Introduction Though relatively rare, public suicides are ubiquitous with people, taking their lives in public spaces – by setting themselves ablaze on the street,1 jumping off buildings or bridges,2 or committing seppuku, a ritual disembowelling in front of a public audience.3 Some of these suicides were politically motivated and represented a mode of protest, while others were believed to choose public settings in a hope to engrave their last moment in the minds of witnesses.