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Famous Celebrities Who Committed Suicide

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Over one million people commit suicide every year, making it the 10th
leading cause of death worldwide.  It is a leading cause of death among
teenagers and adults under 35.  There are an estimated 10 to 20 million
non-fatal attempted suicides every year.  The most common cause is a
variety of underlying psychiatric disorders, including depression, bipolar
disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, and drug abuse.  The most common
method is gunshot.  This list will be examining some famous cases of
suicide.   

18. Jeff Alm

Committed Suicide: 1993

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Jeff Alm was an American football player who played defensive tackle for the
Houston Oilers of the National Football League.  He was the 41st pick of the
1990 NFL draft and attended the University of Notre Dame.  Jeff Alm and
his best friend, Sean P. Lynch, had dinner at a local steakhouse on
December 13, 1993.  The following day, Alm’s Cadillac lost control heading
south on Intrastate 610 southbound at the 59 north exit ramp and Lynch was
thrown out of the car through the passenger window to his death. 

Jeff Alm had been speeding and lost control of his 1993 Cadillac El Dorado
on a curved exit ramp.  After the crash Alm ran across the ramp and looked
down an embankment towards the Southwest Freeway, discovering that his
boyhood friend had been thrown to his death 30 feet below.  Apparently
distraught by his best friend’s death, Alm took out a pistol grip shotgun, fired
two shots into the air and then shot himself in the face.  Toxicology reports
showed that Alm had a blood alcohol-level of .14 and Lynch's blood-alcohol
level was a staggering .30.

17. The Von Erich Family

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The Von Erich family is a professional wrestling family.  Their actual birth
names are "Adkisson", but every member of the family that went into the
wrestling business used the ring name "Von Erich.”  Patriarch Fritz lived until
his natural death, but 4 of his sons died before him within a 9-year span.  In
1984 David Von Erich died in Japan from acute enteritis of the upper
intestine. 

Michael, Chris, and Kerry all committed suicide in 1987, 1991, and
1993 respectively.  Mike died after taking an overdose of Placadyl.  Chris
shot himself in the head with a 9mm at his parents’ home in East Texas.
Kerry shot himself in the chest behind his father's house on Shady Shores
Road.  Kevin Von Erich is the sole surviving child of Fritz Von Erich (Jack
Adkisson) and Doris Adkisson.

16. Del Shannon

Committed Suicide: 1990

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Del Shannon was an American rock and roll singer-songwriter who had a No.
1 hit single with Runaway in 1961.  Shannon was extremely popular in the
early 1960’s and produced dozens of hit singles.  He suffered from extreme
depression and alcoholism throughout his life and committed suicide on
February 8, 1990, with a 22 caliber rifle.  He was 56-years-old.  Del Shannon
was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.

15. Jason Altom

Committed Suicide: 1998

Jason Altom was a Ph.D. student working in the research group of Nobel
laureate Elias James Corey at Harvard University.  He committed suicide by
taking potassium cyanide in 1998, citing in his suicide note "abusive
research supervisors" as one reason for taking his life.  Altom was studying
a complex natural product and felt enormous pressure to finish the molecule
before starting his academic career.

Altom's suicide highlighted the pressures on Ph.D. students, problems of
isolation in graduate school, and sources of tension between graduate
mentors and their students.  His case prompted many universities to insist
that Ph.D. students have an advisory committee in addition to a supervisor,
in hopes of providing Ph.D. students with additional support. 

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Elias James Corey

14. Gary Webb

Committed Suicide: 2004

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Gary Webb was a prize-winning American investigative journalist.  He was
best known for his 1996 "Dark Alliance" series of articles written for the San
Jose Mercury News
and later published as a book.  In the three-part series,
Webb investigated Nicaraguans linked to the CIA-backed Contras who had
allegedly smuggled cocaine into the U.S.  The smuggled cocaine was then
distributed as crack cocaine in Los Angeles, with the resultant profits
funneled back to the Contras.  Webb also alleged that this influx of
Nicaraguan-supplied cocaine sparked, and significantly fueled, the
widespread crack cocaine epidemic that swept through many U.S. cities
during the 1980s.

