He Rode Into the Sunset

February 14, 1924

62-year-old John Byrne, a character actor who typically played the role of the grizzled old sourdough in films, was found dead in his room at 509 Temple Street, a boarding house.  Police investigating the room found that a tube that connected the gas to a small heater had been pulled, or accidentally kicked, loose.

It was unclear whether Byrne, whose real name was John McGuire, had intended to die.

There was no suicide note, and it appeared that at his time of death, Byrne had been reading a western story in a popular magazine.  The magazine was opened to page 41, the last page of the story, and the last line read, "And so, with the same old cheery smile on his sun-cracked lips, Sagebrush Jim came to the end of the trail."

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