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White-shoe firm worker takes death leap

New York Daily News, September, 29, 2004
By Greg Gittrich and Nancy Dillon

An elderly bike messenger dived 10 stories to his death inside a top midtown law office yesterday, shocking longtime co-workers who saw his crumpled body in the firm's luxurious reception area.

Manhattan resident Stanley Goldsmith "apparently jumped from the railing of an interior staircase" about 9:15 a.m. and landed in the 38th floor lobby of Cravath Swaine & Moore in the Worldwide Plaza building on Eighth Ave., a law firm spokeswoman said.

Goldsmith, 69, did not leave a note, cops said.

"I heard a loud thud, like somebody dropped something heavy," said a mailroom worker who did not want his name used. "I turned around and saw him just lying there motionless. He had blood on his head. I couldn't believe it."

Other co-workers recalled Goldsmith as a soft-spoken fixture with white hair who often arrived at work by 6 a.m. and greeted friends with a hello.

The Cravath spokeswoman called the incident "tragic and distressing." She said Goldsmith had worked 14 years for the firm.

The incident followed a similar suicide a day earlier inside the Time Warner Center's retail mall.

On Monday, a struggling artist who battled schizophrenia climbed over a fourth-floor glass railing and plunged to his death in front of a Williams-Sonoma store.


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