02 November 05
Suicide By Cop
Weird Al is short and grey and doesn’t seem to belong here. Formerly a real-estate investor, he spends most of his time in prison working on lawsuits.
“What’s suicide by cop?” I asked Al.
“It’s a coward’s way of committing suicide. You get the police to shoot you because you don’t have the nerve to do it yourself.”
“Why did you try this?”
“My girlfriend had recently died from over-consumption of Marlboro Light One-Hundreds, and over four or five months I became increasingly depressed and crazy. I bought a book by Jack Kevorkian, and tried his method: a bottle of vodka, sleeping pills and a plastic bag over your head. Obviously it didn’t work. I woke up in hospital after my neighbours called the police because I was knocking things over. The police found me with a garbage bag over my head, and after a visit to the hospital, I was sent to the nuthouse. I lost all faith in Dr. Death. I thought a bullet would be a surer way to do it.”
“What was your next suicide idea?”
“To shoot myself. But then I thought, my family is gonna have to clean my brains off the wall. I didn’t have the nerve to do it.
After staying in bed for a few days, an idea came to me: rob the bank, and the police will come and shoot you. I slept great that night. I woke up happy and watched Regis and Kathy Lee because my bank didn’t open until ten. I wrote a note, I have a gun. I am here to rob you. And I put, This is not a joke, so they’d know I was serious. I went to my local bank where I’d done business for eight years.
When I walked inside, there was a line of people. You’d think I would of gone straight to the front. If I was gonna get shot, why stand on manners? But I’m a polite person. I stood in the line, and waited, wondering which teller I’d get. I got a familiar lady clerk.
She said, 'Hello, Mr.Donaldson, how are you today?'
I gave her the note, and her eyes went as big as saucers. I kept my left hand in my pocket pretending I had a gun. She opened the drawer real quick. I grabbed the cash, put it in my pocket and walked outside to sit on the curb next to my car. I figured that the police would screech into the parking lot at any second, and shoot me.”
“But it didn't work out?”
“No. They didn’t come right away. It took them ten minutes to get there. I was getting pissed off. I was expecting a big scene and an adrenaline rush. I wanted to go out like Bonnie and Clyde. They didn’t screech into the parking lot - they calmly got out of their cars without their guns drawn. I thought, wait a minute, somethings not working here.
One cop said, 'Mr. Donaldson, I’m telling you right now, we’re not going to shoot you.'
'But I have a gun,' I told him.
He said, 'You don’t have a gun.'
His partner said, 'What in the world’s going on here?'
I told them, 'I robbed the bank.'
One said, 'Yeah, we know that. But why? You have more money in the bank than you stole.'
I had fifteen thousand in the bank, and I stole seventeen hundred.
It got worse from there. They arrested me and took me to Tempe Police Department. The FBI came down, took one look at me and said, 'Forget it, he’s all yours.' I thought that I had an original idea, but the police said it happens all the time, that people often try to get the police to shoot them, usually in hostage situations.
I thought, son of a bitch, I shoulda took a hostage.”
“How did you feel?”
“Mad, because I was still alive. I felt stupid because they didn’t shoot me.”
“It wasn’t something you could practice for?”
“True, there’s no courses you can take to do suicide by cop.”
“You could say it’s a one-shot deal?”
“Maybe two or three shots if you pull it off right. You wouldn’t be trying again, or going to jail either.”
“Are you going to try again?”
“Oh, no. I have it all figured out now. I’ll take a backpack, hiking gear, and a gun into the desert, wait a few days until I have no food and water, then shoot myself without bothering anybody – there’ll be no mess for the family to clean up. Kevorkian’s method was bogus. I should sue that bastard for the trouble he caused me.”
"Perhaps suicide by cop didn’t work because you’re not meant to die just yet?”
“Maybe. Anyway, I haven’t got the urge to kill myself right now, but you never know what might pop up.”
For the bank robbery and attempted suicide by cop, Weird Al was sentenced to three and a half years for assault.
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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood
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