When people attempt suicide, they mostly have one motive in mind. More often than not, however, suicide attempts do not go to plan.
It’s estimated that for every successful suicide, there are 33 attempts. In the best-case scenario, the survivors will be given the help and support they need. In the worst case, the effects can be far-reaching and unexpected. Below is a list of ten failed suicide attempts with unplanned consequences.
10 On Dry Land
It seems you really can put a price on a life: £1 million to be exact. This is how much Amy Beth Dallamura cost rescue services, who were called out 50 times to save her after she repeatedly threw herself into the sea near the Welsh village in which she lived. She was so persistent that they began to become concerned that she was putting others at risk by the amount of money and time that was being spent on her. Dallamura was issued a court order banning her from entering the water.
This failed to deter her, however, and services were again called out four times over a five-day period shortly after, having to rescue an unconscious Dallamura from the sea. Back in court, she was bailed on the condition that she stayed at a distance of at least 50 meters (164 ft) from the entire coastline surrounding Britain. Fortunately, the judge in the case was sympathetic to Ms. Dallamura, who claimed her suicide attempts were due to excruciating back pain, which she needed help for. He stated that he wished to “help this lady, not punish her.”
Sadly, two years later, in 2009, Amy Beth was once again found on cliffs near her home and was back in court again. The order banning her from the coastline was upheld.
9 Not The Best Plan
Suicide is always a tragic and shocking event, but rarely does it necessitate the evacuation of an entire street. In 2017, however, Kevin Carroll, a 33-year-old from Manchester, England, decided that after his ten-year relationship ended, life was no longer worth living. Cutting a gas pipe in his rented house, he lay down, placed a duvet over his head, and waited to die. Except he didn’t die; he fell asleep.
Later, he was roused by a roommate knocking on the door. Carroll felt a little drowsy and disorientated. At some point, he reached for his lighter—which he then lit. The blast that followed reduced the house to something that no longer resembled a home at all. Carroll’s roommate was thrown to the ground and had to be placed in an induced coma due to smoke inhalation. Many surrounding properties were damaged, with neighbors having to seek temporary accommodation, including an elderly man who was in bed when his roof collapsed on top of him. A nearby elementary school had to be evacuated of its crying children.
The owner of the destroyed house was left with a £135,000 bill to rebuild it after her insurance refused to pay out. And Kevin? He survived with minor injuries. After being rescued from the second floor, he spent some time recovering in the hospital. He was then arrested and later sentenced to 32 months in prison.
8 One Shot
When officers arrived at the Anchorage apartment of Brittany Mae Haag and her boyfriend Victor Sibson, they found both suffering from gunshot wounds. Brittany had been shot in the chest, and Victor had been shot in the head. The confusing thing was that only one bullet casing was found.
Before she slipped into unconsciousness, Brittany managed to offer some explanation. Prosecutors allege that in the early hours of April 19, 2017, Victor got very drunk and decided to shoot himself in the head. He retrieved the gun that he had bought and placed the barrel to his left temple. Brittany attempted to stop him. Victor pulled the trigger, and the bullet passed through his head and into her chest. Brittany died while Victor survived.
Later, Victor claimed to have no memory of events. When he appeared in court wearing a helmet over his wounds, he said, “Could we figure out if I’m guilty or not today?”
7 Unlikely Witness
Michigan police initially wondered if they were looking at a double homicide when they found Glenna and Marty Duram lying on the floor of their bedroom with gunshot wounds. Except, things didn’t add up. Firstly, Marty had suffered five gunshot wounds, while Glenna had only suffered one behind her right ear. Then there were the notes nearby, which appeared to have been written by Glenna and asked for her children’s forgiveness. There was also the issue of the massive debts run up as a result of Glenna’s gambling addiction, which had led, unbeknownst to Marty, to their house having to be put up for auction—an auction that was scheduled for that day. Finally, Glenna wasn’t actually dead. So it seemed that police were looking at a half-botched murder-suicide.
But in 2016, a year later, an arrest had yet to be made, much to the frustration of Marty’s family. Then a video of what seemed to be the only witness to the shooting was sent to a TV news reporter. In it, this witness imitates an argument between a man and a woman. “Get your (expletive) over here,” he says. Then, in a voice that sounds very much like Marty’s: “Don’t (expletive) shoot!” The only difficulty was that the supposed witness was a parrot named Bud. Bud, an African grey, had been owned by Marty’s previous wife, and when Marty died, she took Bud back.
Three weeks after Bud made the headlines, Glenna was arrested and charged with Marty’s murder. Prosecutors maintain that the parrot’s “testimony” had no bearing on their decision to arrest Glenna, and Bud was not called to the witness stand because, as prosecutor Bob Springstead pointed out, how would he be sworn in? “Are you raising a wing? A foot?” Nevertheless, Glenna was found guilty of Marty’s murder and sentenced to life.
