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Thread: Christine Chubbuck

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    Christine Chubbuck

    Christine Chubbuck ( August 24, 1944 - July 15, 1974) was an American television news reporter who committed suicide during a live broadcast on July 15th, 1974. At 9:38 AM, 8 minutes into her talk show, Suncoast Digest, on WXLT-TV in Sarasota, Florida, she drew out a .38 caliber revolver and shot herself in the head. She died in hospital 14 hours later. According to her co-workers working the day of her suicide she took the unusual step of excusing herself to write her script for the newscast. She normally opened her show with an interview and conducted an informal half hour and she never once opened her show with a newscast. She also placed under her desk a bag of puppets that she had occasionally used during a broadcast. Hidden in the bag was the revolver. Before her newscast she told the producer that she wanted them to get ready a film of a shooting that happened the weekend before and then she took her seat. After 3 pieces of news, she led into the shooting piece but the without the film because it wouldn't run correctly. It was here that she delivered her last words and then shot herself. Her last words were------------"In keeping with Channel 40's policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts in living color, we bring you another first, an attempted suicide." --------- The "script" she went to write was actually the story of her own suicide attempt, detailing how she'd be taken to the hospital and declared to be in critical condition. She was the first person to ever commit suicide on live television. 3 weeks before her suicide she asked the stations news director if she could do a news piece on suicide. After getting her pitch approved she called the local police department to discuss with an officer methods of suicide. In the interview he told her that one of the most efficient ways was to use a .38 caliber revolver and with hollow point bullets, which would disintegrate on impact. A week before her suicide she told a co-worked that she bought a gun and joked about killing herself on air. Her mother, in an interview granted the day of the suicide, said Christine was very depressed and had little friends or romantic interests.

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    That story has always haunted me. Am I correct that no footage of the suicide is available? That it was all confiscated and eventually destroyed? Chilling, absolutely chilling.

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    That is a crazy story. Imagaining seeing that on TV back in the 70's. People must have been totally freaked out.

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    One can only imagine where her mind could have been. Suicide is one thing, but to do it on a live broadcast ?? Good Grief !!


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    Here was a show about her. Never heard of it. http://posters.imdb.com/title/tt0932737/

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    Quote Originally Posted by MbalmR View Post
    That story has always haunted me. Am I correct that no footage of the suicide is available? That it was all confiscated and eventually destroyed? Chilling, absolutely chilling.
    The police did confiscate the tape of her suicide but I believe some years later they gave the tape to her family. However I am not sure if the family destroyed the tape or if its still within the family.

    Only about 100-200 viewers saw her death. Seems like a lot but considering the station she was employed at was ABC ( they didn't have much in the way of viewers in 1974 ) and her station was on UHF ( again, few viewers in 1974 ) and we are talking a small market here, well not many viewers at all.

    Compare that to that 1987 Bud Dwyer suicide. That infamous press conference was broadcast live I believe to stations in Pittsbugh, Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. And on top of that, a snowstorm hit the keystone state earlier that day and many kids and adults were at home watching this unfold. Plus in 1987 VCRs were commonplace, not so much in 1974.

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    Every time I read about her it just gives me chills. The first time I read what she did it disturbed me for a few weeks, just thinking about it. What would make anyone commit suicide on live T.V. Good grief. I have never seen any footage of it. Like someone mentioned earlier they must have confiscated the footage.



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    She looks vaguely like my mom, so I have always been interested in her story. She was so depressed & she just had it, I think, with her place in the business; not being able to do what she really believed in doing. Some jobs will break you if you're in a bad way. I feel sorry for her.

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    That has always disturbed me too. I don't know that if the tape was available I would even want to see it because it's just so chilling!

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    There is actually a mystery to this.

    Even though the suicide aired LIVE, Why did WXLT rolled tape on this anyway?

    Back in 1974 only the biggest of local TV stations actually rolled tape on programs that aired live. It wasn't until well into the 80s that most TV stations started doing this but for a small uhf station in a small town to roll tape..in 1974 !! That is very very unusual.

