The 13-page suicide note that Cynthia Wachenheim left behind before jumping out of an eight-story apartment building with her 10-month-old baby strapped to her chest criticized her role as a mother and a wife. While 44-year-old Cynthia Wachenheim landed on her back and “suffered a fractured skull and broken bones in her wrist and right leg” according to a New York Daily News report on March 14, 2013, her 10-month-old son Keston survived the jump with “no signs of any major injuries.” His mother had absorbed the impact of the fatal jump.
“The scratches on a 10-month-old’s face are the only sign of his terrifying eight-story plunge from a Harlem window after his mom took him on her fatal leap.”
Cynthia Wachenheim jumped from the window of the eight-story-apartment building about three hours after a fight with her husband, 48-year-old Hal Bacharach. After the argument with his wife, Hal Bacharach stormed out of the apartment.
According to authorities, Cynthia Wachenheim had worked for more than 15 years “doing research for judges in the city’s court system” and “penned a rambling 13-page suicide note lambasting herself for being a bad wife and mother.”
The 13-page-suicide note also contained Cynthia Wachenheim’s strong conviction that her baby had cerebral palsy even though doctors had already told her that there was nothing wrong with Keston.
In the last page of her 13-page-suicide note, Cynthia Wachenheim referred to postpartum depression which she appears to have also dismissed.
Cynthia Wachenheim was taking antidepressants and had gone to therapy once a week. However, she skipped the last session before her fatal jump.
People who knew Cynthia Wachenheim commented that she did not show any obvious signs of postpartum depression.
One of Cynthia Wachenheim’s neighbors said that “She was delightful, beautiful (and) smart. … She was happy.”
Happy people do not jump out of an eight-story apartment building and happy people do not write 13-page suicide notes "lambasting" themselves.
Unfortunately, postpartum depression does not discriminate against beauty, intellect, and social status and is most challenging to notice even by close friends and neighbors.
As Cynthia Wachenheim’s 13-page-suicide note shows, postpartum depression can come to life in some final “rambling” words in which the invisible can become visible.