Thich Quang DucThich 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 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 with his work later named the World Press Photo of the Year.
- 2Robert Budd Dwyer, the 30th Treasurer of Pennsylvania, became embroiled in payroll tax scandal while he was in office in the early 1980s. Dwyer was accused of accepting bribes after allegedly receiving kickbacks from a California firm contracted to investigate the payroll tax inconsistencies. Throughout the whole scandal Dwyer denied the allegations yet was convicted in 1986.
On January 22, 1987, hours before he was to be sentenced for the bribery matter, Dwyer called a public press conference in which he spoke to reporters and live television crews about his situation including his distrust of the justice system and his innocence. Dwyer then pulled a .357 Magnum from an envelope and shot himself in the head as cameras rolled.
Jodon F. RomeroOn September 28, 2012, Jodon F. Romero, already wanted for a parole violation, stole a Dodge Caliber at gunpoint in Phoenix, Arizona. He was soon located by local law enforcement offers who followed for a high-speed chase. At one point, Romero fired his gun towards police cars and a police helicopter though no one was hit. He continued to evade police until 75 miles outside of Phoenix he pulled into the desert, stopped the car, pulled out a handgun and shot himself in the head.
Of the many local and national television news stations that were covering the police chase live, Fox News went as far as airing the suicide on national television, though on a five-second delay. News anchor Shepard Smith immediately apologized for the broadcast as did Fox News Vice President Michael Clemente later.
Romas KalantaRomas Kalanta committed one of the most high-profile self-immolation protests in recent history. The high school student from Lithiania occurred on May 14, 1972, in front of the Kaunas Musical Theatre near Laisves Aleja, the same location where the People's Seimas declared establishment of the Lithuanian SSR in 1940. Kalanta covered himself in gasoline and set himself ablaze, succumbing to his burn injuries some 14 hours later.
His death provoked a number of post-war riots as well as at least 13 other self-immolation suicides. While Soview propaganda described Lakanta as mentally ill, Lithuania saw his suicide as a statement of solidarity and posthumously awarded Kalanta the Order of the Cross of Vytis, an honor for those who heroically defended Lithuania’s freedom and independence, in 2000.
Dimitris ChristoulasDimitris Christoulas, a 77-year-old retired pharmacist, committed public suicide by shooting himself in the head at Syntagma Square in Athens, Greece, just outside of parliament, on April 4, 2012. Christoulas, whose last words were "I am not committing suicide, they are killing me," shot himself in protest of Greek government austerity measures that slashed his pension.
In his suicide note, Christoulas wrote that he'd rather die than scavenge for food. "The occupation government... has literally wiped out my ability to survive, based on a respectable pension which I had paid for during a 35-year period... I find no other solution for a dignified end before I start sifting through garbage to feed myself."
items 1 - 5 of 13
today on Ranker
start a list with results
close sorting window
use the search box to filter your list