    Was the show supposed to be taped so it could air sometime later on in the day or late at night? Maybe..but this is a MORNING newcast..why would they want to air that say at 2am?

    My hunch...I think the taping was Chubbuck's idea.

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    A very sad story. With so many unanswered questions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazbabee View Post
    One can only imagine where her mind could have been.
    probably all over the walls.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
    probably all over the walls.
    Yowza I bet you're right.

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    bump

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    But were they able to block her suicide? I read somewhere that, although the camera personnel faded to a black screen, viewers could still hear the shot.
    Didn't know that was a thing...

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    I thought she was also upset because her show aired too much violence and they didn't care if she liked it or not . SO she decided to give the viewers more blood and guts.

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    She had an argument with the news director, Mike Simmons, because he cut one of her stories to cover a shoot-out. She hada history of depression and apparently had a crush on a co-worker who didn't feel the same. The original broadcast apparently showed Christine shooting herself behind the right ear and falling forward violently before they were able to fade to black.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lita View Post
    She had an argument with the news director, Mike Simmons, because he cut one of her stories to cover a shoot-out. She hada history of depression and apparently had a crush on a co-worker who didn't feel the same. The original broadcast apparently showed Christine shooting herself behind the right ear and falling forward violently before they were able to fade to black.
    Wow...what a sight that must've been. When I saw the footage of Budd Dwyer blowing his brains out, the shot was so fast. Maybe it wasn't the same for Chubbock.
    Didn't know that was a thing...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyouya Ohtori Ouran Host View Post
    Wow...what a sight that must've been. When I saw the footage of Budd Dwyer blowing his brains out, the shot was so fast. Maybe it wasn't the same for Chubbock.
    I love how everyone was so shocked at first and then panicked when Dwyer took the gun out of that envelope.

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    The original footage hasn't been made public. I just read about it on Wikipedia.

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    The suicides of both Chubbock and Dwyer must've felt unreal to some viewers. They could've faked their ways as scenes from a movie, just with better effects.
    Didn't know that was a thing...

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    This story always amazed the hell outta me to the pointI took a tip to see the tv studio ! I was looking at all the parking spaces wondering which one was hers...this has always fasinated me!!! I am willing to bet the tape is out there someplace. Someone has a copy!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lita View Post
    The original footage hasn't been made public. I just read about it on Wikipedia.
    Didn't her mom work to keep it from getting out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RaRaRamona View Post
    Didn't her mom work to keep it from getting out?
    Ramona I believe that she did. I am almost positive her mother is the only one with a copy right now. I think someone in the ABC archive one still exists, but I highly doubt it will ever see the light of day.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Miho View Post
    Ramona I believe that she did. I am almost positive her mother is the only one with a copy right now. I think someone in the ABC archive one still exists, but I highly doubt it will ever see the light of day.
    Christine was born in 1944. I dont know if she was the eldest or not, but that would make her mother born in about 1924 or so.

    Mom has to be in her 80's by now. My point is, she might not even be alive. I wonder if the brother has the copy of the tape or if it was destroyed?

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    Those who read our news and report on all the goings on in the world do have their own stories going on too! A very young beautiful newsreader her in Sydney threw herself off the gap a few months ago and no one really knew what was going on! In the midst of their highly professional sometimes journalistic jobs they are also overwhlemed!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cherryghost View Post
    Those who read our news and report on all the goings on in the world do have their own stories going on too! A very young beautiful newsreader her in Sydney threw herself off the gap a few months ago and no one really knew what was going on! In the midst of their highly professional sometimes journalistic jobs they are also overwhlemed!
    Im sorry can I ask what "the Gap" is?


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    I think I read about that someplace.....Im gonna look

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    Such a sad story... poor lady....having said that, the death hag in me would be interested in viewing the tape....although after I saw the Budd Dwyer one, that haunted me for days...maybe not.
    Inside me, there's a skinny woman fighting to get out....but I can usually shut the bitch up with chocolate

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    Pisser theres no video.
    "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others" Pericles

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    That's sad about her killing herself but I would love to see the video.

