1908: Henry Turpin, Assisted Suicide by Pit Bull

Vicious Bulldog Helps Master to Drown Himself
May 1, 1908
Albuquerque Citizen
Library of Congress

Vicious Bulldog Helps Master to Drown Himself
Canine Bit Would Be Rescuers When They Attempted to Save Man from Watery Grave
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His Third Attempt Was Successful
Henry TurpinHarrisburg. May 1. — After two attempts early today to commit suicide, Henry P. Turpin., aged 32, succeeded in drowning himself in the old Pennsylvania canal at Steelton near here. He spent the night in drinking. Early this morning, accompanied by a vicious bull terrier, he went to the canal and plunged in. Two men saw him and made an attempt at rescue, but the dog sprang at them, biting one man on the wrist. The dog was thrown aside and held by another man who appeared while the other two swam to Turpin and dragged him out.
Later he returned to the canal and again jumped in. Another attempt was made by the two men to reach him but the dog attacked them and bit each severely. Once more Turpin was rescued and the men telephoned for the police.
Before one arrived Turpin, with the assistance of his faithful dog, got away from his rescuers and made the third and successful attempt to end his life.
Once more ‘the men attempted to follow him into the water but the dog chased them from the edge of the water. One succeeded in jumping into the stream but the dog followed and attacked him the water.
Finally, an officer arrived and scared off the dog by shooting, but in the meantime Turpin had drowned. His father committed suicide ten years ago. –Albuquerque Citizen

Bull Dog Helps Master to Drown
May 7, 1908
The Clarksburg Telegram
Library of Congress

Bull Dog Helps Master to Drown
Drives Off Three Times Two Men Who Try to Save Life of the Man.
HARRISBURG, Pa., May 1 — After making two attempts to commit suicide although a vicious bulldog owned by the would-be suicide used its best endeavors to prevent two rescuers from pulling its master from the water, Henry P. Turpin, aged 32 years, committed suicide by drowning himself in the old Pennsylvania canal at Steelton, near here today. The two men twice pulled Turpin from the water, but the third time the dog was more vicious than ever and kept the men from the edge of the water. –The Clarksburg Telegram

Was Determined to Die
May 07, 1908
The Spanish Fork press
Library of Congress

Was Determined to Die
Harrisburg — After making two attempts to commit suicide although a vicious bulldog used its best endeavors to prevent the rescuers from pulling the would-be suicide from the water, Henry P Turpin, aged 32 years, succeeded in drowning himself in the old Pennsylvania canal. He had been drinking heavily and was seen by two men to jump In the canal. Twice they rescued the man in spite of the attacks of his bulldog, but the third time he broke away from them, plunged into the canal and was drowned. – The Spanish Fork press

Now that is what can rightly be called a “purposeful act.”
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