Tony Hsieh Death: Report Says Las Vegas Investor Threatened Self-Harm Months Before

Posted on: December 11, 2020, 02:04h. 

Last updated on: December 18, 2020, 04:10h.

Months before his death, Las Vegas investor Tony Hsieh was hospitalized when an anonymous 911 call indicated he was threatening to hurt himself, according to published accounts.

Tony Hsieh
Retired Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, seen here, died in November after a house fire in Connecticut. Not long before that, he apparently had moved from Las Vegas to Utah. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

On June 30, a male caller told a 911 dispatcher that Hsieh was smashing things at his Park City, Utah home and making threats about hurting himself, according to the New York Post. The Post based its story on emergency call logs that Business Insider reported obtaining.

Hsieh retired in August as the chief executive officer at Zappos, a Las Vegas-based online shoe-and-clothing company. He apparently moved not long ago to Park City, a ski resort town just east of Salt Lake City. He died in November after a house fire in Connecticut.

The 911 call in June was treated as “a psychiatric incident” and resulted in the 46-year-old Hsieh being taken to a hospital, the Post reported.

A story in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week indicated that Hsieh had been experimenting with drugs in the months leading up to his death. He also was trying to see how much food and oxygen he could do without. His weight had dropped to below 100 pounds, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Before his death, singer-songwriter Jewel sent Hsieh a ‘blunt’ letter, saying her longtime friend was using too many drugs, according to Forbes magazine. Jewel told him he risked going from “eccentric to madness.”

Plans to Enter Rehab

Hsieh died the day after Thanksgiving at a hospital in Bridgeport, Conn. Authorities ruled his death was an accident caused by complications from smoke inhalation.

Nine days earlier, fire crews pulled Hsieh out of a storage shed with smoke coming from it at a waterfront home in New London, Conne.

Voices can be heard on emergency calls at about 3:30 am on Nov. 18, saying someone was “barricaded” or “trapped” in the attached shed. Firefighters broke into the shed to rescue Hsieh. He was unresponsive.

After emergency crews took Hsieh to a hospital in New London, he was airlifted to the Connecticut Burn Center in Bridgeport, about 65 miles west of New London.

Hsieh had been in New London visiting reported girlfriend Rachael Brown and a brother. The $1.3-million house belongs to Brown, a Las Vegas cellist who began working at Zappos in 2004 as one of the company’s first 100 employees. She had recently moved to Utah with Hsieh, according to news reports.

Hsieh, who would have turned 47 on Dec. 12, had expressed plans the day before the fire to enter a rehabilitation clinic in Hawaii, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Downtown Las Vegas Revival

Authorities this week continued to investigate the cause of the fire in New London

As this continues, a judge in Las Vegas has given Hsieh’s family control of his estate, according to KLAS-TV. The tech guru’s fortune was estimated at $840 million.

The family sought control of his financial information and social media accounts. The court has required the family to compile a list of Hsieh’s assets.

Hsieh, a Harvard University graduate with a computer science degree, is credited with spending millions to transform a neglected area in downtown Las Vegas near the casino district.