A note found in the pocket of Rudolf Hess shows the former Nazi leader intended to commit suicide when he wrapped an electrical cord around his neck, British officials said today.
“The primary cause of death has been determined to be asphyxiation,” British diplomatic spokesman Anderson W. Purdon said.
Purdon added: “The note which was found on (Hess’) body--the contents of which have been released to the Hess family--clearly implies that Hess planned to take his own life.”
Hess died on Monday at age 93, after nearly a half century in confinement as a war criminal.
Purdon noted that a British physician had performed an autopsy on Hess and that medical representatives of the four wartime Allied powers, France, Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union, were also present.
Hess had tried to commit suicide on four previous occasions.