Here’s a strange and tragic ending: A 107 year old man named Monroe Isadore was shot dead by SWAT officers at his home in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
Police were called to his home Saturday evening. When they approached the bedroom door he began firing. The police slipped a camera into the room and saw he was armed with a handgun. After unsuccessful negotiations police officers slipped gas into the room and Isadore fired rounds at them. Officers returned fire, killing him.
Other Great Reads: How to plan the perfect funeral
Just to give an idea of how shocked people were by the story, as of Monday morning CNN’s website had already logged more than 4,500 comments.
You would think that all centenarians—people over 100—die boring, happy deaths surrounded by their family, but as Isadore’s death suggests, that is not always the case. Here are some of the other more interesting centenarian deaths:
Jean-Frédéric Waldeck – French artist and explorer
Waldeck was born in 1766, though his life story is so swirled with mystery it’s uncertain whether he was born in Paris, Prague, Vienna or Great Britain. At age 19 he apparently traveled to South Africa and later served with Napoleon’s expedition in Egypt. One of his major contributions to society was for republishing a notorious set of 16th century pornographic prints titled I Modi. He also traveled extensively through Mexico and published a series of illustrations based on Maya and Aztec sculpture. He was one of the main supporters of the idea that there was a connection between the Mayans and ancient Egypt. He also supported the idea that there was contact between the Mayans and the mythical lost continent of Atlantis. Waldeck died, reportedly, at the age of 109, while eying a beautiful woman near the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
Norman D. Vaughan – American Antarctic explorer and dogsled driver
Vaughan was born in 1905 in Massachusetts, the son of a wealthy shoe manufacturer. In 1928, he dropped out of Harvard and joined Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s 1928-1930 expedition to Antarctica. A mountain on the continent was named in his honor. During World War II Vaughan served as a dogsled driver with the Army in Greenland. At age 68, bankrupt and divorced, he moved to Alaska to rebuild his life and became a champion dogsled racer, competing in 13 Iditarod races. In 1977, he cashed the Inauguration of President Jimmy Carter with a team of dog sleds. In 1994, at the age of 88 he participated in an expedition to climb 10,302 foot Mount Vaughan, the mountain named after him in Antarctica. He planned to return at the age of 100 and even appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to promote the expedition but the trip was canceled because of lack of funds. It was later rescheduled, but on his 100th birthday, on December 18, 2005, surrounded by friends and family, Vaughan had champagne. It was the first time he had drunken alcohol in his life—as a youth he had promised his mother he wouldn’t drink until he was 100. Several days later he died.
Francisco Malabo Beosá – King of a small island off the west coast of Africa
Beosá was born in 1896 on the island of Fernando Po, in what was then the country of Spanish Guinea, off the west coast of Africa. He was the son of former Bubi king Malabo Lopelo Melaka and the last legitimate successor of the Bubi Kingdom. Known as King Malabo II, Beosá was considered the spiritual father of the Bubi people, leading an animist religion based on the cult of Morim. He died at the age of 105 in the village of Moka, in the southern part of his kingdom. Beosá left a large family: nine children, 62 grandchildren, 84 great-grandchildren and 17 great-great-grandchildren. While there is no written report on exactly how Beosá died I imagine that even if he was merely surrounded by his immediate family, all 200 of them, it would have been pretty strange.
Bob Talley – Briton who died after talking to the Queen
In December, 2000, Talley reached his 100th birthday and promptly received a congratulatory message from Queen Elizabeth. “Yes, I made it,” he said, then promptly died. No matter, his friends and family were already gathered at his side in the nursing home and continued on with a planned birthday party. “It was great, dancing with each other and reading his cards with him lying there,” said one niece. “He knew he had reached 100 and I think he relaxed and just let go.”