The Tragic, but true Story Behind The 1942 Genesee Hotel Suicide

· 3 min read

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YouTube nearly banned my account after I uploaded a video I produced called the Beautiful Suicide of Evelyn McHale. If you haven’t heard the story, I recommend you at least looking at the famous photo surrounding it. Anyway, the Gods of YouTube apparently have a firm stance against self-destruction and instantly shush any reference of it. As a combat veteran, I know what suicide, or excuse me for not being politically correct here, becoming “unalive” entails. A few years back, I chased down twelve Ativan by gulping down a liter of vodka. Three-days later, when I finally woke up handcuffed to a gurney, BOOM! I’m now an anti-suicide advocate.

Our society today believes if we collectively refuse to discuss tragic events such as suicide, then it’s like it’s not really there. And of course, that’s not real life, that’s a fantasy.

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

Whew, that’s a looooong way down. Source

“M. Miller, Chicago” registered a room at the Genesee Hotel at 8:50 am on May 7, 1942. Five hours later she would be perched on the window’s ledge, dangling her feet like a child during recess.

“She inquired about the rates and I assigned her a room.” Miss Edith Gress, hotel clerk, said. “From what I understood, she had not been there since taking the room until the time she was discovered on the ledge.”
Notice her bright blonde hair even shines in this black-and-white photo. Source

By the time 1:25 arrived, several thousand people watched Miss Mary Miller swing her legs and wave her arms. I wonder what she was going through? From the witness statements I read, Mary seemed practically giddy. She was happily waving to the crowd, totally ignoring their cries for her to come down. To “step back from that ledge my friend”.

“Then, suddenly, she let go.”
I wonder what she is thinking? If you zoom into her face, you will discover no genuine expression. Perhaps she’s finally content? Source

Mary plunged through the air, feet first. Her limp body rotating around several times as she was caught in some invisible vortex.

As she nears closer, her body narrowly misses a horse-mounted police officer, which became spooked and reared up.

Miss Marry Miller reaches the pavement with a tremendous amount of force. The solid concrete giving no resistance and remaining unpenetrable. If only, the Fire Department could have deployed their net seconds earlier.

Mary Miller lies peacefully on the concrete below. Source
Russell Sorgi, who took the famous photo of her falling recalled, “I snatched my camera from the car and took two quick shots as [the woman] seemed to hesitate… As quickly as possible I shoved the exposed film into the case and reached for a fresh holder. I no sooner had pulled the slide out and got set for another shot than she waved to the crowd below and pushed herself into space. Screams and shouts burst from the horrified onlookers as her body plummeted toward the street. I took a firm grip on myself, waited until the woman passed the second or third story, and then shot.”

Unfortunately, we know little about Miller’s life. If wasn’t for the famous photo of her falling, we would know nothing at all..

Perhaps she wanted it this way.