Daniel Victor Jones LA Freeway Suicide Video from 1998

Daniel Victor Jones LA Freeway Suicide Video from 1998

At approximately 3pm on April 30, 1998, an HIV positive man by the name of Daniel Victor Jones lead LAPD on a high speed chase which ended on the top of a south Los Angeles freeway interchange where he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with a shotgun. Because the drama started as a high speed police chase, the TV channels were all over it, interrupting their regular early afternoon broadcast (afterschool cartoons for children) to offer live feeds from their news helicopters instead.

After stopping his truck on the interstate, effectively paralyzing two Los Angeles freeways during the afternoon rush hour, Daniel V. Jones pulled out a banner he had made for this occasion and displayed it for the news helicopters to see. It was pretty windy on the interstate that day, so Daniel Jones weighted the banner with a container for all it was worth. The banner read the following:

HMO’s are in it for the money. Live free, love safe, or die.

Prior to leading the LAPD on the high speed chase, Daniel Jones made a 911 call in which he told the Highway Patrol that he was in pain due to mistreatment by the HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) in whose care he had been placed. As was confirmed later, aside from being HIV positive, Daniel Jones also suffered from cancer.

Daniel Jones had a golden retriever with him in the truck. After stopping atop the interstate, he set the truck on fire with himself and the pooch inside. As the flames engulfed the truck’s cabin, Daniel quickly dashed out, but left the dog inside to burn to death :(

As helicopter cameras kept rolling, Daniel was filmed frantically extinguishing his clothing which he must have doused with gasoline while still inside. David then stepped up on the freeway wall, as if with an intent to jump off the overpass, but instead he threw off a bag in which was a videotape containing a statement with details of his symptoms and an announcement that he’s done battling the disease. HMO refused him treatment so he saw himself “a dead man”.

After a standoff lasting close to 50 minutes, during which Los Angeles Police Department had their sharpshooters with David in their sights waiting for a permission to fire, the man pulled a shotgun out of his truck, put the barrel into his mouth, leaned over and pulled the trigger. The whole thing was broadly televised, leading many to harshly criticize Los Angeles TV stations’ practices.

Even though there weren’t any close ups filmed, you can see a stream of Daniel Jones’ blood flowing from his head across the interstate. The year was 1998 and the US kids already got a taste of reality. There was an important message about abuses of responsibilities on behalf of medical organizations in Daniel’s suicide, yet the sheep, already back then, took the focus away from the real issue and made it all about the TVs broadcasting reality live. Little has changed since

Many thanks to Best Gore members Seb and drccoco for the video:

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130 thoughts on “Daniel Victor Jones LA Freeway Suicide Video from 1998

  1. 1:25 really pissed me off… you just lit your helpless dog on fire… and it’s suffering because of you…… and you wanna be a total bitch and roll on the ground because you got singed? (refer to my name)

    • I agree, poor dog. The moron should’ve at least opened the damn door and let the dog out, not burn to death because of his sole stupidity. :/

  2. If I was going to kill myself, I’d at least find a good home(s) for my dogs first. They’ve always been good to me. No need to make them victims of my shitty human problems.

    Also, hey look at that! Footage of a shotgun suicide! Not all up close, and personal, like I’d like, but I’ll take what I can get.

      • I know, right? Why did he have to do that to the poor fucking dog? I’m glad he blew his worthless brains out. Fuck him. Some good footage though.

        • it breaks my heart regarding the dog – all i can think that maybe he wanted and had planned to set fire with his ‘beloved’ dog beside him as he didn’t want to die alone, but, once he set the fire, i guess he backed out, couldnt tolerated the pain/heat, then, again this is just my thoughts on it, perhaps thats why he ran back to the truck and then shot himself.

          seen all kinds of video of the same incident, but must admit, i never ever knew he had a dog with him till i saw this version and as said, the thought of how that poor animal that probably loved his owner, was tortured/killed in such a heartbreaking way.

          as said, just my thoughts, thats all

  3. Having cancer and HIV, being told that your done, I would see myself as a dead man too.
    He snapped!
    This story is very unfortunate for him and I respect the choice he took.

    He left on his terms, In his way.

      • @ Rolling…

        I meant to say mistreated as stated in Mark’s commentary.

        Yes, straight to hell – no passing ‘go’.
        (Hmmm, might be aging myself with that last comment).

        • Fear not, Fiend… I have found that many children these days do not even know of Bugs Bunny. Or Brave Heart, or when elmo checked the mail box and cookie monster played with lots of cookies… Oh dear lord… I do sound even older now, and I’m not even that old. Never mind.

