Category: Suicidal Death!

A Fitting End For Both

Posted by – April 30, 2017

December 6, 1886
A Gambler Shoots the Woman Who Cast Him Off and Then Himself.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6.—A double tragedy occurred to-night in the “Division,” a disreputable part of the city, which, by reason of the prominence in their respective lines of the parties concerned, created quite a little excitement among certain of Washington’s inhabitants. About eighteen months ago John Rowe, a gambler of New York City, came to Washington with a full pocket book. He was accompanied by Minnie Raymond, his mistress, whom he soon established as proprietress of a bagnio south of the avenue. About six months ago he encountered a streak of bad luck and lost all his money. He was discarded by his paramour in favor of another man, said to be the son of a prominent dry goods merchant.

Rowe went on to the house and asked her for money. On being refused, he upbraided her for her ingratitude, and was ejected from the house by the police. He threatened the woman’s life at the time. Luck still ran against him, and to-night, mad with jealousy and his reduced circumstances, he went to the dive and shot the woman through the head immediately on seeing her. He then shot himself through the head causing almost instant death. The woman is still alive, but will probably die. 

From the Collection of The Comtesse DeSpair
The 1886 Morbid Scrapbook

A Reconciliation in Death Only.

Posted by – November 19, 2015

December 1887

A Reconciliation in Death Only.

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CLEVELAND, O., Dec. 14.—This morning at eleven o’clock August Debdke, a former Clevelander and harnessmaker by trade, arrived here from the east. His wife, Henrietta, lives on Holton street, and thither Debdke repaired. He is an old man, and his wife is gray and fleshy. Nine months ago he deserted her, and his return to-day was to bring about reconciliation. The wife refused to listen to him, and leaving the house, she started toward the barn. Debdke followed, overtook the fleeing woman and grasping her by the throat, began to beat her over the head with a small hammer. She sank to the earth dead, as Debdke thought. He then drew a razor from his pocket and after cutting his throat from ear to ear, slashed the arteries in his wrists and died. The woman may recover. 

From the Collection of The Comtesse DeSpair

Favorite Methods of Suicide

Posted by – November 17, 2013

November 17, 1892

Favorite Methods of Suicide.

BERLIN, Nov. 17.—According to the vital statistics of Germany for the year 1891, 4091 males and 1289 females committed suicide. The methods of self-destruction were as follows: By hanging, 3567; drowning, 732; shooting, 611; poison, 232; cutting their throats, 112; throwing themselves under railroad trains, 77; throwing themselves from heights, 49.


From the collection of The Comtesse DeSpair
(The 1892 Morbid Scrapbook)

Evidently A Suicide

Posted by – November 17, 2013

1892 Morbid Scrapbook



An Unknown Man Drowned in the Schuylkill, Below Girard Avenue.

An unknown man was drowned in the Schuylkill river, below Girard-avenue bridge, on Tuesday evening, and from the circumstances surrounding the case, it is supposed that he deliberately took his own life. The man threw off his clothing along the river drive and plunged into the water. After swimming to the middle of the river, he was heard moaning as if in distress, and immediately sank out of sight. Word was at once sent to Captain Chasteau, and he detailed Park Guard Glenn to make an investigation. Guard Glenn secured a boat and grappling irons, and after an hour’s search secured the body, and it was sent to the Morgue to await the action of the Coroner.

Deceased was about thirty-eight years old, six feet in height, and weighed one hundred and eighty pounds. He had dark clothing, which was left in the bank, consisted of a black derby hat, light brown striped coat, and vest made by G. L. Lutz, 1414 Ridge avenue; dark blue striped pantaloons, red and blue striped cheviot shirt and laced shoes. There was nothing in his pockets but a handkerchief, and nothing except the card of the maker of the clothing which would lead to his identity.


From the collection of The Comtesse DeSpair
The 1892 Morbid Scrapbook


Mysterious Tragedy In A Hotel

Posted by – November 17, 2013

1892 Morbid Scrapbook – January 31, 1892



Special Dispatch to The North American.
NEW YORK, Jan. 31.—Two strange men entered the Hotel Zur Quelle, Broome and Elm streets, kept by Wendelin Gerlach, yesterday afternoon. Both were Germans, one about thirty-five years old and the other apparently about twenty. They had dinner and two glasses of beer. When they had finished they asked for a room, and were conducted to a back one on the third floor. The older man, who had paid for their dinners, paid $2.50 more for a week’s rent of the room. About three o’clock a chambermaid went to the room and saw the older man lying on the bed apparently asleep. She didn’t see the other man. At four o’clcok she went back and found the man hanging from a rope attached to the closet door. She gave the alarm and the man was found to be dead. The younger man has disappeared. There was nothing about the dead man to identify him.


