Police ID dead man found on interstate
Knoxvillian's death ruled suicide; sister says
he was killed
By RANDY KENNER, firstname.lastname@example.org
November 19, 2004
A man who claimed to be part of an ages-old
super-intelligent group seeking the "truth" and who made friends and enemies
with his Internet postings, books and Web sites died after apparently
jumping off a Knoxville interstate overpass.
Solomon Tulbure, 35, was
found just after 4 a.m. Wednesday on the shoulder of the westbound lanes of
Interstate 640 under the Bruhin Road overpass after motorists called
authorities about what appeared to be a sick man lying next to the road.
Tulbure, who suffered
massive head injuries, was dead when Knoxville police officers arrived. A
native of Romania, he had lived here since 1995.
KPD spokesman Darrell
DeBusk said that Tulbure threatened suicide on an Internet post about two
"It is going to be ruled
as a suicide," DeBusk said Thursday. "There is nothing on the body to
indicate any type of struggle at all."
But Tulbure's sister,
Lidia Zotoiu, said that her brother did not kill himself.
"His right hand is
bruised. His left hand is full of scratches," she said. "Somebody kill him
and bring him under the bridge."
Israel Tulbure replied,
"I don't know" when asked if he thought his brother committed suicide but
also said, "We don't know how he get from the bridge down there."
Israel Tulbure said he
didn't know if his brother was mentally disturbed.
"He could have been
because he was very private," Israel Tulbure said.
Tulbure - who also
called himself "Maximus Illuminati" - apparently operated several Web sites
at various times and claimed in some past postings that his life was in
danger because of what he had written.
An Internet search of
Tulbure's name turned up more than 3,000 hits, including some claiming that
Tulbure was basically interested in separating people who responded to him
from their money.
Tulbure was the author
of at least four books including, "The Illuminati Manifesto," "President G.W.
Bush is a Moron: Islam is NOT Peace," "The Book of the Dead," and
A search of the books on
Amazon.com indicates there are dozens of reader reviews for each of the
books - though one of the reviewers writes that Tulbure is really the author
of the positive ones.
The books aren't big
sellers. The Amazon Web site listed "The Illuminati Manifesto" as its
258,449th biggest seller.
Tulbure, using the name
Maximus Illuminati, claimed to be the founder of MyMatchmaker.com and listed
a Kingston Pike address. The street address exists, but there is no Suite
171 - supposedly the MyMatchmaker.com office - at that location.
According to the Web
site, the company was seeking to raise money from investors to take the
company public, asserting it hoped to have 55 million members within three
"We will be more than
happy to provide a detailed business plan upon request," the Web site
Israel Tulbure said his
brother lived at home with him and their mother, but left occasionally for
weeks at a time. He said his brother was good with computers and had worked
for a computer company and designed Web sites.
"He used to be (awake)
two or three days in a row," Israel Tulbure said, "and he was hooked to that
computer. That computer was his life."
His brother said that in
recent years Tulbure ran Web sites and clubs and got money from people
through those. He was also involved in day trading.
"He said he was teaching
people to invest in penny stocks," Israel Tulbure said.
Israel Tulbure also said
he knew what some people were unhappy with his brother and that there are
uncomplimentary things said about him on the Internet.
He also said that about
a month ago someone started calling the family looking for Tulbure, claiming
they were with some type of agency interested in Internet fraud.
Israel Tulbure said his
brother asked him to drop him off at a convenience store on Merchant Drive
last Friday and said he would be gone about five days. That was the last
time he saw him.
He said his brother "had
a very good heart" and that he would do things like give money to a relative
to visit Romania and gave some of his furniture to a single mother who
"What he give to
somebody, he would never ask for anything back," Israel Tulbure said.
"He had a very good
heart but sometimes he was difficult to deal with," he said.
Randy Kenner may be
reached at 865-342-6305.
Knoxville News Sentinel Co.