The facts are scant but this much was being reported over the weekend. Ruslana Korshunova, 20, died around 2:30 p.m. in a fall from a building
on Water Street, in Manhattan's Financial District...."
We read the quotes in the paper from those who knew her; the doorman at her building who said she was a "sweet girl" and the ex-boyfriend who added "she was a good person."
But because we don't understand or don't accept death by suicide when the victim is so young and so pretty we start to speculate.
Here are a few of the reader comments left on the story on the Huffington Post yesterday.
Ruslana Korshunova, 20, died around 2:30 p.m. in a fall from a building on Water Street, in Manhattan's Financial District...."Look, I don't bring this up just to add another body to the Summer Of Death but to point out something I find fascinating about human nature. We the people hate the unknown.
Anastacia writes, "Jumping seems like such a painful, way to die full of desperation. It doesn't track because, being a model, she probably knew people who had access to drugs. She could have easily gone that route if she wanted to commit suicide, which in it self seems implausible. She had everything to live for and her family back home needed her."
Here's Alex, "I have a friend who comes from Russia and supports her mum and brother working as model in New York. and she told me many stories where some of those girls had spirit attacks. She told me they shared apartments and rooms and many girls and some girls would sleep walk and get ghosts or spirit attacks where they strangled fellow models in sleep or got hysteria or did really weird things in sleep. She told me these incidences are common in Milan and New York because of the pressure and competitions and always having to smile day out to get a job and be a bitch in private. My friend told me of one time she slept in a room with four girls and woke up being strangled by a sleep walking fellow model."
Ailbje says, "People don't just throw themselves out of windows without prior suspicious behaviour. People do not kill themselves without good reason; unemployment, bullying, substance abuse etc.. It does seem that there was either something very bad going on or she was murdered. I agree with posters suggesting mafia involvement. They are everywhere and they target Eastern Europeans for extortion, often threatening not only them but their family back home if they do not give them what they want. It would not be difficult for someone to sneak in and out of a building."
Now Darcy, "Very suspicious to me 20 years old so much to live for and also the time of day is unusual for suicide... They don't even know if someone else was there so why call it a suicide..could have been an accident or maybe a murder with some big roller involved and being covered up..you've gotta know NY City Police you can never tell with them..."
Kalima, "Then again, the most often thing that happens is, lonely, goes to a party, someone introduces her to drugs. Not even thinking about suicide but feels as she can fly, have you heard this for the very first time? This is how the bosses of agencies all over the world keep their 'girls' in line."
Madrid, "Not likely a suicide-- more likely related to the Russian mafia that increasingly runs the lives of new immigrants from former Soviet states to NY."
And so it goes on. And I'm not even saying it's a bad thing that we tend to fill in the missing facts with those from our own imagination. Assumption, theory, speculation - they are stops along the path to critical thinking but let's not be to quick to believe our own make believe version of events.