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Unemployed Man Dies After Setting Self on Fire

April 2, 1985

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ An unemployed man who doused himself with gasoline and set himself afire after becoming depressed about not being able to find work has died from his injuries, authorities said.

William Morgan, 35, died Monday night in the burn unit at Barnes Hospital, a hospital spokesman said.

Morgan walked up to a pump at a southside station at about 6 a.m. Sunday and poured 46 cents worth of gasoline on his body and clothing, Officer Thomas Neske said.

Morgan then stepped into the street and set himself on fire, Neske said. Jack Garrett, the assistant manager of the station, put out the fire with an extinguisher.

Authorities were unable to talk to Morgan to find out why he had burned himself. Bobby Thorn, 37, an acquaintance of Morgan’s, said Morgan had been ″withdrawn and depressed″ after coming to St. Louis from Fredericktown a week earlier in an unsuccessful effort to find a job.

″He was looking for any kind of work at all,″ Thorn said. ″This is one of those sad situations.″

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