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List of suicides

The following are lists of notable people who intentionally terminated their own lives. Suicides committed under duress are included. Deaths by accident or misadventure are excluded. Individuals who might or might not have died by their own hand, or whose intention to die is in dispute, but who are widely believed to have deliberately killed themselves, may be listed under Possible suicides.

Suicides

A

  • Chris Acland (1996), British drummer (Lush), hanging
  • Hatazo Adachi (1947), Japanese general, seppuku.
  • Robert Adams, Jr. (1906), congressman from Pennsylvania, shot himself after heavy losses in stock speculation
  • Stanley Adams (actor) (1977), American character actor, gunshot to the head
  • Stuart Adamson (2001), Scottish singer (Big Country, Skids), self-strangulation after alcohol ingestion; possibly unintentional
  • Chris Adkisson, a.k.a. Chris von Erich, (1991), professional wrestler, gunshot to the head
  • Kerry Adkisson, a.k.a. Kerry von Erich, (1993), professional wrestler, gunshot wound to the chest
  • Mike Adkisson, a.k.a. Mike von Erich, (1987), professional wrestler, overdosed on the tranquilizer Placidyl
  • Neil Aggett (1982), South African worker's union leader; hanged in prison (murder is suspected by some)
  • Ahn Jae-hwan (2008), South Korean actor, carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Sergei Akhromeyev (1991), Soviet military commander who led an unsuccessful coup against Mikhail Gorbachev, hanging
  • Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (1927), Japanese writer (author of Rashomon), barbital overdose
  • Clodius Albinus (197), Roman emperor, killed himself after a defeat in battle
  • Ross Alexander (1937), actor, gunshot
  • Michael Alfonso, a.k.a. Mike Awesome (2007), professional wrestler, hanging
  • Prince Alfred of Edinburgh (1899), member of the British Royal Family, shot himself
  • Leandro Alem (1896), Argentine politician, founder of the Radical Civic Union, gunshot to the head
  • Salvador Allende (1973), president of Chile (elected 1970), and uncle of renowned author Isabel Allende; allegedly shot himself during a coup d'état against his regime orchestrated by General Augusto Pinochet — some sources allege that he was killed
  • Jeff Alm (1993), NFL player, gunshot
  • Jason Altom (1998), Ph.D. student, ingested potassium cyanide
  • Jean Améry (1978), Austrian writer; overdose of sleeping pills
  • Korechika Anami, War Minister (1945), seppuku
  • Forrest Howard Anderson (1989), Governor of Montana, gunshot
  • Fridolin Anderwert (1880), Swiss Federal Councilor
  • Aman Andom (1974), military ruler of Ethiopia; committed suicide to avoid his execution in an internal purge
  • Gwili Andre (1959), Danish actress; self-immolation
  • Roger Angleton (1998), murderer, cutting or hanging
  • Mark Antony (30 BC), Roman politician and general; stabbed himself
  • Marshall Applewhite (1997), leader of Heaven's Gate religious cult, overdose
  • Hubert Aquin (1977), Canadian author; gunshot
  • Diane Arbus (1971), American photographer; barbiturate overdose and slashed wrists
  • Reinaldo Arenas (1990), Cuban-American artist and writer; drug and alcohol overdose
  • Pedro Armendáriz, (1963), Mexican actor; gunshot
  • Edwin Armstrong (1954), U.S. inventor of FM radio; jumped from a 13th floor window
  • Nikolas Asimos (1988), Greek rock musician; hanging
  • John Atchison (2007), American federal prosecutor and alleged child sex offender
  • George Ault (1948), American painter; drowning
  • Pekka-Eric Auvinen (2007), Jokela High School shooter, self-inflicted gunshot to the head
  • Albert Ayler (1970), American jazz saxophonist; jumped into New York City's East River

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

  • Alice de Janzé (1941), American heiress, gunshot
  • Vittorio Jano (1965), automobile design engineer
  • Richard Jeni (2007), comedian, gunshot
  • Clayne Jeffs, nephew of Warren Jeffs, committed suicide with a firearm after admitting that Warren Jeffs had sexually assaulted him as a child.
  • Johnny "J" (2008), American record producer, jumped from ledge
  • Anson Jones (1858), doctor, businessman, congressman, and the last president of the Republic of Texas, gunshot
  • Jim Jones (1978), leader of the Peoples Temple cult, died along with 914 of his followers in a mass murder-suicide at Jonestown in northwestern Guyana, gunshot
  • Alex Jordan (1995), American adult film actress, hanging
  • Timothy Jordan II (2005), The All-American Rejects' touring keyboardist
  • Nafisa Joseph (2004), Femina India Universe 1997, Miss Universe 1997 semi-finalist and MTV VJ, hanging
  • Luc Jouret (1994), homeopath, Belgian cult leader
  • Jung Da Bin (2007), South Korean Actress, hanging
  • Claude Jutra (1986), Quebec film actor, writer, and director, drowning

