Empire State Building Jumper ID’ed As Yale Student

March 31st, 2010 | 11 comments | Posted by Jen

The man who jumped from the Empire State Building’s 86th floor observation deck Tuesday has been identified as 21 year-old, Austin, TX native Cameron Dabaghi, a junior at Yale majoring in East Asian Studies.

A 10 foot-high spiked fence encircles that observation deck. The AP reports that there were 7 other people on the 86th floor terrace at the time, and one person tried to talk Dabaghi out of it as he climbed over the fence.

Apparently he left a suicide note in his dorm room saying he was sorry, and that he would either be jumping from the George Washington Bridge or the Empire State Building.

The fact that Dabaghi left a note, traveled from New Haven to New York, and picked the tallest building in the city that isn’t the easiest place to jump from–only about 30 suicides have occurred from the Empire State Building since its opening in 1931–suggests to me that he had given a lot of thought to his final act. I’m assuming he took the Metro-North train into New York–the easiest way to get from Yale to the city–which gave him two-plus hours to contemplate what he was about to do. Did he think about turning back? Sometimes when there’s time between the suicidal impulse and the act itself, that’s enough to save a person’s life. In this case, it wasn’t.


[HuffPo: Cameron Dabaghi ID'd As Empire State Building Jumper: Yale Student Commits Suicide From Empire State Building Observation Deck]
[Houston Chronicle: Yale student plunged from Empire State Building]
[NY Times Magazine: The Urge to End It All]

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11 Responses to “Empire State Building Jumper ID’ed As Yale Student”

  1. dalianmoon says:

    How sad and tragic! I can’t imagine what kind of emotional turmoil he must have been in.

  2. tta says:

    what an asshole.
    he should have gone into the bridge, at least there would not have been as big a chance of hurting people below

  3. Cindy says:

    Sometimes you are just ready. More certain “success” from the building than the bridge. Being really committed to such a dire act means you most fear being half dead over completely dead. Yes, it is sad, but death is not the worst thing that can happen to a person.

  4. bella says:

    There are many people that suicide everyday and Asians aren’t strangers to this way of exiting the world. TV News don’t even cover suicides unless it’s a celebrity. So my question is, what makes this guy so special that he deserves any attention… in News or on this blog.

  5. Jen says:

    @bella Most of what we write about on this blog speaks to us on a personal level. Beyond that, I don’t feel the need to justify what we write about ever.

  6. Cindy says:

    Thank you Jen.

  7. Le says:

    30 suicides since 1931? Yeah that pales in comparison to the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge, which averages more than that every two yrs. Sad indeed :( I’m interested in a convo about suicide rates among college students. I seem to hear about them quite a lot.

  8. Jen says:

    re: college students and suicide

    Yeah, there were three at Cornell this year alone.

  9. dakid says:

    That guy is so cute. Too bad he killed himself. What a waste. Does anybody know why he might have done it? Maybe Yale was too much for him, or maybe he was gay and in the closet. Maybe his family didn’t accept him, or maybe he just came out to his parents and they told him to go kill himself. My guess is that his parents were Republican (pseudo) Christians.

  10. acerockolla says:

    I went to high school with Cameron. I don’t remember him being very religious or political. Just a guy with a great sense of humor and a nice smile.

  11. Jen says:

    @acerockolla “Just a guy with a great sense of humor and a nice smile.” What a simple yet moving remembrance.

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