From martial artists who were pummelled to death to desperate politicians blowing their own brains out, we count fourteen shocking deaths that occurred during live television broadcasts!
14 – M. N. Vijayan,
- India’s M. N. Vijayan was a respected Leftist scholar dubbed ‘The Scholar who knew Too Much’.
- Vijayan visited Thrissur on the third of October 2007 to give a live televised press conference. However, the seventy-seven-year-old shocked the nation by collapsing and dying of cardiac arrest after speaking just a few words.
- Controversies arose after his death, with one writer questioning why a man known to be suffering from heart disease was brought to the second floor for a press conference. The Thrissur press club was also criticised for admitting Vijayan to a distant hospital instead of one of the many closer ones.
13 – Lee Harvey Oswald,
- On the 24th of November, 1963, alleged JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was intercepted and shot to death by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby.
- The incident occurred while Oswald was being transported to a county jail with tighter security and was shown live on NBC.
- Ruby was immediately detained, but experts say the swarm of cameras present had given him the perfect cover from which to execute his assassination. This was the first homicide to ever be committed on live U.S. TV.
12 – Jodon F. Romero,
- Jodon F. Romero was a suspected carjacker who shot himself in the head in 2012 during a live Fox News broadcast. The incident occurred after Romero led police on an hour-long high-speed pursuit.
- Fox had been covering the chase live by helicopter. A precautionary delay was supposed to be enforced so that the shot could be cut away, sparing viewers any traumatic sights if necessary. However, this wasn’t enforced and Romero’s suicide went straight to air.
- The anchorman covering the story was disgusted by the controversial blunder and said to viewers that it was ‘insensitive’ and ‘wrong’ and that it ‘won’t happen again on [his] watch’.
- An hour after the incident, Fox’s blunder was up there on the YouTubes for all to see. Romero’s kids saw the clip and an unsuccessful lawsuit was filed against Fox News for the ‘psychological trauma’ inflicted.
11 – Douglas Dedge,
- Doug Dedge was a thirty-one-year-old Floridian martial artist who specialised in contact karate and ran a school for mixed martial arts.
- In 1998, the father of five visited the Ukraine to compete in an international karate tournament called the Super Challenge. Dedge was pit against Yehven Zolotaryov in a ‘Boi Bez Pravil’, which is what they call a Battle Without Rules. This is slightly misleading, as fighters are actually forbidden to bite or gouge. You also can’t bring in, like, a rocket launcher or a katana, but I guess those rules are unspoken. It should really be called a ‘Battle with Two Defined Rules and Many Unspoken Ones’, but I digress.
- The live televised match lasted just five minutes. Dedge was pinned down and bludgeoned with a flurry of punches – fourteen, by most estimates.
- The brutalized Dedge tried to stand, but immediately fell to the mat. He died of brain trauma and the sport’s violent reputation only strengthened.