Thursday, September 26, 2013

Beauty Even In Death


At the bottom of the Empire State Building the body of Evelyn Mchale reposes calmly in a Grotesque Bier, Her Falling Body Punched Into the Top of a Car.

On May Day, just after leaving her fiancĂ©, 23-year-old Evelyn McHale wrote a note. ‘He is much better off without me … I wouldn’t make a good wife for anybody’ …

Then she crossed it out.

She went to the observation platform of the Empire State Building. Through the mist, she gazed at the street, 86 floors below. Then she jumped.

In her desperate determination, she leaped clear of the setbacks and hit a United Nations limousine parked at the curb.

Across the street photography student Robert Wiles heard an explosive crash.

Evelyn McHale
Just four minutes after Evelyn McHale’s death, Wiles got this picture of death’s violence and its composure.

Interesting Fact: Since the Empire State Building was constructed in 1931 some 36 people have jumped from the building, including 17 from the 86th floor observation deck. Evelyn was the 12th suicide from the building and the sixth to clear all of the setbacks. She was one of five people in a three week period to attempt suicide from the observation deck.

In response a 10-ft wire mesh fence was installed and guards were trained to spot potential jumpers. After the barrier was installed people just jumped from other parts of the building, usually from office windows.

Photo Credits: Photographer Robert Wiles for Life Magazine 

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