1"Please Leave the Room If This Will Affect You.": Pennsylvania State Treasurer Kills Himself on Live T.V.
Once in front of the cameras, Dwyer read from a prepared statement, that turned out to be a suicide note: "I've repeatedly said that I'm not going to resign as State Treasurer. After many hours of thought and meditation I've made a decision that should not be an example to anyone because it is unique to my situation. Last May I told you that after the trial, I would give you the story of the decade. To those of you who are shallow, the events of this morning will be that story. But to those of you with depth and concern the real story will be what I hope and pray results from this morning--in the coming months and years, the development of a true Justice System here in the United States. I am going to die in office in an effort to ...see if the shame[-ful] facts, spread out in all their shame, will not burn through our civic shamelessness and set fire to American pride. Please tell my story on every radio and television station and in every newspaper and magazine in the U.S. Please leave immediately if you have a weak stomach or mind since I don't want to cause physical or mental distress. Joanne, Rob, DeeDee - I love you! Thank you for making my life so happy. Good bye to you all on the count of 3. Please make sure that the sacrifice of my life is not in vain."
He then handed three of his staffers an envelope, one of which contained a letter to his wife, before producing another envelope with a .357 inside. Pandemonium broke out as Dwyer said, "Please, please leave the room if this will affect you." He opened his mouth, inserted the gun and pulled the trigger. News cameras caught it all and the feed went out live.
*WARNING: VIOLENT CONTENT*
2"Football Season Is Over": Counterculture Journalist Hunter S. Thompson's Final Words were Published in Rolling Stone Magazine
Thompson's suicide note was fittingly published in Rolling Stone Magazine. It was titled "Football Season Is Over" and read, "No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your (old) age. Relax — This won't hurt."
3"You Understand that Last Night Was Only a Comedy.": Husband of a Famous Actress Kills Himself After a Marriage Consummation Fiasco
Almost immediately after the couple married, cracks in the union started to show. It was rumored that Bern had beaten Harlow, and that they were having financial difficulties. On September 5, 1932, just four months after his marriage to Harlow, Paul Bern was found shot to death in his wife's bedroom. He was found nude, drenched in his wife's perfume, with the gun and a suicide note by his side which read, “Dearest Dear... Unfortunately, this is the only way to make good the frightful wrong I have done you and wipe out by abject humility. I love you.... Paul." The postscript read, "You understand that last night was only a comedy.”
Rumors that Bern was murdered have circulated for years, but the official story still stands; Bern was suffering a "physical infirmity" that prevented him from consummating his marriage to Harlow, and the "comedy" was, in fact, a failed attempt by Bern to carry out his marital obligations with a realistic sex toy.
4"Absolutely No Reason Except I Have a Toothache.": Unbearable Pain Caused a Man to Jump from the Golden Gate Bridge
In 1954, 49-year-old John Thomas Doyle took his own life. He could have been suffering from trigeminal neuralgia, also known as "suicide disease," a nerve disorder that causes intense pain in the face from the slightest amount of stimulation. The reason for jumping from the bridge was a simple one, laid bare in his suicide note; "Absolutely no reason except I have a toothache."
5"Excuse the Blood": Lead Singer of the Nowegian Black Metal Band Mayhem Slits His Wrists and Throat
Dead was the real deal. A childhood brush with death left him depressed, introverted, and obsessed with death throughout his life. He would cut himself both on and offstage. Dead wanted to look like a corpse, so much so that he wore "corpse paint," which involved painting his face black and white. He buried his clothes before a concert and dug them up right before a show so the smell of earth was on them. He also carried around a dead crow and would smell it just before performing so he had the stench of death on his nostrils as he took the stage. Bandmate Euronymous once said, "I honestly think Dead is mentally insane."
In April of 1991, Dead was found by Euronymous after having slit his wrists and throat. He made sure to finish the job by shooting himself in the head with a shotgun. His suicide note read, "Excuse the blood, but I have slit my wrists and neck. It was the intention that I would die in the woods so that it would take a few days before I was possibly found. I belong in the woods and have always done so. No one will understand the reason for this anyway. To give some semblance of an explanation I'm not a human, this is just a dream and soon I will awake. It was too cold and the blood was coagulating all the time, plus my new knife is too dull. If I don't succeed dying to the knife I will blow all the shit out of my skull. Yet I do not know. I left all my lyrics by 'Let the good times roll'—plus the rest of the money. Whoever finds it gets the fucking thing. As a last salutation may I present 'Life Eternal'. Do whatever you want with the fucking thing. Pelle."
A photo his bloodied corpse is the artwork for the Mayhem bootleg LP Dawn Of The Black Hearts.
6"Stan Polley is a Soulless Bastard.": Badfinger Singer Hangs Himself
Panic set in, especially for singer Pete Ham, who had just bought a new house and whose girlfriend was expecting a child. On April 23, 1975, a despondent Ham hung himself in his garage. He left a note which read, "Anne, I love you. Blair, I love you. I will not be allowed to love and trust everybody. This is better. Pete. P.S. Stan Polley is a soulless bastard. I will take him with me."
7"Life is Meaningless.": Man Leaves a 1,904 Page Suicide Note and Then Shoots Himself as Part of a Philosophical Exploration
"Suicide Note" touches on historical, religious, and nihilistic themes. Heisman appeared to have taken his life as part of a philosophical exploration that he called "an experiment in nihilism."
His father, Alvin Heisman, passed away when Mitchell was still a child, leaving Mitchell a small inheritance. While his father's death afforded him the ability to complete his life's work, it also gave rise to his belief that life was essentially meaningless. "The death of my father marked the beginning, or perhaps the acceleration, of a kind of moral collapse, because the total materialization of the world from matter to humans to literal subjective experience went hand in hand with a nihilistic inability to believe in the worth of any goal."
He wrote, “Every word, every thought, and every emotion come back to one core problem: life is meaningless. The experiment in nihilism is to seek out and expose every illusion and every myth, wherever it may lead, no matter what, even if it kills us."
On the morning of Yom Kippur, Heisman, dressed all in white in Jewish tradition, said goodbye to his roommate and scheduled "Suicide Note" to be sent to hundreds of people via email a few hours after his death.
8"In Living Color, You are Going to See Another First: Attempted Suicide.": Talk Show Host Kills Herself on Live T.V.
The first few minutes went by without incident, until she reported on a story that happened the day before–a shooting at a local restaurant. The tape of news footage from that story jammed and Christine said, "In keeping with Channel 40's policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts, and in living color, you are going to see another first: attempted suicide." She then pulled out a .38 caliber revolver and shot herself in the head.
As Chubbuck was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, news director Mike Simmons found a script in which she had detailed the suicide attempt. "TV 40 news personality Christine Chubbuck shot herself in a live broadcast this morning on a Channel 40 talk program. She was rushed to Sarasota Memorial Hospital." She accurately predicted the hospital, but was pronounced dead a day later.
9" 'Little Grey'...Would Be Able To Prove My Innocence.": Man Sends a Suicide Note by Carrier Pigeon
The pigeon had markings and was traced back to a man in Zhengzhou, but it was not the person who signed the note. That man has never been found.
10"My Work is Done. Why Wait?": Founder of Eastman Kodak Leaves a Concise Suicide Note
In his final years, Eastman was suffering from a heart condition, diabetes, and a degenerative spinal disease, which made walking increasingly difficult and painful. His mother spent her last years in a wheelchair and Eastman did not want to suffer the same fate. As time passed, Eastman grew increasingly despondent. He shot himself in the the heart on March 14, 1932. His suicide note read, "To my friends, my work is done. Why wait? GE."