This Article is About
suicide
sexual urges
world war ii
Did Alan Turing Really Commit Suicide?
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Did Alan Turing Really Commit Suicide?

On June 23rd Google displayed an interesting and puzzling doodle honouring Alan Turing's birthday 100 years ago. The doodle was an interactive animation of a Turing machine.

Alan Mathison Turing was one of the most influential mathematicians of the twentieth century. A true innovator of artificial intelligence, he formalized concepts such as algorithm and computation by designing the famous Turing machine, which consists of a hypothetical device used to simulate how a computer thinks.

Turing is also known as a code breaker during World War II. He designed, in collaboration with fellow mathematician Gordon Welchman, the Bombe, an electromechanical machine that could help break German Enigma messages.

Despite of his remarkable achievements, Turing suffered unfair treatment due to his open homosexuality. It actually occurred when an ex-lover and his accomplice tried to break into Turing's home. Turing reported the incident to the police leading to questioning and subsequent discovery of his homosexuality.

In 1952, England considered homosexuality as illegal. He was then given two options: Go to jail or chemical castration to supposedly suppress his sexual urges.

He chose the latter, not necessarily because he was afraid to go to jail but because he was concerned that he was not going to be able to continue his work in Manchester University where he had access to one of the only existing computers in the world.

Turing died in 1954 from cyanide poisoning. The police reported suicide as the cause of death, more specifically poisoning from eating an apple drenched in cyanide. The apple had been found next to his bed. However, the infamous apple was never tested for cyanide.

Professor of Philosophy Jack Copeland gave a conference this Saturday 23rd where he questioned the coroner's verdict and came up with a different and more convincing hypothesis on how Turing actually died.

Turing was an avid researcher, and as such, he had been doing experiments in a small room in his house he called the nightmare room. Here, he would electroplate spoons with gold using potassium cyanide.

It was during these experiments that Turing had been careless.

Thus, Prof. Copeland proposes that Turing's cause of death was cyanide poisoning from inhalation of cyanide fumes.

Other researchers argue that the experimental setups during his last days where just a facade to cover his suicidal intentions.

Jack Copeland said that all evidence should be taken seriously and that accidental death proves to be the more plausible cause of Turing's death.

In any case and regardless of how he died, Alan Turing contributions were crucial for the development of computer science, artificial intelligence, and code breaking. These are the reasons he will continue to be honoured and remembered the most.


Street Talk

I'm sorry to say that enough evidence is given for suicide. Having worked with KCN myself in electroforming and other experiments I know that the amount of KCN found in Alan's stomach was more than enough to bring on death within 10 min. of drinking, yes drinking, about a full cup of high concentrated solution in water, not by taking a couple of bites out of a red delicious apple which was his favorite and kept a bowl of them on a table in his living room downstairs next to a window. The apple was not tested because of poor investigative work by the police, it should have been taken as evidence, so we will never know if the apple was laced with KCN. What most do not know is that Alan kept great control of his emotions to the point that most considered him 'aloof', 'anti social', 'odd', 'Autistic' etc,etc... He therefore was terribly misunderstood. Alan had romanticized death by suicide most of his life and towards the end of his life a number of terrible things were happening to him at once, (his court conviction, hormone therapy, or I say, 'torture', not able to run from gaining weight,(a huge loss to him which was very important to him for a number of reasons which I will not go into now), a fortune teller telling him bad things, the police watching him everywhere he went causing isolation, psychotherapy he volunteered for but made things worse for him, and finally, if all this wasn't enough, the last thing which pushed him over the edge that happened a few days before his death, which I will not elaborate on now, because it'd take too long. Also Alan prepared his Last Will and Testament just a few months before he died, a big sign that he was preparing. Alan could be depressed and no one would know it because he would hide it by acting just the opposite so not to arouse suspicion or concern from anyone, not even his closer friend or his mother or brother knew. Alan never had true love, never had a true 'best friend to confide his most inner feelings to which he very desperately needed more than anything else. All of Alan's actions and apparent 'jolly good' mood, as was reported, for me are big 'red flags' to whom knows him intimately. These behaviors were not Alan's usual behavior. One who was almost always calm, controlled, low keyed, quiet, reserved, introspective, soft spoken, and not one for outbursts of human emotions, as Spok in Star Trek would say, expressed outside of himself. To see Alan simply smile was, for me, a huge outward expression of happiness from Alan, though sometimes he would burst out laughing unexpectedly on occasion. What we do all know is that he was a truly beautiful soul, a rare gift of mind that numbers one in every several hundred years and a wonderful human being that was not treated with the dignity and respect that was due him. Most Sincerely, Julia M. Turing

Reply
  about 1 year ago

Interesting, thanks for sharing this!

