Woman Commits Suicide at Dorchester On Rittenhouse Square

A woman was found dead on the street on Thursday morning.


On Thursday morning, a 58-year-old woman was found dead in front of the Dorchester building on Rittenhouse Square. Police are calling it an “apparent suicide.” They report that the time of death was shortly after 10 a.m.

A Rittenhouse resident who walked by the scene at 11:40 a.m. describes it to Philadelphia magazine as follows:

“She was face down on the sidewalk, and they were creating a barricade around her body. What was strange was that I didn’t see any blood. There were maybe four or five police and just her little body on the sidewalk. There was no ambulance or EMTs or anything…

“I literally was about six feet from the body before a policeman walked over and pointed me in a different direction. I didn’t even know that something was going on until that moment and looked up and there she was. It was very upsetting… I’m shaking.”

Police have not released the identity of the woman. They say she did leave a suicide note.

PHOTO: Layla Jones.

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  • alex

    I hear the Dorchester is a little past its prime.

    • RJC

      Sick creep !

    • RJC

      Sick and creepy

  • Renpher

    Couldn’t afford her Obamacare health insurance policy.

    • RJC

      Even sicker and creepier

    • Carolyn Hangey


    • davehorne

      Conservatives live in an alternative universe. All of Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, Canada, and Japan have universal health care. Conservatives live in a very small world with an unstamped passport.

      Sorry, … no passport.

  • RJC

    A human being died and Renpher and alex trivialize it. Very sad and disturbing !

  • Sam

    Are you kidding me? This was a mother, wife, daughter and dear friend to many, including me.
    You should be ashamed of yourself!

    • Beeks

      Are you referring to the comments or the article itself? News sites generally report…news, which includes suicides.

    • Catherine

      Sam, it is easy to cast shame, however, I really do not think people know how to respond to a 58 year old wife and mother jumping the balcony from one of the most desirable apartments on Rittenhouse. I live in the Dorchester, and though I have not encountered that knew her – I have encountered many that were traumatized. I really do wonder where her husband, children, and friends were… It is not as though she simply jumped – she had the where with all to write a note. I met a student in the elevator the other day who lived on the same floor, and she is scared to keep living here. I know so many people that have fought to stay alive against terminal illness and all the odds. I can understand a teen, or young adult, but a 58 year old woman that ends her life in such a public way – inflicting her pain on passersby, and the good people working at the Dorchester!? The deceased had no shame.

      • Chris

        Catherine, it’s easy for you to draw conclusions based upon the worst possible assumptions. Would you feel differently if you knew that the deceased battled intense total body pain for decades? If her husband tried every possible treatment, both traditional and experimental? If he endured every emotional hardship and expense to find a cure to her suffering for decades and was still trying with all his might up until she took her life? If her children were absent because they attend university? If decades of pain caused her to lose sight of the inconvenience she may have caused you by ending her suffering? All of these are true.

        Perhaps she thought she was doing you a favor by giving you something to whisper about at cocktail parties on Rittenhouse Square. You have no shame and worse, no compassion. Get out of your ivory tower and try to be real for a moment.

        • Catherine

          Chris, You will not see me at a cocktail party on Rittenhouse, however, that must have been what she was going for. Total body pain – things imagined and in her head. I have not had that luxury. I am real – although my hair has not been for the past 25 years. I have been fighting non hodgkin lymphoma for 30 years. I recently underwent a bone marrow transplant. It was a process that involved a lot of pain and isolation. I was unable to see my children, and my grandchildren. My Granddaughter missed me terribly, and did not understand why she could not see me. We arranged a visit where I waved to her from my balcony. Same balcony on a lower floor that the woman dropped off of. Life is painful – we all suffer for survival and to support those we love. I have fought like hell to stay alive for my husband and my children. I never thought that I would get to see my children grow up – let alone live to see grandchildren. It was literally 100 days after my transplant that I was allowed to venture out only to see the body of a woman that threw everything that I continue to fight for away.

          • disqus_VkbpOrQ9UN

            I know that it can be difficult to understand the actions of someone who throws away something you personally have fought so hard for… but comparing your own, completely different experiences and feelings to hers does not justify your critical and insensitive comment. I’m sorry to hear that she put a damper on your day. I don’t think she would have meant to. In all honesty, I think your day was probably the last thing on her mind during the moment of extraordinary emotional pain that led her to end her life. As someone who has also suffered, you should know better than to criticize a suffering woman for a decision she made during what was unarguably her lowest hour.

          • Bethany

            Catherine – God love you. I lost my Mother to multiple myeloma cancer. She fought like hell and exceeded all expectations to get me as far into adult hood as she possibles could. If you want to talk about full body pain – imagine my vibrant mother reduced to a bent over older woman in her mid 40s. Life is something that we all fight hard for – everyday. I like many witnessed the corpse on the pavement. When you jump off your balcony – you know darn well that you will leave an impact on people. She inflicted suffering on people in her death.

  • John

    I am very sympathetic to mental illness but Suicide is a very selfish act and the way she executed hers is disgusting. Drive yourself off a cliff next time and don’t bring the general public into it.

    • Kitty

      Sadly, I agree. I live in the Dorchester and her dive to freedom was a horrifying even for those of us living and working in the Dorchester. Before the suicide note was found, the area was treated as a crime scene so many of us witnessed the body. I am not sure where her husband, children, and friend’s were, but she left a horrifying vision for many us that do not know her.

    • Janey

      I would like to point out to “sympathetic” John that not every person suffering from mental illness has the capacity to think of consequences during moments of extreme distress, anxiety, or psychosis. That’s one of the many difficulties in dealing with illness.

      • John

        One of the difficulties for who, her? Or the child that sees her go splat on the side walk? Thanks for opening my eyes.

  • pat kelly

    not funny, this was a human being