Love hurts; and if you don’t believe me consider the attempted suicides of John V. Myers and Harry Wheeler on the same day in 1922. The two despondent Angelenos had been jilted by the women in their lives and, well, they just couldn’t handle it.
John Myers was a laborer who had been thrown over by his sweetheart. Overtaken by unbearable grief Meyers climbed to the top of the railing of the Hill Street tunnel and poised himself like a man on a high dive as he patiently awaited the arrival of a Pacific Electric train. It appeared that he planned to hurl himself in front of the oncoming rail car and put a permanent end to his pain.
Myers was seen by several officers who just happened to be loitering nearby in front of the police station and Receiving Hospital at First and Hill Streets. Patrolman Woodward reached Myers just in time to prevent him from taking a fatal dive. I’ll bet Myers wasn’t pleased at being thwarted in the midst of his dramatic gesture, but I like to think that it didn’t take him more than a few days at most to realize that his life was worth living. Certainly there were other women in Los Angeles.
The second man to attempt to take his life over a lost love was Harry Wheeler. Harry was inconsolable because his wife, Marion, had left him for another man. In his misery Wheeler swallowed a vial of poison — but only after he’d left a venomous note for his soon-to-be-ex. It is not clear from the newspaper account who found the unfortunate Mr. Myers, but whoever it was had saved his life. Myers was treated at the Receiving Hospital and released.
Stay tuned as the litany of love-related tragedies continue through February.