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Encyclopedia > Suicide note
History of suicide
List of suicides
Views on suicide
Medical | Cultural
Legal | Philosophical
Religious | Right to die
Suicide crisis
Intervention | Prevention
Crisis hotline | Suicide watch
Types of suicide
Suicide methods | Copycat suicide
Cult suicide | Euthanasia
Familicide | Forced suicide
Internet suicide | Mass suicide
Murder-suicide | Ritual suicide
Suicide attack | Suicide pact
Suicide by cop | Teenage suicide
Related phenomena
Parasuicide | Self-harm
Suicidal ideation | Suicide note
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A suicide note is a message left by someone who later attempts or commits suicide. It is estimated that 12-20% of suicides are accompanied by a note.[1] However, incidence rates may depend on race, method of suicide, and cultural differences and may reach rates as high as 50% in certain demographics.[2][3] Mayor of Leipzig, Germany, committed suicide along with his wife and daughter on April 20, 1945. ... Suicide has been committed by people from all walks of life since the beginning of known history. ... // The following are lists of notable people who have definitely died intentionally by their own hand, regardless of the circumstances. ... Modern medical views on suicide consider suicide to be a mental health issue. ... Various human cultures may have views on suicide not directly or solely linked to religious views of suicide. ... This page concerns suicide. ... In ethics and other branches of philosophy suicide poses a difficult question, answered differently by philosophers from different times and traditions. ... There are a variety of religious views of suicide. ... For the 1987 film, see Right to Die (film) The term right to die refers to various issues around the death of an individual when that person could continue to live with the aid of life support, or in a diminished or enfeebled capacity. ... A suicide crisis, suicidal crisis, or potential suicide, is a situation in which a person is attempting to kill himself or is seriously contemplating or planning to do so. ... Modern medical views on suicide consider suicide to be a mental health issue rather than allowing that individuals can make a sane or reasoned choice to take their own life. ... Various suicide prevention strategies have been used: Promoting mental resilience through optimism and connectedness. ... As a suicide prevention initiative, this sign on the Golden Gate Bridge promotes a special telephone that connects to a crisis hotline. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A suicide method is any means by which someone purposely kills himself/herself. ... A copycat suicide is defined as a duplication or copycat of another suicide that the person attempting suicide knows about either from local knowledge or due to accounts or depictions of the original suicide on television and in other media. ... Cult suicide is that phenomenon by which some cults, have led to their membership committing suicide. ... Euthanasia (from Ancient Greek: ευθανασία, good death) is the practice of ending the life of a terminally ill person in a painless or minimally painful way, for the purpose of limiting suffering. ... A familicide is a type of murder or murder-suicide in which at least one spouse and one or more children are killed. ... Forced suicide is a method of execution where the victim is given the choice of committing suicide or facing an alternative they perceive as worse, such as suffering torture; having friends or family members imprisoned, tortured or killed; or losing honor, position or means. ... An Internet suicide is a suicide pact made between individuals who meet on the Internet. ... Mass suicide occurs when a number of people kill themselves together with one another or for the same reason and is usually connected to a real or perceived persecution. ... A murder suicide is an act in which an individual kills one or more other persons immediately before, or while killing himself. ... Ritual suicide is the act of suicide motivated by a religious, spiritual, or traditional ritual. ... A suicide attack is an attack on a military or civilian target, in which an attacker — either an individual or a group — intends to kill others and knows he or she will most likely die (see suicide). ... A suicide pact describes the suicides of two or more individuals in an agreed-upon plan. ... Suicide-by-cop is a suicide method in which someone deliberately acts in a threatening way towards a law enforcement officer, with the main goal of provoking a lethal response (e. ... Teenage suicide is the self-killing of a teenager. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Self-harm (SH) is deliberate injury to ones own body. ... Suicidal ideation is common medical term for the mere thoughts about and of plans of committing suicide, not the actual following through or act itself. ... Mayor of Leipzig, Germany, committed suicide along with his wife and daughter on April 20, 1945. ...



