Have you ever heard of Evelyn Francis McHale? Until last year, I hadn’t either.
Searching through articles about important events from 1940s, for my notebook, I came across an article that took my breath away. It read: “The most beautiful suicide”.
I checked the article because of the date it had taken place, and I found out about Evelyn McHale.
This lady, jumped to her death on May 1, 1947 from the observatory deck of the Empire States Building. She was 23 years-old.
Now, one would ask, why someone’s suicide, would be labeled as “The most beautiful”? Well, it as because of the way her body was found.
Evelyn’s body was found “resting” on the top of a limousine, and even though her death was violent, her body seemed to be in perfect shape, as if she was merely sleeping, with her ankles crossed, and a serene expression on her face.
The picture was taken by a street photography student, few minutes after the impact.
Few is known about Evelyn, and I only found 2 pictures of her, but I have found these information:
She was born on September 20, 1923 in California. She was the sixth or seventh child of Vicent and Helen McHale. After high School, she joined the Army Corps and was stationed in Missouri, and after she served it, she moved to New York to live with some relatives and started working as a bookkeeper with an engraving company. It was when she became engaged to a man named Barry Rhodes, a college student and they set to get married in June 1947 in Troy, New York. It has been said that she visited her Fiancée on April 30th to celebrate his 24th Birthday, and that on May 1st, she boarded a train back to NYC. Her fiancée stated that she kissed him good-bye and that she looked normal as any other girl. But Evelyn, as soon as she arrived in NY, she wrote a suicide letter and before 10:30am, she bought a ticket for the 86th Floor observation deck of Empire State Building, from where she jumped. Her letter also read that she didn’t want anybody from her family or out of it, to see her body, and that she wanted to be cremated, and that she also didn’t want any ceremony or remembrance for her. And then her letter continued about her opinion of not being able to be a good wife for her fiancée or any other person. She also mentioned her father saying that she had a lot of her mother’s tendencies.
Her body was identified by her sister and was cremated, and there is no grave.
When I found this story, I started to write it down on my notebook, but still, I will try to provide, at the bottom of this post, links to where you can find the story, and hopefully, I will find the original post, from where I wrote it down on my notebook.
Evenly wasn’t the only person who jumped from the Empire States Building, but for sure her story is the one that has been more reported due to the picture taken by this photographer.
I thought about including the picture on this post, but I am not sure if people under 18 years old, check my blog, so I opted for leaving it out of it, so people can decide if they want to see or not, but I can say that the picture isn’t strong compared to what comes in our minds related to a death like this, but still it is very sad. The impression you will have, if of someone merely sleeping on the top of the car, you don’t see blood or anything that could be seen as gruesome, by someone, but still, I opted for leaving it up to you, if you want to see or not.
The report also said, that when they removed her, her body literally “Fell apart”, what could be expected, but still, the picture of Evelyn is something that makes you wonder a lot of things.
We cannot read the article, I am sorry, I couldn’t find a better resolution for this, but these are surely about her.
Link 3 (From where I obtained great part of the story): http://www.codex99.com/photography/43.html
And here is for precaution, because we never know who is checking our blogs and what’s going through their lives and heads, so take a time to show some sort of support is always a good: http://suicideline.org.au/