A married couple in New York City committed a double suicide because they could not afford health care. The deceased couple has been named as Glenn Scarpelli, 53, and Patricia Scarpelli, 50. The New York Post reported that the couple’s note read that they had a “wonderful life.” The pair leaped to their deaths from an office building at 33rd Street between Madison and Park Avenue in the early hours of July 28.
The deaths came just a few hours after the GOP’s latest efforts to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act failed.
If you or anybody you know is contemplating suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or click here.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Couple’s Suicide Note Read That They Could Not Live ‘ With the Financial Reality’
Next to the couple’s bodies was a Ziploc bag that contained both of their IDs as well as suicide notes, one from each person. The Post says that the note read in part, “in sum and substance, ‘Our kids are upstairs, please take care of them.'”
The couple’s children were a son, Joseph, and daughter, Isabella, aged 19 and 20.
The Scarpelli’s suicide note read that the pair had “everything in life.” It continued to talk about their “financial spiral” while saying “we can not live with the financial reality.” The note also said, to the effect, according to the Post, “We both have medical issues, we just can’t afford the health care.”
An employee at the nearby Pure Green, named Perry Kim, told the Daily Mail that he heard a screaming sound at around 5:30 a.m. The Mail report says that the couple landed face-up. Perry Kim said that it was his manager who called 911.
A woman named Kazi, who works at a nearby convenience store, told the Post that, “When I got here at 6:05 a.m., I walked by dead bodies on the ground. I was scared. I’ve never seen dead bodies before.” A neighbor, named only as Harry, described the suicides as “Insane.”
2. Patricia Worked as the Receptionist at Her Husband’s Practice
According to online reviews for Glenn’s practice, Patricia worked as the receptionist, where she was also considered to be a part of the healing process. According to his LinkedIn page, Glenn studied to be a chiropractor at Logan University in Chesterfield, Missouri.
After his graduation, Glenn operated the Madison Wellness Center at 171 Madison Avenue, suite 908 in New York City for 27 years.
3. Glenn Scarpelli Had Debts of More Than $250,000
The New York Daily News reports that Glenn owed $213,000 to the federal government in back taxes while owing $42,000 to New York State. NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told the newspaper about the investigation that, “We still have to go further.”
Glenn worked as a Chiropractor in the Murray Hill neighborhood, according to WINS reporter Roger Stern. The office building that the pair leaped from, located at 29 East 33rd Street is populated by doctors, chiropractors and lawyers. The Daily News reports that Glenn’s business had recently closed.
The Daily Mail’s report says that the couple’s financial problems went as far back as 1998.
The owner of the nearby bar, Becketts Bar and Grill, told the Daily News that the family was beloved in the neighborhood. He said, “They’re wonderful people, just genuine people. I would go out and eat with them too. They’re always having a great time together.”
Robert Bisaccia Jr, who worked in the same building as Glenn, said, “They were always genuine and cared for others. They always had a smile on their face.” Bisaccia said that he had last seen Glenn the previous week, “We were standing right here (outside the building) talking and he seemed fine.”
4. Both of Their Children Attended Private Schools in Manhattan
According to his LinkedIn page, Joseph Scarpelli is a student at the University of Miami. For high school, Joseph attended the Loyola School on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and is at the school of business in Miami. He is due to graduate in 2020. While in high school, Joseph wrote an article about his Catholic faith. One sentence read, “My parents repeatedly told me that I could wake up one day and lose every material possession and everyone I love, but no one will ever be able to take away my faith.”
Isabella Scarpelli is a student at St. Edwards College, a private Catholic facility in Austin, Texas, reports the Daily Mail. Isabella also attended Loyola where she was a soccer star.
While Scarpelli’s niece, Leah Scarpelli, plays for the U.S. Women’s soccer team. Glenn’s brother, Craig, who is also chiropractor based in Brick, New Jersey, was professional soccer goalkeeper during the 1980s. Many of the Scarpelli family still live in Brick, where Glenn is originally from. Craig Scarpelli also graduated from Logan University.
5. Senator John McCain Is Being Credited as the Man Who ‘Killed’ the Latest Obamacare Repeal Efforts
This suicide came just a few hours after Senate Republicans failed to pass a bill that would repeal Obamacare. Senator John McCain voted against his own party citing the irresponsibility of taking away health care from Americans without a plan to replace it. A Washington Post column credited Sen McCain as “killing” the repeal bill.
In a statement, Senator McCain said, “I’ve stated time and time again that one of the major failures of Obamacare was that it was rammed through Congress by Democrats on a strict party-line basis without a single Republican vote. We should not make the mistakes of the past.”
CNN reports that the public should be “wary” of declaring the Republican’s repeal efforts to be dead.