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    After doing some extensive research on Christine Chubbuck's "lost footage" I discovered some interesting info...some of this I posted in one of the other threads earlier today. There seems to have been two original tapes of her suicide (which was broadcast LIVE, but was cut away as she slid down from her chair onto the floor). One of the tapes was kept by the owner or "head" of the station supposedly, and the other tape went to her family (who probably destroyed it). I'm also under the impression that a copy of this exists in the FCC archive (which would make sense).

    Here's an interesting PDF file document I uncovered today featuring an interesting "request" by E! Networks Marilyn Fletcher. Miss Fletcher decided to take advantage of the FCC's Freedom of Information Act and requested a copy of the July 15, 1974 WXLT footage of Chubbick's final minutes. Notice that there was NO "denial" by the FCC, and they seem to have completed the transaction on 12/07/06. Please excuse the size of this document (it's the 5th item down)...You can PM me for a higher resolution...I will also begin searching for Marilyn Fletcher's contact information...


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    Seagorath, you are the best at research!! Good grief how do you do it? you are awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seagorath View Post
    After doing some extensive research on Christine Chubbuck's "lost footage" I discovered some interesting info...some of this I posted in one of the other threads earlier today. There seems to have been two original tapes of her suicide (which was broadcast LIVE, but was cut away as she slid down from her chair onto the floor). One of the tapes was kept by the owner or "head" of the station supposedly, and the other tape went to her family (who probably destroyed it). I'm also under the impression that a copy of this exists in the FCC archive (which would make sense).

    Here's an interesting PDF file document I uncovered today featuring an interesting "request" by E! Networks Marilyn Fletcher. Miss Fletcher decided to take advantage of the FCC's Freedom of Information Act and requested a copy of the July 15, 1974 WXLT footage of Chubbick's final minutes. Notice that there was NO "denial" by the FCC, and they seem to have completed the transaction on 12/07/06. Please excuse the size of this document (it's the 5th item down)...You can PM me for a higher resolution...I will also begin searching for Marilyn Fletcher's contact information...
    Wow that's really interesting. I wonder what they're planning? I assume she got the footage?

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    IF Marilyn did score some footage I'm sure she wouldn't give it to Seagorath ...I'm sure she swore to keep it secret. If she was trying to acquire footage for the E! special there's no telling what they gave her. You'd think they'd at least have MORE footage of her our there...she did a number of "Suncoast Digest" episodes after all.

    I mentioned this earlier, but a gentlemen (who claimed to have been a veteran law enforcement officer) mentioned on one of the other forums that he's seen the footage, and it's VERY graphic. He said the footage is part of an FBI/Law Enforcement training compilation video, and features several suicides/deaths captured on film. You would think that somebody by now would've made a low-res copy or something. I just want to see the first 8 minutes...her mood "before" the shooting. But I know I'd sit and watch the rest with the volume turned down...

    Quote Originally Posted by RaRaRamona View Post
    Wow that's really interesting. I wonder what they're planning? I assume she got the footage?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seagorath View Post
    IF Marilyn did score some footage I'm sure she wouldn't give it to Seagorath ...I'm sure she swore to keep it secret. If she was trying to acquire footage for the E! special there's no telling what they gave her. You'd think they'd at least have MORE footage of her our there...she did a number of "Suncoast Digest" episodes after all.

    I mentioned this earlier, but a gentlemen (who claimed to have been a veteran law enforcement officer) mentioned on one of the other forums that he's seen the footage, and it's VERY graphic. He said the footage is part of an FBI/Law Enforcement training compilation video, and features several suicides/deaths captured on film. You would think that somebody by now would've made a low-res copy or something. I just want to see the first 8 minutes...her mood "before" the shooting. But I know I'd sit and watch the rest with the volume turned down...

    Why would they use hers? Aren't there plenty of suicides on film? Maybe not...

    She's such a mystery & so pretty, too. I feel sorry for her & I am so curious about her life. There's just no info though.

