Skip to comments.Distraught woman’s cry for help heard by Howie Carr (New England conservative host)
Posted on 02/05/2009 11:57:37 PM PST by raccoonradio
Howie Carr does indeed have a heart.
The hardboiled WRKO radio host and Herald columnist tried to dissuade a female caller - distraught over the bleak economy - from killing herself, divulging that his own grandfather committed suicide during the Depression.
The caller, who identified herself as 54-year-old Carol, told Carr during yesterdays show that she moved to Jonesport, Maine, three years ago, bought a $59,000 house and had been trying to get a job, without success.
In a stunning on-air admission, Carol revealed that she swallowed 100 pills in a suicide attempt last February when she was about to lose her home. Her daughter from Montana showed up out the blue and saved my life, according to an audiotape of the show.
Ever since, her two daughters have been paying her mortgage and other bills. And now, theyre so strapped out from helping me that I am right back where I was last February and seriously contemplating suicide, said Carol.
Dont kill yourself, Carol, Carr said. Its always a bad mistake to kill yourself, Carol. Im serious about that. Your family never recovers from a suicide.
Carol became emotional during the 3 minute call, saying she was burdening her family.
Carr talked with her a bit longer before moving on to other callers. But his listeners wanted to stay on the subject, with several trying to pursuade Carol not to take her life.
Carr told listeners that hes made jokes about it in the past but that his grandfather killed himself in 1931 during the Depression. The family basically never recovered, Carr said.
It turned out an agent with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency was listening to Carrs show, and police were quickly dispatched to Carols home.
Reached yesterday, Carol, whose name the Herald is withholding, said she had called Carrs show because I feel like nobodys listening to me.
As the economy continues to tank, experts predict radio hosts could be fielding more calls from suicidal listeners.
When people are pushed into extreme situations they look for a lifeline, and that can be a favorite radio personality, said Tom Taylor, news editor of Radio-Info.com.
Last week, Orlando radio personality Buckethead helped lead the cops to a suicidal caller.
As for Carr, he noted, You just have to avoid being wise with suicidal listeners.
When he realized Carol was distraught, he said, You just want to try to talk her down.
Howie Carr list ping—Herald article about Howie helping a distraught woman on air
Howie’s column from today (Howie column ping)
Suicidal caller rings close to home
By Howie Carr | Friday, February 6, 2009 | http://www.bostonherald.com | Columnists
Anyone who hosts a radio talk show for any length of time will eventually get a call from a listener whos contemplating suicide.
But the way the economy has been tanking, I think its going to be happening more and more.
Still, I wasnt expecting Carol to lose it on me last week. She said she was 54, from Jonesport, Maine. After talking briefly about her 23-year-old neighbor who she said is collecting $690 a month on SSDI, she began speaking about how shed been looking for a job for 2 years but couldnt find one.
My mortgage is only $414.21 a month, she said, and I cant afford it in the United States of America.
She told me shed tried to kill herself last February by taking 100 pills but that her daughter had found her. But now, she said, she was thinking about it again.
Now, this is not the kind of call I solicit. My job is to entertain you, not depress you. So when Carol mentioned suicide, my first response was to try to snap her out of it without appearing to be a callous brute, which is what I basically am. Dont kill yourself, I said. Sell those pills to the junkie and you can get some of her SSDI.
But by then she was crying, so I had to try a different tack. I told her what a bad mistake it is to kill yourself. Your family never recovers from a suicide, I told her.
She said she didnt want to be a burden on her two daughters.
Its a bigger burden to kill yourself, Carol, I said, because that way, theyll always be asking, what could I have done?
We went on for a while, and finally I had to cut her off. But other callers wanted to keep talking about Carols obvious despair over her financial plight, so I told them what I knew about suicide in times of economic turmoil.
In 1931, my maternal grandfather killed himself. He worked in the post office in Monroe, N.C. Ive never really been clear about why he did it - a common theme, Ive discovered - but one reason Ive heard was the Depression. Supposedly hed lost some money, but I dont know for sure.
All I know is, my grandfather went down to the basement of the post office and blew his brains out, and that was basically the end of my mothers family. The relatives urged my grandmother to put her five kids into an orphanage. She kept things together by giving piano lessons in return for food.
Another caller, Judy, addressed her remarks to Carol.
Youre not alone, she said. The economy has affected a lot of us. Suicide, if youre thinking about it, is final. Its not a final solution, Carol, but it is final.
I hope Carol was still listening. She deserves better. So do her daughters.
Listen to the audio of “Carols” phone call at the
“Looking for a job?”
(Note: This thread is updated on a regular basis.)
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A former WRKO host (and a lib), Marge Clapprood, dealt with a similar situation in 1994.
Good for Howie. Often I think his subject matter is beneath him, but when he starts talking about local government and the slime who work in it, there's no one can touch him.
I wish I could get him up here in NH. I’d much rather listen to him than Hannity on the way home but WRKO and even WEMJ in Laconia doesn’t penetrate this far into the puckies. He’s not on XM is he?
I find him so much more entertaining than anyone else on mid-afternoons. Jay Severin is intelligent but way too full of himself, and gets very irritating repeating the same observations over and over for four hours, along with his credentials--"I know this because I've run 127 campaigns and they all won" is interesting for only so long.
Her first mistake was assuming there were jobs in Jonesport, Maine...
Ain’t Jonesport the town that’s sort of like Seabrook, NH? Only 2 or 3 families?
Good story. Howie built up some points and some good karma
Kind'a... Go down to Beals Island and they all have that wandering eye like Seabrook back when it was all Eatons and Dows and maybe two other families.
Of course Seabrook ain't really Seabrook anymore now that most residents "down the beach" (as they say in the Merrimack Valley) are retirees from Haverhill, Lawrence and Lowell who spent the 60s rioting at Hampton and live in a bubble of nostalgia.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:19-24).
S-E, S-E, S-E-A
Seabrook, Seabrook, till I die.
Ayuh, Bubba, Ayuh!
Ah, Howie is a softy at heart - as we all know.
Now for the next story, where he helps a little old woman to change a tire, which he espouses he’ll never do.
Good for Howie - karma-baby-karma
Next day, different topic and who calls in but the same man practically in tears. Howie had called someone and fixed the situation. I can't imagine what he said or did but in one day the man's problem was gone. The teachers tearful thanks was something I'd not heard on talk radio before. Howie ended the call professionally acknowledging the thanks but wasn't interested in bringing praise to himself.
Howie may claim he is a callous man but the listeners know better.
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