from peter margasak's the meter column chicago reader nov 10 06:
A Final Protest
last friday morning during rush hour a man set himself on fire near the ohio street exit on the kennedy expressway. he hadn't been officially identified at press time, but members of the local jazz and improvised music community say they're certain it was malachi ritscher, a long-time supporter of the scene who recorded more than 2000 live shows. bruno johnson, who owns the free-jazz label okka disk, received a package monday from ritscher that included a will, keys to his home, and instructions about what should be done with his belongings. johnson, a former chicagoan who now lives in milwaukee, started making calls and discovered that though police won't confirm it was ritscher until they get the results from dental tests, an officer told one of ritscher's sisters that all evidence points to the body being his. ritscher's car was found nearby, and he hasn't shown up for work since thursday.what's more, on ritscher's web site chicago rash audio potential, a compendium of invaluable show postings, artwork, and photography, are a suicide note and an obituary. both indicate that he was deeply troubled by the war in iraq, and pinpoint it as a motive for suicide (though no method is specified). a note found at the scene of the immolation reportedly read "thou shall not kill."
a memorial will be held at elastic
2830 north milwaukee avenue
sunday november 12th from 5pm to 8pm