The day before he put a gun to his head and killed himself at an M Resort buffet on Easter, a Las Vegas man filled a box with his complaints against the resort and its employees and mailed it to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
In his final, angry message to the world, delivered to the newspaper Monday morning, John Noble blamed his suicide on depression that set in after the Henderson resort awarded him free meals at the buffet for life then banned him from the property in 2013 for harassing some of the women working there.
“Today, I end my life due to the M Resort Spa Casino and its employees,” the 53-year-old Noble wrote in one of two suicide notes he included with an obsessively detailed dossier on the people he blamed for destroying his life.
At about 4:50 p.m. Sunday, Noble shot himself in the resort on Las Vegas Boulevard South near St. Rose Parkway. Henderson firefighters were already at the resort’s parking garage extinguishing a burning vehicle police now say belonged to Noble.
Henderson police said Monday that unidentified items left in the vehicle prompted a response from Metro’s hazardous and explosive material response team, which deemed the vehicle safe to be towed from the scene. The garage and part of the resort remained closed until 11:15 p.m. Sunday. The Studio B Buffet was still shut down Monday, but it is slated to reopen today.
Noble’s hand-bound stack of notes and documents stretches on for more than 270 pages and includes a table of contents, photographs and a two-hour DVD of him talking about his troubles.
The second-to-last page, titled “The Curse,” spells out all the harm he wishes on those he believed wronged him.
Included on the list are several women who worked at the buffet and who were showered with gifts and unwanted attention by Noble after he won meals for life there in September 2010.
The man’s stack of papers also details a suicide threat he made on Easter 2013, three weeks after he was kicked out of the resort and about a month after his mother died.
According to a Henderson police report supplied by Noble, the authorities were called by a woman who said he was stalking her and had threatened to kill himself. Police placed him in protective custody, and he eventually spent three days at the state psychiatric hospital — all of it documented in his dossier.
Later in 2013, Noble contacted several local media outlets in hopes they would tell his story. In December of that year, he met with a Review-Journal reporter at a Starbucks on Rancho Drive near Bonanza Road. Noble was nervous, particularly when he saw Metro officers walk into the coffee shop. He wanted to avoid them overhearing his conversation with the reporter.
Noble continued to attack the resort and its employees on social media, posting photos and personal information about them, including their home addresses, right up until his death.
Courts in Henderson and elsewhere in Clark County had no record of any restraining orders against Noble, who did not appear to have a criminal history.
Scotty Rutledge, vice president of marketing for M Resort, said grief counseling is being offered to employees. He declined to comment on the shooting itself, citing the ongoing police investigation and the resort’s long-standing policy not to discuss any incidents involving its customers.
Many witnessed Noble’s death, and Henderson police said two people were hurt attempting to flee the area after the shot rang out. One person was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries from a fall. Another person was checked out by paramedics at the scene.
Mental health experts say high-profile, public suicides like this one are rare and troubling, because they often receive media coverage that can glamorize self-destructive behavior and lead to copycat deaths.
“The next vulnerable person thinks this is a good option. It’s a very real safety concern,” said Misty Vaughan Allen, state suicide prevention coordinator for the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health.
She said what happened in this case is unusual. Only about one-third of people who kill themselves leave behind so much as a note, let alone send notice to the media.
From what she has read so far about Noble’s death, it clearly was not impulsive, Vaughan Allen said. “It looks like we as a community missed some opportunities to help this individual.”
Review-Journal assistant city editor Adam Kealoha Causey and writers Kimberly De La Cruz and Colton Lochhead contributed to this report. Contact Henry Brean at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0350. Find him on Twitter: @RefriedBrean.