Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Evelyn McHale - Most Beautiful Suicide



The photo was taken on May Day, 1947 at the bottom of the Empire State Building. Photography student, Richard Wiles, was across the street, and heard a loud crash. He rushed to the scene and took the photo four minutes after one Evelyn McHale jumped off from the Observation Deck. Like the movie said, the picture is sad, but it is simultaneously serene. It isn’t full of gore, and Evelyn looked as if she was sleeping. Her calm repose contrasted greatly from the grotesque wreckage of a bier she herself created beneath her.
Life magazine wrote at the time: “On May Day, just after leaving her fiancĂ©, 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.”

On May 1, 1947, Evelyn McHale leapt to her death from the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Photographer Robert Wiles took a photo of McHale a few minutes after her death.
“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.”


Read more from stories from the Empire State Building Observation Desk.

6 comments:

A traveller in time said...

How terribly terribly sad. For her and those she left behind.

Douglas Westfall said...

We only die for one of three reasons:
1) God believes we have done all we can,
2) God believes we will never do what we can,
3) We believe we can't.

Kamalachopan said...

It's true.

Anonymous said...

Douglas, what a load of rubbish.

Anonymous said...

This photo is incredible..when i saw that photo ..i am very impressed..so sorry for you Evelyn..R.I.P

Peter Gilgen said...

If you want more info on Evelyn McHale please visit the Facebook Tribute Page I have created for her.

https://www.facebook.com/EvelynFrancisMcHale