Saturday, July 14, 2007

Strunk Commits Suicide

I've just gotten off the phone with my mother, one of Nida Blanca's oldest and dearest friends. who asked me if I had heard the news. "Uy alam na ng buong Pilipinas, di mo pa alam...patay na daw si Rod Strunk." Alcuin Papa of the Philippine Daily Inquirer had several missed calls on her phone until he finally got a hold of her just before we spoke. It was from him that she had first heard the news.

Finally, the wheels of justice have turned. Or has it?

I immediately surfed the net to check if the news was true and this is what I found...

Rod Strunk was found dead in the parking lot of the Tracy Inn in Tracy, California. He had been living at the inn for the past week. A resident of Tracy, last Wednesday, Strunk decided to end his life by jumping from the balcomy of his room on the second floor of the inn. The 63-year old American actor, who had been accused of murdering his wife, actress Nida Blanca on November 7, 2001 in the parking lot of a condominium on Annapolist street in Greenhills was himself found by an unidentified woman, bleeding from the head and nose in the parking lot of the Tracy Inn. Initial reports from the coroner's office indicate that it is a suicide.

Nida Blanca and Rod Strunk's life both ended in a parking lot. One by murder and one by suicide. In life there are no coincidences. What could be the message here?

I do not like to pass judgment. Nida Blanca was my mother's dearest and closest friend and I had known her for most of my life until the time she passed away. I was the one who had to break the news to my mother that November 7, 2001 morning, today the reverse happened. I had written a front-page story for the Inquirer a few days after, outlining the events that transpired. We were at the morgue that morning together with the rest of Tita Nida's family. It was a very sad and confusing morning. Less than six years later, has justice been served?

Whatever drove Strunk to suicide is anyone's guess. He was living alone with no family and had immersed himself in volunteer work with a local television station. His death is just about as tragic as that of his wife's, and like her's there will remain many unanswered questions that will go with them to the grave unless they find a suicide note. What I cannot shake off though is the fact that he died in the parking lot by his own hand. That circumstance itself is very telling.

Find out more about Rod Strunk's death in this report from Tracy News

May his soul rest in peace.

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