Man Who Set Himself on Fire at National Mall Identified
John Constantino suffered from mental illness
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2013 12:55 AM CDT
Updated Oct 8, 2013 7:03 AM CDT
People run to a man who set himself on fire on the National Mall in Washington last Friday.   (AP Photo/Katy Scheflen, File)

(Newser) – Police have identified the man who set him self ablaze on the National Mall last week—but they have been unable to identify his motive. DC police say the man was John Constantino, a 64-year-old from Mount Laurel, New Jersey, the AP reports. Constantino, who died at a hospital after pouring gasoline on himself and setting himself on fire in the center of the mall last Friday, was so badly burned that he had to be identified through DNA and dental records. "His death was not a political act or statement, but the result of a long battle with mental illness," his family says in a statement, according to the Washington Post.

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Showing 3 of 19 comments
Oct 8, 2013 5:05 PM CDT
BTW we EVOLVED from apes, elephants, and donkeys etc. (from goo to you via way of the zoo) although we still honor our vestigial and ancestral relationship through partisan political iconography!
Oct 8, 2013 10:18 AM CDT
Bernie Cinder?
Oct 8, 2013 9:23 AM CDT
'not a political statement' my ass!!! A man sets fire to himself in public, the middle of a national mall, in Washington DC, in amidst a Congressional shut down. Also- they couldn't find any relatives or friends, yet his family miraculously was able to make a statement confirming it wasn't political. sad and pathetic. at least let the message this man sacrificed his life for, be heard. although the mainstream media may refuse to publicize his statement, i think we all get what he was trying to say, given the act, timing and placement. lots of red flags about this story.