According to Webb, the CIA was aware of the cocaine transactions and the
large shipments of drugs into the U.S. by Contra personnel.  Webb charged
that the Reagan administration shielded inner-city drug dealers from
prosecution in order to raise money for the Contras, especially after
Congress passed the Boland Amendment, which prohibited direct Contra
funding. 
Webb's reporting generated fierce controversy and the Mercury
News
backed away from the story, effectively ending Webb's career as a
mainstream media journalist.  In 2004, Webb was found dead from two
gunshot wounds to the head, which the coroner's office ruled a suicide. 

13. Brad Delp

Committed Suicide: 2007

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Brad Delp was an American musician, best known as the lead vocalist of the
rock band Boston.  Boston is an American rock band from Boston,
Massachusetts that achieved its most notable successes during the 1970s
and 1980s.  Centered on guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter, and producer
Tom Scholz, the band is a staple of classic rock radio playlists.  Boston has
sold over 31 million records in the United States alone.  On March 9, 2007,
Delp was found dead in his home in Atkinson, New Hampshire.  Delp, who
was 55, died from the smoke of two charcoal grills he lit inside his sealed
bathroom.

He was found by his fiancee Pamela Sullivan lying on a pillow on his
bathroom floor with a suicide note pinned to his shirt.  The official cause of
death was listed as carbon monoxide poisoning.  Delp was known for his
considerate nature and had left a note on the front door of his house warning
that there would be carbon monoxide present.  He left private notes to all his
family members and a public note that read: "Mr. Brad Delp. Je suis une
âme solitaire. (French portion translates as "I am a lonely soul.")

12. Charles Rocket

Committed Suicide: 2005

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Charles Rocket was an American film and television actor, notable for his
tenure as a cast member on Saturday Night Live as well as for his
appearances in the film Dumb and Dumber and in the series Touched by an
Angel
.  He is the latest member of the Saturday Night Live family to die
under sudden and violent circumstances, although you rarely hear about
Rocket’s death in the media.

Charles Rocket was cast on Saturday Night Live for the 1980–81 season,
which followed the departure of the remaining members of the show's
popular original cast and original executive producer Lorne Michaels.  
Lorne
Michaels has been with SNL for all seasons except for his hiatus in the early
1980s (seasons 6–10).  Singled out by new executive producer Jean
Doumanian as the star of her new ensemble, Rocket was promoted as a
cross between Bill Murray and Chevy Chase.  He was given the role of
anchor for the show's Weekend Update news parody, and was featured in
many sketches.  He was a "utility player" of sorts, appearing in more
sketches than any other male cast member that season with the exception of
Joe Piscopo
.

Charles Rocket was found dead in a field near his Connecticut home on
October 7, 2005; his throat had been cut.  He was 56 years old.  The state
medical examiner later ruled the death a suicide.  He was cremated and his
ashes were scattered.
 

11. Margie Schoedinger

Committed Suicide: 2003

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Margie Schoedinger was an American woman who filed a civil suit against
former Texas governor and U.S. President George W. Bush in 2002,
alleging that Bush had sexually assaulted her.  In December 2002,
Schoedinger appeared before the Fort Bend County Court in Texas.  She
charged Bush with "individual sex crimes" against both herself and her
husband.  The suit sought several million dollars in damages.  You would
think that this case would bring a media circus, but little was mentioned in the
U.S. mainstream media of Schoedinger.  On September 22nd, 2003,
Margie Schoedinger died.  The Harris County, Texas Medical Examiner's
Office ruled the death a suicide by self-inflicted gunshot wound.

10. Robert Enke

Committed Suicide: 2009

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Robert Enke was a German football goalkeeper who played in several
European countries, namely Barcelona, Benfica, and Fenerbahçe, but made
the majority of his appearances for Bundesliga side Hannover 96 in his
homeland.  He won eight full international caps for the German national team
between 2007 and his death in 2009, and was part of the squad which
finished as runners-up in Euro 2008.  At the time of his death, he was widely
considered to be a leading contender for the German number one spot at
the 2010 World Cup.

On November 10, 2009, at age 32, Enke committed suicide by laying himself
in front of a regional express train at a level crossing in Eilvese, Neustadt
am Rübenberge.  Police confirmed a suicide note was discovered but would
not publicize its details.  His widow Teresa revealed that her husband had
been suffering from depression and was treated by a psychiatrist.