          • @heliopsis…

            February 1964 for three consecutive Sunday nights my parents got me out of bed to watch The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show.
            I was a little over 2 years old but remember it like it was yesterday.

            We are like fine wine my friend.

  4. Ha ha, had second thoughts about cookin himself when he breathed the first lung full of flames. He would have been on some serious drugs, I suspect.

  5. Why The Doggie Man No One cared About Your Life. You Didnt Have To Kill The Doggie. May Doggie rest In Doggie Heaven. R.I.P Doggie

    • @Corpse, Can I ask you what happened, and did you end up with your trousers and your underpants around your ankles as well? oh, and why no pics?

  6. Probably Kaposi’s sarcoma – common with AIDS patients.

    In any case, zero sympathy. I kind of hope he suffered for years, decades even, to have driven him to this. Furthermore, I hope Hell is real and he is reliving these moments for eternity. Roasting a dog, alive, in a truck is unforgivable. Maybe his doctors refused to treat him because they already knew he was a waste of flesh.

    • Yeah. I remember this. “Refused treatment” is not accurate. The homosexual had been receiving benefits re the various symptoms of AIDS for years. At that point, they had refused *further* treatment. they have to have a line, some medical condition, that applies to all those who are terminally ill. It was just that this guy was alive and kicking, with the pneumonia or whatever, where most would have been laid up in bed.

      The point about drugs is correct. They had him on some great drugs, *feeling no pain, man*, and then they cut him off, left him with only pain-killers. He pulled the now common queen of a tantrum.

    • @RabidSephardi, same here. I hope he fucking suffered with his AIDS and cancer. How can someone complain that they’ve been victimised, then deliberately cause incredible suffering to an innocent animal? Any sympathy I might have had for him went straight out the fucking window when he set the dog on fire.

      I wish there was a hell, but there most likely isn’t.

  7. I concur with the majority of comments in reference to the dog, some people can’t stand the thought of them dying and not bringing their pets with them, it’s obvious this guys first intention was to kill himself, before the cops did it, and likely by his first attempt, fire. However, he realized, “ooowie, that hurt” by then the dog was likely engulfed and aids guy decides to jump, but changes his mind, thinking”oowie, that may hurt”…so he goes to the final solution, which was beautifully filmed….pop goes the world…. ;)

    • You’re right – totally. I’m thinking of the cases where mothers killed their children because they really thought they were doing right by them, taking them out of this cruel place.

      Hoarders too. They really cannot grasp that they aren’t the only person alive who can care for their animals.

      He really thought he was doing the dog a favour by torching him.

      Which, as you know, is not an excuse, merely a psychological explanation.

      Poor puppy. This footage breaks my heart…

  8. California is the gayest state in USA. Los Angeles is the gayest city in California. And the LAPD is the gayest police force on planet earth. I bet they can even arrest HAWK for being nazi or something with a SWAT team.
    So no wonder that a gay with HIV decides to put his brain on warp speed like the uss enterprise with a shotgun in the middle of a higway there. Its like orbiting around gayness centre of gravity.

    • I FUCKING LOVE YOU! no one ever agrees with me when i tell them california is the gayest state in the us or that its the worst place to live

    • i actually never went there. Just a Jack Daniels-induced rant based on what I saw in a couple of movies, these SWAT pc games of old, and TRU TV.
      I already decided that if i ever decide to move my rich ass to USA, i’m buying a plantation in the south and own antitank weapons for hunting hogs (buying the shells at WALL-MART, of course)

  9. Is it just me that has to sit through the whole vid in real-time because if I click further on it starts all over again?? GRRRRR!!

    • Um, if he didn’t have a shottie, he would have used something else. Fire. Leap. Sodomy (it is well known that one dies from it). Police suicide was the device he started with, he just couldn’t pull it off, and he waned closer attention.

    • people wanting to whack themselves or others always get all the guns they want, either in USA or in gun control countries.
      MEJICO is the saddest example of that to date :D

      • Actually, if she is not, I sure as hell am, I would like to have the right to own one, without having to go through a bunch of paperwork and bullshit, the reason being, is contrary to popular belief, Canada has lots of guns, but they are all in the hands of people who do home invasions, gangs and organized crime. So I am bitter…

    • And they say Best Gore is atrocious. I firmly believe the mainstream news would post the very same gore if they could. They push the line further and further every day.

      • YUP. i was in 8th grade when this happened… pretty much every station had it on.

        i think around the same time they showed a bank robbery gone wrong… those dude in all black with AK47s… anyway, it was on every channel just like this. if memory serves correctly, they shot one robber in the head and the other one was too wounded to keep fighting. they showed the replay in slo mo and you could see the bullet flying through the ski cap. great stuff… id love to see that again.

        thanks for the trip down memory lane, mark!