K

L

  • Jon Lee (2002), drummer of the band Feeder, hanging
  • Lee Kyung Hae (2003) South Korean farmer and activist, stabbed himself at a protest
  • Megan Leigh (1990), American erotic dancer and porn star, gunshot
  • Marc Lepine (1989), Canada's most prolific spree killer; gunshot
  • Primo Levi (1987), Italian author and Auschwitz survivor, jumped out of building
  • Robert Ley (1945), Nazi war criminal, hanging
  • Friedrich Leibacher (2001), killer of 14 in Zug massacre, gunshot
  • Max Linder, (1925), French actor
  • Vachel Lindsay (1931), American poet, drank a bottle of Lysol
  • Louis Lingg (1887), scheduled to be hanged for his alleged role in the Haymarket Square riot bomb, committed suicide by holding a lit stick of dynamite in his mouth
  • Diane Linkletter (1969), daughter of Art Linkletter, jumped out of window
  • Friedrich List (1846), German economist
  • Jesse Lauriston Livermore (1940), US stock trader, gunshot
  • Mikael Ljungberg (2004), Swedish wrestler, Olympic gold medalist
  • Peter Llewelyn-Davies (1960), UK publisher who inspired J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan, threw himself in front of a train
  • Ross Lockridge, Jr. (1948}, U.S. novelist, author of Raintree County, asphyxiation via car fumes
  • Philip Loeb (1955), blacklisted American actor, barbiturate overdose
  • Mark Lombardi (2000), U.S. artist whose art described international white-collar crime networks, hanging
  • Jack London (1916), U.S. novelist, overdose of morphine and atropine (disputed by his widow)
  • Terry Long (2005), former NFL player, ingested antifreeze
  • Hans Loritz (1946), concentration camp commandant at various times — Esterwegen, Dachau, Sachsenhausen
  • Noah Lottick (1990), Scientologist, profiled in TIME article The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power
  • Malcolm Lowry (1957), British writer, sleeping pill overdose, disputed as to accidental
  • Gang Lu (1991), physics graduate student and mass murderer at the University of Iowa, gunshot
  • Gherasim Luca (1994), Romanian surrealist, jumped into the Seine
  • Lucan (65), Roman poet, fatally cut himself
  • Ron Luciano (1995), baseball umpire, carbon monoxide
  • Aleksandr Mikhailovich Lyapunov (1918), Russian mathematician, mechanician and physicist
  • Roman Lyashenko (2003), professional hockey player, hanging
  • Frankie Lymon (1968), singer (Why do Fools Fall in Love?), drug overdose

M

N

  • Scott Nearing (1983), American peace activist and practical conservationist; by self-starvation at nearly 100 years of age
  • Oskar Nedbal (1930), Czech composer (The Tale of the Simply Johnny); jumped out a window on Christmas Eve
  • Nero (68), emperor of Rome, stabbed himself while being pursued by Roman soldiers
  • Gérard de Nerval (1855), French writer, hanging
  • Joachim Nielsen (2000), Norwegian singer in the band Jokke & Valentinerne, overdosed on heroin
  • Goce Nikolovski (2006), Macedonian singer, gunshot.
  • Ni Min-jan (2005), Taiwanese actor and comedian, hanged.
  • Frank Nitti (1943), United States gangster, gunshot
  • Maresuke Nogi (1912), Japanese hero of Russo-Japanese war, committed seppuku with his wife following death of Meiji emperor
  • Jon Nödtveidt (2006), frontman of Swedish black metal band Dissection, gunshot
  • Alighiero Noschese (1979), Italian impersonator, shot himself.

