Advertisement

Writer Shoots Sick Husband, Then Herself

May 22, 1987|From Times Wire Services

McLEAN, Va. — A critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful science fiction writer who was apparently despondent over her husband's poor health, shot him in the head then turned the gun on herself after telling her attorney to call police.

The bodies of Alice Sheldon, 71, who wrote under the pen name James Tiptree Jr., and former CIA analyst Huntington Sheldon, 84, were found in their bedroom in this suburb of Washington early Tuesday, the victims of an apparent murder-suicide pact, Fairfax County police said.

Police spokeswoman Judy Dailey said Alice Sheldon telephoned her attorney before the shootings. The attorney then notified police, who found the couple's bodies, each bearing a single gunshot wound.

Huntington Sheldon, who retired from the CIA in the late 1960s, where he was an intelligence analyst, was bedridden and blind.

As Tiptree, Alice Sheldon wrote many science fiction works, including "The Women Men Don't See," "The Screwfly Solution" and "Love is the Plan, the Plan is Death." Mrs. Sheldon's agent, Virginia Kidd, said her client was "middling popular" but "had enormous critical success and was very highly thought of by intellectuals."

Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov said in 1984 that she "has produced works of the first magnitude and has won the wild adulation of innumerable readers."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|