9. J. Clifford Baxter

Committed Suicide: 2002

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J. Clifford Baxter was born in Amityville, New York, and graduated from New
York University.  He then joined the military and became a U.S. Air Force
captain from 1980 to 1985.  After Baxter left the military, he enrolled at
Columbia University, where he received an MBA degree.  J. Clifford Baxter
was a former Enron Corporation executive who resigned in May 2001.  He
sold $35 million worth of Enron stock during the months prior to Enron
bankruptcy.  Reportedly, Baxter clashed with CEO Jeffrey Skilling over
questionable Enron business practices.

On January 25, 2002, Baxter was found dead in his black Mercedes-Benz
S500 in Sugar Land, Texas, with a gunshot wound through the right side of
his head.  The ammunition used was a "Glaser Safety Slug" and a revolver
was found in his car.  A suicide note was found in his wife's car at their
home.  An autopsy was performed by the Harris County Medical Examiner's
Office and the death was ruled a suicide.  Before his death, Baxter had
agreed to testify before Congress in the Enron case.

8. Freddie Mills

Committed Suicide: 1965

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Freddie Mills was an English boxer, who was the world light heavyweight
boxing champion from 1948 to 1950.  He was born in Poole, England.  Mills
began fighting in fairground booths and at venues on the south coast.  He
was 5 ft 10½ in and did not have a sophisticated boxing style.  However he
relied on two-fisted aggression, relentless pressure, and the ability to take
punishment.  Freddie Mills finished his career with 76 wins, 18 losses, and 7
draws.  On July 24, 1965 he was found shot in the head in his car, parked in
a cul-de-sac behind his nightclub.  Freddie Mills died later in the Middlesex
Hospital.  He had told the nightclub staff that he was going for a nap in his
car, something that he often did.

A week or two previously he had borrowed a rifle from a friend who ran a
shooting gallery.  Although the rifle was not in working order when borrowed,
it had apparently been repaired and was found in the car alongside him.  The
coroner’s inquest heard that the angle of the bullet was consistent with a
self-inflicted wound, and the inquest ruled that he had committed suicide.
Many conspiracy theories have been formed around the death of Freddie
Mills, one states that he was the infamous killer Jack the Stripper.   

7. Thích Quảng Đức

Committed Suicide: 1963

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Thích Quảng Đức was a Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk who burned
himself to death at a busy Saigon road intersection on June 11, 1963.  Thích
Quảng Đức was protesting against the persecution of Buddhists by South
Vietnam's Ngô Đình Diệm administration.  Photos of his self-immolation
were circulated widely across the world and brought attention to the policies
of the Diệm regime.  Malcolm Browne won a Pulitzer Prize for his iconic
photo of the monk's death.

6. Sir Bernard Spilsbury

Committed Suicide: 1947

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Bernard Spilsbury was a famous English pathologist and detective.  Some of
his famous cases included Hawley Harvey Crippen, the Seddon case and
Major Armstrong poisonings, the Brides in the bath murders by George
Joseph Smith, and the Crumbles murders.  Spilsbury also had a critical role
in developing Operation Mincemeat, a deception operation during World
War II which saved thousands of lives of Allied service personnel.

Bernard Spilsbury was a master of forensic science.  He was knighted in
1923 and also worked as a Home Office approved pathologist, lecturer in
forensic medicine in the University College Hospital.  Spilsbury was suffering
from depression, which is believed to have been a key factor in his decision
to commit suicide by gas in December 1947.  He died in his laboratory at
University College, London.

5. Dipendra of Nepal

Committed Suicide: 2001

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Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah was a member of the Nepalese Royal Family,
who briefly became King of Nepal from June 1 to June 4, 2001.  On June 1,
2001 Crown Prince Dependra allegedly shot and killed several members of
his family at the Narayanhity Royal Palace, then the residence of the
Nepalese monarchy.  As a result of the shooting, ten people died and five
were wounded.  The dead included King Birendra of Nepal and Queen
Aiswarya, Dipendra's father and mother.

