Talk:Deaths in 2005

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For prior discussions on this topic, see archive 0 (talk from when the content was at Recent deaths)archive1, archive2, and archive3.

Jean-Claude Usunier[edit]

I can't find any evidence of his death, other than what was on the Wikipedia page. I did find that he exists/existed, but should we remove him until proof is found?

Yeah, seems sensible. I can't find a source on the web either. Whouk (talk) 20:03, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
[1] If that is the same person, I can't believe he's 76! For one thing, he got his major in 1972. Also, the pic makes him look about 50-55 (which would sort of fit with the education and CV data). And also, a 76-year-old dying in a jet ski accident? *puzzled* Sam Vimes 22:26, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Madeleine Albright[edit]

Likewise no report anywhere else that Madeleine Albright is dead. Somebody playing pranks today?

Looks like it. I've removed her again. Worth keeping an eye on (and on her article, which was also changed earlier). She's sufficiently notable that her death would appear in all the major news sources if true. Whouk (talk) 21:41, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Technically, I removed her again. ;) --Syrthiss 21:52, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
So you did. Sorry :-) Whouk (talk) 22:14, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Listing of executed convicted murders in USA[edit]

I looked at the Wikipedia obituaries and noted that convicted murders executed in the USA are listed throughout the 2005 obits (and probably before 2005 - I'm still looking). Can someone please explain why? My guess is someone is trying to make a political statement against the death penalty in the US which, in my view, doesn't belong in the Wikipedia obituary section. There are other sections in Wikipedia where historical perspectives on the death penalty in the US would be more appropriate. An unrelenting listing of all US-executed murders goes beyond the bounds of what you would expect to see in a typical obituary listing (and why only the US? What about China, Iran and other countries? They execute criminals in far greater proportions than the US, but no entries to be found here!). To me, it smacks of a subtle attempt for someone to register their protest over the death penalty in the US.

In all other obituary listings I have seen in the US and around the world, obituaries are usually written about 'significant people' (i.e. famous politicians, movie/television stars, scientists, authors, activists and other noted/historical personalities). Occassionally, 'celebrity' murderers (Richard Speck, Timothy McVeigh, Ted Bundy, etc.) arguably deserve mention only because of the 'historical' atrocities they committed.

I recommend the serial listing of US-executed criminals be deleted from this section and leave the death penalty issues elsewhere. Or, if executed criminals deserve such mention, then print them for ALL countries, not just the US.

Thoughts? The preceding unsigned comment was added by Tjdigit (talk • contribs) .

I oppose the removal of these listings. I don't particularly care what the motive is for adding them, if they are deaths important enough to receive news coverage, then they can be added to this list. I do not oppose the addition of executions in other counties provided there is a verifiable source provided. We can revisit the issue if there becomes a problem with space. Gamaliel 17:42, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, I still stand by my statement, but I respect the opinons of others :-) Maybe I should stick to my favorites topics of music & NASA... LOL Tjdigit 17:57, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Certain people should be listed (examples: Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Tookie Williams (when/if he is executed), Kenneth Boyd (1,000th man executed since 1977), Gary Gilmore, Timothy McVeigh). However, others should not be listed.

I really think also they should be removed, I just don't relish the giant fight involved. I also think that every last WWI veteran who dies should not be listed, there over 300 left in the world still. Williamb 22:01, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Furthermore among the superold, the only ones who should be listed are the ones on that oldest people list. or if they are truly famous. Living to 107 or 8 is not unusual anymore. Certainly not news. Williamb 22:04, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

I am totally with Tjdigit, in fact I raised this very same point some time ago and was told there was no consensus either way as to include or exclude executed convicts from the US only. Yes, given the debate about the death penalty the acts may be significant but the people being executed are in no way deserving to be put in the same list as noted scientists, politicians, artists and so on. I think these people could be listed in an article regarding the death penalty but I continue to stand by the opinion that they do not belong in the notable deaths list. Maybe a topic for a survey?--Kalsermar 22:12, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
  • We've had the discussion before (see the archives). I stand by my statement there. As long as the death penalty in the US remains controversial (it continues to be opposed by the Roman Catholic Church, the single largest religious denomination in the country) all executed will recieve extensive press coverage, thereby meeting WP:BIO, and belonging here. Notable doesn't mean admirable. Xoloz 18:14, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Hugh Alexander Dunn[edit]

Can anyone supply a definitive date of death for this gentleman?

