New York City sidewalks have certainly seen their share of crime scene tape–though in most cases, the blood has faded from the pavement, the gunshots can no longer be heard and in one instance, the scene has been replaced by a coffeeshop. In part 1 of our look at notorious city crime scenes, we take a look at sites of famous deaths, from a “beautiful” suicide to violent mob killings.
1. The Empire State Building – 5th Ave & West 33rd St.
Since its completion in 1931, the 102-story Empire State building has unfortunately been the scene of numerous suicides. One particularly tragic death was immortalized in LIFE magazine as “the most beautiful suicide.” On May 1, 1947, 23-year-old Evelyn McHale lept from the observation deck and plummeted 86 floors to her death. Her body crushed the hood of a parked United Nations Assembly Cadillac as onlookers gathered round. Despite the violent fall, she looked peacefully asleep. Photographer Robert C. Wiles captured this photo of her just minutes after her death, which inspired a series of prints by Andy Warhol titled “Suicide (Fallen Body).” McHale was engaged to be married, but she left behind a note saying she “wouldn’t make a good wife for anybody.”