Cryopyrin (CIAS1, NLRP3) and ASC are components of the inflammasome, a multiprotein complex required for caspase-1 activation and cytokine IL-1beta production. CIAS1 mutations underlie autoinflammation characterized by excessive IL-1beta secretion. Disease-associated cryopyrin also causes a program of necrosis-like cell death in macrophages, the mechanistic details of which are unknown. We find that patient monocytes carrying disease-associated CIAS1 mutations exhibit excessive necrosis-like death by a process dependent on ASC and cathepsin B, resulting in spillage of the proinflammatory mediator HMGB1. Shigella flexneri infection also causes cryopyrin-dependent macrophage necrosis with features similar to the death caused by mutant CIAS1. This necrotic death is independent of caspase-1 and IL-1beta, and thus independent of the inflammasome. Furthermore, necrosis of primary macrophages requires the presence of Shigella virulence genes. While similar proteins mediate pathogen-induced cell death in plants, this report identifies cryopyrin as an important host regulator of programmed pathogen-induced necrosis in animals, a process we term pyronecrosis.