On June 23, 1938, Marion Perloff jumped from atop the 11-floor-high Time & Life Building (New York) and plummeted to her death. Many other suicides followed the same year. However, Perloff’s suicide leap was the first ever to be recorded on camera. NBC cameraman, Ross Plaisted, was testing his equipment in a nearby building, when he spotted Perloff. He started filming when she reached the sixth floor and followed her all the way to the ground. The actual footage was never broadcast on television.
On July 16, 1974, Christine Chubbuck made the news when, during her TV broadcast, she suddenly went off-script and 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: an attempted suicide.” She then pulled out a gun, placed it by her right ear, and shot herself. The TV channel cut the broadcast. Chubbuck was transported to a hospital, where she wasn’t declared dead for another 14 hours.