble was received at the newspaper. Review-Journal reporter Henry Brean writes: 

In his final, angry message to the world, delivered to the newspaper Monday morning, John Noble blamed his suicide on depression that set in after the Henderson resort awarded him free meals at the buffet for life then banned him from the property in 2013 for harassing some of the women working there.

“Today, I end my life due to the M Resort Spa Casino and its employees,” the 53-year-old Noble wrote in one of two suicide notes he included with an obsessively detailed dossier on the people he blamed for destroying his life.

You would think that anybody who wrote "I end my life due to the M Resort Spa Casino and its employees" would read back those words and realize that they were about to make a terrible, final and unnecessary mistake. But people with severe depression can view their problems disproportionately to the point of delusion.

For example:

Noble’s hand-bound stack of notes and documents stretches on for more than 270 pages and includes a table of contents, photographs and a two-hour DVD of him talking about his troubles.

The second-to-last page, titled “The Curse,” spells out all the harm he wishes on those he believed wronged him. Included on the list are several women who worked at the buffet and who Noble showered with gifts and unwanted attention after he won meals for life there in September 2010.

The poor guy fell apart and chronicled the descent through the filter of his own anger and irrationality. His mother died, he threatened suicide in 2013 (and was briefly hospitalized), and he attacked the casino in social media. Finally, Noble assembled years of notes and documents meticulously detailing the wrongs done to him and the justice he seeks, made a 2-hour DVD, mailed it all to the Review-Journal, then went down to the buffet and killed himself.

The only upbeat note in this entire sad tale is that Noble didn't take anyone with him. That's a lot more than can be said of the Germanwings co-pilot.

This story, "From 'free buffet for life' to suicide: A sad tale of depression and obsession in Las Vegas" was originally published by Fritterati.

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