Live Suicide

Christine Chubbuck
Christine Chubbuck

Christine Chubbuck, a news reporter working for WXLT-TV in Florida, committed suicide during a live television broadcast. On the morning of July 15, 1974, Chubbuck concluded a usual summary of the top news-stories of the day and turned to the camera to say “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”, before withdrawing a revolver and shooting herself behind her right ear. Chubbuck violently collapsed onto her desk, with the technical-director on set immediately fading the broadcast to black and having the channel broadcast a PSA and then a movie to fill the void in the schedule. The station was hit with a wave of phone-calls from viewers asking if what they had seen had been an elaborate prank. Suffering from extended bouts of clinical depression, Chubbuck had apparently planned to commit suicide during a live broadcast well in advance, as the sheets she had been reading from for her broadcast turned out to contain an account of her suicide she had written in advance in the form of a news-report. Footage of the incident has been withheld by WXLT-TV and no copy of the incident was known to have been recorded by any viewers of the live broadcast.

Submission by Logan Agle. Thank you.

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