Thursday, June 6, 2013
Alerted by the superintendent at John Littig and Lynne Rosen’s Brooklyn, N.Y., apartment building, New York City police found the seemingly happy spouses dead in their home Monday at 11:11 a.m. with plastic bags over their heads.
That their professions were based on promoting happiness and fulfilled lives has made the suicides even more confounding.
Each one had left a suicide note, an NYPD spokesman said, but because the investigation is ongoing, police have declined to reveal the contents.
Rosen, 46, was a consultant and radio talk-show host, according to her personal website. She was previously a psychotherapist-consultant at Inner Power Concepts. Littig, 48, was also a life coach, as well as a motivational speaker, workshop facilitator and a music artist who performed under the name Jadex.
Littig used his experiences as a teacher and performer to “help people find their inner confidence, and build on their real talents and competencies to reach their highest potential,” according to Rosen’s website.
The two frequently worked together. Rosen hosted a call-in talk show, “The Pursuit of Happiness,” on the New York City radio station WBAI. Littig often joined her as a co-host for the show, which focused on personal development.
They also co-founded “Why Not Now,” which their website describes as a life coaching business “designed to help foster and encourage your inner strengths, identify hidden and untapped resources, and put you confidently on the path to designing the life you’ve always wanted to live.”
The double suicide shocked the couple’s Park Slope neighborhood, where few neighbors appeared to have known them.
Lois Katz, who lives across the street from the couple’s apartment but had never met them, said she was shocked that a double-suicide could happen so close to her.
“It had never happened in this neighborhood,” said Katz, 81, who has lived in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn for nearly 50 years.
“I am shocked that someone who is a psychotherapist would have committed suicide,” she said on learning of Rosen’s profession.
But Dr. Peter Kanaris, a clinical psychologist and the coordinator of public education for the New York State Psychological Association, said “no particular group of people is immune to suicide, including mental health professionals.”
Noting that suicide rates among the middle-aged are rising, Kanaris said, “what’s always been a problem is becoming more of a problem and a case like this brings it to public attention.”