Reply
  about 2 years ago
You May Also Like
Suicide! - Such A Waste
Suicide seems such a waste of humanity, and a tragedy for those remaining behind. I stake no claim as an expert of the mental anguish being experienced by those that end their lives in this way, I've never committed suicide, and if I have, this is the voice of one…
By: Rob Ainslie in  News and Society  >  Crime   Feb 10, 2012  
4
  Likes: 1

What Happens After the War on Terror?
It’s said that one of the most difficult and dangerous places in the world to be a woman is Afghanistan and a cursory reading of the facts and figures relating to that country show why. Despite a Constitution which guarantees equality between the sexes, entrenched cultural attitudes and practices relegate…
By: Deborah3 in  News and Society  >  International   Apr 13, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

U.S. Military
In the recent situation in Afghanistan, people are wondering why we are over there. About 65 percent of American people want us out now and not later. As to what happen and how he able to get to the village about a mile away and do what he did is…
By: Daniel Anderson in  News and Society  >  Military   Mar 13, 2012  
8
  Likes: 2

Are Our Physical Bodies on Loan to Us
The longer I live, the more I pretend to know more and more about life. I am not now, nor have I ever been a rocket scientist. Nonetheless, I think we all have wondered about life beyond the norm. Questions like, who are we, how did we get here, what…
By: ed smith in  News and Society   Apr 07, 2012  
2
  Likes: 1

Traffic And Road Construction
I was sitting in traffic the other day trying to get to college to pick up my daughter from her classes at the local community college thinking? Why? I don't understand why the traffic is at a stand still at 2:30 in the afternoon? I waited about 20 minutes going…
By: Jim Collier in  News and Society  >  Pure Opinion   Feb 23, 2012  
0
  Likes: 1

Mass Grave Discovered In Libya, Linked to Prison Riot In 1996
A mass grave has been found in Libya, near the Abu Salim prison in Tripoli. The grave, found with the cooperation of former prison guards, is believed to hold the bodies of victims of a 1996 massacre and could hold as man as 1200 or more bodies. The bones and…
By: Jodie Lester in  News and Society   Sep 28, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

A Differnet But Better Social Network
I want to bring attention to a new social network yes Iknow that these kind of sites have been popping up left and right since the facebook movie "The Social Network". These social networks are very important in all of our lives it helps us to easily connect to friends…
By: Jeffrey2 in  News and Society   Jul 27, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Sinking Ships And Sinking Hopes In Libya As Sanctions Continue to Make More Flee
Witnesses claimed that they had seen parts of the ship, while others claimed to have seen bodies floating in the sea. Those witnesses were aboard a second ship, which left the port city of Tripoli not long after the first, overcrowded ship sank just off the shore. That ship is…
By: Dan Polsing in  News and Society   May 16, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Maria to Arnie; “i Won’t Be Back”: Schwarzenegger And Shriver Announce Split
In a joint statement, former California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, his wife of twenty five years, announced their split. The pair were first introduced by Tom Brokaw at a celebrity tennis match in the late seventies and married in 1986. The marriage, seemingly solid for all of these…
By: Sarah Jones in  News and Society   May 12, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Donate A Car New Jersey Today!
There’s a spare car parked in your garage. You also have an old car that you don’t use anymore and you’re planning to throw away. What you can do is to donate these cars to a car donations agency so it won’t go to waste. If you are able to…
By: sylvesterm in  News and Society   Jan 03, 2014  
0
  Likes: 0

Guide to Help You Plan for the Funeral Services
Planning for the funeral of your loved ones itself is an unpleasant subject to discuss about. But since death is inevitable, certain funeral arrangements need to be made. These are influenced by various cultural and religious traditions followed in different parts of the world. In the recent years, there are…
By: Rocco Polispina in  News and Society   Dec 27, 2013  
0
  Likes: 0

Athletes Are Going From Super Cool to Ice Cold to Prevent Soreness
Many people are familiar with the concept of pro athletes climbing into a tub of ice after a rough game, but now some athletes are taking that concept to a whole new level in the belief that it will ease the soreness after a long workout. But, whether or not…
By: Fiona Lyons in  News and Society   Sep 28, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Bombs Kill Worshippers: Another Deadly Day In Iraq
Saturday is being called one of the deadliest for Iraq, with thirty three people dead and many others injured. A bomb exploded just outside of a Sunni mosque in Baghdad, killing three of the worshippers and wounding several others as they were leaving for the night. Thirty minutes later, policemen…
By: Cara in  News and Society   Aug 30, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Apple Sues Samsung
Apple has sued Samsung for accusing them of copying their designs of Apple's most popular devices, the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. From claiming that Samsung have ripped of their designes and technoligies, to going as far as saying that Samsung have even copied their packaging, Apple seem to think…
By: Ryan Kuchel in  News and Society   Apr 19, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Ways Sydney Funeral Directors Can Support the Grieving Person
Death is inevitable and the loss of someone beloved and important is something that is unthinkable. it is the time that the individual needs someone beside him, who would understand his grief, share his feelings and provide him with a way through soft words to overcome this irreparable loss. However,…
By: Rocco Polispina in  News and Society   Jan 17, 2014  
0
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 1568    Report this Article