RealNews

Disturbing legacy of rescues: Suicide

The firehouse in Maspeth, Queens, lost 19 firefighters on Sept. 11, 2001. But in the minds of those still working there, the terrorist attacks claimed another life a year later. Gary Celentani, 33, a strapping firefighter who followed two brothers into the New York City Fire Department, was at home Sept. 25, 2002, when he shot himself to death with a rifle. Sept. 11’s role in Celentani’s death may never be known. In the weeks before his suicide, he suffered his mother’s death and the end of a romance. Although 6-foot-3, Gary was a “teddy bear,” says his brother, Ralph, who believes Sept. 11 was at least part of the reason Gary killed himself. “Nobody knew how much pain he was in,” he says. Celentani’s suicide illustrates a disturbing trend that has emerged after tragedies such as last year’s Pennsylvania coal mine disaster, the Oklahoma City bombing and Sept. 11. Some of those intimately involved in storied rescue efforts men and women lauded as heroes have committed suicide. Experts, citing causes from post-traumatic stress to the destructive power of sudden fame, worry more such deaths will follow. Bob Long, a surveyor credited with finding the nine trapped coal miners, killed himself in June. Terry Yeakey, an Oklahoma City police sergeant who rescued four bombing victims in 1995, committed suicide the following year. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.