Atlanta, Georgia - September 11, 1887: Doctor Borcheim, a prominent physician of Atlanta, Ga., in a fit of delirium blows his brains out.
A special from Atlanta, Ga., September 11, says: Dr. L. E. Borcheim, one of Atlanta’s most prominent citizens committed suicide in his room at the Kimball this morning. He is a victim to the cocaine habit. Borcheim came to Atlanta about five years ago. He was of the Jewish extraction, has always been prominent in Jewish circles and soon built up one of the best practices in the city. He was a man not much over thirty years of age, stood well socially, was a member of the Capital City club and was surgeon of the famous Gate City Guard. The opium habit has been his curse. One result has been that his health has, for two years been quite bad. He is said to have had fainting fits, and on one or two occasions was believed to be dead.
About two years ago, while in New York, he went into one of the trances, was pronounced dead and was placed in a coffin for burial, when he recovered. About ten months ago he was very ill, a lung trouble having developed. By a wonderful display of will-power he fought his way back to live, although his case was pronounced hopeless by the physicians in attendance. As soon as he was strong enough he went to Philadelphia and when he returned, about five months ago, he looked as if he had completely recovered his health. He was full of animal spirits, and declared that he never felt so well in his life.
The act of suicide was committed at about eight o’clock this morning but not discovered until some time later, when a chambermaid went to his room. As she opened the door a most horrible sight met her gaze, and screaming, she fainted. The body of the dead man lay on his bed, and upon the upper sides of the room and even the ceiling were scattered his brains. A 44-calibre pistol was the implement of destruction, and when found was in his hand. The pistol is a six-shooter, and but one barrel had been loaded.
Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, October 1, 1887