(From the Winchendon Observer, 19 December 1988)
12 Year Old Guinness Record Holder Dead
(AP) December 18, 1988 - Streetly, England - Mario Morby, a 12 year old record holder in the "Guinness Book of World Records," was killed yesterday when he asphyxiated under the weight of hundreds of thousands of postcards that accidentally toppled on him. Morby, a cancer patient currently in remission, collected the postcards from supporters all over the world who took sympathy on his condition. The bulk of Morby's collection, estimated at over 2 million with 30,000 arriving daily, was turned over to an auction house for disposal. Morby had retained about 500,000 of the nicer ones.
Florida Child's Wish Come True, Inc. publicized Mario's wish for postcards. "Had we realized the trouble that we caused, we would have never gotten involved," said Frances Keefe, the founder of the Spring Hill, Florida organization that specializes in satisfying the last wishes of dying children. They used the pseudonym "David" when requesting postcards on Morby's behalf. "It makes us heartsick," Keefe continued, "to realize that we have contributed to this gentle child's death. He was in remission, and his spirits were up. Those postcards were his life."
Morby's body was discovered by the family dog, who notified the district constable. Foul play is not suspected.
Ross McWhirter, author of the "Guinness Book of World Records," said in a prepared statement that "it is ironic that Morby's record has been overshadowed by that of another boy named 'David' who is dying of leukemia. In tribute to Morby, however, we have decided to enter him in a new category in the mid-year 1989 update edition: `Most Senseless Death.'"
Contributions in Morby's memory may be made to Florida Child's Wish Come True, Inc., P.O. Box 5997, Spring Hill, FL, USA.