6 The Wrong Deaths
Khun Jalaepat, 19, lived in Pattaya, Thailand. Like most people his age, he spent a lot of time on Facebook, as did his girlfriend. Increasingly, Khun became angered at her posts, particularly those that included mention of other men. One Friday morning, he and a group of friends were at a stretch of beach called Had Laem Mae Phim, or “the mother that cries.”
Unable to deal with his jealousy, he proceeded to get very drunk before wading into the water with the intention of ending things. Four of those he was with followed in an attempt to save him. All four drowned. They were aged between 17 and 19. Two other friends succeeded in pulling Khun from the water. He survived, but it took hours to retrieve the bodies of his friends.
5 When Is A Suicide Not A Suicide?
When it’s a terrible prank. When Katrina Goss went to tuck her son, 11-year-old Tysen Benz, into bed on the evening of March 14, 2017, she found him not in his bed but hanging by his belt in his closet. He was rushed to the hospital but died a few weeks later. Tysen had been chatting with a girl online and via text. He thought of the 13-year-old as his girlfriend.
But on that fateful night in March, this girl decided it would be funny to play a prank on him by tricking him into believing she had committed suicide. So she messaged him, stating her intention. Then shortly afterward, she used another computer to impersonate her friend and inform him that she had, in fact, died.
No one really knows what went through Tysen’s mind after that, but prosecutors believe he was so distressed by this false information that it caused him to take his life. They have since charged the 13-year-old with malicious use of social media.
4 An Unfortunate Bill . . .
In Moscow, a man had an argument with his wife. He was greatly distressed by this altercation and clearly felt that even a stiff drink of vodka couldn’t assuage his despair. Instead, he decided to throw himself from the ninth floor of the apartment building in which he lived. He survived, most likely due to the seven-year-old girl who broke his fall.
The girl suffered substantial injuries and was hospitalized for several weeks. Her parents understandably felt that they shouldn’t have to pay for the cost of her care. A court agreed, and the suicidal man was ordered to pay 100,000 rubles toward her medical bills.
3 . . . Or Two
“She wanted a divorce. I decided to give her a divorce, and I took a 12-gauge shotgun to make that happen.” These were the words of Monte B. Callaway when offering a motivation for walking into a bar in Oregon and shooting himself in the head. The blast took off his lower jaw and most of his teeth, effectively destroying his mouth. This was after he took a shot at a man he believed was seeing his wife. The latter action landed him in jail.
During the run-up to his trial, he had been receiving reconstructive surgery on his face via insurance, but once he was incarcerated, this stopped, and he was left with a mouth so small he had trouble even fitting a spoon in it. Callaway was forced to live on soft foods only. So he decided to launch a case to force the state of Oregon to pay for the remaining reconstructive surgery at a cost of approximately $45,000.
Oregon was, predictably, unhappy at this suggestion. Callaway’s lawyers argued that he wasn’t getting adequate nutrition and that once out, he would be forced to become a recluse, dependent on welfare. This argument was rejected, and Callaway’s case failed.
2 Strange Coincidence
Not much is known about Vera Czermak. In fact, her life seems to have been defined by one incident that took place some time toward the end of the 1970s. Vera lived in Prague with her husband, but all was not well with the marriage. At some point, she learned that her husband had been unfaithful. Following what seems to be a theme in this list, she felt that suicide was the answer.
So she jumped from her third-floor balcony, but a passerby broke her fall. In effect, he saved her life at the cost of his own, dying instantly when she landed on him. Who was this man? Vera’s unfaithful husband.
1 Not The End
Helen Galsworthy made her way to the railway tracks near her house in Hampshire, England, and lay down on the tracks. The 18-year-old had been battling depression and a cocaine addiction, which she felt she couldn’t beat. She put music on, closed her eyes, and waited for the train. She described feeling a sense of peace that she had never known. But something was wrong. At the last minute, she realized that only her legs were over the tracks. But it was too late. Helen remained conscious just long enough to see her severed legs lying in front of her. A dog walker found her, and she was rushed to the hospital, where she stayed for six weeks.
Recovery was tough. Helen struggled to come to terms with the loss of her legs and having to wear prosthetic limbs. She wondered if anything good could come of her life despite having started a relationship. But then she became pregnant unexpectedly. At first, she worried that her body couldn’t cope with a pregnancy, but after much soul-searching, she decided to keep the baby. Helen believes this was the right decision. She describes her son, Thomas, as the best thing to ever happen to her.
After his birth, Helen went back to university to study criminology. She has since volunteered on the psychiatric ward where she was a patient and is happier than she’s ever been.
If you or a loved one need to talk to someone due to suicidal thoughts or actions, there are resources dedicated to helping you:
• United States/Canada—National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
• United Kingdom—Samaritans Helpline: 08457 90 90 90
• European Union—Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Veterans Crisis Line: 00800-1273-TALK (8255)
Chloe Findlater lives in England and loves all things mysterious and unexplained (except when it has to do with where she left her keys). She will endeavor to provide you with tales of weirdness whenever she can.