The Suicide Series

A Houston native, Bill Thomas is a photographer known for photos of elaborate, morbidly humorous ways to commit suicide.

The Artist in his own words:

“The SUICIDE series attempts to deal with the taboo social-psychological content in an ironic way, looking at suicide from both serious and humorous perspectives. The photographs consist of self-constructed and directed tableaux in which I am seen committing suicide by a variety of outrageous means. I attempt to further the believability of the scenarios through use of the hyper-real information available from the 8″ x 10″ format, together with their presentation as large, 32″ x 42″ black and white prints.”














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46 Responses to The Suicide Series

  1. adam says:

    These are really nicely done, i especially liked the one with the block of ice

    I can’t really tell what the mechanisms are for pictures 1, 4, 5, and 9. Can someone explain?

  2. Pham says:

    LOL, very clever.

  3. ??? says:

    This is really crazy

  4. jack martinez says:

    Awesome and creative. And Morbid….love it

  5. 4ndy says:

    like suicide bunnies, but more disturbing

  6. Justin says:

    1 has mice in the middle box and once they go for the cheese they will set off the traps plunging the needles into the guys arms. I’m not sure how 4 works, but it has something to do with the weight on the teeter totters. That’ll set of the pitchers and hurt like hell. 5 is the candles burning down. Once they get low enough, they will set off the fuses lighting the can of gas in the guys lap. 9 I think has something to do with electricity.

  7. Jonathan says:

    1:When the rats hit the mouse traps the needles will be injected.
    4:Those are baseball pitching machines, though I’m unsure of the initial trigger.
    5:When the candles burn down they will ignite the gasoline soaked belts which lead back to the large container of propellant.
    9:I have no idea, honestly.

  8. that other says:

    1: The rats crawl through the connecting PVC pipe, trip the mousetraps which trigger the syringes of unidentified liquids to shoot straight into his forearms.
    4: Not sure what triggers it, but basically, baseballs super-fast into his head.
    5: The candles melt until the flame reaches the ribbon. The other end of the ribbons are in a tank of gasoline (or other flammable substance)
    9: I can’t tell :/

  9. Joshua Hicks says:

    ” adam says:
    May 3, 2010 at 10:53 am

    These are really nicely done, i especially liked the one with the block of ice

    I can’t really tell what the mechanisms are for pictures 1, 4, 5, and 9. Can someone explain?”

    what I think, correct me if I am wrong
    1. mice exit setting traps off causing arms to flex and inject whatever is in syringe
    4. Baseball pitching machines with levers hooked to power switches I think they are ice balls on the heavy side not sure
    5. gas can hooked up to homemade fuses connected to four candles
    9. a bit confusing but so unsure of exacts…. a gun hooked up to some mechanism to be heated by the lamp and pull the trigger. Unsure of exactly what


    this was great

  10. keith says:

    1 is mouse traps tied to neddles
    4 is baseball machine to the head
    5 is rope from candle to gasoline

  11. mike c says:

    I don’t understand 9, but I can help with 1 and 4:

    Number 1 has 2 rats in a cage on his lap with tubes leading to mousetraps. On the spring arms of the mousetraps are syringes loaded with who knows what (something deadly).

    Number 4 simply has four pitching machines aimed at his head. Not sure if there’s more to it, but that’s a start.

  12. Thinker says:

    @ Adam:

    I think mechanisms in picture one are rather simple. Two needles attached to the metal bar ends of mouse traps, with bait. A cage, and two rats with tunnels to the bait. If a rat gets trapped, the needle flips up and injects into his arm. I’d assume they’re full of something lethal.

    In four, I can only assume that the heavier balls in the seesaw contraption are made of snow, or ice. That way, when they melt, the softballs attached to strings will fall, flipping the switch on the machine, and removing the blockage from the ramp containing 5 balls each. Once the machine is on, and the hard balls are fed, it will deliver 20 hits to the head.

    In five, the candles will burn down until they light the strips of fabric leading to what I’m assuming is compressed flammable gas (ie propane), that is either unstable or leaking. Either way, fire and gas isn’t a good mix.

    In nine, He has a pistol facing his chest, with a string attached to the trigger. The rigging on the end of the line looks odd, but I can assume there is either (a) a fish in the sink or (b) something that will pull/snag the line, pulling the trigger, and killing himself.

    Hope that clears things up, as thats my logic to them anyways. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

  13. Mao says:

    Adam from what i can tell in picture 1 when the mice go through the tubes to the cheese they’ll set off the trap which is rigged to shoot needles(probably with poison in them) into his face. 4 is a bunch of pitching machines aimed at homies head and 5 is candles attached to fuses that are connected to a pot presumably filled with gas. as fr 9 and 11 you got me.

  14. Sougou says:

    I like suicide with bunnies better >x<

  15. petrizzle says:

    suicide is hilarious!

  16. guess says:

    1 has needles on mouse traps and the mice in the box will cause them to go into his arm
    4 is just getting hit in the head repeatedly by baseballs would hurt
    5 the candles will burn up the sheets and cause the gas can to kill him
    and i dont get 9 either

  17. ADS says:

    ha the baseball one, he is wearing a brewers jersey… i’m a brewers fan :/ haha

  18. Fernando says:

    In pic 5, the candles will burn down to the wick igniting them and the fire will travel up to the gas can… Don’t know about the others…

  19. Anthony says:

    1- The movement of the mice set off the traps, the needles are attached to the traps.
    2- Yes, there’s a train coming
    3- Dog gets a treat, master gets a shell
    4- A timer on the right side machine sets them off.. all 4 at once..
    5- The candles burn down to ignite the gas-soaked ropes that lead to the kerosene tank
    6, 7, and 8- If i have to explain these, attempt number 5.
    9- Electric fishing, oh.. a bite…
    10- The iron burns the rope, then the knife drops
    11, 12- Refer to the description for 6,7 and 8.

