In the mid-2020’s, there was an unusually prolific spate of bizarre deaths involving billionaires. Initially, a wildfire of tinfoil-hat conspiracy theories spread across the media, particularly over the Internet, to explain the rash of billionaire demises. But ultimately, it was generally agreed that most of the billionaires died of natural causes.

The Waltons vs. the Sacklers

It began at the Kentucky Derby. Perennially a showcase of America’s most viciously competitive animals and their horses, the Derby degenerated into chaos after two prominent American families, the Waltons (heirs to the fortune of America’s number one retailer) and the Sacklers (creators of America’s number one painkiller), both arrived at Churchill Downs to discover that they had simultaneously reserved the same box seats at the Turf Club. Each family argued a rightful claim to the seats. Alice Walton, who never stood up for anyone, for any reason, once she had chosen a seat somewhere, reminded the Sacklers of the Waltons’ indelible ties to the state of Kentucky, where Walmart not only employed over 30,000 Kentuckians, but was also far and away the average Kentuckian’s favorite store. Richard Sackler countered by claiming that Oxycontin had touched “at least that many” Kentuckians. Neither party relinquished the seats, and the situation devolved into an orgy of drink-spilling, hair-pulling, and lawsuit-threatening until Jim Walton pulled out of a copy of the latest Forbes List and proved to the petulant Sacklers that the Waltons occupied a higher place on the list than the Sacklers.

Richard Sackler knew when he was down, but not out, and he grudgingly ceded the Turf Club to the Waltons, reminding everyone that it was only “a stupid fucking horse race.” A few months later, Richard decided to bury the hatchet with the Waltons, inviting them to his private island in the South Pacific, where both families could peaceably enjoy a special, scaled-down version of the Kentucky Derby, with native children riding imported horses around Richard’s own personal go-kart track. The Waltons graciously accepted the invitation, arriving at Richard’s island in their fleet of private jets. What no one in the Walton family suspected, however, was that Richard’s invitation was not inspired by a genuine desire to humiliate indigenous children, but by a movie he had seen as a boy called The Most Dangerous Game, where a twisted psychopath hunts human beings for sport. Each of the Waltons was given a handful of rations, some Evian water, and a specific tool or weapon (Rob Walton was given a Phillips-head screwdriver). Then they were turned loose on the island. The Sacklers spent an hour eating the horse that had won the Kentucky Derby, which they had purchased from its owner and killed out of spite, before suiting up with guns, knives, and Kevlar body armor, trekking out into the jungles of the island, and slaughtering the Waltons one by one as the helpless retail billionaires begged for mercy.

What seemed like a clear victory for the Sacklers soon proved disastrous. Just as the Sacks were sitting down at their picnic table to enjoy their last few barbecued horse kebabs, a tsunami of record speed and size swept over the island, knocking out the power, destroying the airstrip, and crippling the island’s communications system. Left to their own devices, the Sacklers soon turned to cannibalism. Richard Sackler’s last words, as he choked down the stringy buttocks of his butchered grandchildren, were: “I apologize for nothing.”

The real victims of the family feud were the editorial staff at Forbes, who were forced to come into the office on a Saturday to reconfigure their list before the new issue went to print.

Highlights from the Age of Dead Billionaires

Thus inaugurated the Age of Dead Billionaires, when a disproportionately high number of the world’s wealthiest individuals kicked the bucket. The next to go was New York financial tycoon and former mayor Michael Bloomberg. Never one to shy away from a good headline, Bloomberg decided to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the original purchase of Manhattan Island by European settlers from the Canarsee Indian tribe by recreating the famous transaction in Central Park. On May 24th, 2026, Bloomberg hired a group of random Native Americans, made them strip down to loincloths, and played the role of the savvy Dutch investor Peter Minuit, presenting the “Indians” with an enormous check for $24, then turning to the television cameras for one of his trademark silence-inducing laughs. No one was laughing moments later, however, when one of the Native Americans, who’d been radicalized several years earlier in the aftermath of the North Dakota pipeline debacle, produced a buck knife from the meager folds of his loincloth and scalped Bloomberg in front of a herd of braying reporters. Bloomberg’s remains were interred at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, his grave marked by a 1,400-foot granite obelisk in a section of the cemetery that almost no one else in New York City could afford.