O

  • Lawrence Oates (1912), Antarctic explorer; he said "I am just going outside and may be some time" when he walked out of the tent to his death in the blizzard, leaving behind Robert Falcon Scott and the others
  • John O'Brien (1994), author of Leaving Las Vegas (on which the film was based), gunshot
  • C. Y. O'Connor (1902), Irish engineer, gunshot
  • Hugh O'Connor (1995), actor, gunshot
  • Luis Ocaña (1994), Spanish cyclist, Tour de France winner, gunshot
  • Phil Ochs (1976), American singer, hanged himself in sister's apartment, Far Rockaway, New York
  • Per Yngve Ohlin (a.k.a. Dead), (1991), vocalist for band Mayhem, killed himself with a shotgun after having slashed his wrist and cut his throat
  • Yukiko Okada (1986), Japanese idol of the 1980s, jumped from a seven story building after failed wrist slashing and gas inhalation attempts
  • Otho (69), Roman emperor, stabbed himself with a dagger

P

Q

R

  • Jason Raize (2004), American Broadway actor and recording star who originated the role of Simba in the Lion king on Broadway.
  • Florencio Morales Ramos (1989), known as Ramito, trova singer, gunshot
  • Kuljeet Randhawa (2006), Indian television actress, hanging
  • Danny Rapp (1983), frontman for Danny & the Juniors, gunshot
  • David Rappaport (1990), actor, gunshot
  • Abram Raselemane (2008), South African footballer
  • Margaret Mary Ray (1998), David Letterman stalker, knelt in front of a train
  • Alfred Redl (1913), Austrian army officer, spied for Russia, gunshot
  • George Reeves (1959), American actor, played Superman on television, death officially ruled as suicide by gunshot, but remains controversial to this day
  • David Reimer (2004), Canadian advocate, known as the "John/Joan" case, gunshot
  • John Reynolds (1966), American actor, played Torgo in the infamous cult classic "Manos" The Hands of Fate, gunshot or overdose
  • Thomas Caute Reynolds (1887), Confederate Governor of Missouri, jumped down elevator shaft
  • Thomas Reynolds (1844), Governor of Missouri 1840-1844, shot himself
  • David Ritcheson (2007), hate crime victim; jumped off cruise ship
  • René Rivkin (2005), Australian stockbroker and entrepreneur
  • Carlos Roberto Reina (2003), former president of Honduras, gunshot
  • Malachi Ritscher (2006), burned himself to death as an anti-war protest on Chicago's Kennedy expressway
  • Angel Rivero Mendez (1930), Puerto Rican soldier for the Spanish Army, inventor, gunshot
  • John Robarts, (1982), former Premier of the Canadian province of Ontario, 1961-1971; committed suicide with shotgun
  • Rachel Roberts (1980), Welsh-born British actress, overdose
  • Bill Robinzine (1982), American basketball player, carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Charles Rocket (2005), American comedian, slit own throat
  • Sue Rodriguez (1994), Canadian amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) victim and advocate for Euthanasia, assisted suicide
  • Lukasz Romanek (2006), Polish Speedway rider, former World Under 21 champion. Found dead in his workshop
  • Samuel Romilly (1818), British prison reformer, slit own throat
  • Edgar Rosenberg (1987), husband of Joan Rivers, overdose
  • Mark Rothko (1970), Russian-American painter, slit arms
  • Jacques Roux (1794), leader of the Enrages in the French Revolution, stabbed himself while facing execution
  • Ruan Lingyu (1935), Chinese actress, overdose
  • Irv Rubin (2002), leader of the Jewish Defense League, cut throat and fell off balcony
  • Thomas Jefferson Rusk (1857), senator from Texas, gunshot
  • Michael Ryan (1987), mass murderer at Hungerford; self-inflicted gunshot wound after killing many others
  • Jakub Jan Ryba (1815), Czech composer and teacher, slit own throat

S

T

U

  • U;Nee (2007), South Korean Actress And Singer, hanging
  • Ernst Udet (1941), German air ace and Luftwaffe inspector general, gunshot
  • Urmuz (1923), Romanian writer
  • Mitsuru Ushijima (1945), Japanese military commander who lost the Battle of Okinawa, seppuku

V

W

X

Y

Z

Forced suicide

The following people committed forced suicide - acts of suicide as a punishment at the behest of civil or judicial authorities:

