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suicide

55 articles
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The Split

Relief pitcher Donnie Moore is best known for giving up a crucial home run during Game 5 the 1986 ALCS. It’s not what led to his suicide a few years later.

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Designed for Destruction

On the platonic but volatile relationship between fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who committed suicide in 2010 and professional muse Isabella Blow, who committed suicide in 2007.

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The Suicide Catcher

There's an angel saving jumpers on an infamous bridge in China.

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Nowhere Man

In July 2008, the director of a Denver non-profit received a package containing house keys, a will, a $100,000 check and what appeared to be a suicide note. She didn’t go to the bank–or to the cops.

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Why Are So Many Farmers Killing Themselves?

“An Indian farmer has committed suicide every half hour since 2001.”

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The Secret Life of Johnny Lewis

A murder involving the late actor leaves unanswered questions.

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Sexting, Shame and Suicide

The story of 15-year-old Audrie Pott, who took her own life after nude photos of her were circulated at school.

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Inside the National Suicide Hotline

Trying to prevent the next tragedy.

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The Suicide Epidemic

How self-harm came to take more lives than war, murder and natural disasters combined.

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How Life of Spy Ben Zygier Unravelled

How a Mossad agent’s desperate bid to jumpstart his career led to the exposure of two top Hezbollah plants.

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Life, Death, and Free Culture in the Mission

On Ilya Zhitomirskiy, an idealistic young developer who committed suicide 18 months after founding Diaspora, his well-publicized, open-source alternative to Facebook.

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Noise Kills

Living with – and dying because of – hyperacusis, a condition that grossly intensifies hearing.

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My Brother’s Life, Unraveled

The story of a suicide.

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The Hanging

William Sparkman Jr., a census worker, was found hanging from a tree in rural Kentucky. He was naked, hands bound, with the letters “FED” written across his chest. Inside the investigation into how – and why – he died.

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Gratuitous Pictures of Your Grief

On the late singer Judee Sill, the virtual cemetery site Find a Grave, and memorials in the age of the Twitter RIP.

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Trying to Unlock the Secrets of a Dead Serial Killer

Israel Keyes confessed to multiple murders, but committed suicide before revealing all the details.

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The Last Years of Richard Pryor

In 1980, Richard Pryor doused himself in rum, lit himself, and streaked though the streets or Northridge in a ball of flames. He would go on to live another 25 years.

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The Immortalization of an Anonymous Death

On Dylan Yount, a man who jumped from a San Francisco building, and the people who watched, recorded and, in some cases, encouraged his suicide.

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Let It Fly

A profile of Mo Isom, a former goalie on the LSU women’s soccer team now trying to kick for the football team.

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The Woman in 606

The aftermath of a stranger’s death and the puzzle of psychosis.

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End of the Line

Suicide-by-subway, and how the dead haunt the living.

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Did Football Kill Austin Trenum?

Just days after suffering a concussion, a 17-year-old fullback hangs himself. Inside his family’s journey to learn if a brain injury is to blame.

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Family of former soccer pro can’t accept shame of suicide ruling

The controversy surrounding the death of Uche Okafor.

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To Be or Not to Be?

An essay on the “history, meaning and practice of suicide, from third-century Christian death cults to the Aurora Bridge.”

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Into the Wild

A Kenyan runner loses himself in Alaska.

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The Story of a Suicide

A gay freshman at Rutgers, a spying roommate, and the trial that followed.

Update 3/16/12: The roommate, Dharun Ravi, has been found guilty of hate crimes.
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The Girl on the Bridge

Seattle’s Aurora Bridge has been the most notorious suicide site in the Northwest for 80 years. On one man’s fight to erect a fence and the race to save one last jumper.

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Stories to Live With

Coping with a brother’s suicide.

We tell stories about the dead in order that they may live, if not in body then at least in mind—the minds of those left behind. Although the dead couldn’t care less about these stories—all available evidence suggests the dead don’t care about much—it seems that if we tell them often enough, and listen carefully to the stories of others, our knowledge of the dead can deepen and grow. If we persist in this process, digging and sifting, we had better be prepared for hard truths; like rocks beneath the surface of a plowed field, they show themselves eventually.

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The Suicide Files

The story of a sheriff's deputy in Minnesota who took his own life.
"If anything happens to me," Ruettimann said, "give this to the reporter." After Ruettimann's death, Hereaux took the file down off his desk. Inside was a thick stack of loose-leaf documents, a manila folder stuffed with letters, and a catalog-size clasp envelope labeled "Reports." Written in black permanent marker in the margin of the envelope was the reporter's name: mine.
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In the Valley of the Shadow of Death

In Guyana directly after the Jonestown massacre with the survivors and the dead.

