Headlines Abu Gharib Protester Found Dead

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LANCASTER COUNTY, PA -

A Lancaster political activist and author was found dead in a city apartment early Saturday morning.

Tristan Egolf, 33, of the 300 block of West Lemon Street, was found dead inside an apartment in the 400 block of North Charlotte Street.

Sources said Egolf committed suicide with a shotgun.

City police would not comment on the incident Sunday. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

Egolf was an activist for many causes in Lancaster County.

He was a member of, and unofficial spokesman for, the Smoketown Six, a group of six men who staged a protest during President Bush's July 9, 2004, campaign visit to Smoketown.

Minutes before Bush's tour bus reached its destination at a Smoketown business, seven men, including Egolf, stripped to thong underwear and piled on top of each other in an attempt to re-create one of the photographs from the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq.

The men were arrested for disorderly conduct and detained until after the president left the area. One of the men escaped from police, and the remainder became known as the Smoketown Six.

Five of the men, including Egolf, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit accusing East Lampeter Township police, Pennsylvania State Police and U.S. Secret Service agents of violating the men's right to free speech. The suit has not yet been settled.

A 1990 graduate of Hempfield High School, Egolf wrote three novels, "Lord of the Barnyard," "Skirt & the Fiddle" and "Kornwolf."

He was the son of Gary and artist Paula Egolf of Lancaster and the brother of actress Gretchen Egolf.

According to newspaper records, Egolf also is survived by a 2-year-old daughter.
Lancaster Online