Sarasota Suicide Footage a Possible Fake

By Kevin Eck 

On Friday, TVSpy sparked a lively debate that centered around someone posting possible footage of former Sarasota anchor Christine Chubbuck‘s live on-air suicide to a YouTube page.

The video, which has since been removed, was reportedly in the hands of WXLT’s (now WWSB) former owner Robert Nelson. As Vulture reported in June Nelson’s wife handed the tape over to a “‘very large law firm’ for safekeeping” after her husband’s death in 2012 and has no plans to release it.

We received many comments on our Facebook page and on TVSpy about the video. While there doesn’t seem to be any consensus about the authenticity of the footage, it does appear in a video called Freaky 5 – Lost Footage, which looked at shocking moments caught on camera that have been lost.


The 29-year-old Chubbuck died 14 hours after pulling a gun and shooting herself while anchoring the station’s live newscast on July 15, 1974. Her last words were, “In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts and in living color, you are going to see another first – an attempted suicide.”

Here’s the NationSquid video Freaky 5. Chubbuck’s story is at the 7:29 mark. You can see the footage at 8:47.

We reached out to Freaky 5 makers NationSquid about the video and whether it was a reenactment for the Lost Footage video. We’ll update when we hear back.