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Fundraiser Hsu Sent Suicide Note, Authorities Say

The mysterious political donor Norman Hsu was in a Colorado jail Thursday afternoon after being released Wednesday from a hospital in Grand Junction, Colo.

Hsu turned up at the hospital last week after jumping bail on a 15-year-old grand theft charge in California.

Hsu has been a major Democratic fundraiser in recent years, although the source of his wealth is still unclear.


An attorney for Hsu said he plans to waive extradition so he can get back to California as soon as possible and face sentencing for the grand theft charge. Hsu was supposed to face that charge last week, but he failed to show up for a court hearing, thereby forfeiting $2 million in bail.

Hsu reportedly sent copies of a suicide note to several people last Wednesday, then boarded an Amtrak train headed east. Fellow passenger Joanne Segale said Hsu remained locked in his cabin for hours. She finally noticed him wedged in a narrow space next to the door and summoned train personnel for assistance.

"He was very ill, very incoherent," Segale said. "But when they picked him up, he said, 'Am I in jail? Am I in jail?' And they said, 'No, you're not in jail. You're in Colorado.'"

Segale said train crews later found a bottle of prescription medicine and pills scattered around the rail car. Hsu's attorney declined to comment, except to say the hospital had done a "marvelous job" caring for his client at a difficult time.

Hsu's discovery in Grand Junction is the latest bizarre twist in the story of the fugitive financier, who is one of the biggest fundraisers for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.


The campaign has promised to return some $850,000 from donors who were solicited by Hsu. Clinton told reporters Wednesday that it would have been difficult to make any other decision.

In addition to the old California charges, Hsu also faces new questions in New York. Investors there worry that tens of millions of dollars given to Hsu for a clothing venture seems to have disappeared.

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