The shocking story of the news reporter who killed herself on live TV broadcast.
This very sad and shocking incident happened on July 15th 1974. Her name was Christine Chubbuck and she worked as a television news reporter for WXLT-TV which is now known as WWSB.
Christine was a very brilliant reporter and performed her job with great skill and dedication. Christine always could be seen smiling on the TV so everybody thought she was a happy woman; but what the people did not know about the reporter was that she suffered severely from depression – a problem that would later claim here life.
The fact that she could not get into a relationship with a man was said to be one of the major triggers of her depression. She reportedly lamented about her depressed life to co-workers, one of her lamentations was about the fact that she was approaching the age of thirty and was still a virgin. According to her friends and co-workers, Christine was very sad about the fact that she had never been on more than two dates with a man. According to her it seemed that men did not like her. Her family strongly believed that her lack of relationships with the opposite sex was the major contribution to her ongoing depression.
A couple of weeks before Christine committed suicide, she asked permission from her TV station’s director to do a news on suicide and she was given the permission. Having got the permission from her boss, depressed Christine made her way to the local sheriff’s department as part of her report. According to reports, Christine visited the sheriff’s office to find out detailed information about suicide and the manner and ways in which people commit suicide.
The poor sheriff, not knowing what she really wanted to use the information for and believing the information was just for her news categorically told her that using a .38 caliber revolver and shooting oneself in the back of the head rather than the temple was one of the most efficient ways to kill oneself. Only if he knew what would happen to the poor reporter next!
A week before her suicide, Christine reportedly bought a gun.
On the morning of July 15, the day she committed suicide, she read a newscast instead of her morning talk show program – Suncoast Digest, a move that surprised her crew at the station. But Christine claimed that she needed to do the newscast before delving into her program. She was given the green light to do so by her producer.
In the first minutes of her program, Christine covered stories of a local shooting from the previous day, the film reel of the local shooting for some strange reason was not running and then Christine began mumbling some words about Channel 40’s policy of violence on TV. She then promised the viewers that they were going to see a live suicide attempt on TV, whereupon she pulled out a revolver and shot herself in the head while live broadcast was going on.
Totally stunned by the event unfolding before their eyes, Channel 40’s station directors quickly switched to a public service announcement.
Just like everybody at station, television viewers were equally shocked at the events that unfolded right before them. Some prayed it was a prank while others called the police. But unfortunately it was no prank – Christine Chubbuck had truly ended her life on live television broadcast in what remains till today one of the most shocking moments on live TV.
Christine Chubbuck was then rushed to Sarasota Memorial Hospital in a critical condition but was pronounced dead some hours later.
Christine’s body was cremated and the ashes dispersed into the Gulf of Mexico according to her wishes.