Hunter S. Thompson's Widow Returns the Antlers He Stole From Ernest Hemingway's House 52 Years Ago

Images via the AP and Getty.
Images via the AP and Getty.

“Every man’s life ends the same way,” Ernest Hemingway once said. “It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”


Clearly, Hemingway didn’t know that after he died, a young upstart named Hunter S. Thompson would rifle through his home and steal his prize antlers—or else he probably would have tacked it onto the end of the quote.

In a story that annoying freshman English majors are sure to recount for decades to come, Anita Thompson—widow of Hunter S. Thompson—has returned the elk antlers that her husband, as a young journalist in 1964, secretly stole from Hemingway’s home in Ketchum, Idaho.

“He got caught up in the moment,” Anita Thompson told BroBible. “He had so much respect for Hemingway. He was actually very embarrassed by it.”

Three years after Hemingway shot himself in his cabin in 1961, Thompson—then an unknown journalist—went to the author’s death site to report a story on why Hemingway chose Ketchum as the place to end his life.

“Ernest Hemingway’s empty house, a comfortable looking chalet with a big pair of elk horns over the front door,” Thompson wrote in an article called “What Lured Hemingway to Ketchum?” for The National Observer.

Well, looks like li’l Hunter took a big old souvenir with him on the way out that front door.


According to Anita Thompson, her husband always felt guilty about stealing the antlers and the couple had “planned to take a road trip and quietly return them, and not make a thing of it.” They never made the trip before the gonzo journalist passed away in 2011, so last week, she made the trip on her own.


“[Hemingway’s family] was warm and kind of tickled…they were so open and grateful, there was no weirdness,” she told BroBible’s Brandon Wenerd, continuing:

“Still, it’s something that was stolen from the home. They were grateful to have them back. They had heard rumors. Sean Hemingway, the grandson, was the first family member that I’d heard from. He spoke with other Hemingway family members and he said that everyone agreed that he should have them. He lives in New York, where he curates a museum. So now that I’m back from Ketchum we’re actually shipping them to Sean.”


And now everyone’s happy. (Isn’t it pretty to think so?)

Managing Editor, Jezebel


JujyMonkey: unstable genius

Maddie, I’m not a pedantic guy, as I hope you know by now. Hunter didn’t “pass away” in 2011; he blew his brains out with a .45 pistol. He was a lesser voice as he got older but he was a great writer in his prime. Not for everybody, but I'd love to see what scorn and derision he'd heap on the current election.