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NY NYC JOHN DOE: HM, 20-35, jumped from George Washington Bridge - 23 May 1988

Discussion in 'Unidentified 1980 to 1989' started by Akoya, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


    Unknown hispanic male was found on the rocks below the George Washington Bridge, on the New York side, after jumping off the bridge.
  2. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member



    Unidentified Person / NamUs #UP9207 Male, White / Caucasian

    Date Found May 23, 1988
    Location Found New York, New York
    Estimated Age Range 20-35 Years

    Case Information

    Case Numbers
    NCMEC Number--
    ME/C Case Number M88-04732

    Sex Male
    Race / EthnicityWhite / Caucasian
    Estimated Age Group Adult - Pre 40
    Estimated Age Range 20-35 Years
    Estimated Year of Death 1988
    Estimated PMI Hours
    Height 5' 6"(66 inches) , Measured
    Weight 210 lbs, Measured

    Type Unidentified Deceased
    Date Found May 23, 1988
    NamUs Case Created August 30, 2011
    Agency QA Reviewed August 31, 2011

    Location Found Map
    Street Address Rocks beneath George Washington Bridge New York, New York
    County New York County
    GPS Coordinates 40.850359, -73.947027
    Circumstances of Recovery Unknown hispanic male was found on the rocks below the George Washington Bridge on the New York side after jumping off the bridge.
    Details of Recovery
    Inventory of Remains All parts recovered
    Condition of Remains Recognizable face
    Physical Description
    Hair Color Black
    Head Hair Description curly
    Left Eye Color Unknown or Missing
    Right Eye Color Unknown or Missing
    Eye Description unknown

    Case Contributors
    Angela Soler, Forensic Anthropologist
    Office of Chief Medical Examiner New York City

    (212) 447-2030
  3. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    George Washington Bridge
    The George Washington Bridge is a double-decked suspension bridge spanning the Hudson River between the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City, and the borough of Fort Lee in New Jersey.


  4. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

  5. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    Unknown hispanic male was found on the rocks below the George Washington Bridge on the New York side after jumping off the bridge.


  6. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

  7. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    Pedestrian Walkway


  8. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


    After 86 years and countless deaths, suicide fence coming to GWB
    Updated September 18, 2017 at 4:11 PM; Posted September 18, 2017 at 2:51 PM
    People travel on the pedestrian south walkway of the George Washington Bridge, which will close on Sept. 25 for installation of temporary protective fencing.

    A temporary "pedestrian safety fence" intended to prevent suicides will be installed starting on Sept. 25 on the south side of the George Washington Bridge, announced Monday after a tour of the span by high ranking Port Authority officials.

    Installation of the fence on the span's upper-level south sidewalk means it will be temporarily closed to pedestrians and bicyclists for three months, officials said. So far this year, agency "initiatives" have been credited with "intervening in 45 cases where emotionally disturbed people were considering doing themselves harm on the bridge," officials said.

    Pedestrians and cyclists will be detoured to the bridge's north sidewalk. Officials said the detour will result in a temporary inconvenience to cyclists, who will have to roll their bikes up a channel adjacent to a staircase or carry them to reach the north sidewalk.

    Why isn't there a suicide fence on the GWB?

    Port Authority engineers developed an "innovative, alternate design" that involves hanging the fencing from the bridge suspender cables which made a temporary fence possible, said Steve Coleman, a Port Authority spokesman.

    Previously, a temporary fence would have had to be anchored to the sidewalk, which would require extensive work on the sidewalk to provide a stable fencing structure, he said.

    A permanent fence will be installed on the north side of the bridge when its suspender cable ropes are replaced in 2018. When that work is finished and the north walkway reopens, permanent fencing will be installed on the south side when suspender ropes are replaced on that side of the bridge, officials said.

    The change followed a tour by recently elected Authority Chairman Kevin O'Toole and Executive Director Rick Cotton, who reviewed the $1.9 billion "Restore the George" program to rebuild and renew key pieces of the 87-year-old span's infrastructure.

