Christine Chubbuck – Suicide on live TV
Christine Chubbuck is the host of “Suncoast Digest”, a respected public relations program at WXLT-TV in Sarasota, Florida. Breaking format, the guest waits across the studio at the newsreader table; Christine read eight minutes of national news before the tape rolls were broken while describing the shooting at the Beef and Bottle restaurant. Apparently unaffected by technical errors, Christine looked at the camera and said:
“In accordance with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest blood and guts, and living colors, you will see another first: suicide attempts.”
Taking a revolver from under his desk, he placed it behind his left ear and pulled the trigger (he knew this was the most effective way to commit suicide from the police while researching projects for the show). He fell hard forward as the technical director slowly faded to black. Some viewers called 911 while others called the station to see if it was real. Cameraman Jean Reed later stated that he did not believe it was genuine until he saw Christine’s body moving on the floor.