Journalist Hunter S Thompson left a type-written suicide note containing just the word "counselor".

The Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas writer shot himself in the head at his secure compound in Woody Creek, Colorado, last month (20FEB05).

According to a sheriff's report, Thompson was found seated at a chair in his kitchen, above a typewriter which had a single piece of paper in it with the word "counselor" in the centre.

The report adds that, after discovering his father's body, Thompson's son JUAN walked out of the house and fired three shotgun blasts in the air to "mark the passing of his father".

Friends are unsure about the meaning of the note, if it was a misspelled letter addressed to his lawyer (cousellor), or meant to confuse those looking for a reason for his suicide.

Others believe it could have been Thompson's final say on his campaign for American civil rights. The note was written on headed stationary of the Fourth Amendment Foundation, and organisation he had just set up to defend privacy rights against the threat of unwarranted search and seizure by the authorities.

He said in one of his last interviews, "There has to be some defence against having this government in vain, seize, take over, invade our lives and our personal privacy, every day."

Thompson's ashes will be blasted across his estate by a cannon during a private funeral, one of his last wishes.

03/03/2005 14:06