An anon user has been moving him back to Deaths in November 2005, and has not responded to a request for a source on their talk page. Unfortnately, the link listed doesn't give an exact date (unless I missed it). --Syrthiss 15:31, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Here is what the reply on the talk page was:Hi. Mulgamutt here. I originally added it after noting the Obit in the SMH. But I couldn't find a specific date. Then when I revisited SMH, an Obit at the top of the list, which was only added today, related to someone in the UK who died last month... this led me to question Dunn's actual date of death, since the SMH obit page appeared to be not up to date. In a web search, the only reference to Dunn was a press release from Alexander Downer (Aus Foreign Minister) referring to Dunn's passing, which was dated Nov. 14. Unfortunately, the actual date wasn't mentioned here, either. So... until a specific source appears somewhere, Dunn's actual date of death is left unconfirmed. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mulgamutt (talk • contribs) .
So lets see what other people may come up with. I'm willing to leave it at the Nov 14th date for now, since thats clearly the earliest it could have been given the sources. --Syrthiss 15:35, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
I've found a source (The Courier Mail) that says it was 5 November, so I'll change it to that. Whouk (talk) 15:46, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Excellent! Thanks Whouk! --Syrthiss 15:49, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Glad that's clarified, I thought there was some vandal blanking going on. CarbonCopy 16:59, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Be bold[edit]

The goal of Wikipedia editing is to Be Bold, so I figure on the eve of a new year, we can begin to introduce this new change for the contentious issue of state executions (u.s. and otherwise). I welcome constructive criticism of course, and rewording of the exact link, etcetera. It seems that while it's not perfect for either side of the debate, it reaches a fair middle ground. (If it's a large enough problem I suppose we could also have a similar pages for famous animals...though I doubt it) - and before you ask, yes of course I read all the archives :Þ Sherurcij (talk) (bounties) 05:31, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm to be bold and revert this, because I don't think such a change should be instituted without an RFC. Please institute one if you wish to go forward. Xoloz 20:10, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
There have been comments if you hadn't noticed, across the talk page and even the Talk:Main Page - unless you have an issue with the change, please do not revert work towards making WP better, leave it up and start an RFC, since I can't imagine it's hurting anything, and it let's people see exactly what they're supposed to be commenting on. Sherurcij (talk) (bounties) 20:22, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
I personally oppose the change. Take it to RFC please. Xoloz 20:24, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
By the way, note your talk page (and my comment above at the recent discussion) for an explanation of my opposition. Notable doesn't mean admirable; we list notable people here without making value judgments, and Saddam Hussein would be listed if he died tomorrow. The executed become famous, as did Judas Iscariot, and every other figure of infamy you wish to name. Dividing them into classes subverts NPOV and needlessly complicates things. Xoloz 20:29, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
You're misrepresenting the argument, nobody is saying Saddam Hussein shouldn't be listed if he died, nobody cares if they're sinners or not. The question is whether "a random American convict" is *notable* on a global level. We don't name every person executed in the world, we name every notable person, except in the case of Americans, where we name them all. That is POV, because it's incredibly US-centric to think that it makes a person of significance in the world. Saddam Hussein is a person of significance, some guy who killed his wife in Atlanta is not. Sherurcij (talk) (bounties) 20:38, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

As I said at your talk, we have plenty of Europeans listed that I don't know. Convicts executed in the US are notable in the US (and, contrary to Saudi Arabia, say, there is open and noted debate about capital punishment here that spreads this fame.) That they aren't noted elsewhere in the world is no reason to strike them -- notability in the US is sufficient to be added here. If global notability is required of American executed, it should be required of all: if so, I can't justify putting "Duke" Proctor on this list, as he is important to Canada only. Proctor belongs, though, as do the US executed and the Estonian famous musicians. Xoloz 20:46, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure how familiar you are with Recent Deaths... scroll through the old months, and count the Estonians, Latvians, Bulgarians... not to demean those nations, but I doubt those fine people rise to the level of global fame you seem to demand for US executed. Xoloz 20:51, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

What change are we discussing here? I wasn't able to piece together from the history what happened. --Syrthiss 20:48, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
This was linked in a small centered italic text at the top, as to see a list of recent executions, see the related article at recent executions - this then listed all the executions off the main Recent Deaths, but left people like Tookie and the Australian on both lists since they *were* notable Sherurcij (talk) (bounties) 20:53, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Mr. Sherurcij made a separate list of the executed, and took them off recent deaths. Not a horrible idea, but I opposed it enough to revert and ask for an RFC before it is instituted. Xoloz 20:51, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks to both of you for making that clear. :) Ok - my armchair opinion is I would much rather they remain in the main list. One - we have precedent for them remaining there, so we would either have to grandfather the old lists OR move every one of them over to the new scheme...which seems a lot of work. Two - it seems to set the executions actually as more notable, because they have their own page. --Syrthiss 20:59, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