According to Dr. Lenora Olson, the most common reasons that people contemplating suicide choose to write a suicide note include: Lenora Olson is an American academic. ...

  • To ease the pain of survivors by attempting to dissipate guilt
  • To increase the pain of survivors by attempting to create guilt
  • To set out the reason for suicide
  • To gain sympathy or attention
  • To give instructions as to disposition of remains

Rarely, those who have committed a crime or other offence will confess their acts in a note.

The most common reasons people contemplating suicide fail to write a note are:

  • They are functionally or completely illiterate, or uncomfortable with written language.
  • They have nothing to say or nobody to say it to - common with respect to the elderly or those without surviving loved ones.
  • They feel they cannot express what they wish to say.
  • Their choice to commit suicide was impulsive, or at least hasty enough that there was no time for a suicide note.
  • They hope the suicide will be written off as an accident or homicide (common in those who wish to be buried in consecrated ground or who hope their families will be able to collect on insurance, for instance).
  • They simply do not wish to write about their choice.

Famous suicide notes

The following people have left famous suicide notes:

  • Getulio Vargas - lawyer, politician and Brazilian president (1930-1945; 1950-1954) who used his suicide and suicide note (the "Carta Testamento") as a political weapon against his enemies.
  • Lisandro de la Torre - Argentinian lawyer, politician and senator who fought against his government's corrupt officers during the "Década Infame" (Infamous Decade), the 1930's. Finally, abandoned by his allies and believing his struggle to be lost, he committed suicide, leaving a note describing the desperate situation he was going through.
  • Leandro Alem - Argentinian lawyer, politician and senator who took his own life in 1896 after being betrayed by his fellow Radical-party members, who gave themselves to the fraudulent regime then in power in the country, at least according to his view. He left a note denouncing them and his own nephew and heir in the leadership of his party, the future president Hipólito Yrigoyen.
  • Eduardo Chibás, Cuban politician and radio celebrity, killed himself during the broadcast of his programme making his speech during it a kind of oral suicidal note, protesting against the widespread corruption of the reigning regime.
  • Roger Angleton - Murderer and brother of famous bookmaker Robert Angleton.
  • J. Clifford Baxter - Enron Corporation executive.
  • Eustace Budgell, English writer: "What Cato did, and Addison approved, cannot be wrong."
  • Leslie Cheung - Hong Kong actor and musician who suffered from clinical depression.
  • Kurt Cobain - Lead singer of Nirvana. The note gives a message to his widow, Courtney Love, and to his daughter.
  • Clara Blandick - U.S. film actress, most famous for playing Auntie Em in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. Her note stated "I am now about to make the great adventure"
  • Ida Craddock - Facing prison in 1902 for sending through the U.S. Mail sexually explicit marriage manuals she had authored, Craddock penned a lengthy public suicide note to her readers condemning Anthony Comstock, sponsor of the Comstock Act under which she was convicted.
  • Dalida - Popular French singer. She wrote: "Life has become unbearable ... forgive me."
  • "Dead" - Lead singer of the black metal group Mayhem, whose suicide note famously read, in part, "Excuse all the blood."
The German poet Heinrich von Kleist's suicide note from 1811 is a farewell letter to his sister Ulrike.
The German poet Heinrich von Kleist's suicide note from 1811 is a farewell letter to his sister Ulrike.
  • Budd Dwyer - Pennsylvania politician who, on live television, read his suicide note and then shot himself.
  • George Sanders - Academy Award winning British actor. Suicide note stated he was bored with the world and that he "had lived long enough".
  • George Eastman - Inventor of 35 mm film and founder of Eastman Kodak. His note simply read, "My work is done. Why wait?"
  • Mike Von Erich - Wrestler who committed suicide after thinking that he was not as good as he had been prior to a shoulder injury. His brothers Kerry and Chris also committed suicide.
  • James Forrestal - Former United States Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Navy.
  • Pete Ham - Leader of the rock group Badfinger. Ham's note blamed the group's manager for his financial ruin, calling him "...a soulless bastard. I will take him with me."
  • Tony Hancock - British comedian, who died in 1968. Suicide note included the line "Things just went wrong too many times".
  • Phaedra - Character from Greek mythology who fell in love with Hippolytus.
  • Freddie Prinze - U.S. actor and comedian, famous for his role on the sitcom "Chico and the Man." Is the father of Freddie Prinze Jr.
  • Elliott Smith - Singer/songwriter who suffered from addiction and depression. The note, according to the coroner, read "I'm so sorry - love Elliot. God forgive me." The misspelling of the name is believed to be the fault of the coroner, but it is still unclear whether it was a suicide or not.[citation needed]
  • Hunter S. Thompson - Creator of gonzo journalism who ascribed his suicide to boredom and a dissatisfaction with aging.
  • Virginia Woolf - English feminist author and poet.
  • Lee Eun-ju - She left a suicide note scrawled in blood, in which she wrote, "Mom, I am sorry and I love you." A separate note said, "I wanted to do too much. Even though I live, I'm not really alive. I don't want anyone to be disappointed. It's nice having money... I wanted to make money."
  • Korechika Anami - "I - with my death - humbly apologize to the Emperor for the great crime." Historians are divided as to what crime he was referring to. It is possibly a reference to his part in the aborted coup against the Emperor Hirohito in the hours following Japan's decision to surrender at the end of World War II.
  • Vincent Van Gogh - Left a suicide note that said: "The sadness will never go away".
  • Romain Gary - He wrote a suicide note explaining the reasons of his suicide and then shot himself in his mouth. Apart from his suicide note, he had stated: "I really had fun. Goodbye and thank you."

