A lawyer known for his gay rights advocacy committed a "protest suicide" Saturday by lighting himself on fire to denounce global warming.
After citing the issues he hoped to bring attention to, reports indicate Buckel concluded with his hope that his would be "an honorable death that might serve others".
The case was made famous in the 1999 movie "Boys Don't Cry", for which Hillary Swank won an Oscar for portraying Teena.
Buckel had long fought for gay rights through the courts and was the marriage project director at Lambda Legal, which was at the forefront of the battle for gay marriage in the US.
Varous said she often saw Buckel and his partner at the Park Slope Food Co-op and a farmer's market.
"My name is David Buckel and I just killed myself by fire as a protest suicide", the hand-written message read.
More recently, Buckel worked as an urban gardener and ecologist with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, helping run what he called the largest composting program in the country to use only renewable sources of energy.
Alongside his charred body, police found a metal push cart and inside that cart, there was an envelope marked "Police".
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"My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves", Buckel wrote.
Hours before his death, Mr Buckel emailed a copy of his suicide note to several media outlets.
"A lifetime of service may best be preserved by giving a life". He also served as attorney on a number of high profile cases, including those involving Jamie Nabozny, James Dale, and Brandon Teena.
"This is not new, as many have chosen to give a life based on the view that no other action can most meaningfully address the harm they see", he added, the New York Daily News reported.
Lambda Legal also highlighted key successes of Buckel's legal career, such as the unanimous ruling in 2009 by the Iowa Supreme Court allowing same-sex marriage - making the Midwest state only the third American state to recognize this right at the time of the decision.
Susan Sommer, a former Lambda Legal attorney who is now the general counsel for the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice in New York City, told the Times that Buckel 'was all about justice, but he was also all about what it means to be human'.
The statement continued: "Our hearts go out to all who knew David".
"We were a little freaked out", said a jogger who stumbled across the gruesome remains before the victim's body was covered with a tarp by first responders.