5 Horrible Public Suicides That You Should Know

DISCLAIMER: The following article discusses suicide. If you are not okay with reading this, please do not read any further and close your web browser now.


People are born and then they are dead, it’s a part of life but sometimes people die early and at the hands of their own.

For the following individuals, suicide was the unfortunate answer after their cries for help went unanswered, leaving those who are left behind with often deep and long lasting wounds.



Ryszard Siwiec

Mr. Siwiec was an Austrian-Hungarian-born, Polish accountant and former Home Army resistance member who was opposed to the Polish invasion of Chechoslovakia, codenamed Operation Danube.

The Home Army formed after Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany which was loyal to the exiled-Polish Government and actively sabotaged Nazi operations such as transports headed to the Eastern Front, as well as fighting many battles against Nazi German soldiers.

The Chechoslovakian leader, Alexander Dubcek was gradually liberalizing communism within the country, which neighbouring Soviet countries grew concerned as it threatened the Soviet bloc. Mr Siwiec was against communism and followed the Chechoslovakian movement away from communism and moving towards democracy.

Mr. Siwiec attended attended the annual harvest festival in on September 8, 1968, an event attended by over 100, 000 spectators including numerous journalist and leaders of the Polish United Workers’ Party. The event was also broadcasted live on television nationally.

Using a flammable solvent, Mr. Siwiec committed suicide by self-immolation while holding a banner reading “For our freedom and yours”.

His death was immediately regarded as a drunken act and covered up for many years. Media outlets were government-controlled so the news were forced to ignore his death. Photos were banned or edited to remove his presence.

Prior to the fall of communism in 1991, Mr. Siwiecs was remembered for his sacrifice and hopes for a free Poland and a free world.



Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez was a Uraguayan-born pest-control worker living in Hollywood, Florida, United States.

Lopez became obessed with the singer, Bjork and in 1996, recorded video diaries of his growing infactuation with her.

He would muse about Bjork, discussed various topics such as his lack of confidence in finding a girlfriend due to being overweight, his failure to obtain a driver’s license, his embarrassment of suffering from gynocomastia and documented the making of a letter bomb rigged with sulfuric acid to disfigure or kill the singer.

It should be noted that Lopez’s obsession was not of a sexual manner, but declared his love for her and could not bear to see her alive without him.

Lopez had planned to kill Bjork with the letter bomb he had made and take his own life as he could not continue life without her.

On September 12, 1996, Lopez sent the fatal package to Bjork’s London address before returning home to document his suicide by gunshot on camera.

Lopez’s body was found after a foul smell was reported by neighbours in the apartment complex on September 16. Police investigated and discovered Lopez’s lifeless body and video diaries.

Police advised Scotland Yard of the London-destined package to Bjork which they were able to intecept with ease.



Thich Quang Duc

In the 1960s, the south Vietnamese government was persecuting Buddhists due to his religious affiliation with Catholicism. As a result, the leader, Ngo Dinh Diem pursued  discriminatory policies favouring Catholics for public service and military promotions, as well as the allocation of land, business arrangements and tax concessions.

Thich Quang Duc was a Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist Monk who, in protest, burned himself to death on a busy street on Saigon.

Photographs of his self-immolation were circulated widely across the world and brought attention to the policies of the Diệm government.

John F. Kennedy said in reference to a photograph of Đức on fire, “No news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one”.

Duc’s self-immolation did not go unnoticed by Diem and the South Vietnamese regime. Diem was deeply troubled to the extent of Duc’s actions and the Diem-lead South Vietnamese government worked towards a unified people and religious tolerance.

Thich Quang Duc is highly regarded till this day for his actions to unify a religious intolerant government.



Christine Chubbuck

Christine was a prominent news reporter, anchor and talk show host in Sarasota, Florida appearing on it’s WXLT-TV and WTOG networks on shows such as Sunrise Digest. She was widely known and respected by her local community for her journalistic integrity.

In her spare time Christine frequently volunteered at the Sarasota Memorial Hospital she performed puppet shows using puppets she made herself for intellectually disabled children. On occasion, Christine featured the homemade puppets on her WXLT-TV talk show and to reach out to the community to help the ward.

On July 25, 1974, at age 29, Christine Chubbuck uttered her final words: “In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts and in living colour, you are going to see another first: an attempted suicide.”

With that, Chubbuck took a .38 calibre Smith & Wesson revolver from the bag in which she kept puppets – used to give shows at a local hospital for intellectually disabled children – and shot herself behind her right ear. Thousands of viewers witnessed her on-air suicide.

Her colleagues reported that the station was focused on increasing their TV ratings by focusing on sensationalism –  the presentation of stories in a way that is intended to provoke public interest or excitement, at the expense of accuracy.

Channel 40 had changed the format of the show at the last minute to focus on a local shooting rather than an interview.

No one knows why Christine really committed suicide leading many to believe her final moments were a protest against sensationalism, however biopictural movies based on Christine, such as the self-titled move paints a dramatic picture of what many believe to be an inaccurate retelling of her life.

According to this and other dramatised publications, Christine was suffering from mental illness and had recently become so severe that her mother and brother had moved to the area to support her.

She was apparently still a virgin and slept in a bedroom decorated like a 13-year olds room would be.



Kevin Whitrick

Kevin Whitick was a British man and electrical engineer. Two years earlier, Kevin’s marriage to his wife had broken down and he was living apart from her.

On March 21, 2007, Kevin was in an insult-based chatroom on PalTalk where the purpose of the room was for all participants to hurl insults at each other.

While streaming live into the chatroom via webcam, Kevin punched a hole in his ceiling while standing on a chair, attached a rope around a joist and hung himself.

Of the 60 participants in the chatroom at the time, many thought it was fake and encouraged him, which was audible to him through his computer’s speakers. Some were deeply concerned and alerted authorities and admins.

Police arrived at the scene shortly after to find Kevin dead.

Although the insult chat room was regarded as rather taboo, some claim therapeutic benefits and that this chatroom served as stress-relief along like-minded individuals, although there are no known official studies to back up this claim.

It is understood that Kevin suffered from depression following his separation and was not in the right frame on the day of his suicide.

Police detectives traced around 100 chatroom users to question them in their role of the cyber suicide however none were charged.


This article discussed suicide and death. If you are facing a crisis, please contact the numbers below immediately.

Australia: Lifeline. 13 11 14
UK and ROI: Samaritans. 1850 60 90 90.
US & Canada: Emergency Services. 911

Find your country’s crises lines here: Click here to list all countries.


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