The manager for many years of the Lodi and State theatres in Lodi, California, Muller, 42, had become increasingly depressed over business matters. Weeks before his death, he often threatened suicide to his wife and was never without a bottle of iodine laced with ant paste on his person. On January 3, 1938, Muller's wife and a friend found the theatre manager in the basement of his Lodi home at 710 South Street suspended from a cord attached to a ceiling joist. A note addressed to his wife and son found on the dining room table upstairs read: "Dear Ruth and Dickie: Forgive me for this act but I am going mad...sorry I made you both so much trouble....Goodbye and good luck to you both." Evidence at the death scene suggested that Muller had ingested some of the deadly mixture prior to slipping a double noose around his neck and then kicking an 18 inch high box out from under his feet.