Fotografia a fost realizată de Robert C. Wiles, și a fost publicată pe 12 may 1947 în Life Magazine. Alături de ea scria: “At the bottom of the Empire State Building the body of Evelyn McHale reposes calmly in grotesque bier, her falling body punched into the top of a car.” Dar nu era orice fel de mașină ci o limuzină. Mai mult:
On May Day, just after leaving her fiancé, 23-year-old Evelyn McHale wrote a note. ‘He is much better off without me … I wouldn’t make a good wife for anybody,’ … Then she crossed it out. She went to the observation platform of the Empire State Building. Through the mist she gazed at the street, 86 floors below. Then she jumped. In her desperate determination she leaped clear of the setbacks and hit a United Nations limousine parked at the curb. Across the street photography student Robert Wiles heard an explosive crash. Just four minutes after Evelyn McHale’s death Wiles got this picture of death’s violence and its composure.
From McHale’s NY Times obituary, Empire State Ends Life of Girl, 20:
At 10:40 A. M., Patrolman John Morrissey of Traffic C, directing traffic at Thirty-fourth Street and Fifth Avenue, noticed a swirling white scarf floating down from the upper floors of the Empire State. A moment later he heard a crash that sounded like an explosion. He saw a crowd converge in Thirty-third Street.
Two hundred feet west of Fifth Avenue, Miss McHale’s body landed atop the car. The impact stove in the metal roof and shattered the car’s windows. The driver was in a near-by drug store, thereby escaping death or serious injury.
On the observation deck, Detective Frank Murray of the West Thirtieth Street station, found Miss McHale’s gray cloth coat, her pocketbook with several dollars and the note, and a make-up kit filled with family pictures.
Biletul era de fapt acesta:
“I don’t want anyone in or out of my family to see any part of me. Could you destroy my body by cremation? I beg of you and my family – don’t have any service for me or remembrance for me.
My fiance asked me to marry him in June. I don’t think I would make a good wife for anybody. He is much better off without me. Tell my father, I have too many of my mother’s tendencies.”
Sora sa a ajutat la identificarea ei și a incinerat-o.
Wiles se pare că a fost fotograful unei singure imagini (și ce imagine!), aceasta a fost singura fotografie pe care a publicat-o. Câțiva ani mai târziu Andy Warhol a ”transformat” fotografia în cadrul seriei sale Suicide (Fallen Body), iată ce a ieșit:
Referitor la acest subiect, trebuie să vedeți și un video pe youtube care e superb (cu toată melodrama care e la locul ei):
Surse, sau locuri de vizitat dacă vreți și mai multe amănunte: