Christine Chubbuck was a television news reporter whose sole claim to fame was her unprecedented 1974 suicide live on air. The video of her suicide was scraped off the face of the Earth and for the next few decades, it has been completely unavailable. Christine Chubbuck has slipped out of knowledge, and the fact that she committed suicide on live TV, has almost become forgotten. Until now, it would seem.
The day was July 15, 1974. Christine Chubbuck, who was only a few weeks shy of being 30, was on the news station WXLT-TV’s Channel 40 talk program in Sarasota, Florida, and just reported on a shooting at Beef & Bottle restaurant at the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport. She then said:
In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in ‘blood and guts’, and in living color, you are going to see another first—attempted suicide.
Afterward, without much hesitation, Christine Chubbuck pulled out a revolver Budd Dwyer style, and committed suicide by shooting herself in the head. Her suicide preceded Budd’s by more than a decade.
After she shot herself in the head, the Chanel 40 production team faded the picture to black and displayed a message suggesting technical difficulties.
The footage of her suicide has been seized by the station owner Robert Nelson, who kept it until his death. His widowed wife the handed it over to a law firm. It has not been seen since the day it was broadcast live, and back in 1974, video recording devices for home use were extremely rare. But in February 2017, the video apparently reappeared, and I have the feeling it will never be secret again. The footage below alleges to be it.
Props to Best Gore member @zipzap for the video: