A Private Inquiry into the Circumstances Surrounding the 1972 Death of John Gomilla Jr. who died after allegedly consuming ten hallucinogenic mushrooms while residing in Hawaii. Originally published in The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs Vol 20 (No. 4) 1988:456-459 In the summer of 1987, the author of the present article was residing on the island of Oahu. During this period, while researching numerous articles for a book on the recreational use of hallucinogenic mushrooms, a particular reference in an article by Pollock (1974) peaked this author's curiosity. Pollock cited an article titled "Death Cause Not Revealed" (Unsigned 1972b). The following story unraveled (Allen 1988). On Monday, December 25, 1972, an 18-year-old male who lived in a tent near Mokuleia, Hawai'i, died after becoming ill from consuming what were believed to be 10 hallucinogenic mushrooms (Unsigned 1972c; Unsigned 1972d). The mushrooms had allegedly been picked the previous Friday in a pasture near Mokuleia. The youth had told the doctors who were attempting to treat him that he had been picking and eating hallucinogenic mushrooms in Hawaii for over six months, and several of the doctors claimed that the young man was very adamant and assertive in his belief that he had only picked and consumed no more than 10 mushrooms and nothing else. The doctor's who examined the young man in the emergency room said that he had become seriously ill on Friday night after eating the alleged mushrooms. He was subsequently admitted to the Wahiawa General Hospital at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday. The attending physician was William Wikinson, who diagnosed the youth as "suffering from severe diarrhea, vomiting spasms, extreme cramps, and showed other signs of muscarine poisoning." Wikinson (1987) reported that the youth succumbed to this illness 31 hours later. Within a few days of the youth's death, Wilkinson---along with investigators from the Honolulu Police Department and the University of Hawaii--met with several of the youth's friends, and together they visited the area where the young man had supposedly picked the mushrooms. Eventually some specimens were harvested for study, and after examination they were positively identified as belonging to a species of Copelandia (Majoska, 1987). One of the other doctors who had treated the youth stated (Unsigned 1972d) that "other people have eaten this same kind of mushroom before with no ill effects. This boy claimed to have eaten them before on several occasions and so had his friends. But this time he had a very violent reaction to something, and he claimed that he did not eat a very large amount of them." On Wednesday, December 27, 1972, an autopsy was ordered (Unsigned 1972a) and then performed to determine the cause of death, but the results of the autopsy were never released to the public (1972b). Due to the sketchy information regarding this matter that was provided to the Honolulu newspapers, which in turn presented the so called facts of the case to the public, the author of the present article decided to conduct an independent investigation into this matter. To begin with, it seems that personal experimentation with hallucinogenic mushrooms by thousands of individuals over the past 17 years has not caused a single reported death. Ott (1978) reported that one would virtually have to consume an amount of mushrooms equal to one's own body weight in order to bring about death. Scientific literature on hallucinogenic mushrooms that has been published during the past 30 years has only attributed two deaths; both from the accidental consumption of psychoactive mushrooms in a meal. The causative mushroom was identified as Psilocybe baeocystis Singer and Smith. However, there is some question that the causitive species may have been misidentified. Two children, both of whom were six years old, died after allegedly eating mushrooms containing psilocin and psilocybin. One child lived in Oregon, the other in California (McCawley, Brummett and Dana 1962). On December 24, 1981, a 16-year-old girl died after consuming several specimens of Galerina autumnalis, which had been mistaken for a Psilocybe species (Allen 1988; Staf-ford 1983; Bigwood & Beug 1982; Unsigned 1981a; Unsigned 1981b). Two other youths, both males, who consumed some of the same mushrooms also became sick but eventually recovered. As to the causes behind Gomilla's death, Ott (1978) briefly mentioned the case after reading about it in the aforementioned article by Pollock (1974). Ott assumed that Gomilla had accidently picked and eaten a toxic mushroom by mistake. The author of the present article came to the same conclusion. At first, this was a plausible assumption because the newspapers reported that the doctors at Wahiawa General Hospital had diagnosed Gomilla's symptoms as possibly resembling muscarine poisoning. There is a mushroom in Hawaii that is commonly referred to as "Green Gills" or "Morgan's Lepiota," which is known to be toxic. Its botanical name is Chlorophyllum molybdites. This mushroom is commonly found on lawns, and the author of the present article has observed this mushroom in pastures along the North Shore district on Oahu island in the Hawaiian archipelago. In Florida, this mushroom has caused much discomfort to pickers who usually mistake it for Psilocybe cubensis Earle. However, after reading the present article, the reader will learn the true facts about the Gomilla case.