Daniel V. Jones' Suicide
WARNING! This article is NSFL!
This article may contain content that is disturbing, including themes of rape, murder, abuse, drugging, crime, disaster, tragedy, etc.
Daniel V. Jones was an American maintenance worker who committed suicide on a Los Angles freeway in 1998. He committed suicide as a form of protest towards health maintenance organizations after being diagnosed with HIV-positive several months earlier. He was the second person to commit suicide on a live television broadcast after Christine Chubbuck in 1974.
On April 30, 1998, A man named Daniel V. Jones along with his dog named Gladdis, stopped his pickup truck in the middle of the top level of a freeway transition ramp. The police closed the freeway ramp and attempted to communicate with Jones as he sat in his truck. By this time multiple local news helicopters were on scene broadcasting live. After awhile of nothing eventful, Jones emerged from his truck. He went to the bed of his pickup truck and grabbed a homemade banner/sheet and laid it out on the freeway ramp for the helicopters to see. It read, "HMO's Are In It For The Money. Live Free, Love Safe or Die!" After Jones lays out the banner, he looks at the helicopters and sticks his butt out at them and slaps it. While Jones was getting the banner from the bed of his truck, news crews in the helicopters noticed he had a shotgun laying in the bed. Jones then gets back in his truck and lights a cigarette. He has Molotov cocktail bombs inside the cab of his truck. As Jones is smoking his cigarette, the fumes from the gas ignite. He quickly jumps out of the cab on fire and extinguished himself by slapping out the flames and stripping off his clothes. Jones ended up being naked from the waist down. However the dog was still inside the truck as it was on fire. You can see the dog on fire running in a tight circle inside the cab through the windshield. Jones then falls to his knees and starts crying. He seemed devastated that his dog was burning alive. Jones then gets up and runs to the edge of the freeway bridge/ramp and appears to get ready to jump to his death. Apparently, Jones changed his mind and runs to the bed of his truck and grabs the shotgun which burns his hands. Jones jumps and quickly drops the shotgun and shakes out his hand. He then again grabs the shotgun and puts the butt stock of the gun flat on the ground, stands over it, puts his mouth on the barrel and reaches down to pull the trigger. Jones literally blew his head to pieces on a broadcast. Even worse, Here's something else that's pretty messed up about this story. When this happened, it was around 3pm. All the local channels here cut into the shows that were on at the time to show this situation. Guess what kind of shows were being broadcasted on local channels at 3pm weekdays at that time? CARTOONS AND KIDS' SHOWS. Which means a lot of children witness Jones setting his dog on fire and blowing off his head. Because of this, a local news will "zoom out" now when they feel the situation might turn gruesome or horrific.
The standoff between Jones and the police had lasted close to fifty minutes. Police were concerned that there was a bomb or multiple booby traps still inside the truck. The truck meanwhile continued to burn with Gladdis still trapped inside it. Jones' body remained splaying out his own blood all around him. Eventually, police approached the truck and searched the inside of it. They found the remnants of several Molotov cocktails, a number of shotgun shells and the charred remains of Gladdis, who had perished in the fire.
Jones had thrown a videotape over the freeway wall. When recovered by the authorities, who viewed the video, it was discovered that it was a videotaped suicide note recorded by Jones on the previous day. In the video, Jones sat on his couch next to Gladdis and said, "I'm not going to fight the disease. It has affected my neurological system. I'm not going to end up crazy." A police source who viewed the video said that Jones complained he was in pain. The videotape explained Jones' motivations and laid blame for his suicide. Jones reportedly says in the video, "I'm a dead man," and signs off by declaring, "See ya!".
Unlike Christine Chubbuck's Suicide, the footage is not lost and still available to watch online but may not be fully available at sites such as YouTube due to it's very shocking and realistic, graphic violence.