Getúlio Dornelles Vargas (April 19, 1883 - August 24, 1954) was the president of Brazil from 1930 to 1945 and from 1950 to his suicide in 1954. ... This article belongs in one or more categories. ... Lisandro de la Torre was an Argentine politician, born in Rosario, province of Santa Fe, on 6 December 1868, and died in Buenos Aires on 5 January 1939. ... The statue dedicated to Leandro N. Alem in the park dedicated to his name in Rosario. ... Juan Hipólito del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús Yrigoyen Alem (July 12, 1852 – July 3, 1933) was twice President of Argentina (from 1916 to 1922 and again from 1928 to 1930). ... Eduardo Chibás (1907-1951) was a Cuban anti-communist politician who used radio to broadcast his political views to the public. ... Roger Nicholas Angleton (1942 – February 7, 1998) was the man who confessed to murdering his sister-in law Doris Angleton in her River Oaks home in Houston, Texas. ... A bookmaker, bookie or turf accountant, is an organization or a person that takes bets and may pay winnings depending upon results and, depending on the nature of the bet, the odds. ... Robert Nicholas Angleton (born 1948) is an infamous bookmaker in Houston, Texas. ... J. Clifford Baxter in an undated publicity photo John Clifford Baxter (September 27, 1958 – January 25, 2002) was a former Enron Corporation executive who resigned in May 2001. ... Enron Corporation was an energy company based in Houston, Texas. ... Eustace Budgell (August 19, 1686 - May 4, 1737) was an English writer. ... Leslie Cheung Kwok-Wing (September 12, 1956 – April 1, 2003) (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Cantonese IPA: , Jyutping: zoeng1 gwok3 wing4; Mandarin Pinyin: Zhāng Guóróng, Wade-Giles: Chang Kuo-jung; nickname Gor-gor (哥哥, Elder Brother in Cantonese), was an actor and a musician from Hong Kong. ... Kurt Donald Cobain (Aberdeen, Washington, USA; February 20, 1967 – c. ... Nirvana was an American rock band that formed in Aberdeen, Washington. ... Courtney Love Cobain[1] (born July 9, 1964) is an American rock musician and Golden Globe-nominated actress, best-known as lead singer for the now-defunct alternative rock band Hole and for her two-year marriage to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. ... Clara Blandick (born June 4, 1881 in Hong Kong; died April 15, 1962 in Hollywood, California) was a twentieth century American actress best known for her portrayal of Auntie Em in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. ... Motto: (traditional) In God We Trust (official, 1956–present) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City Official language(s) None at the federal level; English de facto Government Federal Republic  - President George W. Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence - Declared - Recognized... Aunt or Auntie Em (real name Emily), also called is a fictional character from the The Oz Books. ... The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, see The Wizard of Oz (adaptations). ... Portrait of Ida Craddock Ida C. Craddock (1857-1902) was a 19th century American advocate of free speech and womens rights. ... A USPS Truck at Night A U.S. Post Office sign The United States Postal Service (USPS) is the United States government organization responsible for providing postal service in the United States and is generally referred to as the post office. ... Portrait of Anthony Comstock Anthony Comstock (March 7, 1844 - September 21, 1915) was a former United States Postal Inspector and politician dedicated to ideas of Victorian morality. ... The Comstock Law was a 19th century United States law that made it illegal to send any obscene, lewd, or lascivious books through the mail. ... It has been suggested that Olympia 74 be merged into this article or section. ... Per Yngve Ohlin Per Yngve Ohlin (January 16, 1969 – April 8, 1991) was a vocalist for Mayhem, a Norwegian black metal group, who went by the stage name Dead. ... Mayhem (often called The True Mayhem) is a black metal band, formed in 1984[1] in Oslo, Norway. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (540x761, 123 KB) Summary suicide letter of Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811) German poet, dramatist and novelist source: http://www. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (540x761, 123 KB) Summary suicide letter of Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811) German poet, dramatist and novelist source: http://www. ... Bernd Heinrich Wilhelm von Kleist (October 18, 1777 – November 21, 1811) was a German poet, dramatist and novelist. ... 