Man Puts Up Website and Photo Memorial of His Life Before Committing Suicide


Some sad news has emerged from the Midwest today: The Kansas City Star is reporting that a former employee and blogger committed suicide yesterday outside a local police station. Prior to ending his own life, 60-year-old Martin Manley created his own memorial website that includes detailed information about his life, including photographs captured over the years of himself and his experiences.

The website, titled “Martin Manley Life and Death,” was launched yesterday morning, and begins with this statement:

Today is August 15, 2013. Today is my 60th birthday. Today is the last day of my life. Today, I committed suicide. Today, is the first day this site is active, but it will be here for years to come.

On the left side of the website is a list of pages, most of which are about significant events and moments in Manley’s life. One of the pages is a picture album with glimpses of his childhood and eventual family.

Portraits of Manley at ages 1, 21, 44, and 60

Portraits of Manley at ages 1, 21, 44, and 60

Manley also makes it clear through his website that all the photographs and content contained within have been released into the public domain. “Anyone can do with it whatever they wish,” he writes.

A preface page on the site also makes it clear that the suicide was not due to health, financial, relational, loneliness, or depression issues. So why did Manley take his own life? He says it was to control how he passed away, and to be remembered through a lasting memorial:

Let me ask you a question. After you die, you can be remembered by a few-line obituary for one day in a newspaper when you’re too old to matter to anyone anyway… OR you can be remembered for years by a site such as this. That was my choice and I chose the obvious.

Manley writes that he paid for 5 years of hosting the website at Yahoo, and that he’s depending on his family and friends to keep it going after the contract ends. Facebook photographs, on the other hand, could be lost forever after the death of their owners under current laws.

Thanks for sending in the tip, Sam.

  • Eugene Chok

    so where should he have done it? i guess when you die you will carefully burry yourself after… how sanitized are you man… dead people used to litter the streets

  • facepalm

    Perhaps you failed to realize the obvious — that a gunshot to the head at a Police Station is not the more responsible way of ending your life. Overdose comes to mind, very easily.

    I will also have no problem condemning a person who inflicts unnecessary pain and trauma on strangers who will have to deal with his own death. I’ll certainly not applaud it, thank you.

  • facepalm

    Nah, I already read it with an open mind. I’ll choose to move on and read other things, since I only have a limited amount of time on this Earth. I don’t want to waste time reading such useless drivel again. I’ll soon forget I ever read it too, in a matter of time. Hopefully soon.

  • Stan B.

    Strange, I never said anything about the most efficient (ie- “responsible”) methods to suicide.

    What I did say was that- you are in no position whatsoever to judge. Period.

  • facepalm

    He made the entire story of his suicide in the public domain. I am ABSOLUTELY in a position to judge.

  • Stan B.

    There are a lot of people dying anonymously on the street each and every day from lack of shelter and health care. I hope you spend equal time judging and condemning those responsible (who are very much in the public domain) every bit as vehemently for sucking every last crumb from what used to be a viable working class in this country- and aiding the survivors while still alive.

  • top1four

    Actually to say “doing something positive” results in being remembered is false. Lots of people close to old age do, but they’re not recognized for it. If anything, highlighting this guy’s method of dealing with death is a comment on our failure as a society – our failure to recognize lives for what they were and instead gloss over ended lifetimes with a “Well, that’s too bad” or “They were old so it was bound to happen” – this happens FAR more often than “What an amazing person. I’ll remember and respect them and tell others about them.”

    Not saying this guy wasn’t egotistical or that he shouldn’t have given his life to something positive, but I’m saying that even if he had… people forget or fail to recognize such deeds. He already knew that so he chose to do it this way.

  • top1four

    As another commenter put it:

    “Suicide is taking away temporary pain and giving it to others permanently.”

    Its hard to justify anything if it has the affect of hurting someone else.

  • fancygapva

    This poor guy did the memorial for himself and wanted to die while he was still healthy and mattered to people. It’s really his business. So why is his memorial page shut down? No respect. Deny him after his death what he wanted? What about those who care about him and want to remember him? I’m sure his site would be bittersweet to them, but they should be able at least to see it. When someone commits suicide it leaves so many questions for those close to him. His site might have provided answers and comfort to his survivors.

  • Franklin Weise

    What he didn’t predict was that thehosting plan wouldn’t be robust for the heavy traffic, causing a server overload and a 503 error…

  • Tom Waugh

    Petapixel. You should seriously consider adding a new search word category to the site called “Tenuous links to photography”

  • Doze

    his website seems to be down… such a shame
    503 – Service

  • tyrohne


    That was an erudite reply. Well done. I agree on the bittersweet nature of him leaving the site.

  • Joncleir

    Under what authority was Martin Manley’s website taken down? Or am I getting the 503 unauthorized message and you’re not.

  • Lyndz michelle

    so as im scrolling through all the comments on this page, i start to see the evil inconsiderate and rude dishonorable comments people post about something that doesnt have anything to do with them. ive seen comments about people thinking it was for attention to be remembered, because he was selfish, and about the MESS… well maybe if people where not so cruel and coldhearted and for a split second at least & looked at things not from their own stuck up prissy self centered point of view but from someone elses, they might just be able to, if not possibly have some sort of understanding then maybe enough respect to the person and or the people grieving from a such a loss. but since people cant find it in them let me try to help you… you do NOT know what a person who commited suicide was feeling inside, you dont know the what kind of life they lived even still if it was a good life people deal with demons within themselves ( every person does) whether it be mental health problems, depression, tired of struggling, fear, unloved, grieving a loss, or maybe even, rudeness, being inconsiderate, or just not knowing when they should just not make rude comments…but well all have demons we deal with, and you dont know the level of another persons. as for suicide being selfish, yes it is…but it is just as selfish to ask someone to live a life of misery, pain, and so forth. as for the wanting attention or to be remembered, i can say as a person who watched my fiance shoot himself in the head that i wish he would have done something like this he shot himself with no explanation just left his loved ones wondering why, what if, maybe if i did this, or i should have this. i wish he was still alive but i do not hate him nor am i mad at him, i knew he struggled his whole life as do i, and i knew he had a hard life, but i also knew he loved me. and that he is no longer suffering. it hurts terribly and i am pretty much a widow at the age of 24, i dont want to live with out him, and im so hurt, but im not ready to give up yet. every strong person breaks sometimes its just tragic when the breaking point is the end. and as for you even more rude people who are concerned with the mess maybe if there was a lot less rude, hateful remarks from people, less bulling, and less hatred…maybe there would be less MESSES TO CLEAN UP. and for those of you thinking it was unfair of them to make b someone clean it…you must not know what depression feels like it feels worse than the mess and the person who has to clean the mess. my fiance used to say the same thing “i couldnt kill myself cause id never want anyone to have to clean my mess” on his internet history after he died i found that he googled the least mesy way to shoot himself in the head… so rather than a huge mess for someone to have to clean he was being considerate shot himself with a 25 caliber bullet and died slowly an painfully and that hurt me so much cause he was a great man he didnt have to think about anyone else and could have just saved himself the agony…as a matter of fact it wasnt even the bullet that killed him he died due to swelling in his head which caused lack of oxygen to his brain. he was pronounced braindead sept. 24 2014 at 1:40 pm he shot himself at 5 am on the 24th… thats alot of hours in pain he didnt have to be in to prevent a mess… i would of rather him in less pain and i cleaned up the mess. but really i wish he wouldnt have shot himself and was still here with me…im sorry fir this long long msg but im hurt by the rude things people have to say about a life that isnt theirs.