New York Self-Help Radio Hosts Commit Suicide Together

Thursday, 06 Jun 2013 04:51 PM

 

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NEW YORK — On a radio show they hosted called "The Pursuit of Happiness," John Littig and Lynne Rosen urged listeners to embrace spontaneity.

"So much about life is about impulse," Littig said on a broadcast this year on an FM station in New York, WBAI. "It's about doing it right now."

A shocking decision the couple made together appeared more methodical: Police say they killed themselves side by side as part of a suicide pact.

Autopsies found that both Littig, 47, and Rosen, 45, died from asphyxiation after inhaling helium, a spokeswoman for medical examiner's office said Thursday.

The bodies were discovered Wednesday on a couch in the couple's brownstone in Brooklyn, with so-called "exit bags" over their heads. The suicide method — using plastic bags with draw strings and a hose attached to helium canister — is becoming more common because of it provides "a fast, peaceful, undetectable death" compared with suffocation by carbon dioxide, according to a recent fire department memo prepared for paramedics.

In separate suicide notes, Lettig indicated that they were determined to die together, while Rosen apologized to her family, police said. But beyond that, why two people who made a living giving advice on how to lead more fulfilling lives decided to cut short their own wasn't clear.

There was no immediate response to a message left Thursday at WBAI.

"RIP Lynne Rosen + John Littig. Partners on the air and in life," the station wrote in a tweet.

The victims were partners in self-help venture called "Why Not Now," according to their website. The site describes Littig as a motivational speaker, workshop facilitator and personal life coach, and Rosen as a life coach, speaker and consultant.

Rosen also was the host of "The Pursuit of Happiness," a once-a-month, hour-long show on the left-leaning WBAI. She was often joined in the Manhattan studio by Littig.

The pair's breezy banter about life's lessons is on display in YouTube postings of the broadcasts. In one, they mull a famous quote, "do one thing every day that scares you," attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt.

"People get scared to make changes and step outside of that comfort zone, right, John?" she says.

"Stepping outside you comfort zone is very important. Or alternatively you can start to get comfortable with change," he responds.

"Yeah! I like that!" she says. "That's great."

And while pondering Albert Einstein's observation, "Imagination is more important than knowledge," Littig espouses the virtues of acting on impulse.

"Intuition, impulse are extraordinarily important things in life," he says. "You will not be well-served if the impulse is shut down or you think about everything too much. Sometimes you just do it."

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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