Harvard Graduate Kirk Wright commits suicide

This is really sad news, my heart truly goes out to this man’s family. Kirk Wright, a Harvard educated manager of a popular hedge fund killed himself this past Memorial Day weekend after being convicted of mail fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering in federal court.

Kirk Wright was the manager of the Marietta Hedge Fund. The bigger issue here to me is that a well educated, intelligent brother has taken his own life. A problem we often neglect in black communities and believe it or not white communities as well is how serious depression really is. It seems we have yet to find a productive way as a society to deal with how people emotionally handle times of crisis. Often these states of depression drive people right off the edge and they do drastic things like committing violent crimes even inflicting pain upon themselves. I send my deepest condolences to this brothers family and I pray that as a community we can start discussing the need to make mental health a core issue in our lives and finding beneficial remedies.

for more on this story check out:
http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/stories/2008/05/26/wright_0527.html?cxntlid=homepage_tab_newstab

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21 Responses to “Harvard Graduate Kirk Wright commits suicide”

  1. CLC Says:

    Hmmm…..not sure how to feel about this one. There are two sides to this coin. Suicide, I would like to believe was his last resort after exhausting all possible outcomes. And well, this is a man that was taught to analyze every possible outcome. Hmm… For him, maybe disgrace was a destiny far worse than….I hear you when you say depression is a problem often neglected within the black community. However, so is the taunting which I will safely assume probably would have gone something like this, “who goes off to Harvard as a black man, graduates, gets a high paying job, and loses it all on someting like mail fraud?” We like to pretend that we are always so supportive and he could have gone home to his family and he would have made it through. And I do believe he would have made it through, but not without some some backlash from his “community.” The truth is we really don’t know what home was like….I’m not saying I agree. However, I do empathize with him.

  2. Phil Says:

    This death is tragic, because suicide itself is tragic. His wife, ex-wife, and children will have pain beyond belief for a good while afterwards. All of us, who have lost some one (or will lose someone) in this manner can never bring to bear why they really did it.

    But, without being too mean, I have no sympathy to him for what he did to others in stealing their money. Will his death put back the millons others invested in him? This is not as much about depression as it is about guilt and facing responsibility for own actions. His family ends up paying financially and emotionally for years now because of his own behavior.

    Having gone thru depression and knowing those who have also commited suicide, it would be a disservice to all who really are suffering with this malady to compare Kirk Wright’s issues with them. I fully agree that mental illness are things we don’t talk enough about in the black community, but this man’s actions ain’t one of them.

  3. PGS Says:

    He got caught and was disgraced, and that probably led to his depression. Depression may have been part of the problem, but suicide was the easy way out. The decedent was facing a lengthy prison sentence and fines which he couldn’t pay out. He took the easy way out in his suicide just like he took the easy way out in his business dealings. Instead of doing the right thing in business for years, he wanted all the money up front, so he cheated. Instead of paying his debts to his clients by working hard, he stole their money, and instead of paying his debts to society by serving his sentence, he committed suicide and checked out early.

  4. FJ Says:

    I looked at some stories on this and it seems like there’s a lot more to this than depression. According to the Boston Globe, he even swindled his own mother. All the money he stole was spent on jewelry, real estate and a $500K wedding. Very sad. I feel for his family.

  5. ES Says:

    “serious depression” the man was an educated thief and was not man enough to deal with his punishment.

  6. ap says Says:

    I FEEL SO SAD FOR HIS FAMILY….HIS 4 SONS…WHAT WILL THEY THINK!!!
    A HARVARD GRAD…WITH ALL POSSIBLE DREAMS WITHIN HIS GRASP…
    A BRONX RAISED YOUNGMAN…MOTIVATED BY GREED….HE HAD EVERYTHING…A BEAUTIFUL HOME…A BEAUTIFUL, EDUCATED WIFE WHOM GAVE HIM FOUR SONS…..HE THUS..LOST HIS WIFE TO DIVORCE…HIS BUSINESS DUE TO GREED AND HIS LIFE DUE TO SHAME…
    GOD BLESS THOSE BEAUTIFUL FOUR BOYS…..

