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Two films have recently emerged to tell the tragic story of Christine Chubbuck — the Sarasota, Fla., news reporter who blew her brains out on live television! Rebecca Hall stars in "Christine" playing the title role, while "Kate Plays Christine" is a documentary about an actress preparing to play the doomed newswoman. But The National ENQUIRER remembers how neither production at the Sundance Film Festival could match the real-life drama behind the beautiful brunette's death in July of 1974!
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Christine had moved to Sarasota after starting out as a news reporter in her native Ohio. She was soon given her own community affairs talk show on ABC affiliate WXLT. "Suncoast Digest" aired every morning at 9 a.m. Christine sometimes brought along her own handmade puppets while hosting the program that, as described by WXLT management, featured "local people and local activities." No one suspected, however, that Christine had plans to make national news by broadcasting her own violent death!
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Things appeared normal on the morning of July 15, 1974. Christine (as portrayed here by Rebecca Hall in "Christine") had recently prepared a news report on suicide that included a local police officer advising her on the best way for a person to end their life with a gun. She had confided to her family about her own depression and thoughts of suicide — but Christine's mother later said that she had kept that a secret so that Christine's job wouldn't be in jeopardy.
Photo credit: BorderLine Films
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On that morning’s episode of “Suncoast Digest,” though, Christine surprised the crew by beginning the show from the news anchor’s desk. She covered three national news stories — and then a technical problem interfered with the fourth. The camera returned to Christine, who said: “In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in ‘blood and guts’, and in living color, you are going to see another first — attempted suicide!” She then drew a revolver and shot herself in the head!
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The program went to black, and then the station began airing a movie while Christine was rushed to the hospital. Shocked coworkers discovered that she'd left behind a news script to cover her suicide by whichever reporter replaced her on the air. She was taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital — where she had done volunteer puppet shows for children — and died 14 hours later. Her mother later said Christine had killed herself over unrequited love, adding: "Her personal life was not enough." The video of her death was quickly destroyed, but now Christine finds herself immortalized in the movies 42 years later!