I will enter this discussion again and restate my opposition to including executed killers in this list. What people seem to mix up here as I have noted in other areas, like Rigoberto Alpizar, is yes, executions are notable in the US because there are sizable groups on both sides of the issue. The executed killers are not in any way notable. A person is notable for what he or she has accomplished, be it as a scientist, a humanitarian, an artist, a politician, name it. A person does not become notable because he happens to have killed someone non-notable and be executed for it. The act is notable for the debate about capital punishment here and abroad, the persons executed are in no way notable.--Kalsermar 21:44, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

That is a logically consistent argument, but it is inconsistent with a wide range of practices at Recent Deaths. See Ashley Burns and Kyle Lake for non-executed examples. This page is about notable people, not admirable people, or people with notable careers. As I said above, having a executed murderer beside a Nobel Prize-winning scientist is a bit incongruous, but it is no more incongruous than having Saddam Hussein or Judas beside him. The sad fact is that some evil people become notable in their infamy. Also, note there is much reason for encyclopedic articles on killers. Criminologists study all details of their lives to prevent others from following their path. Xoloz 22:00, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Another example that belies your argument a tad is Timothy McVeigh. Did nothing exceptional in life till he appears (from his conviction) to have blown up 168 people. Awful. Momentous. McVeigh by that act alone became highly encyclopedic. John B. Nixon isn't super-notable, like McVeigh, but his execution makes him notable enough. Note also that only 1000 people have been executed in the US since 1976. That's about 33 a year. Certainly on par with notable deaths in other categories -- the executed do not flood this list. Xoloz 22:06, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Again, a straw-man argument. People around the world had heard of Timothy McVeigh before he was executed, just like we had herad of Tookie and that Australian chap. But if they're not 'notable' before they're executed, then they're no more notable afterwards. Sherurcij (talk) (bounties) 22:13, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
McVeigh, through his actions, changed history in that he commited a serious terrorist act on American soil. A killer who murders his neighbour does not change history. Saddam Hussein, likewise, had a profound effect on the history of his time that will reverberate long after he is gone, hopefully by execution and not old age. I am not familiar with Ashley Burns or Kyle Lake and have no time now to look them up so I can't judge on those cases. I realize there is a long standing practise to include them here and I respect that. Should there ever be a formal (binding) survey on the issue I would welcome it.--Kalsermar 22:20, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Your distinction of McVeigh is interesting and not illogical. However, it raises the issue of Mohammad Atta about whom nothing was known until he was already dead, for example. True, these two criminals are momentous history-makers, but I am not prepared to say that the executed Mr. Nixon didn't effect the history of Mississippi, or his region of it. Surely, he made the papers; quite likely, a law was sponsored as a result of his crime. The difference between him and McVeigh is one only of magnitude, not type.

For your information, Burns was a cheerleader who died as a result of a tragic accident in practice (kept at AfD); Lake is the Texas Baptist minister tragically electrocuted during a baptism service. Both of these otherwise unremarkable (but quite innocent) people made the list based on press coverage of their deaths, and suggestions that small-scale reform might arise from those tragedies. This is same sort of small-scale reform I suspect a figure like the executed Mr. Nixon might bring about through his crimes, terrible though they were. Xoloz 22:31, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

And for your information Xoloz, there has been quite a few unfavorable comments offsite about how Wiki insists on listing all the executed in the United States, but lists none of the innocent victims. Giving biased and unfair attention to criminals. Williamb 07:31, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

If there are comments like those, they are ill-considered. Society at large tends to focus on the criminal and not the victims in cases where the victims are numerous, and this list merely follows that trend. Can anyone name all 168 victims of the OKC bombing? Moreover, the focus on the criminals isn't all bad. As I told Kalsermer at his talk, studying criminals is a valuable social science that can help curtail crime. Sadly, the study of random victims is less illuminating in this regard. Notable crimes are social events, and need to be here -- no good encyclopedia gives only a sugar-glazed view of the world. Xoloz 17:21, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Could you give us some links to these comments? Gamaliel 11:00, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, I think in many cases we do list notable victims (Laci Peterson), ie ones who received significant media attention either as part of the stories on the criminal or on their own. We have the problem of time though, in that when someone is first arrested and convicted there is likely significant bio information on their victim from the press...but in some cases when the criminal is executed the story only reads 'convicted for the murder of 7 people in Utah in 1984'. --Syrthiss 12:56, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

