Unspeakable Times

14 People Who Have Committed Public Suicide

This list of public suicides includes some of the most tragic, controversial, and perplexing tragedies caught on tape. Many of these were politically motivated suicides that took place as the world watched in horror. These 14 men and women each chose to end their lives in the public eye and have been remembered ever since for those decisions.

Many of these public suicides were not committed out of depression or mental illness, but rather to make a very serious statement against a political position. Thich Quang Duc is perhaps the best known for his public suicide. The Buddhist monk set himself ablaze in Saigon and sat silently as he burned to death while a crowd - journalists included - stood and watched. But Duc is just one who sacrificed his own life for a political agenda, as others like Romas Kalanta, Malachi Ritscher, and Ryszard Siwiec performed the same form of 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 R. 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.

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 many eyes, and sometimes even live television cameras, watching.