When you’re completely lacking in a deadly weapon, there are some things you can always count on — like gravity, the mystery force that accelerates everything corewards at 31 fps/s (9.81 m/sec/sec for those of you experiencing gravity in the rest of the world).

Charles Murphy, 56, whose hedge fund reportedly invested billions of dollars in clients money with Bernie Madoff, leaped from the 24th floor of the 45 W. 44th St. building around 4:42 p.m. and landed on a fourth-floor terrace, according to police sources.

Why are we blaming the terrace this time, and not the leap? Well, it has been brought to our attention that gravity’s acceleration does no harm to you at all… it’s the deceleration that hurts. To put it in the traditional couplet: the fall doesn’t hurt at all… it’s the sudden stop at the end.

As always in these cases, you can’t ask the guy why he did it. The NY Post takes a wild guess:

The New York Times reported in 2009 that Murphy’s hedge fund, Fairfield Greenwich Group, invested more than $7 billion with Bernard Madoff, and lost much of their clients’ money in his infamous Ponzi scheme.

Somehow we doubt a massive 2009 loss of other people’s money induced a hedge fund guy to kamikaze himself in 2017, but we suppose it’s possible.

More likely, untreated depression.

Emergency crews had a hard time getting to his body on the terrace but eventually did, authorities said.

The incident was reported at 4:42 p.m. at 45 W. 44th St., when witnesses said the man leaped from the tower of the hotel, then landed on a roof that is in-set from the street, about four stories up

via Investor burned by Madoff leaps to death off Sofitel hotel | New York Post.

It’s nice to see, in a world in which the old folkways are gradually dying out, Wall Street is keeping one of its greatest traditions, the loser’s leap, alive. Er, maybe alive is not the right word.

The impact of the landing shattered concrete tiles, and he could be seen lying in a business suit.

Well, if he was a hedge fund guy, didn’t he spend most of his working life lying in a business suit?

The tragedy was the third high-profile suicide connected to the Madoff ponzi scheme.

For some loose definitions of the word “connected.” Also, they just said “the third” — then they list three more! Well, reporters are usually English or Journalism majors, this is just one more proof that the breed (and its layers and layers of editors) is innumerate, all the way to grade school level.

Madoff’s eldest son, Mark, was found hanged in his Soho apartment in December 2010 — the second anniversary of his father’s arrest.


Two investors also killed themselves. William Foxton, a 65-year-old former Army major, committed suicide in 2009 due to the shame of going bankrupt.


Rene Thierry Magon De La Villehuchet, a French aristocrat, whose AIA Group had lost $1.5 billion, was found dead shortly after the scandal broke in 2008.

Three. And the late Mr Murphy makes four.

It’s funny how, even in NYFC where guns are outlawed (except for the connected and payers of bribes), would-be suicides still manage to accomplish their baleful mission.

Our condolences to Mr Murphy’s friends and family. He shouldn’t have done this to them, but he did.

This entry was posted in When Guns Are Outlawed… on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

15 thoughts on “When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Fourth-Floor Terraces

Alan Ward

Sooooo”….. A little over five seconds to contemplate the oncoming deceleration ?

Too soon?


>force that accelerates everything corewards at 31 fps/s (9.81 m/sec/sec for those of you experiencing gravity in the rest of the world)

Nice try. You had a good long run, but you’ve outed yourself as not of American origin (Russian spy? Nah, obviously Czech.) It’s 32.2 feet/second.

You know those old WW2 movies where the boys come across some guy who sounds all American and knows the slang? Then the wiseguy private from New Joisey says, “Yeah, an’ who won the Woild Series in ’32, eh?” And the guy doesn’t know, so the boys shoot him, and he’s sure enough a doity Kraut spy…. If my survival ever hinged on knowing sports trivia I might just as well shoot myself and save them the trouble.


Gaaah. 32.2 feet/sec/sec.

/hangs head in shame


I’ve read interviews with people who attempted suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge but survived. What seems to be quite common about the experience is a feeling of massive, crushing regret the instant they begin to fall, and a desperate wish that they could take it back.

Suicide: a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Jim Scrummy

Mr. Murphy’s (ironic…Mr. Murphy?) string of bad luck ended with SDS-Sudden Deceleration Syndrome. So a hedgie fund guy, who spent much of his life figuring out how to ripoff his clients, was ripoffed by a better hedgie/ponzie schemer. Sure, he was depressed, he was broke. He was one of the “winner” cloud people, money, beautiful second wife, beautiful home, and not a care in the world until the Madoff ponzi scheme exploded. His artificial world crumbled, it happens.

Josey Wales

I’m not even going to try and muster up any sympathy for a guy like because I already know I don’t have it in me…..

Hognose Post author

A man’s gotta know his limitations. — Insp. Harry Callahan.


You’re very likely correct about the untreated depression. However, that introduces yet another irony. It is reported that the Manhattan townhouse he bought from Matt Bronfman in 2007 for 33 mil, had been bought by Bronfman in 1994 from….. the Foundation for Depression and Manic Depression.



“…working life lying in a business suit”. Nyuk nyuk nyuk…you a funny man! I’d come here for the wordplay even if there was no gun stuff. 🙂


32 FPS/S


Hognose Post author

It’s a rate of increase. 32 Feet Per Second Squared, or, Feet per Second per Second.

ET 0:01 32 fps 16 feet (this sec) 16 feet (total)

ET 0:02 64 fps 48 feet (this sec) 64 total

ET 0:03 96 fps 80 feet (this sec) 144 total

ET 0:04 128 fps 112 feet (this sec) 256 total

As others have observed, somewhere between the second and fourth second, Mr Murphy ceased falling.


I think The Tick summed it up best:

Gravity is a harsh mistress.”

Unfortunately (or fortunately, from a goal-achievement perspective), Mr. Murphy was neither mighty nor nigh-invulnerable.


Funny part is Professor Michael Mann, of hockey stick fame, just told House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology recently that gravity is only a theory and Human Caused Globall Climate Warmining is fact. Perhaps Mr Mann could rent that 24th floor suite next week when he is in NYC and show the world how we are all wrong about gravity. I’ll chip in a 5 spot for that research!

Dwight Brown

Do you take outside submissions for “When Guns Are Outlawed…”?

(I poked around on the site and couldn’t find a contact email. Sorry.)

Hognose Post author

About half of them are things I stumble across and about half are sent in.

hognose @ network impossible dot com

Put some reference to Weaponsman in the subject line so I don’t miss it.