Christine Chubbuck was a 29-year-old broadcaster working for a news station in Sarasota, Florida when she committed suicide on air in 1974
Rumors of the video of Chubbuck’s suicide being released online have appeared on the Web for years
Two films were made in 2016 about Chubbuck
Chubbuck’s brother says claims Christine had longstanding mental issues
There is one video that has become a “Holy Grail” of sorts for the morbid underbelly of the Web. Nobody is known to actually see the video and the only thing “Death Hags” have to go off of is the name Christine Chubbuck and her very disturbing story.
Chubbuck’s story, mixed with the relentless search for the video of her suicide, is a perfect example of our bizarre fascination with death and violence. In 1974, Chubbuck committed suicide on live TV. Chubbuck was a correspondent for a news station in Sarasota, Florida at the time of the incident.
A horrific account
A horrific account of what happened at the scene of the now infamous suicide reads as follows.
Christine Chubbock flicked her long dark hair back away from her face, swallowed, twitched her lips only slightly, and reached with her left hand to turn the next page of her script. Looking down on her anchor desk, she began to read: “In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in” — she looked up from the script, directly into the camera and smiled a tentative smile. Her voice took on a sarcastic tone as she emphasized “blood and guts … and in living color.” She looked back down at her script. Her left hand shook almost unnoticeably.
Her right arm stiffened. “We bring you another first.” Her voice was steady. She looked up again into the camera. Her eyes were dark, direct, and challenging. “An attempted suicide.” Her right hand came from under the anchor desk. In it was a .38 caliber revolver. She pointed it at the lower back of her head and pulled the trigger. A loud crack was heard. A puff of smoke blew out from the gun and her hair flipped around her face as though a sudden gust of wind had caught it. Her face took on a fierce, contorted look, her mouth wrenched downward, her head shook. Then her body fell forward with a resounding thud against the anchor desk and slowly slipped out of sight.
If it bleeds, it leads
Chubbuck was rushed to a local hospital where she would die 15-hours later. After being rushed to a hospital, a staff member would find a piece of paper with her blood on it. In longhand, Chubbuck had written out the script for her suicide attempt, including that she was in the hospital in critical condition.
Those watching the news that morning witnessed the entire horrifying ordeal. Some users of the Internet have been on an exhausting hunt to find the video. Dedicated threads on reddit and 4chan both have some who claim they have seen the video. A claim that is unsubstantiated.
The video does exist. That was confirmed earlier this year by Mollie Nelson, widow of Robert Nelson, the owner of Chubbuck’s news station. However, just because it exists, it does not mean that it is out there.
The video has never been aired again after the tragic day it was broadcasted live to residents in Florida. Despite multiple claims that it has been seen online, it has not. While the actual video itself has not been seen, Chubbuck’s story is one that has been told time and time again over the years.
In 2016, two films were made about Chubbuck’s death. British actress Rebecca Hall plays the Chubbuck in the movie Christine, which premiered at the London Film Festival and received 5-stars. Meanwhile, US actress Kate Lyn Sheil starred in a documentary called Kate Plays Christine, where she looks at the mindset of Chubbuck leading up to her death.
The films are something that Greg Chubbuck have tried to prevent since the incident occurred. Greg told The Sun in an interview earlier this year that while he disagrees with the films being created, he understands why they would be.
Public suicide is another level beyond suicide. It’s an anger and rage that I can’t understand and I’ve thought about it every day for 42 years.
Greg is now 70-years-old and vowed that as long as his parents were alive, there would be no film about his sister’s suicide. After being advised that Greg has no legal authority to stop either film’s production, he can at least know that he did keep his word. Chubbuck’s parents are both deceased and did not have to see either film released.
A tragic love life
Greg is Chubbuck’s last living relative. One of his biggest fears with either film is that Chubbuck’s failed love life and her being a 29-year-old virgin at the time of her death will be the main focus. He claims they are leaving out two important and tragic love affairs that happened in Chubbuck’s life.
One relationship was with an older man who worked in television with her. Chubbuck’s father strongly opposed the relationship, which inevitably caused the relationship to fail. Her father did not want her marrying a Jewish man.
Before that, Chubbuck’s first boyfriend died in a car crash. After her first boyfriend’s death, Greg said Chubbuck dedicated the rest of her life aiding a passenger in the wreck with his rehab. “That’s how she responded to losing her first love — to try and help his friend,” Greg told The Sun.
Greg was concerned that neither film would show her tender side and said he would not see either movie.
Longstanding mental issues
Chubbuck also had serious issues with her bosses’ attitudes towards news broadcasts. That attitude being, “If it bleeds, it leads.” Greg said that this attitude did not help longstanding mental issues Chubbuck had dating back to as young as 10-years-old.
Chubbuck’s parents did everything they could for their troubled daughter. Looking back, Greg believes Chubbuck was bipolar. A disease that was still very misunderstood when Chubbick’s parents were getting her therapy. Chubbuck was instead diagnosed with general depression, a diagnosis that most likely helped her bipolar get more severe.
Chubbuck’s last weeks
Chubbuck was said to be meticulous, according to her colleagues. An example of that can be found in the weeks leading up to her on-air suicide.
Two weeks before her suicide, Chubbuck suggested to her bosses that she do a segment on suicide. In the segment, Chubbuck asked for advice on the best ways to commit suicide. In the end, Chubbuck took the advice of one of the experts, which was seen in the choice of weapon she used.
Greg stated that the weekend before she died, Chubbuck gave his fiancee an heirloom piece of jewelry. At the time of Chubbuck giving the gift, the couple assumed it was simply a kind gesture. Looking back, Greg believes Chubbuck was giving away her worldly possessions that she knew she would no longer need.
The infamous tape
The question remains, what happened to the tape of Chubbuck’s suicide? Mollie Nelson told Vulture that the tape does still exist. Her now deceased husband had held onto it for all these years, though he never told her why.
Nelson said after Robert passed away, Kate Plays Christine debuted at Sundance. In the documentary, one of the television station’s employees suggested that Nelson may still have a copy of the tape. Due to the claim, people began contacting her to see the tape.
Nelson said the requests made her nervous, so instead of holding on to it, she gave it to a “very large law firm” for safe keeping. The widow claims that she has no intention of ever letting the video be released to the public. Instead, she only kept a copy of the tape to fulfill her husband’s wishes.
Some believe that Nelson is not being truthful and has the idea in mind to profit off of the tape. Why even admit that you have it if you have no intentions of it ever being given to the public?
While Nelson claims that she is trying to honor her husband’s wishes, Robert went to his grave without giving confirmation of the tape’s existence. He made sure that at the very least the tape never saw the light of day as long as an immediate family member of Chubbuck’s was alive.
While law firms do pro bono work every so often, the idea that this “very large law firm” would take on something of this nature out of the kindness of their heart is extremely unlikely.
We may not ever know Nelson’s reasoning for admitting she has the tape and putting such a controversial tape in the hands of a law firm. At this time, we can confirm that the tape of Chubbuck’s suicide is not public, and hopefully it will remain that way.
Sorry Death Hags, you’re just going to have to keep endlessly scrolling through BestGore in order to fulfill your morbid desire to see death and violence.