A Violent Death. An Immortal Photo.

by Robert C. Wiles

The body of 23-year-old Evelyn McHale rests atop a crumpled limousine minutes after she jumped to her death from the Empire State Building, May 1st, 1947.

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  1. You can see this as cruel or you can see the beauty of the photograph. I prefer to see the beauty than to see it as cruel or bad taste. I understand your reaction. You are entitled to it. I just think it’s a photo that makes you think a lot about life and death since she was so young and beautiful plus the photo is esthetically almost perfect. BTW the family has authorised the photo in Life and even supplied the photography of her alive. Sorry if it troubles or disgust you. It wasn’t mean to provoque that reaction.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is indeed really troubling but I already had the experience of finding a certain beauty to sadness, not to death but for me covering the distance wasn’t such a long stretch… But I do understand the excrutiating sadness and the extreme beauty to such a act of total distress. It is indeed troubling. Maybe I went a bt too far in saying that it is a ”beautiful suicide”. A suicide is never a beautiful thing, as an act but I meant by the title theat the esthetic resulting of the photo was surpisingly gracious and even elegant. I know you are not criticizing me in a bad way but I just rose to the occasion to explain myself. I am sorry. I do not endorse suicide in any way. I thought many times of doing it but I never could because soemthing in me tells me that its is not OK with God or the laws of nature. I do not condemn those who do it. I just wouldn’t do it myself simply ny far of being trapped somehwere in a bad place on the other side. It’s a belief and a conviction that I have purely instinctively. Not based on any rational premises. Thank you for your comment. It is a sad story and sight. Such a lovely woman.


    1. You said it ok!! Really!! It is a picture that is striking precisely because the sheer beauty of the gruesome history that is behind it yet no one can denye the awjward feeling you get that she is just sleeping a peaceful sleep and we all wish that it was the case. PLZ don’t worry. Like I said, I understood what you meant because I feel the same way about it. I just took the ipportunity to respond to all of those who don’t feel the same way about it. It,s ok mate!! Peace Out my friend!! Like I said what you said is ok. I just felt I had to justify this post because I had received other comments from people who saw things differently. Like I said…I just used the opportunity to post a comment about it. I totly could have done it in a separate commment, not answering your comment. My bad really… I’m really sorry if it made you feel bad, I didn’t mean to. We do see eye to eye… I just used the opportunity to like ampkify how this could be taken the wrong way to explain and justify myself to the people who didn’t dig it. Peace Out from Montreal mate!! PLZ stop worrying!


  2. See, I already wish I had wrote that last comment differently.

    I should’ve told you that you didn’t say anything wrong.

    I understand the title…and I’m not sensitive to it. That image is famous for a reason. It struck a whole lot of people the same way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries!! I didn’t understand it like its what you were saying!! It’s just I got comments that were 100% saying that it was gruesome to post that so I just took the opportunity to express what you have said but in a more extensive way. I 100% totally got what you meant was nice and I appreciate the comment. Plz don’t feel bad!! I got what you meant and I feel the same way!! Read my answer until the end. I thought I had mentionned it and if I didn’t well I’m sorry!! It’s amistake on my part! TY for the comment. I took it as a compliment.


  3. Whenever I see this photo, i think of how amazing it is, and how it was a million to one odds that everything came together so beautifully, and the irony of that. I mean, her skirt didn’t even ride up, she’s clutching pearls, her lipstick is perfect. most of us can’t come off this perfect when we try walking out onto the street, nevermind plunging onto it.

    Liked by 1 person

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