Monday, May 12, 2008

Bill McCauley, RIP

I was saddened to learn this morning of the death of Bill McCauley, who was my boss when he was Vice President of Operations for GlobalCenter for a year or so around 1999-2000. I last saw him in 2001 at NANOG 21, when he was working for a company called iAsiaWorks, and we chatted briefly. I never knew him well, but when I worked for him he would occasionally chat with me about network security.

Bill had left the technology field to run a food distributorship, Red Rock Foods, and recently opened a coffee shop in Queen Creek called Daily Buzz. Unfortunately, he was having financial troubles, and chose a gruesome and horrible way to end his own life, by backing his car into a storage area at his food distribution business, pouring gasoline behind his car, and setting it on fire. The fire burned him and his dachshund, Millikin, killing his dog and leading to his death in a hospital several hours after firefighters pulled him from his car, mortally injured but still alive.

His death has been reported at the Arizona-Coffee blog where he frequently posted. He apparently left no suicide note. It's very sad that he chose to end his life this way, as well as that of his dog.


MisBeaHaven said...

I just noticed this...Shocking and sad, indeed...I worked with Bill on a TBBS/Internet project in the mid 90s...He was one of the smartest people I ever met and an awesome individual...the world is a worse place for him not being in it. Rest in peace, Bill

Daniel Brown said...

Ditto on just noticing.

I, too, remember Bill from the TBBS days (he ran a BBS called "The Records Department"), though it was a bit earlier... 86-89 or so. Saw him a few times after and always struck me as a happy guy.

Not sure what inspired me to track him down... Did a few searches for what I knew about him and found the link on this page. Then saw the photo which confirmed what I was afraid of.

Why people do this is impossible to understand and an impossible decision to judge. I'll trust he had his reasons.

Wish I'd had a chance to say goodbye.


Todd M said...

Wow... I knew Bill from the days of The Records Department. Last spoke with him back in 2002. What a tragic loss.

RIP, Bill.

DataSurfer said...

I too knew him from The Records Department. That BBS was probably the longest running BBS of all time. Once he gave me one of his US Robotics 9600 baud modems when he upgraded. It sure beat the pants off the 2400 baud modem I had been using. I know the internet is a transient place but here are some links to pages that bear his name.

Updated Link to the article of his passing:

victor said...

it's coming up on 8 years now. Amazing how time flies. I still think of Bill (and Milikin) every now and then. I roast coffee down the street and around the corner from where it all happened. I wonder what Bill would be doing today if he was still here. His coffee shop (Daily Buzz), most certainly would have failed, as the location where it was has indeed failed several times since his departure (for various reasons). Red Rock Foods was not working. My guess is he'd have gone back into the tech business and been just fine, although he hated the idea of returning to it. An interesting tidbit that most don't know is that he had a substantial amount of 401k money built up that he would be tapping into by now; that's the part that doesn't make sense to me. Many bill collectors after him, walls closing in on several fronts, but he could have pulled through it. Maybe he couldn't stand the idea of losing face among his current peers (current at the time, which I was one of), whom all looked up so high to him.....