Didn't it fill your head? Didn't it entertain? Did you feel alive at the end of it?
February 9, 2007 4:38 PM   Subscribe

I have recently heard a story about a disgraced US politician who committed suicide on live tv. I'm fairly shaky on the details. Anyone know who I'm talking about.

I'm not sure if it's an urban legend or what. I can't imagine I wouldn't have heard something about it before, but my friend was quite adamant. Anyone care to shed some light?
posted by es_de_bah to Society & Culture (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Bud Dwyer.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 4:41 PM on February 9, 2007


As usual, Wikipedia knows all.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 4:41 PM on February 9, 2007


Bud Dwyer. If you google him the video is the third thing that comes up. It's as graphic as you'd expect it to be.
posted by bondcliff at 4:42 PM on February 9, 2007


Probably one of the best known snuff videos. It was aired live on television and was the inspiration for "Hey man, nice shot" by crap metal band Filter.
posted by fire&wings at 4:49 PM on February 9, 2007


Thanks guys, and kudos to fire&wings. I totally used to play that song in my highschool band.
posted by es_de_bah at 4:56 PM on February 9, 2007


holy crap... I had never heard of this before, and watching the video just freaked me out. Thanks for the interesting question and disturbing answers.
posted by chrisamiller at 5:32 PM on February 9, 2007


Google Video.
posted by phrontist at 7:02 PM on February 9, 2007


amazing, really scary footage. i agree, great question. this thread led me to christine chubbuk, which seemed a little parallel but more sad story.
posted by edtut at 8:05 PM on February 9, 2007


I was in jr. high living in the Pa. Capital area when Dwyer killed himself there in Harrisburg. It was on a snow day, and there were a lot of kids at home watching tv in the mid-morning when the broadcast affiliates broke into their normal programming, expecting to cover merely the resignation announcement of a state official caught in a notorious scandal. So a lot of kids got to see a man blow his brains out on live tv. (But not me -- I saw a version only later that day that carried the sound from the whole thing but that cut away to a black screen just after Dwyer pulled the revolver from a manila envelope).

Afterwards, we kids told a lot of tasteless jokes about the incident (hey, we were just kids), such as: How much does a pack of Bud cost? Answer: .357.
posted by hhc5 at 10:12 PM on February 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey Man Nice Shot, about Bud Dwyer, and Filter's only good song.

WPXI was the only Pittsburgh station to air the suicide uncensored.

(I grew up near Pittsburgh, can you tell?)
posted by dirigibleman at 11:13 PM on February 9, 2007


What's kind of interesting about Bud Dwyer's suicide (if my vague recollection of some articles is correct) is that he may not have actually done anything illegal, but rather, was the target of an unscrupulous prosecutor and/or judge. There was some talk, IIRC, that Dwyer realized the financial devastation that was going to be visited on his family by his alleged corruption and its consequences, and he realized the only way he could provide for them was by committing suicide while in office, and he was in fact in office when he killed himself and therefore his life insurance was paid to his widow and kids.

Maybe that's complete baloney, but I think I read something, that was somewhat convicing, to that effect.
posted by jayder at 11:30 PM on February 9, 2007


My god. I'd never heard of this.
posted by DakotaPaul at 11:43 PM on February 9, 2007


It wasn't his life insurance, it was his pension.
posted by Dunwitty at 11:56 PM on February 9, 2007


Just a side note: the lyrics in the title, from Sleater-Kinney's "Was It a Lie?", actually go "Did it fill your head, did it entertain? Will you feel alive at the end of it?" It was inspired by a tourist video of a woman getting hit by a train.
posted by chrominance at 12:16 AM on February 10, 2007


chrominance, good eye. i did look up the lyrics, but paraphrased a bit to fit. thanks for the link.

wow...i feel really morbid thanking everyone for this type of information...
posted by es_de_bah at 1:13 AM on February 10, 2007


I'd never heard of Bud Dwyer either. I was only 10 years old at time and a long way from PA when it happened.

I clicked through to the video just now and found it profoundly sad and disturbing. I'm really feeling a bit shaken up by it . . .

As such, I'll skip the video of the woman getting hit by a train. I can't handle this kind of thing very well.
posted by aladfar at 1:16 AM on February 10, 2007


In the pre-internet days, I first learned of this story in a journalism textbook, in which it was used as a case study on how far the various media outlets went in depicting the suicide.
posted by evilcolonel at 4:36 AM on February 10, 2007


wow, i now feel dirty after watching that.
posted by mmascolino at 9:36 AM on February 10, 2007


I always heard that Hey Man Nice Shot was about a guy who, after being surprised on the Jenny Jones show by someone who had a homoesexual crush on him, later shot the guy, as detailed here.
posted by andifsohow at 11:42 AM on February 10, 2007


um...i find it hard to believe that a guy who toured as part of NIN would write a wong congratulating a fella who commited a gay hatecrime.

i could be wrong, but...
posted by es_de_bah at 2:12 PM on March 10, 2007


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