1811 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Robert Budd Dwyer (November 21, 1939 – January 22, 1987) was a former Pennsylvania politician who, on the morning of January 22, 1987, committed suicide by shooting himself in the mouth with a revolver during a televised press conference. ... Capital Harrisburg Largest city Philadelphia Area  Ranked 33rd  - Total 46,055 sq mi (119,283 km²)  - Width 280 miles (455 km)  - Length 160 miles (255 km)  - % water 2. ... Do you mean: George Sanders (1906-1972), the British actor George Sanders, who was awarded the Victoria Cross on the first day of the Battle of the Somme This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Although he never won an Oscar for any of his movie performances, the comedian Bob Hope received two honorary Oscars for his contributions to cinema. ... Actors in period costume sharing a joke whilst waiting between takes during location filming. ... A 1954 U.S. stamp featuring George Eastman. ... 35 mm film frames. ... Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE: EK) is an American multinational public company. ... Michael Brent Adkisson (March 2, 1964 – April 12, 1987) was an American professional wrestler under the ring name Mike Von Erich. ... James Vincent Forrestal (February 15, 1892 – May 22, 1949) was a Secretary of the Navy and the first United States Secretary of Defense. ... The United States Secretary of Defense is the head of the United States Department of Defense (DoD), concerned with the armed services and The role of the Secretary of Defense is to be the principal defense policy advisor to the President and is responsible for the formulation of general defense... Flag of the United States Secretary of the Navy. ... William Peter Ham (April 27, 1947 – April 23, 1975) was a Welsh singer and songwriter, best known as the leader of the ill-fated group Badfinger. ... Badfinger were a rock/pop band formed in Swansea, Wales in 1965, and one of the earliest representatives of the power pop genre. ... Biography published in 1978 (1983 paperback reprint shown) Anthony John Hancock, best known as Tony Hancock (May 12, 1924 – June 24, 1968) was a major figure in British television and radio comedy in the 1950s and 1960s. ... Alexandre Cabanels painting Phaedra (1880) In Greek mythology, Phaedra is the daughter of Minos, wife of Theseus and the mother of Demophon and Acamas. ... The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the Ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Frederick Karl Pruetzel (22 June 1954 – 29 January 1977), better known as “Freddie Prinze” was an American stand-up comedian and actor. ... Chico and the Man was an American sitcom which ran on NBC from September 13, 1974 to July 21, 1978, starring Jack Albertson as Ed Brown (The Man), the cantankerous owner of a run down garage in an East Los Angeles barrio, and introducing Freddie Prinze as Chico Rodriguez, an... Freddie Prinze, Jr. ... Steven Paul Elliott Smith (August 6, 1969 – October 21, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter and musician. ... Hunter Stockton Thompson (July 18, 1937 – February 20, 2005) was an American journalist and author. ... Hunter S. Thompsons famous Gonzo logo. ... For the American childrens writer, see Virginia Euwer Wolff Virginia Woolf (née Stephen) (January 25, 1882 – March 28, 1941) was an English novelist and essayist regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem No official anthem specific to England — the anthem of the United Kingdom is God Save the Queen. See also Proposed English National Anthems. ... Feminism is a social theory and political movement primarily informed and motivated by the experience of women. ... Authorship redirects here. ... The poor poet A poet is a person who writes poetry. ... Lee Eun-ju (이은주, born December 22, 1980; died February 22, 2005) was a Korean actress. ... Korechika Anami Korechika Anami (阿南 惟幾 Anami Korechika, February 21st 1887- August 15th 1945) was a Japanese general in World War II. Military Career 2dLt (Infantry),December 1906; was graduated from War College, November 1918; attached to Army General Staff, April 1919; Member, same, December 1919; Major, February 1922; Staff Officer, Sakhalin... Hirohito (裕仁), the Shōwa Emperor (昭和天皇), (April 29, 1901 - January 7, 1989) reigned over Japan from 1926 to 1989. ... The Japanese representatives on board USS Missouri during the surrender ceremonies on 2 September 1945. ... Vincent Willem van Gogh (sometimes erroneously pronounced [ˈvɪnsÉ™nt væn ˈɡɒf] or [ˈvɪnsÉ™nt vÉ‘n ˈɡɔx] in British English and [ˈvɪnsÉ™nt væn ˈɡoÊŠ] in US English; the correct Dutch pronunciation is ) (30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) was a Dutch Post-Impressionist artist. ... Romain Gary (May 8, 1914 – December 2, 1980) was a French novelist, film director, World War II pilot, and diplomat. ...

