American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Rappel Failure and Fall from Building, Jilted, Illinois, Chicago

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1989


Illinois, Chicago

Dale Moll (33) fell 16 stories while attempting to use television cables on the roof of a highrise to rappel down to the window of his girlfriend’s fifteenth floor apartment. Less than a half hour later, Robert Harris (25) fell from an eighth story ledge of a public housing complex while trying to get into his apartment after his girlfriend locked him out.

Both men died in these endeavors. (Source: From an Associated Press report.)


Moll stopped at a sixteenth floor apartment, but swung away when a woman inside screamed. Then the cable snapped. We don’t know the kind of line Moll was attached to, so we can’t comment on what the strength of antenae wire versus cable wire, etc., might be like. We should mention two things. One, this is not in the data; two, a Patrolman from the Chicago Police Department said, “I don’t think any girl is worth it to climb that high.”

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