Debian Linux Founder Ian Murdock Found Dead In Apparent Suicide Following Multiple Police Encounters

The open source community has lost a giant contributor this past Monday. His name is Ian Murdock, founder of the Debian Project, which he created while attending Purdue University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in computer science in 1996. Sadly, Murdock is dead at 42, having seemingly taken his own life just days after a tussle with San Francisco police.

Leading up to his death, Murdock posted several disturbing messages on Twitter accusing the police of mistreatment and abuse. One of his posts alluded to sexual assault from a female officer who "ripped off my underwear.. I guess that's not considered rape of you're not a woman being raped."

Another post referred to police as "uneducated, evil, and sadistic," adding that they shouldn't be trusted.

Ian Murdock

"The rest of my life is to fight against the police.. they are NOT friends, so don't ever believe otherwise," Murdock tweeted.

San Francisco police confirmed that Murdock was arrested the day before his death, saying he was yelling outside his residence. Police detained Murdock because he matched the description of a person that was reported to have been trying to break into a residence. Police say Murdock became violent when put in in the back of a patrol car.

Murdock announced his intention of committing suicide on Twitter just hours before seemingly following through. It's a sad end for a brilliant man who may have suffered from a mental illness, and hopefully he'll be remembered more for his contributions to the open source community than the series of events leading up to his demise.

"In the past decade, Ian’s contributions to the tech community continued, as CTO of the Linux Foundation, as a senior leader at Sun Microsystems (including serving as Chief architect of Project Indiana); and most recently as Vice President of Platforms at Indianapolis-based ExactTarget, which became part of Salesforce in 2012," Docker stated in a blog post.

"We consider ourselves lucky to have known Ian and worked with him. He amazed everyone whom he worked with for the depth of his thinking, passion and experience. He was truly brilliant and an inspiration to many of us; his death is a loss to all whom he has known and touched," Docker continued.

Murdock was a member of Docker's technical staff when he passed away.