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

15 thoughts on “Teenager’s apparent suicide, impaled on flagpole

  1. I’m no longer sure the place you’re getting your info, however good topic. I must spend a while learning more or figuring out more. Thank you for wonderful information I was looking for this information for my mission.


    1. I use a variety of resources to find my information, including (but not limited to) newspapers.com, Murderpedia, Clark County Prosecutors, FindAGrave.com, and dozens of various true crime books

      Liked by 1 person

    2. My father was there that day, he had witnessed it. I had looked this up to see if there was any information on it happening and I was quite disturbed to hear this.


  2. We went there that day. We lived barely more than a 5 minute walk away, and when they mentioned it on the news we all got up and went down to see. My Aunt, my brother and I and our 3 cousins. At 6 years old I was the second youngest. If you can look at that photo and then imagine a 6 year old looking at it and having no idea what they’re looking at, that’s what it was like. Like I have no memory of this image. I just remember looking up in the air trying to locate a man with a flag pole sticking through him. I’ m sure I must have looked right at him, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen him. I always assumed that it was a white guy who worked at City Hall.


  3. She is correct, I was born & raised right outside of Buffalo N.Y. in the close by suburb of Lancaster.
    I remember getting the Buffalo evening newspaper off the porch & see the image of the man’s lifeless body impaled on the flagpole. & then a hour or 2 later , watching the WKBW news with Irv Weinstein & listening to the warning he gave before they showed the footage of the body


  4. It’s a true story. I grew up in Buffalo and was 10 years old at the time of this suicide. The local news channels actually showed the young man’s impaled corpse on the flag pole on TV. I remembered how horrible it was to see this on the television my whole life.


  5. I agree with Bobby’s younger brother. The lake and the winds are on the opposite side of the city hall. Bobby Jackson was thrown ( a projectile) to land on the flag pole. As a teen ager of the 70s, where are his “bell bottoms”? There was also a taller building ( 40 Stories) with a public restaurant t on the 40th floor. I think that would of been easier. Still, he would of needed a running start. RIP Bobby Jackson


    1. I agree, that flag poll is out side of my office window if he had jumped he would have landed on the 8th floor landing. The only way I can see him ending up on the 4th floor landing (Which is where the flag is) is if he was thrown and I can’t see how one person could have thrown him that far. I believe it was more than one person who threw him.


  6. I don’t know if this is true but somebody told me that they left his body on the flag poll for over a month because it was attracting tourists.

    The City’s side of the story is that it took a month to figure out how to get his body off of the flag poll. I doubt that it took a month to figure out how to get him off. If it did take a month all of the city engineers should have been fired. It took a month to figure out that they needed to cut the poll down to get him off?


  7. My father was there that day, he had witnessed it. I had looked this up to see if there was any information on it happening and I was quite disturbed to hear this.


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