Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Laura Ouellette Suicides From the Deck of the Ferry Excelsior

The Detroit Free Press, August 13, 1909
It's doubtful that you have gone through all the articles on this blog but if so, then you might recall the story above. I didn't when I re-found it in the Freep archives but it's been in mine for a few years so I thought I would investigate further.

There's not much to be gleaned from her young life of 22 years except that she formerly was employed by the Michigan Telephone company, did a stint at Eloise and had a history of suicide attempts. The fact that passenger Charles McKay identified her as a woman in her 40s might suggest that she had some physical issues or deformities which contributed to her mental anguish.

As the story proclaims, suicide via the ferry boat was a common occurrence. Ms. Ouellette simply leaped from the second deck, submerged into the water, rose up to the light of day, went back down and never surfaced again of her own accord.

Her parents had been keeping a close watch on the girl and when news of the incident became public her father contacted authorities with the belief that it was his Laura. His suspicions were confirmed.

The Detroit Free Press, August 12, 1909

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