Okay, shall we hypothesize on what happened? The older man met the younger man hustling on the streets. He offered to buy a dinner for the underfed younger man for the price of one night’s ecstasy at the Hotel Zur Quelle. After dinner, they retired to their room and performed various escapades with one another, then the younger man left, having paid off his debt. The older man lay there reflecting on his sad lot in life, the wife and family he had abandoned, and his overwhelming homosexual desires, which caused him immense guilt and remorse. He decided he had nothing to live for and hung himself with the nearest piece of cord.

How close do you suppose I am?

From the collection of The Comtesse DeSpair
The 1892 Morbid Scrapbook

Horrible Suicide

Posted by – November 17, 2013

Obituary, Norfolk, VA – June 4, 1869

In Monday’s issue we published a short paragraph in relation to the supposed suicide of an old man named JAMES WATTS, residing at Bowers’ Hill. He left his residence on Tuesday, 25th of May, with the avowed intention of committing suicide. He said the would neither shoot nor drown himself, but that he would take his life in some other manner. His friends did not regard the threat, as he was this suffering from a cancer in his face, and lameness in one of his feet, and they supposed it was merely the result of his bodily agony that caused him to make the remark. But his prolonged absence excited the fear that he had carried out what they at first regarded an unmeaning threat and they instituted immediate search for him. Their fears met a fearful realization. Yesterday morning his body was found in the swamp near Bowers’ Hill, suspended by a rope yarn, from the limb of a tree, horribly mutilated by birds of prey. He was found by Mr. Henry Hennicke, a county surveyor, who was untiring in his search for the missing man. He says the appearance of the body when found was truly awful and heart sickening. It was hanging about three feet from the ground, one foot missing and his jawbone entirely gone. Mr. Hennicke called the others engaged in the search to his assistance, who took the body of the unfortunate man down and carried it to his home, to await a coroner’s inquest. Mr. H. informs us that he passed the place where he found the body on Thursday morning last, and therefore thinks that he hung himself on Thursday night, and that the body had remained there since that time undiscovered. As before stated Mr. WATTS was suffering extreme bodily pain, and this caused him to violate the laws of his Maker, and take his own life. He was 65 years of age, and enjoyed the friendship of a number of persons in the section where he lived. Mr. WATTS leaves a family to mourn his unfortunate death. Mr. Hennicke was endeavoring yesterday to secure the services of a coroner, in order that an inquest might be held at once, and the body interred.

Donated by Cupid In Hell

Hanged In The Woods

Posted by – November 17, 2013

1892 Morbid Scrapbook


The Dead Body of an Unknown Man Found Near Crescentville.

The badly-decomposed body of a man was found yesterday hanging to a tree in a patch of woods near Crescentville. The police were notified and the body was removed to the Morgue to await identification. The body was that of a man about five feet six inches in height and weighing 150 pounds. It was dressed in a black serge sack coat and pantaloons, red striped shirt, black derby hat and Congress gaiters. In one of the pockets was a piece of paper bearing the address “1052 north Tenth street” and a shipping tag marked “James Moore, Sixteenth and Buttonwood streets,” was found inside of the hat. The body was suspended to a limb of the tree by a piece of rope, and the indications were that it was a case of suicide.

From the collection of The Comtesse DeSpair
The 1892 Morbid Scrapbook

Rough On Rats Again Condemned

Posted by – November 17, 2013

1892 Morbid Scrapbook


In the case of Elizabeth Concannon, an old woman residing at 716 Fowler street, who died at the German Hospital on Tuesday from the effects of taking rough on rats, the Coroner’s jury yesterday returned a verdict that the woman came to her death from arsenical poison, taken with suicidal intent. The jury also condemned the indiscriminate sale of rough on rats and other proprietary poisons.

From the collection of The Comtesse DeSpair

The 1892 Morbid Scrapbook

Suicide At Pottersville

Posted by – November 17, 2013

History of Callaway County, MO
Transcribed by Heather Patten, May, 2004


To us, busy with the schemes and cares of this life, – so busy that we seldom allow ourselves to think that it must all end at last in death, – the desire to “shuffle off this mortal coil” before the death hour that stern fate has ordained for that dread event, is certain evidence of insanity. We can, perhaps, imagine that the aged, who have seen the companions of their youth fall off, one by one, by the wayside, until they seem almost alone in the world, and whose powers are wasted by disease, – we can, perhaps, imagine it possible for them to long for death. But to see one in the full flush of youthful manhood, untainted by disease, with health and energy and the bright promises of the future, beautiful as “apples of gold in pictures of silver,” such as ever flit before the vision of youth, – for such an one coolly and deliberately to resign it all, and descend willingly into that narrow grave whose very stillness makes our flesh creep, and whispers to us of horrible things – of the gloom, of corruption, of the worm, and of the awful uncertainty beyond, is bitterly incomprehensible.

