Kristin Chubbuck — TV presenter who killed herself on the airBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/kristin-chubbuck-tv-presenter-who-killed-herself-on-the-air
On July 15, 1974, an event occurred on the air of the WXLT-TV channel that the public remembered for a long time. The host of the Suncoast Digest program, journalist Kristin Chubbuck, unexpectedly pulled out a revolver during the live broadcast of the show and shot herself in the head.
That morning started as usual — Kristin came to work at the studio of WXLT-TV, where she hosted her own show. The morning program of Suncoast Digest was devoted to communication with local celebrities and short news bulletins, mainly from the world of crime. The producers of the project were convinced that the audience was interested in finding out what illegal and bloody happened in Florida over the past days, so they always asked Chubbuck to disclose this topic in as much detail as possible.
About a month before the tragedy, the TV presenter turned to the editor with a request to release a story about suicide, without explaining anything else. Having received the consent, Kristin went to the sheriff. She asked him a lot of questions on a topic of interest. Basically, the girl was worried about which method of suicide was the most effective.
After a while, the presenter told her colleague Rob Smith that she had bought a revolver. She added that she wanted to use it for the purpose of suicide. However, the man did not believe Kristin, and took her honest confession for a failed joke…
On the morning of July 15, Kristin was supposed to read a short news summary on the show. On a report of a shooting in one of the local restaurants, there was a technical failure. Then the TV presenter uttered her last words:
After finishing her speech, Kristin took out a revolver, put it to her right temple and pulled the trigger. Everything happened so quickly and unexpectedly that many colleagues of the presenter did not even realize at first that she was dead. Operator Gene Reed took it for a prank and only when he saw Chubbuck's death agony, rushed to her aid.
Kristin was taken to the hospital, where she died 14 hours later. Thus, she became the first person in the world whose suicide was recorded on video and shown live.
During the investigation of the case, law enforcement officers found out that Chubbuck had been struggling with depression for a long time and had previously tried to commit suicide. Her mother knew about the girl's suicidal tendencies. She preferred to keep this information secret because she was afraid that Kristin would be fired from her job.
Colleagues also confirmed that the girl was often in a depressed state. She complained about the lack of a personal life and constantly criticized herself. However, none of Kristin's acquaintances took these problems seriously.
Brother Chubbuck recalled that his sister had many signs of bipolar disorder. However, at that time, this diagnosis was not even officially recognized in the psychiatric community.
After the tragedy that occurred on the air, the show's director Mike Simmons looked into the script compiled by Chubbuck. It contained four short news items, the last sentence and suicide itself. In addition, according to the script, the show was to continue further. According to Kristin's idea, the technical director was supposed to take over the role of the presenter.In 2016, a film was released telling about the last weeks of Christine Chubbuck and her death on the air. The tape was called "Kristin", and the main role in it was played by actress Rebecca Hall. There is also an opinion that the story of the presenter formed the basis of the film "Teleset", which is a satire on American television.