  10. Yes sir, I remember this being broadcasted on T.V. also. Poor pooch though.. If you guys found out you had several or just one vicious disease and probably did not have long. Would you off yourself? and in what manner?

    I can honestly say I don’t think I would. But then again I’m not sure… Sorry for the poor guy who has to cleanup that infectious waste off the road. Sick sick sick… Props on the shotgun suicide though!

  11. Sad Story.

    It makes me thankful that we have the NHS…

    I don’t trust the privatisation of healthcare. Not one bit.

    He was a small fellow. Anyone see how big that fucking rifle was in comparison to him?

    Shame about the dog.

  12. I’ve been searching the internet, with no luck, for footage of the truck driver that committed shotgun suicide live on a traffic report in 95 or 96. This will do.

  13. I think RabidSephari was onto something. He was very aware that his life was going to end that way, in one way or another. I’m sure the thought hardly crossed him when he torched it. If he wanted to take his friend with him, he could have done it a lot more mercifully than burning it to death.

    Regardless, great footage.

  14. The health system is really a joke to be honest.

    He shouldn’t have taken the dog down with him though.

    If you chose suicide, it should be done in the privacy of your own home. Now it states that this guy was HIV positive, so that means he doesn’t have AIDs just yet. You start with HIV and usually, not always, it will turn into full blown AIDs without further treatment. Kaposi Sarcoma is seen in patients with full blown AIDs and are close to dying from it.

    Aside from my rambling, if you have HIV, AIDs, Ebola, or something foreign we have not discovered yet commit suicide in the privacy of your own home. Why would you want to potentially infect others around you? Yea this is on the highway, but you never know what could happen. A family could wreck at that spot only moments after you blow your blood-filled head off from the distraction. They could land face first into that death pool you’ve created. Not likely, but its possible.

  15. Indeed back in the 80’s having AIDS seems like a death sentence. At least he doesn’t have to suffered thru all the misery, and one shot…he’s a goner. Maybe it was a good thing. who knows.

  16. you guys i dont think he meant to kill the dog alone i think he planned to burn with the dog but got out of the truck like OH SHIT MOTHER FUCKER THAT HURTS! but then the dog died while he was getting out (the human body is amazing it takes so much damage without death dogs on the other hand have there fur to be burnt much faster im sure the dog didnt suffer too much) but then he found out he was a pussy and was like maybe ill jump wait, what if i live, ok ill blow my fucking brains out

  17. 1. The fire was too much
    2. The jump was not high enough to kill instantly
    3. The gun always does the job (if pointed correctly)
    This guy really wanted to end his life.
    RIP dude

  18. Is it me or in the picture it looks like he had a massive anal explosion?

    Anyway the guy wanted to end his life on camera and make a statement. He obviously did not fail, however like everyone else here I do blame him for taking the dogs life…
    To be honest tough it seamed like he light the truck by accident but still if you are gonna end your life anyway might as well try to safe the damn dog inside…

    Nice video thanks for sharing the story, never heard about it before!

    • He wanted to make a statement, and a good one at that. But killing his dog in my mind loses any sympathy I may have had for him.

      If he wasn’t selfish, he would’ve done what a lot have done in the past. Organize their belongings to make it easier for the people left behind to deal. If he had time for the banner, he could’ve spared more time for that.

  19. damn i at least woulda shot the dog not have it burn to death but altho there could have been a set of circumstances in wich he was not able to save the dog and shoot it later. or he was just a fucken douche bag

  20. Fucking puke, typical American liberal, I’m glad he’s dead. I didn’t get to see this pursuit live, I was at work at the time. Most of these pursuits start off as routine traffic stops for minor violations but then you get these losers who think, “Hey, I can get on TV if I run from the police!”. There was a period of time in the late 90s & early 2000s where these live news-covered pursuits were happening 2 or 3 times per week and almost always started in LA. Eventually, LA police decided to enact a policy of not pursuing runners unless they were known to be offenders of crimes more serious that moving violations. That policy pretty much killed off most of the attention whores.

  21. I only ever remember hearing about what he wrote on the banner, but was not one of the lucky ones to see it at the time it happened. Thanks for the post (even if it made my blood boil to think there was a dog in the truck.) Window blowout was amazing…

  22. This wasn’t a typical murder-suicide, well, unless his dog cheated on him or planned to leave him for a different owner.

    Why didn’t the dog escape when he did? Those golden retrievers are known for being smart. I knew this guy in Canada that trained his golden retriever to get him cans of beer out of the fridge. The dog would sometimes bring him a Pepsi, but that’s still quite smart.

    The dog was probably just scared stupid..

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