    Work started on the multi-phase bridge project in 2015. The decision accelerates installation of fencing on the south walkway by four years, according to a 2016 GWB project schedule.
  9. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


    At George Washington Bridge, a Fence Rises to Deter Suicides

    Capt. Emilio Gonzalez read, aloud, some statistics for 2017. He repeated one: “Sixty-eight saves.”

    In the hierarchy of the Port Authority Police Department, Captain Gonzalez is the commanding officer responsible for the George Washington Bridge, whose ceaseless parade of cars and trucks make it one of the world’s busiest. The figure he repeated was for suicide attempts that were blocked by his officers, for the George Washington Bridge, more than most bridges in the New York area, draws people who have decided death is the only option.

    A suicide attempt is thwarted at the bridge once nearly every five days.

    Fifteen people have jumped to their deaths there in 2017.

    Now Captain Gonzalez has a new tool intended to prevent suicides from the bridge, an 11-foot-high fence connected to netting that forms a canopy over the pathway beyond the traffic lanes. Until now, the only barrier along the pathway was a barricade-high railing.

    The Port Authority has officers who monitor cameras trained on the pathway and who can dispatch other officers, even a fully equipped emergency unit, if they see someone among the runners and bicyclists who arouses their suspicions. Until now, that meant someone who lingered too close to the railing for too long.

    The chain-link fence is too tall to scale quickly, and getting around the canopy would require unusual strength and agility. The Port Authority installed the fence and the netting beginning in September on the pathway along the south side of the bridge, but they are only temporary.

    A permanent fence will be installed later, after the completion of a permanent fence on the north side as part of the agency’s “Restoring the George” rehabilitation program for the 86-year-old bridge.

    “I don’t think that’s something anyone thinks about when they design a bridge,” Captain Gonzalez said. “What was there was what was designed when the bridge was built, the height on most bridges. Nothing unusual.”

    The work on the north side began when the temporary fence on the south side was completed this month, eight months after work began on a “suicide deterrent net” under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, another long bridge that attracts people contemplating killing themselves. The net, made of stainless steel, will reach out 20 feet from the bridge.

    At the George Washington Bridge, 2017’s tally of 15 suicides so far is three more than in 2016 and three fewer than in 2015.

    The last suicide was on Nov. 8, when a 38-year-old man from Woodside, Queens, stopped his car on the lower level of the bridge. There is no pedestrian walkway on the lower level, only a maintenance catwalk and a barricade-height railing, which the man quickly climbed over.

    The temporary fence, on the upper level, is anchored to the bridge. “It’s a very good feat of engineering because you have a person who’s hellbent on jumping, it’s going to be very difficult to climb the device and get over,” Captain Gonzalez said, “and by the time that happens, we’ll pick up on the CCTV cameras. We’ll intervene and more than likely save the person.”

    Suicidologists say that barriers on bridges are effective tools for preventing suicides. A 2015 analysis published in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry averaged 18 suicide studies and concluded that placing safety nets under known “hot spots” for suicide reduced death rates. The study found that the death rate from suicide was an average of 5.8 a year before such nets were installed to an average of 2.4 deaths a year after, a decline of 58 percent.

    Dr. Jill Harkavy-Friedman, the vice president for research of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, said in an interview that putting a barrier on one bridge did not normally lead to higher suicide rates on nearby bridges.

    On the George Washington Bridge, signs on the pathway urge people considering suicide to seek help, and there are call boxes that dial a suicide hotline. But Dr. Richard T. McKeon, the head of the suicide prevention branch of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, said that such phones “should be considered a complement to, not a substitute for, a barrier.”

    “There are people who are just not going to use the phone if it’s there,” he said. “Some might, but many won’t.”

    Besides the 68 “saves” on the George Washington Bridge, another 37 suicide attempts that were thwarted were counted as “investigations,” meaning that the Port Authority police received word that someone who was suicidal was going to the bridge. Captain Gonzalez said the police tracked them down, usually before they were anywhere near the bridge, using technology that picks up signals from cellphones.

    “People leave a note” that someone sees, he said, “or they tell a relative or just mention in passing that they want to come to the George Washington Bridge to do it.”

    Officers assigned to patrol the bridge each day have been trained in crisis intervention. “They’re trained to notice people and question people who appear to be somewhat depressed,” he said. “That has resulted in identifying people who are exhibiting signs of suicides.”

