Monday, 18 July 2011

The Most Beautiful Suicide

Today I was looking on the internet at countries I want to visit such as the Maldives and Malta, and ended up researching the Seven Wonders of The Modern World. Stumbled across The Empire State Building and randomly started reading about the suicides that have taken place there. 

I was startled to read about a young lady named Evelyn McHale (23 years) who leapt to her death from the 86th floor on May 1st 1947. She landed on a United Nations limousine parked at the curb.

A Photography student, Robert Wiles managed to capture an oddly serene moment a few minutes after she died. The photograph ran in the May 12th 1947 issue of LIFE Magazine.

It is referred to as 'The Most Beautiful Suicide'.

I wasn't as shocked as I thought I might be looking at an image of a young woman in such an awful situation, I'm shocked by the state of the limousine but I find this image beautiful too.

She looks so peaceful and untouched and the detail of her clutching at her clothing is surreal. 
It has been a while since I've come across such an intriguing image by an unkown photographer.

The police found a suicide note among Evelyn McHale's possessions on the observation deck, it read;

"He is much better off without me ... I wouldn't make a good wife for anybody"


Anonymous said...

Tragic! But you're right in saying it is a peaceful imagine.
A great find, leanne,


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