  • Ludwig Beck (1944), German Chief of the General Staff of the OKH, forced to commit suicide after the failed 20th of July plot.
  • Fusu (210 BC), son of the First Emperor of China Qin Shi Huang and brother of the Second Emperor Qin Er Shi; forced to commit suicide by a fake decree.
  • Li Tan (757), son of Emperor Suzong of China; forced to commit suicide after false accusations that he meant to kill his brother Li Chu.
  • Asano Naganori (1701), Japanese noble, forced to commit seppuku after attacking Kira Yoshinaka. The Akou-Roushi (47 ronin), (1703), former retainers of Naganori, were also later ordered to commit seppuku after killing Yoshinaka.
  • Oda Nobunaga (1582), after being betrayed by his general Akechi Mitsuhide.
  • Qin Er Shi (207 BC), the second emperor of Qin dynasty China, forced to commit suicide by Zhao Gao.
  • Mori Ranmaru (1582), Oda Nobunaga's servant and close companion, forced to commit suicide along with him.
  • Erwin Rommel (1944), German Field Marshal, took part in a plot against Hitler; forced to take poison in exchange for his family being protected from reprisals.
  • Seneca the Younger (65), was ordered to commit suicide by the emperor Nero
  • Socrates (399 BCE), Greek philosopher, ordered to drink hemlock juice after his trial in Athens. In the Crito, Socrates is offered a chance to escape but refuses.
  • Hojo Ujimasa (1590), lord of Odawara, after Toyotomi Hideyoshi successfully besieged him.
  • Hōjō Ujiteru (1590), brother of Hojo Ujimasa

Possible suicides

The following is a list of people whose cause of death is disputed, or whose intention to commit suicide is doubtful.

A

  • George Washington Adams (1829), Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and the son of John Quincy Adams. Adams drowned after going overboard. It is generally assumed that he committed suicide.
  • Carl Fredrik Algernon (1987), Swedish rear admiral and arms material inspector
  • Pier Angeli (1971), Italian-born actress, died of an overdose of barbiturates. Speculation that her death was a suicide has never been officially confirmed.

B

  • Andreas Baader (1977), leader of the German revolutionary organization Red Army Faction (RAF). His suicide by gunshot to the head whilst in prison is questioned by some supporters of the group.
  • Boudica (61 AD), Iceni queen, reportedly either drank poison or died of an illness after her army was defeated by the Romans.
  • Gaetano Bresci (1901), Italian anarchist, assassin of King Umberto I (officially died as a result of suicide, but was found strangled)

D

  • Nick Drake (1974), British singer-songwriter, overdose of the anti-depressant tryptizol, possibly accidental
  • Guru Dutt (1964), Indian actor and director; accidental or intentional overdose of sleeping pills

E

  • Gudrun Ensslin (1977), German revolutionary, member of Red Army Faction (RAF)

G

  • Judy Garland (1969), American actress/singer, autopsy-ruled accidental barbiturate overdose

H

  • Hong Xiuquan (1864), Chinese leader of the Taiping Rebellion, variously reported to either have poisoned himself or died of an illness
  • Bohumil Hrabal (1997), Czechoslovakia writer, fell from a fifth-floor hospital while he was allegedly trying to feed pigeons
  • Michael Hutchence (1997), Australian lead singer of rock group INXS, hanged himself in a hotel room; officially ruled as suicide, but widely believed to be a case of mishandled autoerotic asphyxiation

J

  • Randall Jarrell (1965), American writer, struck by a car and killed at an odd hour of the evening on a lonesome stretch of road near Chapel Hill, North Carolina; after struggling with clinical depression and shortly after a suicide attempt in which he unsuccessfully slashed his wrists
  • Judas Iscariot, traitor to Jesus, hanged himself according to the Gospel of Matthew; the Book of Acts suggests he died in an accidental fall, while the apocryphical Gospel of Judas suggests he was stoned to death by the other Apostles

K

  • Frida Kahlo (1954), Mexican painter. Supposedly died of a pulmonary embolism, but no autopsy was performed, and many are convinced that she committed suicide.
  • Weldon Kees (1955), American poet, artist and musician. Vanished in 1955; his car was found beside the Golden Gate Bridge, from which he may have leaped to his death. He had spoken to his friends of suicide beforehand, but had also spoken of departing for Mexico; either may have happened.
  • Douglas Kenney (1980), writer, producer, actor of National Lampoon Magazine and Animal House. Jumped, fell or was pushed off a cliff in Hawaii. Composed note: "These are the best days I've chosen to ignore" found in hotel room.
  • Ivar Kreuger (1932), Swedish financier, entrepreneur and industrialist, officially shot himself — but the evidence that he was murdered is also compelling.