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Erik Turbenson suicide foreshadowed gay taunting trouble at Anoka-Hennepin

One student’s struggle, and the lawsuit that could put an end to a controversial “neutrality policy” in the Minnesota school district.

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The Zankou Chicken Murders

The creator of the California-based food chain kills his mother, sister and, finally, himself:

From Hollywood to Anaheim, he had opened a chain of fast-food rotisserie chicken restaurants that dazzled the food critics and turned customers into a cult. Poets wrote about his Zankou chicken. Musicians sang about his Zankou chicken. Now that he was dying, his dream of building an empire, 100 Zankous across the land, a Zankou in every major city, would be his four sons’ to pursue. In the days before, he had pulled them aside one by one -- Dikran, Steve, Ara, Vartkes -- and told them he had no regrets. He was 56 years old, that was true, but life had not cheated him. He did not tell them he had just one more piece of business left to do.

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Cult of Death: The Jonestown Nightmare

As divided families argued over whether to stay or go, Jones saw part of his congregation slipping away. Al Simon, father of three, wanted to take his children back to America. "No! No! No!" screamed his wife. Someone whispered to her: "Don't worry, we're going to take care of everything." Indeed, as reporters learned later from survivors, Jones had a plan to plant one or more fake defectors among the departing group, in order to attack them. He told some of his people that the Congressman's plane "will fall out of the sky."
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Vanishing Act

The last days of Spalding Gray.

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Adams Fall

A bridge, a preventable leap, and the politics of barriers for “suicide hotspots.”

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The Madoff Tapes

“One evening, my home phone rang. ‘You have a collect call from Bernard Madoff, an inmate at a federal prison,’ a recording announced. And there he was.”

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The Mystery of Erica Blasberg

On the suicide of a promising professional golfer.

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The Golden Suicides

A couple, well-known New York artists, decamp to L.A., where she intends to direct a movie about a rock star trying to leave a cult. Beck, a friend, signs on, then (possibly under pressure) drops out. Their behavior grows strange, and they rant of constant harassment by Scientologists. They return to New York—to die.

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One Desperate Night

You watch your best friend jump off a bridge trying to end his life. What do you do? Vino Richemond jumped in after him.

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Are You Sure You Want To Quit The World?

Li Dao, a young Minnesota nurse, appeared in suicide chat rooms, contacted the most desperate, and made pacts to die with them via webcam. After some in the forum caught on, Dao disappeared; or rather, Dao had never existed at all. She was a middle-aged man. And he may have encouraged and witnessed dozens of live suicides.

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Like Minds

The story of two Canadian artificial intelligence visionaries who became bitter rivals and then both committed suicide in the same month.

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Tragedy at VQR

The managing editor’s suicide has received extensive press coverage, in part because the story appeared to be a relatively simple one: his boss was a bully. It was more complicated than that.

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Three Minutes to Fort Totten

The story of a deadly collision on the D.C. Metro, told from surviving passengers’ point of view.

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Priority One

What happens to a subway operator after someone commits suicide by jumping in front of his train?

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Mike Penner: A Tragic Love Story

A prominent sportswriter spent his life wanting to be a woman and, to great public attention, made the gender switch. But his change brought regret, and eventual suicide.

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Lethal Chemistry at Harvard

When one of the best young chemists in the world took his own life, Harvard was forced to reconsider the relationship between PhD students and their (often Nobel Prize-winning) advisers.

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What Really Happened to Phoebe Prince?

Her suicide made headlines around the world after classmates were indicted on felony charges related to bullying. The real story isn’t that simple.

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The Mystery Suicides of Bridgend County

Dozens of young adults in rural Wales are hanging themselves, feeding an epidemic of copycat suicides that experts are have been unable to contain.

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Too Rich to Live?

On January 1st, 2011, the U.S. estate tax will jump from zero to around 50%, which gives a lot of very rich elders (or perhaps more accurately, their heirs) millions of dollars in incentive to expedite death.

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Running Away

April Savino, a teenage homeless runaway, lived in Grand Central Terminal from 1984 until 1987 when she committed suicide on the steps of a nearby church.

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Death on the CNN Curve

The nation watched live as Robert O’Donnell rescued Baby Jessica from that well in Texas in October, 1987. Then they stopped watching, and Robert O’Donnell was lost without the attention.

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Jumpers

The fatal allure of the Golden Gate Bridge and why it doesn’t have a barrier to thwart potential leapers.