The Final Leap: Suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge

The Final Leap: Suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge

The Final Leap: Suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge

The Final Leap: Suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge

Synopsis

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most beautiful and most photographed structures in the world. It's also the most deadly. Since it opened in 1937, more than 1,500 people have died jumping off the bridge, making it the top suicide site on earth. It's also the only international landmark without a suicide barrier. Weaving drama, tragedy, and politics against the backdrop of a world-famous city, The Final Leap is the first book ever written about Golden Gate Bridge suicides. John Bateson leads us on a fascinating journey that uncovers the reasons for the design decision that led to so many deaths, provides insight into the phenomenon of suicide, and examines arguments for and against a suicide barrier. He tells the stories of those who have died, the few who have survived, and those who have been affected--from loving families to the Coast Guard, from the coroner to suicide prevention advocates.

Excerpt

It’s a little after 6 A.M. on Tuesday, January 29, 2008. a lone figure walks head down on the Golden Gate Bridge. She is seventeen years old, pretty, with shoulder-length brown hair. in five months she’s supposed to graduate from Redwood High School in Marin County, one of the top-rated high schools in California. in the fall, her friends will be heading off to college. She could be heading off to college, too; she has a 3.7 grade point average and has been accepted at Bennington College in Vermont, her first choice. Bennington is a long way from home, which is part of its attraction. Also, it’s a small college—another attraction. She liked the campus when she visited it with her parents, thinking that she would study environmental science and journalism. Now, though, she’s on the Golden Gate Bridge, early in the morning on a school day, and has a different plan.

Near the midpoint of the span she stops. No one is around. At this hour of the day, in the middle of winter, it is cold and still mostly dark. the pedestrian walkway is deserted. There’s no one to see her, no one to stop her. She climbs over the railing . . .

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