The CBZ Newswire

Halloween Special: Suicide of Yankee Sullivan

by on Oct.29, 2012, under Boxing News, Obituaries

By Christopher James Shelton

Disegni: Madame Coppolecchia – Art Director: Francesca Mazzilli


An Irishman lay dead on the Vigilance committee floor;

A severed artery with dull knife produced such bloody gore;

The pugilist had not been charged with any legal crime;

Although San Franciscans felt the pug overstayed his time.

Suicide is freedom when there’s nothing left to choose;

Life’s a failed journey for which all persons one day lose;

A noose around the neck with thousands cheering sporting game;

Yankee Sullivan killed himself with results much the same.

The Irishman had achieved boxing’s highest rung of fame;

Caunt and Hammond met defeat as did also Hammer Lane;

Genius in the guise of fists produced a wily flower;

Undefeated ‘til he faced the wrath of Hyer power.

Arrests were part of daily life with justice as fool’s gold;

Release with New York governor pardons traded, bought or sold;

Some said San Francisco is the place for steady job;

‘Til Yankee Sullivan found himself seized by an armed mob.


Westward vigilantes placed their faith in God and guns:

“Someone must protect our wives, daughters and sons.”

Public hangings of Cora and Casey sent a message thus:

“We shan’t wait for courts or laws with all their legal fuss.”


Emily Mary Sullivan shared her husband’s gravest fight;

A suicide prevents a man from final Catholic rite;

Gloomed depression fear unfolds mixed through stress and strife;

“Please don’t take my darling Francis from our daughter’s life.”

A dead man tells no tales may not in fact be true;

Could murder by Vigilante guards leave us without clue?

A confession note of crimes was published after death;

Penance through eternal Hell with Sullivan’s final breath?

Ghouls and demons haunt the mind with vice-grip on the soul;

Our lives are filled with tragic circumstance with steady toll;

It’s not how a person lives but dies defines their tortured Sith;

The rise and fall of Yankee Sullivan transcends life to myth.

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