  20. Cammykinnis says:

    Eh, I don’t get it.

  21. Peter says:


    From what I can tell, 1 involves the mice triggering the traps which will in turn force the syringes into his arms.

    4 involves high-speed pitching machines launching baseballs at his head.

  22. Maissi says:

    1= needles rigged to mousetraps.
    4= Baseball “launcher”
    5= candels burn out and the string catches fire leading to a can of gas in his lap.
    9= ?

  23. kees says:

    1: mice and mousetraps, when the mice stap on the traps the needles will be injected in his arms.
    4:”looks like blocks on ice on planks, that will activate the ball shooters (sry for bas english)
    5: candles with ropes attached to something explosive?
    9: no idea, looks interesting.

    nice collection

  24. hevach says:

    “I can’t really tell what the mechanisms are for pictures 1, 4, 5, and 9. Can someone explain?”

    1: Two rats in the cage, syringes attached to rat traps. The rats go down the tubes and trigger the traps, which move the syringes.
    4: Hard to tell in black and white, looks like another ice see-saw setup, only with ice balls instead of the block.
    5: The candles burn down and eventually light the wicks to what looks like an old gas can.
    9: I have no idea what’s going on in this one.

  25. Mark says:

    1. needles rigged to mousetraps.
    2.chained to ralroad tracks.
    3. gun aimed at his head, trigger will go off if dog eats the little snack.
    4.iceballs melt, all the baseballs get launched at his head.
    5.candels burn out and the string catches fire leading to a can of gas in his lap.
    6.water is pouring into the pool while he waits chained at the bottom. block melts=him hanged
    8.tractor is going to pass over his head.
    10.iron burns through string releasing the knife.
    11.tanned to death?
    12.classic toaster in the bathtub electruction.

  26. Chaim says:

    It would be morbidly ironic if he happened to get killed while making one of these.

    I think #9 would work this way…he is fishing, and when the bait is taken and the line is pulled on it will pull the float into the water and complete an electrical circuit, causing him to be electrocuted.

    I can’t figure out #11.

  27. Yazz says:

    #9 is fishing with a line connected to a gun trigger, pointing it at his heart. The fish pulls the line and fires the gun.

  28. GentleG says:

    9- the fishing line is connected to the trigger on the pistol. when the fish bites, bam

  29. Mr T says:

    LOL – Kinda like a evil overlords plot to kill James bond, giving him enough time to escape.

  30. thedahm says:

    9: Instead of a reel, the fishing pole is fitted with a gun.

    Pretty neat stuff.

  31. not sure says:

    9. fishing with a Light(n)ing rod? looks like he’s got a light n stuff rigged to it drop it in some water w him on a conducted surface.

  32. Cory says:

    Number 9: He has a fishing pole in his hands. The fishing line is attached to the plug at the bottom of the sink. When the line is pulled in, the water starts to drain and the apparatus in the sink lowers. This pulls the rope attached to the trigger of the revolver.

  33. Ben says:

    for 9 it looks like he has a metal rod attached to fishing rod,
    the metal rod is suspended by books with electrical appliances in front and behind it.
    it seems as though any movement of the rod will cause the appliances to fall into the water (where his feet are currently placed)
    and he’d die of electrocution

  34. mike says:

    reminds me of that suicide rabbit comic.

  35. Lucas says:

    Uh, The ice one wouldnt work, because the ice would slowly melt, meaning you would slowly get pushed down, wouldnt give you the snapping effect, like when you are actually hanged.

  36. Pinky & the Brain says:

    9. Fish tank on stools in sink, fish in sink, lure hanging from line into tank, line attached to trigger of gun mounted on pole. The electrical items are intrinsic to the setting.

  37. Adam says:

    9. looks to me like there is some kind of weight on the end of the line and a flotation device a little higher up. the lamp melts float device, which in turns sinks the weight, pulls the trigger, and bam.

  38. Bryan W. says:

    This is by far the most STUPID SHIT I’ve ever seen in all my 46 yrs. of suckin air! GET A FUCKIN LIFE MAN……jeeezzzzz

  39. Joseph says:

    Lucas, you wouldn’t get the “snap”, but you would slowly be strangled. It would work.

  40. Euronymous says:

    It’s a lot more interesting reading these comments of people who try to understand Pic 9 without seeing the pistol or reading the comments further. :)

  41. Mads Pedersen says:

    Its a bit hard to tell due to the small size.

    But in number nine he is clearly sitting with a fishing rod, on this rod is a pistol mounted, attached to the pistols trigger is a string, this string extend out through the fishing rods rings and in to, what looks like an aquarium, with a fish in, I guess the general idea here is the fish will bite the bait, pull the string, thus pulling the trigger on the gun.

    You can vaguely see the fish in the bottom right of the tank, it makes it a little confusing he seem to be sitting in his photo darkroom though.

    Anyways, thats my guess :)

  42. Trevor says:

    I have that EXACT timer in my photo lab. I used it to develop some film just the other day. I think that struck me the most as how ironic and humerous, yet still very human all these pieces are.

  43. Katie says:

    Number 9) He is going fishing, one side of the line is attachted to a trigger and the other has a hook with bait in the fish tank. In the bottom right hand corner you can see the fish and when the fish grabs the bait it will pull the trigger.

  44. Samantha says:

    Number 9 is a pistol attached to a fishing rod. When the fish catches the bait it will pull the line and trigger the pistol into the man’s chest.

  45. Pvc Machine says:

    Outstanding article it is actually. My mother has been awaiting for this info.

  46. Pingback: Serie “Suicidios” de Bill Thomas | Zona Fotográfica

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