L

  • Alun Lewis (1944), British soldier and poet, found near the officers' latrine, a gunshot in his head, his revolver still in his hand. The official Army Court of Inquiry concluded that his death was accidental, but suicide has been suggested.
  • Meriwether Lewis (1809), U.S. explorer with Clark, gunshot, disputed as to either murder or suicide
  • Ludwig II of Bavaria (1886), drowned in captivity, officially ruled as suicide but circumstances are unclear

M

  • Ettore Majorana, Italian physicist who disappeared in 1938; one of the possible considered explanations is that he committed suicide by drowning
  • Jan Masaryk (1948), Czech statesman, found dead in the courtyard of the Foreign Ministry below his bathroom window. Though the initial 'investigation' stated that he committed suicide by jumping out of the window, it is now commonly believed that he was defenestrated by Communists.
  • Hideto Matsumoto, also known as "hide" (1998), Japanese musician, possibly accidental hanging
  • Robert Maxwell (1991), Czech-born UK newspaper magnate who, some believe, jumped overboard in the Atlantic leaving a financial disaster in his wake — the official inquest ruled it was 'accidental drowning'
  • Jürgen W. Möllemann (2003), German politician, parachute failure
  • Marilyn Monroe (1962), US Actress, found dead and naked in her bed in her California home from an overdose of sleeping pills
  • Renate Müller (1937), German actress, fall from window originally reported as resulting from an epileptic seizure; also reported by some that the Gestapo was involved in her death

P

  • Pier delle Vigne (1249), Italian diplomat. Reportedly killed himself to avoid torture, although the circumstances of his death are not certain. In The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri puts him among suicides.
  • Pontius Pilate (36), Roman governor and judge of Jesus of Nazareth; Eusebius of Caesarea quotes some accounts which relate that Pilate committed suicide, but this is considered to be merely a legend.
  • Giuseppe Pinelli (1969), Italian anarchist. Was picked up for questioning regarding the Piazza Fontana terrorist attack in Milan that killed 16 people and injured 84. On December 15, 1969 Pinelli was seen to fall to his death from a fourth floor window of the Milan police headquarters.

Q

  • Quintillus (270), Roman emperor, various conflicting accounts of his death, but possible suicide by wrist-slitting

R

  • Jan-Carl Raspe (1977), German criminal in Baader-Meinhof gang
  • Geli Raubal (1931), niece and possibly lover of Adolf Hitler; officially committed suicide but may have been murdered
  • Dean Reed (1986), musician known as the "Red Elvis" for his leftist political views and popularity in the Soviet Bloc, drowned, but may have been accidental; his family claimed it was murder
  • Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria (1889), heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, gunshot, officially as part of a suicide pact, but there is substantial speculation about a murder coverup

S

  • Saul, King of Israel (1 Sam. 31:4), died either by falling on his sword or at the hands of an Amalekite soldier
  • Romy Schneider (1982), Austrian actress, found dead in her apartment in Paris in May 1982, suggested suicide by taking a lethal cocktail of alcohol and sleeping pills. However, no post-mortem examination was carried out, and she was declared to have died from cardiac arrest.
  • Elizabeth Shin (2000), MIT student, died from burns inflicted by a fire in her dormitory room after sending emails to faculty members saying that she was depressed and wanted to kill herself.
  • Elizabeth Siddal (1862), Pre-Raphaelite icon and wife of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, officially an accidental overdose, but Rossetti may have destroyed a suicide note
  • Elliott Smith (2003), American musician (reported as suicide, still officially under investigation — no suspects named). Smith died of two fatal stab wounds to the chest after an argument with his girlfriend. An official autopsy was carried out, the results of which were inconclusive.

T

  • Saigō Takamori (1876), Japanese samurai, injured in battle, might have committed suicide, or been killed by comrades rather than being killed or captured by the enemy.
  • Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1893), Russian composer. Generally assumed to have died of cholera; one account claims that he committed suicide by taking arsenic following an attempt to blackmail him over his (alleged) homosexuality.

V

  • Pierre-Charles Villeneuve (1806), French admiral who lost the Battle of Trafalgar, stabbed in chest; recorded as suicide, but may have been murdered by agents of Napoleon

W

  • Kenneth Williams (1988), English actor, barbiturate overdose. Williams was taking medication for back pain and stomach trouble, which he referred to in the last sentence in his diary, concluding "oh — what's the bloody point?". His diary had often spoke of suicidal thoughts. The coroner recorded an open verdict.

Y

  • Alfredo Yabrán (1998), Argentine businessman, gunshot, sometimes alleged to have faked his death

References

External links

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