Suzanne Wangler is dead

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Some of you may remember a few years back when I ran The Diner (at Penda’s Realm) that I had a few articles on Suzanne Wangler. She had attempted to shoplift several hundred dollars worth of groceries from a market and I’d called her out on it. (as soon as I move the archives to my new server, I’ll repost it – lots of people seem to be looking for it.)

(Edit: I put up a search bar in the sidebar on the moved blog– there are five articles in all:


It was my way back then. Consequently she’d e-mailed me and apologized and we made peace. It was nice because that almost never happens. She had other problems, depression chief among them and it was clear to me in her letters that she wanted to get right so she could see her kids.

That looks like it will never happen now.

She was arrested earlier last week for alleged embezzlement and over the weekend she hung herself in her home. This makes me pretty sad because I can understand the pain and helplessness she was going through – especially when it seems the whole world is after you and you can’t catch a break.

I offer my condolences to her family and especially her kids. This doesn’t cosmically right the scales or erase every thing she did. She had problems and issues and others were left holding the bag for her mistakes. I’m torn between wanting to think she was just overwhelmed with her issues and believing if she was just looking for a quick way out.

She was trying guys, and couldn’t seem to catch a break.

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Just this fox. I'm a writer of horror and dark fantasy. I totally don't brag about it. The latter statement is an utter lie.
  • bookfraud
    February 26, 2008 - 2:20 pm

    what a heartbreaking post. i have just discovered your blog, and feel like i know suzanne.

    used to live in ann arbor (for the typical reason); it’s good to read detroit-esque posts.

    i don’t know how i stumbled upon your blog, but i’m glad i did.

  • ummsw
    February 27, 2008 - 10:52 pm

    I have been haunted since hearing of her death. As a divorced single
    parent I have great empathy for things she may have encountered after
    her divorce.
    As a mental health professional i am STUNNED that no one intervened earlier.
    Here is a seemingly normal suburban housewife and mom , by all accounts ( I know
    many people who knew her)…To see such a radical behavior change ie shoplifting
    $600 worth of grocerries for starter, moving on to child endangerment… I am
    very dismayed with WXYZ and their ambush tactics at work. She obviously
    made some poor choices and had minimal coping mechanisms.
    Maybe we will never know and that is probably a good thing. MY heart goes
    out to her four children and how it will impact and possibly define their lives.
    with out some help.. Suzanne I’m so sorry for your pain, I wish someone had
    been ther eto intervene and reach out to help sooner

  • bookfraud
    February 28, 2008 - 11:47 am

    as a mental health professional, you may have been stunned that there was no earlier intervention, but as a uninformed, biased observer, it doesn’t surprise me. every state has cut back its spending on mental health services. in new york, for instance, a paranoid schizophrenic pushed a woman in front of a subway train after he was released from a state-run institution, because they didn’t have the budget to keep him.

    sorry about the mini-polemic there.

  • ummsw
    February 28, 2008 - 12:21 pm

    I appreciate the observation reagrding services and financial cutbacks
    (something I’m painfully aware of)…. I think my ( possibly naive) thought
    was she came from a backgroungd were services are genrally accessiable.
    She did have a social network and friends who were well aware of what was
    happening. I know how reluctant people can be to get involved, but for future
    purposes i hope people take note and please step in when you see a person
    begin to exhibit such desperate behavior.

  • littleblackduck
    February 28, 2008 - 2:31 pm

    I have to agree with Umm (we really should find you a proper name). She had friends and family who saw her on a daily basis. Suicide isn’t a spur of the moment decision, and hanging isn’t a method commonly employed by women. When she quit her job a few weeks back someone should have stayed with her, little red flags complete with blaring klaxons should have tipped someone off that something was very wrong.

    Instead it was, ‘k Suzanne – let us know if there’s anything we can do for you’ which is just a euphemism for ‘be a dear and work this out on your own.’

    People can be willfully blind, so when things like this happen they can try to convince themselves that there was nothing that could be done.

  • […] past my biggest draw was a series of blogs I did on the late Suzanne Wangler, a local reporter who took her own tragic  life life a few winters ago. Checking the Dashboard there have also been variations on “little […]

  • Katie
    September 4, 2009 - 11:31 pm

    You know she had wonderful kids, and family tried to help her, but she was an idependant women. SHE WAS A GREAT PERSON if all your going to write is bad things “pendea the diner realms” THEN DONT: GET A LIFE> NOT EVRYONE IS PERFECTSO BACK OFF HER CASE I KNEW HER PERSONALLY AND SHE WAS GREAT > HER CHILDREN WERE BEAUTIFUL< SMAT< AND FUN-loving . so please reconsider your crude words.

    • little black duck
      September 5, 2009 - 10:28 am

      Reconsider what words, Katie? You’d know I’ve already made my peace had you bothered to read any of those links. There’s a story there. Get a bright 12-year old to read it to you.

      Get that same 12-year old to check your spelling and punctuation. And I think your CAPSLOCK is stuck. Sheesh.

      I’m not removing my archives just because you’re in the mood to be offended. I don’t modify words I make because the status has changed, hence the links to all of the posts I made on the subject (which you could bother to read, were you not so utterly aggrieved <– it's a big word, is that kid still around?).

      Ego-surfing years after the fact is a sign of mental defect. It's been almost two years and you're still plugging her name into search engines?

      Get help.

But how do you really feel?

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