Suicides in National Parks Rise

by Marlene

The Associated Press reported today that suicides in National Parks are on the rise. According to the article, in 2008, 33 people committed suicide in the parks, while in 2007 there were 26 suicides or probable suicides. It is speculated that these despondent individuals may have wanted to return to a place of natural beauty to end their lives. It wasn’t until I read the article this morning that I knew the full story of 53 year old Bruce Colburn from Reading, PA. He took his life in early October in Glacier National Park near Kintla Lake. He had just become unemployed, flew to Glacier, and paid a hotel clerk to drive him to the park. He spent the night at the Kintla Lake Campground and then hiked up a trail where he shot himself in the chest with a handgun. His motivations are unclear, but there is evidence that he searched for information concerning suicide in the park.
For the few people that visit the parks with the intention of killing themselves, I am sure there are countless others who find tranquility, solace, and renewed vigor.
Tourists admire the view.


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