When Betty Williams’ boyfriend, Mack Herring, broke up with her during their senior year of high school, her entire world felt like it was collapsing in on her. She had been struggling with depression and anxiety for some time, all of which seemed compounded by the problems of a society and culture that in 1961 seemed steadfastly unwilling to accept her for who she was. For Betty, death seemed the only way to free herself from the losing battle she had been fighting; however, despite her commitment to ending her life, Betty simply didn’t have what she described as “the fortitude necessary” to go through with it. Instead, she begged one last thing of the young man who had just broken her heart—she wanted him to pull the trigger for her.
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