Beauty queen finalist kills herself

Beauty queen finalist suicide

“I remember sitting in my room and thinking how hard life could be. At a young age you feel the world is weighing on your shoulders.”


A finalist in the Miss Universe New Zealand pageant has killed herself at the age of 23.

Amber-Lee Friis had her whole life ahead of her, but the demons of the past took over.

The young woman from Auckland, who was half-Samoan from her father’s side, was bullied in school because of her appearance. 

Classmates called her “Chimoan,” a racist term referring to her slanted eyes and tanned skin — a feature considered beautiful in the Miss Universe contest. She was 21 when she travelled to Thailand as part of the 2018 competition.

Amber-Lee’s home life as a child was one of neglect and alienation. Many nights there was no dinner on the table, she once confided.

Tributes are pouring in from her friends.

‘Rest In Peace Amber-Lee, you are so loved by so many people,’ one posted to Amber-Lee’s Facebook page.

‘Beautiful inside and out Amber!! Thank you for always being a genuinely kind and loving friend,’ wrote another.

‘Rest in peace you Beautiful girl, I cherish every moment I spent with you till we see each other again,’ another heartbroken friend wrote.

Beauty queen finalist suicide
Amber-Lee Friis

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A Young Man’s Brief Dance of Death

Ian Curtis spoke to a young generation who suffered their own “desolation, emptiness and alienation.”

Room full of people, room for just one,
If I can’t break out now, the time just won’t come.

— Ian Curtis, ‘Something Must Break’

“It wasn’t until after his death that we really listened to Ian’s lyrics and clearly heard the inner turmoil in them.”
Bernard Sumner, Joy Division guitarist

Ian Curtis suicide at 23

Ian Curtis was a songwriter with the soul of a poet. The lead singer and lyricist of the post-punk band Joy Division. 

He recorded two albums with the group, Unknown Pleasures in 1979 and Closer in 1980. He had all the talent to be a huge star. But fate’s big strike against him was that he had epilepsy.

Several times during concerts he collapsed from epileptic seizures and had to be carried off the stage.

Ian Curtis suicide at 23

His songs were cries for help that touched the souls of his fans who suffered their own “desolation, emptiness and alienation.”

In 1975, Curtis married Deborah Woodruff. He was 19 and she was 18. They had a daughter, Natalie.

Ian Curtis suicide at 23
Ian, Deborah and baby

But as the lives of rock musicians go, Ian began an affair with a Belgian journalist Annik Honoré.

Deborah found out about it and in 1980 filed for divorce.

Annik Honoré

On the evening of May 17, 1980, Ian told the band’s guitarist, Bernard Sumner, that he had to see his wife that night. Ian and Bernard also discussed meeting the rest of the band at Manchester Airport the following day to begin their first American tour, a tour that deeply concerned him.  He had told Deborah he feared American audiences would mock his epilepsy.

When he was with Deborah later that night, he asked her to drop the divorce proceedings. Knowing he was upset and remembering an earlier suicide attempt she offered to spend the night with him.


But he said he needed to be alone, telling her he would drop by her house the next morning on his way to taking off for America.

That night he listened to Iggy Pop’s 1977 album The Idiot, and watched Werner Herzog’s 1977 film Stroszek about a musician who moves to America, is betrayed by his girlfriend and ends up killing himself.

In the early hours of the next morning, May 18, he wound a rope around his neck and hanged himself. He was 23.

He left a note to Deborah, declaring his love for her. She wrote about it in her biography, Touching from a Distance.

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Book on alienation still an ‘Angry Young Man’ classic

Written by a 24-year-old Englishman in the Reading Room of the British Museum while he was living in a sleeping bag on London’s Hampstead Heath.

Remembering Colin Wilson

Died on this day, December 5, 2013, in Cornwall. He was 82.

’The Outsider’ has been translated into more than thirty languages, including Russian and Chinese. It has never been out of print since being published on May 28, 1956.

The book sold 20,000 copies in the first two months, immediately securing Wilson’s position amongst the “Angry Young Men” of British literature, alongside the likes of Kingsley Amis and John Osborne.

“It seemed to me at the time,” Wilson said on the 50th anniversary of its publication,  “one of the most important books ever written, and fifty years later it still seems one of the most important books I’ve ever written.”

Wilson analyses the works and lives of various authors and artists, including Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, H.G. Wells, Franz Kafka, T.S. Eliot, Hermann Hesse, Rainer Rilke, T.E. Lawrence, and Vincent Van Gogh.

”It struck me,” Wilson wrote in his notebook two years before he wrote the book, “that I was in the position of so many of my favourite characters in fiction: Dostoevsky’s Raskolnikov, Camus’ Meursault, Rilke’s Malte Laurids Brigge — alone in my room, feeling totally cut off from the rest of society. It was not a position I relished. Yet an inner compulsion had forced me into this position of isolation. I began writing about it in my journal. And then, quite suddenly, I saw that I had the makings of a book. I turned to the back of my journal and wrote at the head of the page: ‘Notes for a book The Outsider in Literature’…”

Following the immediate success of ‘The Outsider,’ Wilson wrote more than 150 books in a variety of genres — serial killers, alien abductions, criminology and the occult. His science fiction novels such as ‘The Spider World’ trilogy and ’The Space Vampires’ gave him a loyal cult following.

But he never achieved the same success as he did with ‘The Outsider’ and literary critics never let him forget it. Wilson often spoke of “the tremendous backlash, and the attacks on me which I found pretty hard going.”