Norman’s Suicide Notes

[ Wadi el Nil Building Cairo ]

Wadi el Nil Building Cairo, Roger Bowen, 1984, University of British Columbia Library, Rare Books and Special Collections, C2124-123

Dear Howie:

I am overwhelmed by circumstances & have lived under illusions too long. I realize that Christianity is the only true way. Forgive me because things are not as bad as they appear. God knows they are terrible enough — But I have never betrayed my oath of secrecy — But guilt by association as now developed has crushed me. I have prayed God’s forgiveness if it is not too late.


Dear Howie & Gwen:

You have been much in my thoughts. It is too complicated to explain in a note — Irene some day will discuss it with you — I am completely innocent but a victim to forces bent on my destruction — no I haven’t a persecution complex.

I dearly love you both and your family God bless you and save you from any troubled or tragic mishap — one in the family is enough — you must have faith in my complete innocence — despite the filth of slander and speculation that will appear. My Christian faith — never strong enough I fear, has helped to sustain me in these last days. This letter includes in its embrace you and all the youngsters — I write to Grace too — Irene is an angel help her.

Love — warmest love -

Source: University of British Columbia Rare Books and Special Collections, Roger Bowen Collection, Box 1, File 1-13, E. Herbert Norman, Norman's Suicide Notes, ca. April 4, 1957

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