  7. renee Says:

    As a person who knew Kirk Wright, he was a bright, articulate man with what appeared to be a bright future. He was a great father to his 4 beautiful sons. It is truly unfortunate that at such a young age they have to deal with not having there father at all. Yes many may say, well he was going to jail for a long time, how much of a father could he have been, but we must take into consideration that communication between he and his sons could have continued.

    Was he depressed? I can’t say. Did he feel bad for what he did? Definitely.

  8. Kenneth King Says:

    To all those who have no clue.I was a juror on that case.Yes he was guilty,but not the only one involved.I looked this young man in his face for 12 days hoping to help free him.There were many people working at IMA who got money,car, loans,and easy desk job with big salaries.Doctors,NFL players,accountants,and so call friends cut deal so this man could take all the blame with friends like that who needs enemies.When the trail was over we were asked if we wanted to meet the prosecutors I refused.I told the officers the hold thing stinks he did not do this along.I am sadden by the outcome many people have done worse and recieved less time than Kirk was going to recieve. He was a young man with big dreams who got caught up I pray for his family.Kirk’s mother showed grace and compassion toward her son. I feel it is my duty to tell his family I’m sorry.

  9. nativenotes Says:

    thanks for your words renee. i look through some of the posts and I see a lot of judgment being passed, none of us are perfect. the bigger thing here is four black men will grow up without their fathers. I’m not even trying to get religous on you but last time I checked only God can judge and he also forgives.

    Thanks Ken for your insight into the situation, like I said this is definitely a tragedy!

  10. michael webster Says:

    I follow this story from almost beginning to end, which can be found here:

    http://www.bizop.ca/blog2/lawsuits/kirk-wright-commits-suicide-in.html

    Kirk Wright’s suicide only raises troubling issues, which Ken alluded to.

    There were a number of people who benefitted from Wright, and one could start with the doctor’s that sponsored and championed him.

    There was also the real estate developer who seemed to use Wright’s investment vehicles as a way of improving his own real estate developments: invest $y in Wright, and get $y+x in investment back from Wrigh.

    Also, there was Steve Atwater shilling for Wright, and Atwater certainly knew better being involved in a prior scam – for which he scalped the NFL.

    Finally, the fees incurred by the official receiver of the bankrupt estates are just amazing.

    In the end, Wright probably realized how much he had been betrayed by people whom he trusted.

    Was he wrong and a criminal, well yes.

    But some other people should also look hard into the mirror.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    This is a tragedy in every conceivable way. With all of the people, and there were many, and financial institutions involved, if only someone, somewhere along the way had done their job properly, all of this could have been avoided. Oh, except that the hedge fund industry gets a free pass. Only other people have to pay, in both blood and sweat. THIS WAS ALL UNNECESSARY, AS THOSE WHO KNOW BETTER ARE VERY AWARE OF.

  12. Vernell Says:

    I don’t think he felt bad about what he did. I think he felt bad that he was found guilty.

    I’m quite sure that when he hung himself, the last thing on his mind was the people from whom he stole, or his four children. All he was thinking about was himself. His problem wasn’t depression; he was just a sociopath.

  13. iggy Says:

    depression? can we stop dancing around the issue?

    most of us would be depressed if we faced life in prison after a decade of living in 5 star hotels/mansions/luxury cars.
    wright stole money, had a lavish lifestyle, got caught, killed himself in shame.

    his 4 boys will miss more than their morally corrupt daddy, theyll miss the houses and $$ that the feds will without a doubt repo.

    what is “depressing” is that he had all the opportunity to make a solid honest living, but he chose to cut corners and steal from friends and family and got caught. if he makes it to heaven, hell must be a pretty bare place.

  14. Dustin Says:

    Well, Iggy … you seem to know a lot about the lavish lifestyle that his fours boys experienced. Are you sure that his boys lived lavishly? Are you sure that they had access to the $$? What are you actually sure about??
    His four sons knew nothing about their dad’s moral curruptitude … what they know is that their dad is now dead. They have no understandding of what he did or why he did it … and neither do we.

    God bless those children and God rest his tormented soul.

  15. DG Says:

    I was also a juror on Kirk Wright’s trial. Witness after witness stated that Kirk was never forthcoming with hedge fund statements, even when his partners requested them. It was very clear to me the he was the only one involved in this Ponzi scheme. No one can dispute all of the evidence we saw in invoices for thousands of dollars in jewelry, property, $500,0000 in wedding expenses and cars where Kirk signed checks straight out of the IMA expense account.

