To me, this is the most beautiful B&W picture of death...

Discussion in 'Photos' started by Airbornemama, May 16, 2017.

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  1. Airbornemama

    Airbornemama DA's Resident Trauma-Mama Staff Member

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    Here, there and everywhere!
    On May Day, just after leaving her fiancé, 23-year-old Evelyn McHale wrote a note. 'He is much better off without me ... I wouldn't make a good wife for anybody,' ... Then she crossed it out. She went to the observation platform of the Empire State Building. Through the mist she gazed at the street, 86 floors below. Then she jumped. In her desperate determination she leaped clear of the setbacks and hit a United Nations limousine parked at the curb. Across the street photography student Robert Wiles heard an explosive crash. Just four minutes after Evelyn McHale's death Wiles got this picture of death's violence and its composure.
    this is what happened the day she died.
    On 30 Apr she visited her fiance in Easton presumably to celebrate his 24th birthday and boarded a train back to NYC at 7 a.m., 1 May 1947. Barry stated to reporters that “When I kissed her goodbye she was happy and as normal as any girl about to be married.”
    Of course we’ll never know what went through Evelyn’s mind on 66 mi train ride home. But after she arrived in New York she went to the Governor Clinton Hotel where she wrote a suicide note and shortly before 10:30 a.m. bought a ticket to the 86th floor observation deck of the Empire State Building.
    Around 10:40 am Patrolman John Morrissey, directing traffic at Thirty-fourth Street and Fifth Avenue, noticed a white scarf floating down from the upper floors of the building. Moments later he heard a crash and saw a crowd converge on 34th street. Evelyn had jumped, cleared the setbacks, and landed on the roof of a United Nations Assembly Cadillac limousine parked on 34th street, some 200 ft west of Fifth Ave.3,4
    Across the street, Robert C. Wiles, a student photographer, also noticed the commotion and rushed to the scene where he took several photos, including this one, some four minutes after her death. Later, on the observation deck, Detective Frank Murray found her tan (or maybe gray, reports differ) cloth coat neatly folded over the observation deck wall, a brown make-up kit filled with family pictures and a black pocketbook with the note which read:
    “I don’t want anyone in or out of my family to see any part of me. Could you destroy my body by cremation? I beg of you and my family – don’t have any service for me or remembrance for me. My fiance asked me to marry him in June. I don’t think I would make a good wife for anybody. He is much better off without me. Tell my father, I have too many of my mother’s tendencies.”5
    Her body was identified by her sister Helen Bronson and, according to her wishes, she was cremated. There is no grave.
    After Wiles photograph was appeared in Life it was widely republished in a number of photography anthologies and became one of the iconic images of the 20th century. It was the only photograph he ever published. Andy Warhol later used the photo in his Suicide (Fallen Body) serigraph, part of his Death and Disaster series (1962-1967)
    evelyn.jpg
     
  2. Vael

    Vael Death Head VIP

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    I love this picture
     
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  3. Maggot

    Maggot DA's Compilation King VIP

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    This is too fucken weird.

    I only saw this for photo for the first time over the weekend and thought the story behind it would be welcomed on the forum. I was literally just gathering some more info ready to post!

    Great minds think alike @Airbornemama
    Hope you don't mind if add this colour version I bumped into.
    The Most Beautiful Suicide 1947 color.jpeg
     
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  4. Maggot

    Maggot DA's Compilation King VIP

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    ...going back to Romford...
    To fall that far, leave a dent like that and still look that intact is amazing. Apparently when the time came to move her body, it literally fell apart, her insides had been turned to mush. But you wouldn't think that to look at her.
     
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  5. Airbornemama

    Airbornemama DA's Resident Trauma-Mama Staff Member

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    Oh no problem! thank you very much hun and im sorry for taking your thread.
     
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  6. Airbornemama

    Airbornemama DA's Resident Trauma-Mama Staff Member

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    No, not at all. I wasn't aware of her body being in such bad condition, but i guess i shouldn't be surprised considering.;)
     
  7. Maggot

    Maggot DA's Compilation King VIP

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    ...going back to Romford...
    Good thing I noticed it or it would have been my 3rd repost this week:oops2:
     
  8. elemental

    elemental Super Moderator Staff Member

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    repost!.jpg
     
  9. Maggot

    Maggot DA's Compilation King VIP

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    ...going back to Romford...
    If I knew this sooner I could have been reposting all year. All those wasted paddle opportunities
     
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  10. elemental

    elemental Super Moderator Staff Member

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  11. Galgbacken

    Galgbacken Death Head

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    Wow great photo! She appears to be quite attractive. Either she was quite disturbed or something horrific happened on that train ride to New York
     
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  12. Lunatic Puppy

    Lunatic Puppy Death Head

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    Some people just don't want/can't live. That has to be accepted.

    The photo is outstanding. She looks peaceful and we all know that isn't the way a body normally looks after such a fall.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2017 at 4:51 PM
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  13. Honest One

    Honest One ETTAFUCKOUTAHE

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    What were the odds of her landing so gracefully.
     
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  14. Wraith

    Wraith Death Head

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    For such a long fall she looks incredible. Any pics of her before her death? I've always wonder at what point does someone finally make the decision to end it. I've been suicidal since I was about 12. I will be 52 in June. No idea how I've made it this far. I think one of the reasons I am on this site is to see things like this. Not sure if it makes me think twice or pushes me further to do it. Either way this lady had to have something in her life to make her jump. I know I do.
     
  15. Cereal_Killer

    Cereal_Killer The Kellogg's Stalker!

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    Very impressive photo, it's certainly a unique one.

    I guess it only takes something to set a person off to do drastic things, while I am not suicidal I often bottle up my aggression & once I've been pushed too far I'll let that aggression out, you could say the same thing about suicidal tendencies. They're often bottled up & at some point they eventually become an emotional snowball that grows larger and larger until eventually it becomes all too much and they decide enough is enough.

    While I don't know you personally, nor do you know me personally or anybody else on this forum for that matter, I'd like to just say that I'm glad that you're here with us right now to have the discussion & that while you may not have heard this from people you know, I certainly appreciate you being here my friend. Don't think too much on the bad side of life because you have a reason to be alive just like everybody else, you just don't know what that reason is yet! Stay strong!
     
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