Soon the billionaire corpses started piling up. Larry Ellison arrived by private yacht to his oceanside Malibu sushi restaurant, where he choked to death on what was reportedly “sea urchin, with possibly too much wasabi.” Across town, basketball phenom LeBron James, having just reached his lifelong goal of becoming the world’s first billionaire athlete, was trampled to death by enraged crowds storming out of an advanced screening of his definitely-not-as-good-as-the-original-Michael-Jordan-version Space Jam reboot. A few obscure billionaires, like Bobby Murphy (creator of Snapchat), Jerry Jones (owner of the Dallas Cowboys), and a Hilton or two, died, not unpredictably, from masturbation-related fatalities too heinous to print here.

The Axis of Evil

At the end of an ordinary workday, in a plain, unostentatious office in Wichita, Kansas, Charles Koch poured himself a short, conservative glass of Macallan 18. He took off his shoes and placed them side by side beneath his desk. He spent five or ten minutes reading The Wall Street Journal. He signed a stack of checks on his desk and folded them into envelopes addressed to various political organizations and Christian groups. He checked online to see how Wichita State had done in the basketball tournament. He listened to a little Conway Twitty.

Then he reached into the top left drawer of his desk and pulled out a thick piece of black chalk. He walked to the center of his office and drew a large pentagram on the floor.

“My work here is finished,” he said.

He folded his hands, closed his eyes, recited a prayer in ancient Aramaic, then disappeared in a cloud of black smoke, leaving nothing behind except a faint scent of sulfur, and a few hoof prints on the carpet.


In related news, Rupert Murdoch was found dead in his penthouse apartment in New York. He had been beaten, stabbed, shot, garroted, and held upside down in his own bathtub. His finger nails had been pulled out and his feet had been burned. There was evidence that he had been bitten several times by a large snake, possibly a python. Multiple poisons, including arsenic, strychnine, and iocaine powder, were found in his bloodstream. He had been decapitated.

Extensive police investigation yielded either no suspects, or, as the lead detective reported: “a suspect list numbering in the tens of thousands.”

Mr. Murdoch was eulogized on his beloved news network by his favorite talk show host, Sean Hannity. Hannity later confessed to his friend and squash partner Tucker Carlson that he was deeply affected by the death of his boss and mentor.

“Life is short, Tucky,” Hannity said. “We should do the things we want to do.”

Which prompted him to finally get the swastika tattoo on his forehead that he had always wanted, so he could be just like his idol, Charles Manson.


The death of Donald Trump came not with a bang, as media outlets hoped, but more with a whimper. Living in exile at Mar-a-Lago, Trump spent most of his days like Tony Montana in Scarface, lounging around in a giant hot tub, watching TV, snorting cocaine, and yelling at his wife. One night, when Melania had finally had enough and stormed back to New York in their private jet, a tropical storm badly disrupted the reception on Trump’s television. If there was one thing the Donald hated, it was getting out of the hot tub to call Verizon. Instead, he spewed a storm of invectives at the flickering screen. The reception continued to waffle, so he threw the remote at the TV, surprisingly hard for a man who ate so many Quarter Pounders with Cheese. The screen shattered, glass flying everywhere. One shard, no bigger than the head of a pin, flew into Trump’s eye. It passed through the cornea and entered the optical blood vessels. From there, it circulated through his blood stream, puncturing tiny holes in his arteries, until finally ricocheting around his heart. He bled out, internally.

No televised news conference, no maniacal death-bed raving, no parade, no confetti. Just a man dying alone in his empty mansion, yelling at his TV.

Sili-corpse Valley

Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, died of a possible suicide amid allegations from family and close personal friends of “profound generalized remorse.” Twitter co-founder and fellow billionaire Christopher “Biz” Stone (who was later found eaten by one or more of his 62 rescue lions) eulogized Dorsey on the beleaguered free-speech platform, capturing everything about Dorsey, and his contribution to world culture, in 140 characters. The resulting obituary read: “Sweet Jackeroo gave voice to the entire planet, creating unprecedented freedoms of speech, expression, and equality. Which ruined everything.”

Speaking of everything, after purchasing literally everything that a human being could ever conceivably want or need, Google co-founder Larry Page plunged his vast fortune into uncharted territory: the purchase of literal territory. Since Google had conquered the world, Page wanted to memorialize himself on a canvas worthy of his dominion. So he bought the southwestern quadrant of South Dakota, because that’s where Mount Rushmore was located, and because nobody else wanted it. The South Dakota state government happily parted with what they called “all those rocks and sticks,” welcoming Page’s offer of not actually that much money (about $2 billion). After Page evicted the residents of the Black Hills region, he renamed the territory Googlia and fixed his transformative gaze on Mt. Rushmore.

