THE SUICIDE OF JEREMY DELLE

January 8, 1991 Richardson High School in Richardson, Texas. Fifteen year old Jeremy Delle arrives late to class and is sent to the office to get an attendance slip. When he returned to his classroom he addressed his teacher directly saying, “Miss, I got what I really went for.” He then revealed a .357 Magnum, stuck the firearm in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Jeremy Delle committed suicide while standing in front of his class.

School shootings weren’t exactly a common occurrence back then and when news broke of the story it was everywhere, even going on to inspire the 1991 ubiquitous hit song “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam. Family and friends of Jeremy Delle immediately took umbrage with the dark lyrics saying they don’t remotely depict Jeremy’s home life or history. Eddie Vedder, the lead singer of Pearl Jam and writer of the song admitted he only thought about contacting Jeremy’s family at the time but did not end up doing so because he didn’t want to intrude.

So while the song was tearing up the charts Jeremy Delle’s family were dealing with the horrible reality of losing their son while simultaneously trying to honor his memory. With all the fan fare of the success of the hit song Jeremy, Pearl Jam devotees were going as far as leaving notes at Delle’s grave site. Jeremy’s father, Joseph, released a statement saying of the situation, “Always, always they are lured in by the song and speak to their adoration of Eddie Vedder. My anguish is just as deep with each call, note, or email…People who never met him or knew him chose to write a song, produced a video, and wrote many articles about that day. People who never [had] a personal relationship with him condensed his life to one day. There was so much more to Jeremy’s life than that fateful day.”

Jeremy’s mother Wanda Crane kept silent for decades but in 2018 did an interview which I’ve linked it here.

Try to erase this from the blackboard.

SOURCE CITATIONS

Bliss, Karen. Eddie Vedder Interview. Billboard Magazine. https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/rock/7751635/pearl-jam-eddie-vedder-1991-interview-vintage

Denton, Tommy. When The Thread of Hope Breaks. Chicago Tribune
Chicago, Illinois 28 Feb 1991, Thu  •  Page 43

Miller, Bobby. Nevins, Annette Richardson Teen-ager Kills Himself in Front of Classmates. Dallas Morning News. Dallas, Texas January 9, 1991

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