Tag Archives: Police

1942 Brooklyn Suicide Attempt

Edna Egbert About To Get Pushed Off A Ledge By The Police

Edna Egbert suicide attempt Brooklyn 497 Dean Street March 19 1942

The caption for this International News Photo reads:

Three Cops and A Woman In Life and Death Drama

New York – Four of the five principal characters in today’s (March 19) life or death drama staged in a Brooklyn residential district. Mrs. Edna Egbert, 50, is shown on the 2nd story ledge of her apartment while three policemen flank her trying to talk her out of her threat to jump in a suicide attempt. Failing to dissuade the woman, the policemen pushed her from the ledge– into a large emergency net that had been rigged below. The fifth hero in this drama is the first policeman on the scene, who kept Mrs. Egbert on her ledge for 25 minutes while the net was being rigged. (credit: International News Photo 3-19-42)

What the slug does not mention is what caused Mrs. Edna M. Egbert such distress.

In the past year Mrs. Egbert’s son Fred had gotten married, joined the army and had not written to her once in that time, so she presumed he was dead.

Mrs Egbert climbed onto a window ledge at her home at 497 Dean St., Brooklyn and screamed: “I’m going to jump.”

If you’re wondering, as I was, how you could kill yourself from only the second floor, to either side of Ms. Egbert was a spiky iron fence that could have easily impaled her.

While a crowd gathered on the street, one patrolman talked to Mrs. Egbert from the street while others rigged a net. As officers Ed Murphy and George Munday tried to persuade her to come back in to the building, she brandished a mirror and started swinging it at them.

Edna Egbert suicide attempt Brooklyn 497 Dean Street March 19 1942 NY Post

The police grabbed her arms and she proceeded to sit on the ledge. That is when they quickly pushed her into the net. The estimated 600 onlookers quickly dispersed and Mrs. Egbert was taken to Bellevue for observation.

According to census records, Mrs. Egbert was either 42 or 44-years-old, not 50 as noted in every article about this story. Her husband John Egbert was 64 and their wayward son Fred was 20.

Edna Egbert suicide attempt Brooklyn 497 Dean Street March 19 1942 now and then Photo Marc Hermann NY Daily News

Original b&w photo: Charles Payne NY Daily News

The Daily News featured another photograph from this event in a great photo essay entitled Then and Now, which mixes original crime scene photographs with modern images taken by Marc Hermann.

Whatever became of Mrs. Egbert and her non-writing son Fred is unknown.