“I should be on that mountain,” Page decclared. “I’ve done more for this country than any of those guys. Especially Jefferson.”

In a much-lauded campaign to rid American history of “monuments to slave-holding hypocrites,” Page publicly announced that he would personally dynamite the heads of Washington and Jefferson, then have Roosevelt’s head re-carved into his own likeness. Lincoln, he decided, could stay. For now.

Page invited a horde of news outlets to Googlia to record himself free-climbing Washington’s face. He carried with him a detonator that would set off the several tons of dynamite he had paid a bunch of unemployed Native Americans to bury in Washington’s nostrils. Once atop the receding hairline of America’s first President, Page scanned the breadth of his domain, then triumphantly pressed the button on his detonator. Washington, Jefferson, and tragically, Page himself, vanished in an explosion of rock and dust. Oops.

Sergey Brin spoke at Page’s funeral in Mountain View, California, admitting that his late friend and partner had “a bit of an ego problem.” Moments after the funeral, Brin was crossing the street to one of the 600 Starbucks franchises he had won from Larry at Texas Hold ‘Em when he was run down and killed by a driverless Amazon delivery truck.

Everyone assumed Jeff Bezos would be next. In fact, many people were hoping for it. But the Beez proved more cunning than even his most stalwart detractors anticipated. After watching many of his fellow tech titans squashed by the cruel hand of fate, Bezos decided to realize his lifelong dream of abandoning Earth for good. Amazon’s popularity had taken a nosedive in recent years after the company’s Acceptable Number of Americans Run Over by Amazon Delivery Trucks Index finally reached an unacceptable level (32 per 1000). Bezos devoted the entire resources of his vast empire to the creation of a giant Space Pyramid, modeled after the Pharaohs’ tombs at Giza, which he launched into orbit around the Earth and lived in, glaring down upon the planet he had transformed through 4,500 triangular glass windows.

Completely Zucked

It was only a matter of time, everyone figured, before Mark Zuckerberg died in some really weird way. The late 2020’s saw Zuckerberg largely disappear from public life. Inspired by a Marlon Brando movie he’d seen when he was a kid, Zuck moved to a remote tropical island, where he tried to cross-breed humans with animals. When even his fur-breasted cat-woman lost her novelty, Zuckerberg grew increasingly reclusive and depressed. He started eating lots of Chocolate Cherry Garcia ice cream and sitting around wondering why nobody had ever really liked him, failing to realize that the reason he was so despised was because he did to the 21st century what Philip Morris had done to the 20th. If only, he pined, he could cryogenically freeze himself and thaw himself out in a utopian future where everyone wore plain gray T-shirts.

Ironically, he turned to his old college nemesii, the Winklevoss twins, for help. Now billionaires in their own right thanks to the utterly bullshit pyramid scheme of Bitcoin, the Winkletwerps admitted to Zuck that they were actually genetically-engineered soldiers created by German engineers in World War II and cryogenically frozen in 1943, only to emerge from the ice box in the early-2000’s ready to kick ass. The twins showed Zuckerberg the cryogenic chamber hidden deep in the basement of their bordello, and promised him, for a small fee (a cool bil), they would freeze him and keep him on ice until the Gray T-Shirt Revolution arrived.

Zuckerberg, who believed everything he was told, packed an extra T-shirt and climbed into the freezing chamber. However, the “cryogenic freezing chamber” was really just a vat of hair gel, cooled by a refrigeration unit to just the ideal temperature of Awesome, so that the Winklevoss twins would always look like a cross between Jordan Belfort and Val Kilmer from the Joel Schumacher Batman movie. Zuckerberg drowned in the hair gel cooliematron and the twins stuffed his corpse and mounted it in their trophy room, right next to their autographed portrait of Hitler.

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss did not perish during the Age of Dead Billionaires. Instead, they grew stronger with each billionaire’s demise, like cancer.

Star Wars

Meanwhile, as the world turned, and billionaires were picked off and flicked into the great hereafter like boogers flicked out the window of a speeding Amazon truck, Jeff Bezos stood naked in front of the enormous glass windows of the Space Pyramid, thinking to himself: “If I could reach out and slap the Earth, I would.” The Space Pyramid contained everything a person could ever need or want for both survival and entertainment. It had a gym, a swimming pool, a Japanese Zen garden, a bowling alley, a movie theater, and a completely stocked, fully-functioning Whole Foods. The only real inconvenience about living in space was that he had to wait hours at a time for his personal spaceport on Earth to shuttle a steady stream of washed-up actresses and coke-addicted supermodels to the Pyramid for Bezos to have sex with.