    The fence “buys us time,” Captain Gonzalez said. “We have more time to get to them and save them.”

  10. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


    Every 3.5 Days, Someone Attempts Suicide Off the George Washington Bridge

    Jan 29, 2015 · by Sarah Gonzalez

    Every 3.5 days someone makes their way to the pedestrian walkway of the George Washington Bridge to attempt suicide. The only barrier between them and the Hudson River 25 stories below is a waist-high metal handrail.

    “There’s no fencing, there’s no netting, there’s no wall,” said Ron Shindel, the commanding officer of the Port Authority police unit on the bridge. “The bridge was opened in 1931 and I don’t think they had this problem back then.”

    Suicide attempts off the George Washington Bridge have doubled over the last year and have been on the rise since 2011, when there were three deaths.

    Last year, police prevented 74 people from jumping. The 18 people who did jump last year all died.

    “I don’t know anywhere where police officers patrol a mile-long post and have to watch for a person jumping on a bridge,” Shindel said. “It’s difficult.”

    The bridge is suspended 40 feet higher than the Golden Gate Bridge in California. The fall is lethal — if you survive the injuries.

    “There are conflicting and opposite and whirlpool currents under that bridge,” Shindel said. “They’re not going to survive the water at that point, either.”

    Captain Ron Shindel is the commanding officer of the Port Authority police unit on the George Washington Bridge.

    Last spring, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey approved up to $47 million for a project to add pedestrian safety fencing along the walkway. It will take eight years to complete.

    “There is a long time between now and then,” said Richard McKeon, the head of the suicide prevention branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “That’s a lot of people who could die.”

    Erecting barriers on iconic bridges around the world has reduced the number of jumping deaths — in some cases by at least half and in others by much more.

    McKeon said a fence is the most effective method — even on a heavily-patrolled bridge.

    “[Patrols] depend on being at the right place at the right time and being able to observe something literally just in the nick of time,” he said.

    A spokesperson for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Chris Valens, said the decision to add the fencing came from within the agency, after recognizing the spike in suicides and attempts. The plan is part of a larger $1.3 billion project to replace the suspension ropes on the bridge.

    “Plans to install the higher barriers build upon the Port Authority’s efforts in recent years to increase bridge patrols, improve lighting, install security cameras and call boxes and enhance the overall security and safety at our bridges,” Valens wrote in an email.

    Fencing will also be installed on the Bayonne Bridge and Goethals Bridge.

    The police unit that patrols the George Washington Bridge received 26 new rookie officers at the end of September. Eighteen of them have already talked at least one person off the ledge.

    One rookie, Catherine Asavedo, saved four people in just three months. Officer Samantha Koch has made two saves.

    “It happens so often, we were told, ‘You will encounter it,’” she said.

    In three months rookie officer Samantha Koch, 28, has talked down two people from jumping off the George Washington Bridge. Both attempts took place on the 29th of the month.

    Her most recent save took place right before the New Year. She was patrolling the bridge in a police car when she noticed a woman in a fur coat who looked out of place.

    “I said, ‘How are you? What are you doing up here? Is everything okay?’ And she was leaning over the rail and she turned around and said, ‘I think you know what I’m doing up here.’ And she just burst out crying.”

    The woman had come to the bridge the week prior but the walkway was closed that day because it was icy. She told Koch she had had a bad year and that she was having relationship issues.

    “I pretty much let her know that that’s not the way to get back at somebody for hurting you! The best way is to do better. To feel good,” Koch said.

    She took her hand and guided her away from the railing and into her police car.

    “I was able to connect with her because she’s a 26-year-old female, I’m a 28-year-old female, so I think it was actually good that I was there,” she said. “But you can’t ask for that. It’s never going to be planned. You don’t know what officer is going to be out there.”

    About 67 percent of the people who go to the bridge to jump are males and 68 percent are white. Incidents are almost evenly divided between New Yorkers and New Jerseyans.

    Police investigate every threat made drunkenly at a bar and any Facebook comment about jumping. The case remains open until they either locate the person who threatened suicide or until they locate the body.
  11. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

  12. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

  13. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

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    Akoya Bronze Member

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