Frank Shaier was one of these strange suicides. Several years ago, he left his friends in Germany, and having an uncle, Konstantine Shaier, living at Harrison, Ohio, he removed to that State. For some years he was employed in Cincinnati, driving a delivery wagon for a furniture house. He is said to have come to Missouri a year previous to his death, and to have worked the summer following his coming in the bottom opposite Claysville; and about seven weeks before his death he came into the Pottersville neighborhood, and began work at the pottery of the Caldwell Brothers. He was about twenty-four years of age, and impressed those who knew him, as a quiet, courteous, well-educated young man. He was industrious, and gave no evidence of derangement. He complained of pain in the head. On Wednesday before his death, he seems to have come to the conclusion to give up his life. Very quietly and very deliberately, though in a very bungling manner, he sought to accomplish his awful purpose. Going into a portion of the kiln where he would not be interrupted, he took off his apron, folded it up neatly, then removed his hat and laid both aside. With a stone hammer he commenced striking himself on the forehead, fracturing the bone and inflicting a ghastly wound. But this process was too tedious and painful; so, laying aside the hammer, he drew his knife and endeavored to cut into the wound and force the blade into the brain.

Failing in this, he stabbed himself several times. But fate seemed against him, for at every stroke the blade was stopped by a rib. Death seemed to avoid him. His patience was exhausted, and he gave up the attempt and came out of the kiln. Then a fellow saw him all mutilated and bloody. Others were called, and the would-be dead man was conveyed to his room. Drs. Brooks and Ramsey were summoned and dressed his wounds. They found the wound in the forehead three and a half inches long by two and a half across, and they removed from it several pieces of the skull bone. There were also severe gashes on the head, made by the knife, and several wounds in his side. The patient appeared to be perfectly rational, and said that every body was down on him, and he was tired of living. He survived until Saturday, the 21st instant, and then at mid-day, –

“One more unfortunate,

Weary of breath,

Rashly importunate,

Had gone to his death.”

The following is the verdict rendered by the coroner’s jury: –

State of Missouri, county of Callaway, ss:

An inquest at Pottersville, in the county of Callaway, on the 21st day of October, A. D., 1877, before me, R. R. Dunn, justice of the peace of said county, upon the view of Frank Shaier, then and there lying dead, A. J. Nichols, J. R. Ebersole, James R. Foster, R. Erwin, T. S. Dunn, R. T. Nichols, good and lawful men, householders of the township of Cedar, in the county aforesaid, who being sworn, and charged diligently to inquire, and true presentment make, how, and in what manner, and by whom, said Frank Shaier came to his death; upon their oaths, do here find that the said Frank Shaier came to his death by wounds inflicted with a stone hammer and knife, in his own hands. In witness whereof, as well the aforesaid coroner as the jurors aforesaid, have to this inquest put their names, at the place, and on the day and year aforesaid. R. R. Dunn, coroner; T. S. Dunn, J. Foster, A. J. Nichols, J. R. Ebersole, R. Erwin, Robert Nichols, jurors.

From the website History of Callaway County, MO

Transcribed by Heather Patten

Breaking His Own Skull

Posted by – November 17, 2013

New York Times – May 13, 1876



One of the most singular and determined cases of suicide recorded in this City was reported to the Coroners yesterday morning. The victim was George Renner, a young German cabinet-maker, twenty-eight years of age, who was employed in the Empire Woolen Manufactory, Twenty-ninth street and Seventh avenue, and who lived at No. 445 WestFiftieth street. He was a sober, industrious workman, and prudent in his expenditures, but had a morbidly sensitive organization. If anything went wrong, either in the shop or at home, he always imagined that others thought he was to blame, and the very slightest things of this kind so preyed upon his mind as to reduce him to the verge of insanity. About a week ago a chisel disappeared from the shop, and there being some little talk about it, Renner was convinced that he was suspected of having stolen it. He brooded over the matter for several days, until Thursday night, when he asked his wife out to take a walk. She consented, and they started toward the North River. On the way he told her that the men in the shop believed he had stolen a chisel, and proposed to her that they should both drown themselves in the river. Alarmed at his talk, she used all her powers of persuasion, and finally succeeded in getting him back to their rooms. There she left him for a moment while she went to find some one to send for a doctor. On her return she found him beating in his skull with an oil-stone. She tried to take the stone from him, but his strength, even then, was more than her own, and, finding that she could not wrest it from him, she rushed from the room for help. She was gone hardly more than a moment when she returned to find that he was past assistance. During her absence, determined to put an end to his life, he had placed his left hand on a table and with a chisel had severed the radial artery at the wrist and was fast bleeding to death. Physicians were summoned in great haste, but they were of no avail, for he expired in a few moments. An inquest was held yesterday by Coroner Ellinger, and, these facts having been established by the evidence, a verdict was rendered of suicide during a fit of temporary insanity.

Generously submitted by Caroline Bren.