The other major inconvenience was that the neighborhood was not as exclusive as it used to be. When he arrived, Bezos had been the only billionaire orbiting the Earth. Now, with so many dead billionaires, many of whom wanted their mortal remains shot into space, Bezos found himself gazing out over the entire continent of Asia with his view interrupted by the eternally-spinning caskets of the late rich. Soros, Buffet, even George Lucas, who had slipped onstage and fatally cracked his head open while accepting his long-overdue Academy Award for Best Director, drifted past Bezos’ windows every 24 hours or so. Sometimes the caskets of dead billionaires collided with each other, or with satellites, creating space debris and disrupting television signals in the Pyramid. Bezos hated those dead rich assholes and their insatiable hubris, the gall with which they momentarily obscured his view of that great blue marketplace below.

Bezos was not the only one whose view was compromised. Back on Earth, Elon Musk stared up at the sky every night, wondering if every planet was as boring as Earth, cringing every time the blue blinking light of the Space Pyramid crossed his vision. Jeff Bezos was a menace, Musk thought, monopolizing space for himself. Looking down at Earth like he owned the place. Like eight billion humans were nothing but ants.

Musk could hardly talk. Every night before his mandatory cooling period, he plugged himself into the industrial-strength battery beside his charging station and wondered if being human was really as boring as it looked. 80 years earlier, when he’d been built in a lab by German scientists, Musk had formed the distinct impression that taking over the world was a lot more fun back then. Guns instead of securities. Invasions instead of mergers. If the entrepreneurs who’d invented him hadn’t been convicted of war crimes at Nuremberg, they’d be plotting ways to shoot Bezos down right now. And that’s what Elon Musk decided to do: shoot Bezos down.

Tesla had been developing space travel technology for years. Musk plugged himself into his portable battery charger and dove into his lab, emerging a few weeks later with an environmentally-sustainable space shuttle that ran only on processed kangaroo meat. He named the ship “The Elongator” and armed it with a battery of interplanetary space missiles, left over from an old contract he had commissioned from the United States government. The launch took place on a quiet night in Johannesburg. Musk charged into space, pointed the Elongator toward the Space Pyramid, and aimed to wipe the stain of Jeff Bezos from his view forever.

Jeff Bezos hadn’t subjugated an entire small country worth of employees by just standing around, waiting for enemies to come to him. He saw that dingus Elon Musk coming from miles away and prepared the Space Pyramid’s defense protocols. A thousand space drones flew out of the Pyramid, dropping bombs in the direct path of the Elongator. Elon Musk ducked and swerved, tacking back and forth across the atmosphere, wishing he’d brought along another ton or two of kangaroo flanks. The Beez proved to be an excellent marksman with the drones, perhaps the result of spending much of his adult life playing Call of Duty. Musk knew he would only need one well-aimed missile to take down the Pyramid, but space was crammed with obstacles. He shot and hit four Verizon satellites and three billionaires’ caskets, including that of the late Qin Yinglin, Chinese billionaire pig farmer. Soon he ran out of missiles, while the drones circled him mercilessly, heaving explosives at the Elongator.

This may have been a mistake, Musk thought to himself, the first time since he was originally booted up that those exact words had ever flitted through his processor in that exact order. But he still knew that he had one advantage over Bezos: as a cyborg, it was impossible for him to die. He could kamikaze the Elongator straight into the Space Pyramid, and Bezos would be sucked into a vacuum, screaming breathlessly as every molecule in his body froze and imploded.

Musk steered a course for the main observatory deck of the Pyramid. He could see Bezos coming into view, the bald little goblin grinning as his drones pounded the Elongator.

“I’ll see you in Hell, brother,” Musk said.

The Elongator crashed headlong into the Space Pyramid. Elon Musk, obsessed with his dark desire to unseat the richest man in the known universe, miscalculated the combustibility of his mid-20th century German engineering. The Elongator exploded, incinerating the world’s second-richest man, his steel components and rubber tissue melting instantly.

But Musk accomplished his mission. The Space Pyramid shuddered and fractured apart, sending thousands of triangular shards of glass careening across the atmosphere. Some shredded the orbiting caskets of other dead billionaires. Others rained down on Earth like fiery daggers. Still others crashed harmlessly into the moon. Bezos himself was sucked out into the freezing maw of space, twitching and flailing like the queen alien after Sigourney Weaver blew her out of the airlock.

They will all be missed.