Suicide Newspaper Article

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Daily News
Feb 12, 1977

The scene would be replayed many times. Every day after school, Cathy Reeve, Black Hawk, Wis., would huddle in her bedroom for house - sometimes daydreaming - often strumming on her guitar.

Her guitar & the music she made from it had become her salvation. She dreamed of using it to become famous. "She carried the guitar with her all the time," her father rememembers."

Two hundred miles away, Cynthia Harper, a West Side Chicago woman, also 21, dreamed of becoming someone important, a nurse. She was anxious to help people - so much so that a neighbor who remembers her childhood describes her this way: "If she saw one of her neighbors walking down the street with a bag of groceries she would offter to help carry them."

The women had different backgrounds - one a small town white, the other a big city black. Neither had money in their family; their life-styles were not shared.

Much of their lives they spent apart, but for the last 16 months they were closer than sisters. Their differences had become similarities and their successes and failures were akin.

They were together one day two weeks ago when they died. Moments apart, they plunged to their deaths from an eight floor window at the Lawson YMCA.

A Neighbor at the YMCA called their deaths a "tragic mistake."

And indeed they appear to be. It's believed that only Cathy had planned to leap from the YMCA hotel window because she believe she had cancer. Cynthia wasn't supposed to have fallen from the window.

Police found evidence to that when they discovered two envelopes, one addressed to Cathy's parents and the other addressed to Cynthia. Inside were letters that gave instructions for what should happen to her belongings.

The medical examiner's office has called the deaths suicides and the two vibrant women have become statistics to those who never knew them.