Artist's 1959 Death May Have Followed Fall or Push: Report

A forensic pathologist says the mysterious 1959 death of a Connecticut artist was the result of hypothermia but he may have been assaulted or pushed to the ground.

Pathologist Michael Baden said Monday that following autopsies last autumn he believes 77-year-old Ellis Ruley could have died if he collapsed because of a "cardiac abnormality." Or, he says, Ruley could have been pushed.

The Bulletin reports Baden says Ruley fell to the ground and froze to death but can't say how he fell.

Baden says Ruley's 38-year-old son-in-law, Douglas Harris Jr., was strangled before his body was placed upside down in a well in 1948.

The bodies were exhumed last year. Norwich police say they'll use Baden's findings to renew investigations into the deaths, initially ruled accidental.

Ruley's paintings came to the art world's attention decades after his death.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us