View Full Version : "40s Photograph

13-Jan-2002, 17:56
Some time ago I saw a photograph in a book, of a woman who either fell or jumped off of a building and landed on a car roof. It has been years since I saw this but I think that the woman looked asleep on the crumpled roof. The car looked t o be from the '40s. Does anyone know who took this photo?

Ellis Vener
13-Jan-2002, 18:42
I too remember that photograph. I believe she had jumped from the top of Empire State Building. The photograph might be by "Weegee the Famous" but I am not sure.

Don Sparks
13-Jan-2002, 19:42
I have the Life magazine (May 12, 1947) that photo appeared in. "On May Day, just after leaving her fiance, 23 year-old Evelyn McHale wrote a note...He is much better off without me...I wouldn't make a good wife for anybody, she wrote. She then crossed it out and went to the observation platform and jumped 86 floors to her death. Across the street photography student Robert Wiles heard an explosive crash. Just four minutes after Evelyn McHale's death, Wiles took the picture.

14-Jan-2002, 14:51
Thank you all very much. I was begining to think that I imagined it as it has been many years since I have seen that photograph.

David Grandy
15-Jan-2002, 13:36
I think that it's in the original "Best of Life" book as well.

Carl Harrison
21-Jan-2002, 14:00
I remember this photograph but have not seen it in years. Looked for it on the net after reading this post, but unable to find it. Anyone know if it is out there on the net?

Conrad Hubbard
29-May-2004, 20:17

Damond Bateman
24-Oct-2005, 15:37
I know the story about Evelyn well. I had seen the photo in the Life collection and a while back I met a guy who survived a concentration camp in WWII and was just in this country three or four days and was taking a walking tour of the city with a relative. He had been standing in the street trying to get into a taxi when the UN car honked and pulled up and forced him onto the sidewalk. He turned to say something to his relative when THAP something hit behind him. He turned and saw legs sticking out of the top of the car. If not for a rude UN official he would have most likely been hit by her. He felt it was ironic and very sad, that after all he went through and survived this beautiful young woman would just jump off the building like that. Depression makes people do some very tragic things at times. Evelyn was indeed beautiful and as one person wrote of her a while back, she achieved in death what she felt she could not achieve in life; perfection. There is a tragic beauty in the photo. She looks asleep, cradled in the car. I think that this photo is one of the more unique and heart moving photos ever published. It is the kind of thing you never really want to see but you appreciate the situation and feel compassion for the person envolved.