  16. BK Says:

    Others I believe were definitely involved. If the numbers repeated in the press have any truth then where is 70 million dollars? Are those alive in the know? How does someone hang themselves yet end up being found on the floor of the cell via an open cell door?

  17. DG Says:

    BK – show me the proof. I heard all of the testimony and saw all of the evidence that was presented in court because I was a juror on Kirk Wright’s trial. You’re forming opinions based only on information that you’ve read in the press. The jury saw much more. The partners tried to create a transparent company, yet Kirk Wright refused.

    In terms of the the jail cell door open – read the May 27 AJC article closely. It states that inmates are routinely free to roam their units 6-10am. You should get all of the facts before drawing conclusions.

  18. PGS Says:

    DG, well said. It’s nice hearing the straight facts from someone who actually heard them first hand. And good call on the cell door. Just because you hang yourself, it doesn’t mean you stay tied to wherever you slipped into the noose. He could have fallen or maybe he just hung himself low to the ground. Who knows? BK, don’t go after conspiracy theories without the facts.

  19. Anonymous Says:

    IT’S ALL GREED…EVERYONE…IF YOU GOT THOUSANDS OF HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS…AND SOME WHO ARE LUCKY ENOUGH MILLIONS…THESE NFL PLAYERS CRYING OVER MONEY…THEY SHOULD THANK THE LORD THEY WERE BLESSED ENOUGH TO HAVE THE TALENT TO HAVE THAT TYPE OF MONEY AND TO FOOLISHLY LOSE IT TO GAIN EVEN MORE IS A SIN IN ITSELF…I THINK IT WAS GOD’S WAY OF SAYING THAT THERE COMES A POINT WHEN ENOUGH IS ENOUGH AND YOU SHOULD BE SATIFIED WITH WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN YOU…HAVING 2-3 HOMES WORTH MILLIONS IS OVERKILL WHEN PEOPLE ARE STARVING AND HOMELESS…MIDCLASS PEOPLE ARE GETTING FORECLOSED ON!!!! I AM NOT SAY WHAT KIRK DID WAS ALRIGHT…BUT THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON. AND SOCIETY HAS TO TAKE SOME OF THE BLAME TO WHAT HAPPENED TO KIRK…THE MEDIA AND SOCIETY HAS MADE FAME AND MONEY AND GREED PIROITY….HOW CAN WE CREATE THEIVES AND THEN PUNISH THEM!!! hOW CAN A YOUNG MAN WITH SO MUCH POTENTIAL TURN CROOKED…I THINK WE AS A SOCIETY SHOULD TAKE A HARD LOOK IN THE MIRROR…LET HE WITHOUT GREED LAY DOWN HIS WALLET! OH AND TO PUT UP YOUR CHILDS COLLEGE MONEY IS A SIN IN IT’S SELF. NEVER GAMBLE WITH WHAT YOUR NOT ABLE TO PART WITH, BECAUSE ONCE IT LEAVES YOURS HANDS IT MAY RETURN AGAIN….PLAIN FLOOISHNESS!

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Society may place more emphasis on money than it should, but that doesn’t excuse anyone from stealing, particularly from widows, the elderly, and retirees, among the many others scammed by this con man. He also deliberately targeted blacks, knowing that they would be more likely to trust him. The sad truth is, he deserved to die. Too bad he didn’t do so before destroying the lives of hundreds of other people. And yes, there are aspects of the financial and regulatory systems that are at blame too. It’s indeed a very sad commentary on the whole of American society.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    I am sadden about the loss of Kirk. I only had a chance to talk to him on the phone while he was in jail. He was very knowledgeable of his business and return investments. I made plenty of phone calls to his family when he could not reach them, otherwise. I always felt that was very depressing because I will support my family when times get difficulty. Just remember that we are “humans” not God and some good & bad choices can cause a downfall in life. I truly feel he was the “scape goat” for this company. I was really hoping that he will be found “not guilty” based on the facts and not on government tampered witnesses. If anyone know of the final arrangements for Kirk, please write back.

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