The man who is cut in half by the pendulum is Rufus Wilmot Griswold. In real life, upon Poe's death, Griswold wrote an unfavorable obituary for Poe which was first published in the October 9, 1849 issue of the New York Tribune. Additionally Griswold wrote a biographical article about Poe painting him as a depraved, drunk, drug-addled madman. Writers Ben Livingston and Hannah Shakespeare wrote Griswold's fictional death scene as revenge. After Poe's death, Griswold claimed to be Poe's literary executor promising to share any profits with Poe's family which he did not. However, he attempted to destroy the author's reputation. Much of what he wrote were half-truths and outright lies, parts of it were lifted almost verbatim from Edward Bulwer-Lytton's The Claxtons and his description of the fictitious Francis Vivian. Griswald also claimed he had proof in the form of some of Poe's letters. These were later found to be forgeries. Griswald's mendacious portrayal of Poe appeared in biographies about him for the nearly two decades and formed most people's impression of the man.