See also

General Akashi Gidayu preparing to commit seppuku after losing a battle for his master in 1582. ...


  1. ^ AIM Report: Critiquing Berman's Report on Foster. Accuracy in Media (2001-06-01).
  2. ^ The significance of suicide notes in the elderly (2002-05-01).
  3. ^ Incidence of note-leaving remains constant despite increasing suicide rates. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences (2005-04-01).

External links and references

  • Mark Etkind: ...Or Not to Be: A Collection of Suicide Notes, Riverhead Trade, ISBN 1-573225-80-0
  • Lenora M. Olson, The use of suicide notes as an aid for understanding motive in completed suicides, Proquest/UMI, ISBN 0-542162-85-7
  • Famous suicide notes - dying words of famous people
  • Suicide note
  • Sam Paul: Why I Committed Suicide, iUniverse, Inc., ISBN 0-595326-95-1

  Results from FactBites:
Suicide note - definition of Suicide note in Encyclopedia (498 words)
A suicide note is a message left by someone who later attempts or commits suicide.
Research indicates that suicide notes have a profound effect on the grief of those who read them.
Physical reminder - The suicide note could serve as a physical reminder of the suicide or could be constantly contemplated by those who read it, increasing their grief.
NodeWorks - Encyclopedia: Suicide (7238 words)
To be considered suicide, the death must be a central component and intention of the act, not just a certain consequence; hence, suicide bombing is considered a kind of bombing rather than a kind of suicide, and martyrdom usually escapes religious or legal proscription.
Suicide is more common among alcoholics, especially after loss of intimate relationships, such as the death of a spouse, divorce, loss of a friend and parental alienation.
Ulrike Meinhof wrote that "suicide is the ultimate form of protest." In this she saw suicide as a political act, as a last resort to preserve one's sovereignty over one's body and life.
  More results at FactBites »



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