13 People Who Have Committed Public Suicide People
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13 People Who Have Committed Public Suicide

This is a list of public suicides, including some of the most tragic, controversial, and perplexing tragedies caught on tape. Many of these are politically motivated suicides that took place as the world watched in horror. These thirteen men and women each choose to end their lives in the public eye and have been remembered ever since for those decisions.

For many of these public suicides, the motive was not out of depression or mental illness but rather to make a very serious statement against a political position. Thich Quang Duc is perhaps the most well known for his public suicide when he, a Buddhist monk set himself ablaze in Saigon and sat silently as he burned to death wehile a crowd - journalists included - stood and watched. But Duc is just one who sacrificed his own life for a political agenda as others like Roman Lakanta, Malachi Ritscher and Ryszard Siwiec performed the same self-immolation in political protest.

Others who chose to end their lives in a very public way were believed to be suffering from personal struggles which led them to a place of desperation and eventually death. Pennsylvania Treasurer Budd Dwyer famously shot himself as television cameras rolled during a press conference he called after his conviction on bribery charges. Dimitris Christoulas felt he had no other option when he committed suicide in Greece after his pension was slashed by the government. Jodon F. Romero was being chased by police in Florida when he chose to end his own life on live national television, care of Fox News.

Whatever the reason or the manner, each of these men and women will always be connected for their choice to commit suicide with the world watching. They may not be the most famous suicide deaths but all occurred with various eyes, sometimes even live television cameras, watching.
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    Thich Quang Duc

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    Thich Quang Duc, a Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk, committed public suicide on June 11, 1963, by burning himself to death in the middle of a busy intersection in Saigon. Duc's self-immolation was to protest the persecution of Buddhists by South Vietnam's Roman Catholic government as stated in a letter drafted prior to his death.

    After gathering a small group of journalists to the area, Duc sat in the meditative lotus position on a small cushion in the middle of the busy street. He was doused with gasoline, spoke a few words, and then struck a match and dropped it on himself. Duc barely moved and did not make a sound as he was engulfed in flames. Malcolm Browne, the Saigon bureau chief for the Associated Press, photographed the suicide, and his work was later named the World Press Photo of the Year.


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