Suicide is the act of ending one's life due to emotional stress, pride (failing to uphold their honor, a Serial Killer not wanting to be caught by law enforcement, etc.) or against their will (dying to protect a loved one). Suicide can also be considered when facing an opposition that will most likely result in the person's death, such as putting one's self in extreme danger. Political Suicide and other versions of the term are meant to represent one's "career" or "status", not their physical life.
The most common reasoning for suicide is emotional stress in an individual's life either brought on by their situations (financial, negative events that continue to occur,etc.), emotional state (result of losing a loved one, depression, etc.) and external forces (manipulation by another individual, bullying, etc.). Sometimes a personal decision may effect their reasoning such as failure to uphold honor, feeling it's the right thing to do, not wanting to be caught, etc. Even sometimes against their will if they wish to protect someone else. Attempted Suicide is the intent to kill oneself but the action is either ineffective, they back out of the decision or someone stops them.
Murder can sometimes be disguised as a suicide, from a "jumper" to someone left in a bathtub filled with blood. Some suicides can even be manipulated by an individual, such as in the case of Arthur Mitchell and Doctor Emmett Meridian. Murder is often disguised in order to protect the killer and throw law enforcement off their trail but sometimes it's a psychological effect they don't even realize they're doing (in Arthur's case, the "Jumper" victim has to fall by themselves on their own will). In Dexter's case, he has made several characters appear to have killed themselves when it comes to needing his victims to appear to the public such as his brother Brian Moser and two of his victims appear as part of a Murder Suicide.
Most personal suicides result in a "note" being left that details their reasoning for killing themselves. Not all cases include a note but it's a common sight as the last thing they wanted to tell the world as they left it.
Methods of Suicide
Suicide is usually intended to be as painless as possible, however some individuals take it to an extreme that far surpasses some methods of murder.
- Slitting ones Wrists - Usually with a razor or other form of blade, a slit vertically down the forearm will severe an artery resulting in extreme blood loss. The act itself usually occurs within bathtubs, likely to soothe the pain or possibility to fill some sort of emotional (and psychological) desire to see their own blood surround their body in such a fashion. Some victims leave their arms out in the open, though for what purpose is unclear.
- Slitting ones Neck - With the same concept as slitting the wrists, this results in the victim bleeding out at a rate that is likely faster than the wrists. However the action itself appears to be more painful as it results in choking and intense pressure on the throat itself.
- Slitting an Artery - Not common for Suicide victims but it can occur, a victim may slit a particular artery to force themselves to bleed out. It's unclear why Rebecca Mitchell chose to die the same way her father killed his Bathtub Victims, but she slit the artery located on her thigh in order to bleed out in the tub.
- Hanging oneself - A method that is also used for execution, this usually revolves around a rope made into a noose hung over a beam within a house. The suicide victim will then stand up on a chair and either jump off it or kick the chair out from under them after fastening the noose around their neck. The resulting strangulation kills them in roughly half a minute and as such, it's considered a suicide method that can be averted at the last minute by an external force (such as a person), an accident in planning (the rope breaks by accident or the structure used to support the rope collapses) or the victim themselves cuts the rope after having second thoughts.
- Self-inflicted gunshot to the head - The most common method when a gun is made available, a weapon is placed somewhere on the head and the trigger is pulled allowing the bullet to travel into the skull resulting in death. There are varying ways to do this, also based on the weapon, as a victim can place the gun against their temple, underneath their chin, inside of their mouth and in some strange cases facing their forehead (which is the most inefficient due to the recoil). In some rare cases the victim will survive the gunshot but will most likely suffer brain damage because of this. Aside from a handgun, the other method (that will most definitely result in death) is to use a shotgun...which unfortunately is a lot more violent and grotesque.
- Self-inflicted gunshot to the chest - An unusual method usually brought on upon by an intense rush of emotions such as during a Murder Suicide, the victim will turn the gun on themselves and fire into their chest. Because of this, it makes it appear as if the victim was killed by a murderer...however this was likely not the victim's intention.
- Death by sleeping pills - A common and painless method is to take multiple sleeping pills (beyond the prescription limit) and allow the overdose to end their life. It's not 100% effective as some victims survive but it is often considered the most "peaceful way" of ending ones life.
- Jumping from a tall height - Jumpers are another very common case in suicide victims, they tend to choose a tall structure where they can focus falling off to their deaths. Most victims choose buildings over concrete, some as high as skyscrapers and others no more than a few stories up while others may choose a tall bridge where they allow the impact of the water to kill them. The victim is known to stand at the edge with arms extended to either side, likely to feel as if they're "flying" in a sense as they reach the bottom. Because of the nature of this method, there is no turning back...once you're falling the only thing that can save you is the height...some jumpers choose an ineffective height and survive with broken bones and others land on a structure that saves their life.
- Death by being hit by a car - This involves a victim choosing to walk into the line of traffic and wait for an oncoming car to hit them. The method is not guaranteed to kill the victim however it will most likely result in their death if not paralysis if they survive. Most victims tend to make the decision without care for what type of car is hitting them while others choose the larger vehicles such as trucks to insure they will most likely not survive. A lot of these deaths occur during the night, as it insures the driver will most likely not see them and fail to swerve out of the way.
Now for the more elaborate methods.
- Death by crashing one's car - This method can actually be topped with Murder Suicide as the driver crashing the car could be taking a loved one with them. Typically the driver will crash into a watery terrain such as a lake or even the ocean, but sometimes they will choose to endanger other people (not just their own passengers) by crashing into oncoming traffic. These individuals usually have no regard for other life when they try this.
- Death by electrocution - Allowing one's self to become electrocuted is a fairly elaborate method, some take a bath and allow an electric appliance to fry themselves while others approach something that is clearly high voltage and let their body suffer as they grab hold of it (such as power lines or an electric fence). Strangely enough some people will even try to die by a lightening bolt though whether or not this occurs depends on their dedication - they might simply run into a storm or they might bring a conductor to make themselves a target for the bolt.
- Death by drowning - Purposely choosing not to come up in a pool or ocean is a method sometimes used. However due to the body's desire to "float", oftentimes these types of individuals weigh themselves down with something heavy such as an anchor or weight equipment so that they won't float back up. It's also been known that someone may try to drown themselves by shoving their own head into water and hoping this works.
- Freezing to death - Trapping oneself inside of an icy environment with the intent to die, allowing the subzero temperatures to claim their lives. Some people will sit out in the snow while others will find an environment (such as a freezer) to leave themselves trapped.
- Igniting themselves on fire - The individual may force a fire either in their own house or upon their body to allow themselves to burn to death. Some individuals die from the smoke intake on its own while others desire the flames itself to scorch their bodies.
Known Suicide Victims
- Marsha Mitchell
- Harry Morgan
- Jeremy Downs
- Detective Stewart
- Christine Hill
- Rebecca Mitchell
- Kaitlyn Watson
- Wayne Randall
Known Attempted Suicide Victims
Known Forced Suicide Victims
The following victims were forced to commit suicide by someone by either manipulating them psychologically or threatening someone they love.
Known Disguised Suicide Victims
The following victims were disguised as suicides either intentionally or otherwise.