A History of Modeling Tragedies

The news media has been totally transfixed by the suicide of Ruslana Korshunova, the 20-year-old Kazakhstan native who jumped nine stories to her death this weekend, possibly on account of boyfriend troubles. The combination of gorgeous girl and grisly death is a winning one, at least as far as selling papers and generating TV ratings goes. But Korshunova is hardly the first model to go from the catwalk to the morgue (or to become front-page tabloid news for some terribly unfortunate incident). In fact, fate kind of seems to have it out for models. A roundup of model industry tragedies below.

A History of Modeling Tragedies

Audrey Lindvall
The sister of supermodel Angela Lindvall, New York-based Audrey was visiting family in Summit, Missouri in August 2006 when she fell off her bike at a gas station and then got run over by a gas tanker that was pulling into the station. She'd appeared in magazines like Nylon and Jane as well in as ads for Coach and Ann Taylor; she was just 23 at the time of her death. [more...]

A History of Modeling Tragedies

Heather Bratton
The 19-year-old was was on her way to Newark Airport on July 22, 2006 when the taxi she was in broke down in the center lane of the New Jersey Turnpike. The car was then rear-ended and became engulfed in flames; Bratton was trapped inside. She'd only modeled professionally for one year prior to her death, but had already done shows for Gucci and Prada and landed on the cover of Italian Vogue. [more...]

A History of Modeling Tragedies

Sally Ann Bowman
In an especially grim case, in 2005 blonde, six-foot, 17-year-old British model Sally Ann Bowman was brutally attacked in her south London home by the deranged chef at a local pub. He stabbed her seven times and then allegedly had sex with her corpse. He was sentenced to life in prison. [more...]

A History of Modeling Tragedies

Niki Taylor
'90s supermodel Niki Taylor—who set a record in May 1996 by appearing on the covers of six major women's magazines in one month (Allure, Marie Claire, Vogue, Elle, Self, Shape)— was nearly killed in a May 2001 car accident after her driver crashed into a utility pole while trying to answer his cell phone. She spent six weeks unconscious after the accident and ultimately underwent 56 surgeries to treat her injuries, including a collapsed lung and a torn liver. Adding insult to injury, she later became addicted to the Vicodin she took to deal with the pain. [more...]

A History of Modeling Tragedies

Krissy Taylor
Niki's 17-year-old sister died abruptly in 1995 (Niki found her unconscious on the floor of the family home) from what was eventually diagnosed as a rare heart disorder called arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia. Before her death she'd signed with IMG and had shown up in the pages of Elle, Glamour, and Vogue [more...]

A History of Modeling Tragedies

Marla Hanson
Missouri transplant Hanson was an up-and-coming 24-year-old model in 1986 when she turned her landlord down for a date. He later hired two goons to attack her outside her apartment building, one of whom cut up her face with a razor blade; she ended up receiving more than 100 stitches. The attack ended her modeling career and she says she suffered from crippling PTSD for years afterward; she endured the additional trauma of dating Jay McInerney for four years beginning in 1987. [more...]

A History of Modeling Tragedies

Heather Stohler
Born Heather Arrick, Stohler appeared in Calvin Klein ads alongside Kate Moss. In May 2008, at the age of 29, she died after a house fire swept through the Vincennes, Indiana apartment she shared with her 26-year-old boyfriend, who also lost his life in the fire. The blaze was later determined to have been an accident. [more...]

A History of Modeling Tragedies

Ana Carolina Reston
The Brazilian model, who had appeared in campaigns for Giorgio Armani and been repped by Ford and Elite, died of a generalized infection caused by anorexia in November 2006. The 5-foot-8 Reston weighed only 88 pounds at the time of her death.