October 22, 1976
Buffalo, New York
Bobby Jackson (19) dies after being impaled by a flagpole
Officially, Jackson’s death was ruled as a suicide. He jumped from the 28th story of Buffalo City Hall, intent on dying from the 250 foot drop. It was suggested a gust of wind changed his intended trajectory to the top of the flagpole where he was impaled rather than dying from the impact with the ground. Gravity pulled Jackson and the flag halfway down the pole before coming to a rest. Cranes were employed and the base of the flagpole sawed off to help remove Jackson’s body while 200 people looked on.
Jackson’s brother, 16 at the time, insisted his brother was murdered, pushed or thrown from the building. A police sergeant attached to the case disagreed saying it would have been impossible for someone to throw a human the 8 feet over the glass observatory wall and 15 feet away from the building necessary for Jackson’s body to land on the flagpole. Those who believe Jackson was murdered have their concerns reinforced as the Buffalo Police Department cannot seem to locate the public records pertaining to the case.
Photo credit: Jet magazine, December 9, 1976