Suicide of Evelyn McHale

Suicide of Evelyn McHale

This powerful photo taken by Robert C. Wiles was published as a full-page image in the 12 May 1947 issue of Life Magazine. It ran with the caption: “At the bottom of the Empire State Building the body of Evelyn McHale reposes calmly in grotesque bier, her falling body punched into the top of a car”. Evelyn McHale is probably the most famous Empire State Building suicide victim. The young and prety Evelyn leaped from the 86th-floor observatory in 1947 and landed on the roof of a United Nations limousine parked on the street below. Her calmly elegant demeanor, her legs crossed at the ankles, the way the car’s metal folded like sheets and framed her head and arms—perhaps these were the reasons that McHale’s death was given its title as “the most beautiful suicide.” When she died, she was still wearing her pearls and white gloves.

According to reports she essentially “fell apart” when they moved her body. Her insides were basically liquefied. 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.”

Via Rare Historical Photos

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4 Responses

  1. J.B. says:

    How horribly sad. From the note she left behind, it sounds to me as if she felt she was a “bad person”, because she didn’t fit into society’s norms. I’m so sorry she couldn’t understand how very limiting society’s norms ARE, and that NO one is required to fit into ANY mold.

    • Nicole Reagor says:

      J.B. Right!? She said her “Mothers tendencies”. Women were deemed crazy of they talked back to the wrong man:/ Her and her mother were probably like me, very opinionated, maybe a little clairvoyant, but she didnt want to be put away like her mother. Very sad indeed

  2. D.B Cooper says:

    How death can look so peaceful and beautiful.

  3. Pooinbrain1999 says:

    More interested in the liquified version of her.

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