In my opinion, "Deaths in 2005" should list any death that receives significant media coverage, including people who might not be notable enough for their own article. The list should executed criminals, crime victims, bizarre freak accidents, and famous zoo animals. I am strongly against segregating executions, as I don't see any particular need to seperate them out nor do I see the need to single them out for special attention. The only consideration I would find acceptable would be for space reasons, but since on our busiest day there's only about 10 names or so, I don't see us running out of space anytime soon. Gamaliel 11:00, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Since I contributed the ‘Listing of executed convicted murders in USA’ entry above, I’ll donate my “two cents” again after reflecting on some very good comments on this topic. I believe polite, public debate is very healthy and my proffered comments are intended to present a point of view, not to denigrate the views of others (although I reserve the right to disagree).
My opinion: Keep the serial listing of executed U.S. convicts OFF Wiki’s obituary list. If listing these criminals is important in preserving knowledge & history, then place them in the sections in Wiki section reserved for the capital punishment topic with a listing of ALL other executed criminals from ALL other countries in the world.
I think the essence of this whole argument is whether the serial execution of U.S. convicts (not to mention China, Iranian or other countries) fulfill the criterion of being deemed ‘notable’ for inclusion in Wikipedia’s ‘Deaths in (Year)’ section. A random sample of dictionary definitions for the word ‘notable’ reveals the following: ‘important and deserving attention, worthy of notice, widely known and esteemed, a celebrity who is an inspiration to others, significant, interesting, or unusual enough to deserve attention or to be recorded, particularly important, distinguished, or famous’. Granted, applying this definition to real people will vary from person to person as we all have our own opinions as to who is inspiring, interesting, worthy of notice, etc. With all due respect to Gamaliel’s repeated comments, I don’t see ‘media coverage’ as a primary criterion to being considered ‘notable’ (‘media coverage’ wasn’t found in any of the definitions I reviewed) but I concede it should be influential in determining who should be included in this section. Also, I don’t believe anyone is saying only admirable people should be included here either. Evil folks Timothy McVeigh and similar ilk arguably deserve mention due to the imprint (and corpses) they have left behind. But no-name murderers who are executed for henious crimes that hardly anyone knew about?…I don’t think so. Again, I strongly believe someone is trying to make a political statement against the death penalty in the US which, in my view, doesn't belong in the Wikipedia obituary section…put it in the capital punishment section instead.
I believe Kalsermar’s 21:44, 16 December 2005 entry is closest to the correct position (with a little bit of my opinionated editing slipped in without Kalsermar’s permission): ‘a [non-notable] person does not become notable because he [she] happens to have killed someone non-notable and be executed for it’. I fully agree and support that position. Hence, take them off! Tjdigit 12:46, 23 December 2005


There is something wrong with the linkage of this set of pages - but I can't quite put my finger on how it should be made better. It isn't made easier by the fact that 2005 is divided into months whilst earlier years are all 365 days.

Take a not-the-current month in 2005. It is easy to move to any other month in the year and to the entire "Deaths in 2005" page (which at the moment = December), you can also move to Jan 2006 but it is a "red link" cos we haven't got there yet. You can't go back to 2004.

Thoughts: (1) Add a "2004" back arrow before January in each list of months. (2) Make "Deaths in 2005" purely a link to the relevant month pages with no actual data in it. Make the current month just like the other months in style. Hmm, not quite right. -- SGBailey 23:51, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Not quite sure I catch all you're going for, but Deaths in 2005 will be a link list once the year is over, leading to each individual month's list. I fully support interlinking all the years in a series, but I'm sure I don't understand how technically complex such a seemingly simple thing is. Xoloz 00:10, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Phyllis Gretzky[edit]