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    I would love to see this lost film of her just to see how she was right before...I mean she was composed and calm all the time knowing she was going to blow her brains out! Also I wanna see the little smirk she gives right before she dose it....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miho View Post
    Im sorry can I ask what "the Gap" is?
    The Gap is an ocean cliff, in eastern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is located in the eastern suburb of Watsons Bay, near South Head. The Gap is also a suicide location of some notoriety, with a reported 50 suicides annually.[1]It was reported that new security cameras, emergency telephones and higher fences will be erected in an attempt to reduce the suicide rate.[2]



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gap,_New_South_Wales

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    I recently read somewhere that she died 14 hours after shooting herself in the hospital..... is that correct..... man that would suck if it was

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    Marilyn Fletcher requested the video for Chubbuck's episode of "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," I'm sure. I have read that Chris' family destroyed their copy of the footage. I think they also had an agreement stating the footage would never be released to the public so I doubt the FCC sent the entire suicide footage... probably just what led up to it. Who knows?
    Erin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessica Rabbit View Post
    I recently read somewhere that she died 14 hours after shooting herself in the hospital..... is that correct..... man that would suck if it was
    Yes, it's true. She actually speculated in her news copy that she would be declared dead 11 hours after the attempt.
    Erin
    "When my time comes, forget the wrong that I've done - Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed. Don't resent me; and when you're feeling empty, keep me in your memory - leave out all the rest..." - Linkin Park - 'Leave Out All the Rest'


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    Man...... that really sucks..... you would hope that it would be immediate, but hopefully she wasn't in pain

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    I saw a preview for a movie the other day that is coming out and the storyline reminded me so much of the Chubbuck suicide. Man, I wish I could remember the title. Anyone else know which movie I am talking about? The main character is a guy who is an anchorman and threatens to commit suicide on TV......
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    A friend of mine (from Sarasota) contacted me, and said the Chubbuck incident was repeated on several local news outlets (during that period)...but some chose to cut away right before she pulled the trigger. You'd at least think the newscast footage at the beginning would be available...or at least some of her other episodes of Suncoast Digest. If I could see anything it would be one of her random Suncoast Digest episodes...I'd just like to see her composure during an entire community affairs segment. It's frustrating that there is so little out there about her...no gravesite...no memorial...only 2 or 3 photos...no audio interviews. Her broadcasts have almost vanished it seems. Is this what Christine Chubbuck wanted?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GraveyardGirl View Post
    I saw a preview for a movie the other day that is coming out and the storyline reminded me so much of the Chubbuck suicide. Man, I wish I could remember the title. Anyone else know which movie I am talking about? The main character is a guy who is an anchorman and threatens to commit suicide on TV......
    I think the flick you are talking about is called ''Network''?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GraveyardGirl View Post
    I saw a preview for a movie the other day that is coming out and the storyline reminded me so much of the Chubbuck suicide. Man, I wish I could remember the title. Anyone else know which movie I am talking about? The main character is a guy who is an anchorman and threatens to commit suicide on TV......
    Kind of off topic, but for the love of dogs, your avatar is creepy! Love it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Georgiaguy1 View Post
    I think the flick you are talking about is called ''Network''?
    I think you're right. I was watching I Love The 70's the other day and that's probably where I saw it since it came out in 1976. Haha...well I guess it isn't one that is coming out now. I'm not firing on all cynlinders lately. I remember wondering if they had gotten the plot from the Chubbuck case though.

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    Here's another article I liked. http://darwen.us/southcon/southconar..._01_index.html

    More than people not liking her, especially men, I think it was others who didn't reach her high standards. She was so very pretty. She was also very smart & she seemed to believe (maybe not wrongly) that she was above or wiser than those around her.

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    "We suffer at our sense of loss, we are frightened by her rage, we are guilty in the face of her rejection, we are hurt by her choice of isolation and we are confused by her message." - Reverand Thomas Beason at Christine's funeral

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    A few - I mean FEW seconds of live footage from her show.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QZVi4wm-1o

    A poorly done tribute

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLIQh...eature=related

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