Pennsylvania

Politician kills self on live TV

January 22, 1987
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Robert Budd Dwyer kills himself on live television

At a live, televised press conference regarding a political scandal, Robert Budd Dwyer, Treasurer of Pennsylvania, professed his innocence. He then handed several envelopes out, which were later discovered to be organ donor information, letters to his wife and children, and funeral arrangement.

The last envelope he opened himself, revealing a .357 Magnum revolver. He advised the crowd to leave if the ensuing suicide would affect them. Several members of the crowd tried to stop him, verbally or physically, to which Dwyer replied “Don’t, don’t, don’t, this will hurt someone,” before putting the barrel in his mouth and pulling the trigger.

Camera crews caught the entire ordeal and broadcast it live. Videos exist on the Internet still of this horrific and tragic end of Dwyer, including several censored versions that leave out the actual suicide out of respect for Mr. Dwyer’s family.

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