Medicine: Slow Suicide

To blasé reporters, covering New York City's three suicides a day is among the most unpleasant of routine assignments. Last week, however, when John William Warde decided to commit suicide in his own good time (see p. 24), reporters were fascinated, newspaper offices took on the kind of tension common in the cinema city room, rare in fact.

For 100 or more reporters and photographers who covered the story, the assignment was simple and harrowing. Reporters picked out handy telephones, photographers found good angles, glued their fingers to camera triggers—and waited (see cut). Nightfall meant the complication of flash bulbs for photographers,...

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