Daniel Victor Jones became infamous, but sadly unnamed to many, for committing suicide in the middle of the interchange of the Harbor and Century Freeways on live TV on April 30, 1998.
He was protesting the treatment of HMOs in regards to the treatment, or lack thereof, of his cancer and HIV. He'd had a previous bad run-in with an HMO over abdominal pain and flu-like symptoms, to which he was essentially sent home. His appendix later burst.
While in the cab of his pickup truck, he called 911 and talked to the California Highway Patrol about HMOs before firing several rounds from the shotgun he had with him; one of them through the roof of the truck.
As often happens in LA, albeit normally with car chases, news choppers followed live as he then set his truck on fire with himself and his dog Gladdis, a 7-year-old Labrador-whippet mix, inside. Presumably, he'd expected more of an explosion and an instant death, but one can only speculate.
He then exited the truck unfurled a banner that read 'HMO's are in it for the money!! Live free, love safe or die.'
He ran from the now-burning truck and took off his likewise burning pants and underwear as his hair also smoldered.
Shortly thereafter, with news cameras carrying the still-live footage, he shot himself through the chin.
He'd thrown a backpack over the side of the freeway which contained a video tape that served as his suicide note.
That video tape had been filmed the day before this incident, and showed Jones sitting on a couch next to Gladdis saying, "I'm not going to fight the disease. It has affected my neurological system. I'm not going to end up crazy."
He goes on to express the pain he's in and signs off with, "I'm a dead man. See ya!"
He was 40 years old.
The Very Public Suicide of Daniel Victor Jones on an LA Freeway - August 30, 1998
Daniel Victor Jones became infamous, but sadly unnamed to many, for committing suicide in the middle of the interchange of the Harbor and Century...