Suicide Note Pins Blame on Fla. Newspaper

By: E&P Staff

A former school board member, charged with having had sex with a 12-year-old boy, was found dead yesterday near Naples, Fla., in an apparent suicide. He left a note behind attacking the local newspaper for publishing several detailed news stories about the case.

The dead man, Nelson Faerber Jr., 52, said it was “disturbing when an irresponsibile press causes the families of the accused to suffer so much hurt and humiliation — all in the name of selling newspapers and advertisement.”

Police had withheld the content of that note, and several others, but the man’s attorney sent a copy of one of the notes to the local paper, the Naples Daily News, last night. The newspaper ran a lengthy story about the death of the man, who apparently shot himself in the head, this morning.

The paper’s editor, Phil Lewis, told E & P, “We would not do anything differently,” defending their “straight news coverage of a criminal case.”

A passerby found the body of Faerber on the ground near a swing set in Ridgewood Park. Faerber was a former Collier County School Board member.

In the note released by his attorney, Faerber wrote, “It is sad that, in our society, and especially in our fairly educated community, simply the accusation of sexual misconduct is enough to destroy an individual.”

Faerber, a lawyer, had posted a $100,000 bond and left the county jail on June 10. He had been charged with five counts of unlawful sexual activity with a child. Faerber had vowed to fight the charges, saying he feared how much the case would hurt his own children and other family members.

Court records said Faerber had met the youth in question through his son’s Little League baseball team and bought him many gifts. They also described as many as four other potential Faerber victims.

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