I hope I don't sound churlish, but why is Phyllis Gretzky included in this list of notable deaths? The article demonstrates no notability, am I missing something here or should this entry be removed? Sliggy 18:35, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Not sure myself, but it is worth noting that Wayne Gretzky retired his position as coach of some NHL team just a few days ago, to look after her. Sherurcij (talk) (bounties) 18:49, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't see any harm in listing relatives of celebrities here. The article on her is a bit much, however, and should be merged with Gretzky. Gamaliel 18:54, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
I do think, however, that Julio Iglesias, Sr. should have his article kept because the fact that he was to become a father at 90 is notable. (Unregistered User)
So if I father a child at 90, I'll merit an article? I'll be sure to let you know. No, his article does not show any notability other than being the father and grandfather of celebrities. As Wikipedia is not a geneology site, I see no need for an article about him, or about Mrs Gretzky. If people feel that it's ok for them to take up a line of text in the "Deaths" section, I have no problem with it, however they are not themselves celebrities, and are not notable except for the event of parenting someone who went on to become famous. Rossrs 09:10, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
The position I've always supported is that RD lists anyone meriting an article, or anyone meriting a redirect to another article. Since Mrs. Gretsky's illness significantly affected her famous son's career, she belongs in Wayne's article. Iglesias might be worth mentioning in his son's article, as the late fatherhood bit is the sort of trivia an Iglesias fan probably would want to know. To prevent full articles from being written on marginal people, I support preemptive redirecting/merging to the appropriate major article. Xoloz 15:29, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
I have just done exactly what I suggested for the case of James Dungy, 18, newly late son of NFL coach Tony Dungy. This will be/is big news in American sports, as Dungy's Colts are the leading contenders for this year's Super Bowl. Xoloz 15:50, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
I'd already removed James Dungy's entry in the list before I read the above, Xoloz. But James Dungy still has no entry in Wikipedia, and until (and unless) he does, he doesn't seem to merit reinstatement here. What relevance does James Dungy have to "Dungy's Colts [being] the leading contenders for this year's Super Bowl"? And so what if they do win? James Dungy certainly won't be a member of the winning team. Merry Xmas to everyone. JackofOz 01:15, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
The death is relevant to the Super Bowl because, if Dungy's team loses, the death with blamed; if his team wins, the death will form the sentimental undercurrent. If you happen to catch the Super Bowl in Australia, I assure you, you'll hear James Dungy mentioned at least ten times, even if his father's team isn't in the game. If they are, James Dungy will feature every five minutes. Xoloz 01:44, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
And now Rwolfe09 has put him back in, but with no edit summary to explain why he has done so. What's with this James Dungy guy? Does everybody know something about him that I don't, and do they know that through osmosis or ESP? If there are pertinent facts about him that are worth recording in Wikipedia, where are they? If he's not worthy of his own article, why would he be listed as a death in 2005? It's fine to mention, in their articles, pertinent facts about the family members of people who have their own articles; but that does not make those family members notable in their own right. They have to have done something, anything, worth writing about. What has James Dungy done? JackofOz 01:34, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
He killed himself right before his dad began a run in the NFL playoffs with the dominant team in the league, and a team among the best ever. James is notable for disrupting his famous dad's life at a key time in the football season, when millions of people are wondering over every detail of what will make this year's champion. 01:44, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
He hasn't done anything, but his death has received significant media coverage, and that's enough to make the list IMHO. (He shouldn't get an article, but that's another issue entirely.) Gamaliel 07:22, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
And why has the media covered his death? Because of his father, and only because of his father. If he had been Joe Bloggs's son, nobody would ever have heard of him. Just because the media makes a fuss when celebrities' relatives get into trouble with the law or kill themselves, does not mean that we have to. We're an encyclopedia, not a gossip sheet. JackofOz 14:01, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
The media has covered it because people, rightly or wrongly, care in droves. He isn't Joe Bloggs' son, he's Dungy's, and Dungy is among the most famous NFL faces this season. Xoloz 01:44, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
I have deleted James Dungy for having an utter and complete lack of notability. I second JackofOz comments about not being a gossip sheet. Sliggy 14:54, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
While I dislike modern media and the cult of celebrity, for purposes of this record, I ask only what is notable. This is not Aristo-pedia, and a story which is on the lips of the working man here in America is worth included, although it be not high culture. Xoloz 01:44, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
He seems to be back, and I'll keep him back, to the best of my ability. At least 50 million Americans are regular football fans, and his story is the biggest news item for the sport, as Dungy has taken a leave from the team to deal with his death, ala Gretsky. Big news to millions of people, and likely to be mentioned every 5 minutes during the Super Bowl telecast to over 1 billion people. I'm no fan of the culture of celebrity either, but I think it folly to deny that a name so widely-talked of is notable. The son's death has notable affected a notable father at a crucially notable time, to the attention of much press. Xoloz 01:28, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for all those thoughts, folks. I've said all I'm going to say about the late departed James Dungy. All I really care about is consistency. I just don't get how a person can be considered notable enough to have their death recorded here, but not notable enough to have an article written about them. The definition of "notable" is clearly a complex one. Maybe over the holidays someone should have a go at writing a definition that works for all these kinds of cases. 'Cos unless we're all speaking the same language, policy-wise, I'm sure we'll have these sorts of debates forever. But maybe that's a good thing, who knows. Merry Xmas. JackofOz 02:01, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

I won't have a go at a definition, but I can recall a similar case [3] where an entry meriting only redirect -- not an independent article -- passed without objection. As I say, my own standard encompasses article entries and obviously relevant redirects. Happy holidays to you also. Xoloz 14:54, 24 December 2005 (UTC)