Make-a-List Monday: Other jumpers

I’ve written before about the numerous Golden Gate Bridge suicides on Charley. The number of total deaths is something now over 1,500, and that’s only the official ones. If your body isn’t found, or if it’s found far enough away from the bridge that there’s some doubt you jumped from there, or if there’s any other excuse to keep you off the list, your death isn’t included in the tally.

It’s been in the news that they’ve decided, or are in the process of deciding, or something, to put up a safety net under the Golden Gate Bridge. Frankly I think a net is a stupid idea, but it’s better than nothing.

I thought I’d make a list of Charley Project MPs who are presumed to have jumped off other bridges, cliffs, etc into bodies of water and never emerged. I should emphasize that these are all voluntary jumps, not cases of someone being thrown into the water or falling accidentally. I did decide to include a guy who shot himself on a bridge, whose body fell into the water and wasn’t recovered. I left out the baby whose mother jumped off a bridge with her child in her arms.

Each name tells a particularly sad story. I should note that, as you can see for yourself, many of these victims are terribly young. The average age of these eighteen individuals is 29.4, the median age is 23, five of them were in their twenties and five of them were 18 or younger.

Adrian Ferreras Almario, 17
Steven Earl Applegate, 17
Zachary A. Aylsworth, 22
Thomas Redd Evans, 51
Jennifer Ha, 17
Corey Michael Lang, 32
William Jeffers Lank, 42
Maricel Tolentino Marcial, 27
Priscilla Giordano McKee, 44
Brian Keith Morrison, 25
Lynenne Lavette O’Neill, 42
Roseline Pawai, 40
Mark Wade Potts, 45
Hilary Harmon Stagg Jr., 16
Sandra Stricklin, 24
Donna Lee Urban, 23
Charles White Whittlesey, 37
Chanier Corey Winns, 18

12 thoughts on “Make-a-List Monday: Other jumpers

  1. Jaclyn March 24, 2014 / 1:40 am

    Have you seen the movie, The Bridge (2006). It’s a documentary, and has real footage. Very sobering movie.

  2. Orla March 24, 2014 / 6:32 am

    I saw it. Very sad.

    The man who decided to jump and while he was falling was thinking oh no what have I done was very insightful.

    He is glad to be alive today.

  3. kay March 24, 2014 / 9:00 am

    I appreciate your website it is a great tool for law enforcement. Great work!

  4. William March 24, 2014 / 11:33 am

    I saw that Documentary as well. It is surreal to see someone walking along and then stop, look around, climb the railing then jump.

  5. Angie March 24, 2014 / 2:22 pm

    The college that I went to installed nets like that under its on-campus bridges after a bunch of people committed suicide by jumping from them. Personally I think it’s stupid because a) the suicidal person can just plan to jump off the net after the initial jump, and b) half the suicides that occurred at my school during the time I was there were by means other than jumping. But God forbid you suggest that maybe the school itself created an environment that encouraged mental illness. Anyway, I digress.

    • Meaghan March 24, 2014 / 4:32 pm

      The nets are better than nothing. I shall go into detail and explain:

      Most suicidal individuals are actually pretty ambivalent about it, and choose suicide not because they actually want to die but because it seems, to them, like the best on a list of bad options. The slightest hitch in their plan — such as the presence of a net under a bridge — can be enough to deter them. To give an example, I read of a case where a teenager went to the Golden Gate Bridge in the middle of the night to jump, and found the pedestrian walkway shut as it was after hours. She could have climbed over the gate. She could have risked walking in the road. She didn’t. She gave up and went home.

      The second detail is that most suicidal people have a specific method in mind, and if that method isn’t available they won’t even try. To give an example of that: in Great Britain, gassing oneself in the oven used to be a common method of suicide. In the mid-20th century the UK changed their deadly coal gas to a less lethal natural gas, not due to suicide concerns but due to concerns about pollution, and so the number of oven suicides dropped to zero. One would naturally expect the number of suicides by other methods to rise by a corresponding number, but this didn’t happen — the number of suicides by other methods remained the same.

      The way to reduce the incidence of suicide has got to be largely public outreach and increased mental health services, but reducing access to the easiest and most common methods certainly can’t hurt and will probably help.

  6. Danielle March 24, 2014 / 9:15 pm

    YouTube has “The Bridge” .. the whole documentary as well as segments. It’s so sad to actually SEE them jump.

  7. William March 25, 2014 / 10:19 am

    I am all for the barrier, It’s a good thing. I was reading somewhere in Canada there is a Bridge where they put up a barrier and although there have been no jumps, there was no decrease in the number in the suicides in that area.

    • boondockmom March 26, 2014 / 3:04 am

      I believe that is the Bloor St Viaduct in Toronto. A study came out 4 years after the barrier was in place. It showed no jumps from that site and no decrease in suicide by jumping. However, it did show a decrease in overall suicides by 28 people each year.
      That shows how restricting access reduces suicides. Access to guns and drugs to OD on are limited in Canada so jumping or hanging are the next available options.

      • Celeste Keenan October 15, 2016 / 3:04 am

        The barrier looks so ugly. The city once wanted to put up christmas lights on the barrier but they might as well have put up a sign that said “welcome suicidal people jump from here!”
        And there are other bridges that people can jump from in Toronto; the Humber River bridge for example.

  8. T.T. March 26, 2014 / 7:21 pm

    Ylenia Carrisi?

    • Meaghan March 26, 2014 / 8:09 pm

      I didn’t count her because it isn’t clear whether she had suicidal intent or not.

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