Diane Didn’t Trip and Die

At 9:00 am on October 4, 1969, Diane Linkletter jumped from her sixth floor kitchen window and died about an hour and a half later from “traumatic injuries” according to the L.A. Medical Examiner. No evidence of drugs was found in the toxicology report.

Yet within days, Art Linkletter blamed his daughter’s death on LSD and, since there were  no drugs found in her body, he specifically referred to an “LSD Flashback” as the cause of Diane’s death.  Because of his fame as an on-air entertainer, Linkletter’s message of “see what happens when you do LSD, kids?” shot through the country like rays of sunshine (which do not cause blindness if stared at intently).  And the reality of “flashbacks” is controversial to this day.

Now why would a family blame a daughter’s suicide on taking drugs?  Because it’s an easier explanation than admitting she was a desperately unhappy woman whom no one in her family could reach.  Plus, her older sister’s husband, 33, had shot himself in the head just three months before!  For many people, even today, suicides are family disgraces.

Although Ms. Linkletter’s death is tragic and Art Linkletter’s crusade was noble from his perspective, controlling peoples’ behavior through rumors, lies and exaggeration is rarely effective.  I remember hearing of Dianne’s LSD suicide in my college dorm – and watching everyone make jokes about it.  For years “they” told us smoking pot would make us impotent and insane – and we knew that was bullshit.  There was no reason to believe the official line here …. or in Vietnam.

5 Responses to “Diane Didn’t Trip and Die”

  1. Joe Belle-Isle says:

    When Veterans return to Vietnam, a country that now has it’s mid aged and younger majority unborn durring it, they are treated with uncommon respect. One freind who has been there several times tells me the Vietnamese Governments historical teaching to it’s people is that we- the Americans that went, were VICTIMS of the same crooked politicians that had victimized them. I would have thought they would have hated us. Forgiveness is easy for the victorious I guess in some places.
    Has anybody who tripped EVER HAD A FLASHBACK?

  2. Bill says:

    I’m a firm believer in the legalization of drugs. I agree Linkletter’s daughter did not have a flashback.

    I will say, however, anyone who is unhappy or depressed to begin with should stay the hell away from alcohol and/or drugs. Popping pills or drinking booze will only deepen your sadness, and a great many suicides do occur under the influence.

  3. Joe Belle-Isle says:

    Not only that, but the depression they drink to get away from or drug to get away from is really really enforced and even caused by the mistaked made while under the influence and the fact it takes more like a month than just a day to get your bodie and mind back and really get over a hangover. The first time you realize taking another drink will kill the pain of a present hangover your screwed. Most of us alky’s learn it from birth from alcoholic relatives that may not drink durring the day-or do- but drink everyday. Man I would not want a DWI these days. I think it’s Ga. but I know one state has a mandatory outrageous jail sentence for a first DWI. I knew a guy that had his wife and four kids killed by a drunk speeding that missed his turn and plowed right through their car.
    And guys like that don’t even remember it. When they get sober in jail they reason they should be let go because their sorry it happened but jailing them won’t bring back the dead. And a lot of Judges can be convinced to free them early because it’s now just a fact of modern American life-until it happens to your kid like my wifes who left two babies. It’s not the that you can’t bring them back asshole-you need to support and pay the school and clothes and food and everything else for the children of the people you killed.

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