According to reports, Dipendra had been drinking heavily and had
"misbehaved" with a guest, which resulted in his father, King Birendra, telling
his son to leave the party.  The drunken Dipendra was taken to his room by
his brother Prince Nirajan and cousin Prince Paras.  One hour later, he
allegedly returned to the party armed with an MP5K and an M16 and began
executing the guests.  After killing ten people he shot himself in the head and
died three days later.

4. Sylvia Plath

Committed Suicide: 1963

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Sylvia Plath was an American poet, novelist, children's author, and short
story author.  She is known primarily for her poetry and along with Anne
Sexton, Plath is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry
initiated by Robert Lowell and W. D. Snodgrass.  Sylvia Plath took her own
life after she completely sealed the rooms between herself and her sleeping
children with "wet towels and cloths."  She then placed her head in the oven
while the gas was turned on.  The next day an inquiry ruled that her death
was a suicide.  Many conspiracy theories and inconsistencies surround her
death.  

3. Yukiko Okada

Committed Suicide: 1986

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Yukiko Okada was a Japanese idol singer in the early 1980’s.  She was
adored by millions of fans and was recently ranked by the people of Japan
as the 17th most important historical female figure in history.  Yukiko Okada
was accepted to a TV program much like American Idol today.  The
program was Star Tanjō! on Nippon Television.  In March 1983, she won
Star Tanjō!.  Okada went on to release a number of hit singles.

Around 10 o'clock April 8, 1986, the 18-year-old Okada was found with a
slashed wrist in her gas-filled Tokyo apartment, crouching in a closet and
sobbing.  Two hours later, Okada jumped to her death from the seven-story
Sun Music Agency building.  The reason for the suicide is still unknown.  Her
untimely death resulted in many copycat suicides and the christening of the
neologism "Yukko Syndrome" in reference to copycat suicides in Japan.

2. Alberto Santos Dumont

Committed Suicide: 1932

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Alberto Santos Dumont was an early pioneer of aviation.  He was born in,
and died in, Brazil. Dumont was the heir of a prosperous coffee producer
family and dedicated himself to the study of science in Paris.  He designed,
built, and flew the first practical dirigible balloons.  In doing so he became
the first person to demonstrate that routine and controlled flight was
possible.  This "conquest of the air", in particular winning the Deutsch de la
Meurthe prize on October 19, 1901 on a flight that rounded the Eiffel Tower,
made him one of the most famous people in the world during the early 20th
century.  In addition to his pioneering work in airships, Santos Dumont made
the first European public flight of an airplane on October 23, 1906.

Alberto Santos Dumont became seriously ill and depressed over his multiple
sclerosis and the use of aircraft in warfare.  He is believed to have
committed suicide by hanging himself in the city of Guarujá in São Paulo, on
July 23, 1932.  He was 59-years-old and is buried in the Cemitério
São João Batista in Rio de Janeiro.  There are many monuments to his
work, and his house in Petrópolis, Brazil is now a museum.  He never
married or had any children.

1. Kurt Cobain

Committed Suicide: 1994

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Kurt Cobain was an American songwriter and musician, best known as the
lead singer and guitarist of the rock band Nirvana.  The single Smells Like
Teen Spirit from Nirvana's second album Nevermind (1991), launched the
band into the mainstream, popularizing a subgenre of alternative rock called
grunge.  Nirvana has sold over 50 million records worldwide.  During the last
years of his life, Cobain struggled with heroin addiction, illness and
depression, his fame and public image, as well as the professional and
lifelong personal pressures surrounding himself and his wife, musician
Courtney Love.

On April 8, 1994, Cobain was found dead at his home in Seattle, the victim
of what was officially ruled a suicide by a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the
head.  The circumstances of his death have sometimes become a topic of
fascination and debate.

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Comments:
 

John - February 24, 2010
I don't know what Cobain is idolized... if he didn't shoot himself everyone
would have thought he was a cracked out loser... just like every other bum on
the street.

Roy - June 29, 2010

John I disagree, Kurt Cobain was one of the greatest musicians of his time.  Even
now his music is better than 90% of the crap that’s recorded.  He had more talent
in his foreskin than you have in your whole body.

Bob - December 3, 2010

20 million attempted suicides bc that life system that humans have created is, for
the most part, incredibly flawed.  Humans are controlled servants by the top 2
percent.

Copyright The List Blog - Top 10, All Rights Reserved, Posted January 6, 2010