Jonathan Harker
  Published on June 20, 2020   
Now blogging on

Politician R. Budd Dwyer, The 'Honest Man', Goes Out With A Bang

"That's why they say hey man, nice shot." American rock band Filter out the Budd Dwyer suicide.

On January 22, 1987 Pennsylvania Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer committed suicide on live television after the State found him guilty of accepting a bribe. The following video is the live suicide filmed by Pennslyvania media and broadcasted on television.

Budd Dwyer did not come from a political family, but became a politician after spending a year studying abroad in communist Poland. Family and friends who knew Budd Dwyer spoke highly of his personality and trustworthiness. In 1962 Dwyer graduated Allegheny College with a political science and accounting degree before receiving his masters in education.

Budd Dwyer found himself in the public spotlight after outing the governor for spending taxpayer dollars on his wife’s airfare and children’s education. This caused immediate friction between him and the governor which may have resulted in the scheme that set up Budd Dwyer.

The State accused Budd Dwyer of accepting a $300,000 bribe from CTA, a California-based computer company, which submitted a bid for a government contract. John Torquato Jr., the owner, was accused of offering Dwyer the bribe after F.B.I. found damning evidence on his personal computer linking the treasure to the scheme.

Budd Dwyer's name and reputation has been referenced multiple times in popular culture.

Further research - pulled from

The CTA Scandal of 1986 by Delaney Cole

The CTA Contract - The Signature that Brought Down Dwyer
Senate Resolution Honoring the Memory of Budd Dwyer
FBI Interview with John Torquato Jr. Part I*
FBI Interview with John Torquato Jr. Part II*
Robert Asher and R.Budd Dwyer Indictment
Trial Notes - Dwyer's Testimony*
Dwyer's Letter to President Reagan Asking for a Pardon
Closing Arguments of the CTA Trial by Prosecutor James West*
Trial Notes from William Smith's Wife*
CTA Trial Notes from Federal Source*


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