meet casey

Casey was born [name withheld] on May 3, 1990 to [her mother, name withheld] in Gizycko, Suwalki Province in the Polish People’s Republic (now Republic of Poland). Gizycko is located in Poland’s Lake District approximately 125 miles northeast of Warsaw. It is 50 miles from the Lithuanian border to the east and 25 miles from the border of the Kaliningrad Oblast enclave (which is part of the Russian Federation) to the north. The Lake District is a beautiful rural area of small towns, rolling hills, lakes and farms similar to Wisconsin or Vermont.

Casey was born premature - about 3 lbs. at birth - and had a twin sister who died at birth. Because of her frail condition, Casey spent a number of months in the hospital in an incubator before she was transferred to the Dom Dziecka (Children’s Home) in Mrongovo. We received Casey from the orphanage in July, 1991, and brought her home to Simsbury, CT. in August after obtaining her US visa. Her name - Casey - means “brave”; we kept her birth name, Joanna, as her middle name.

She lived in Simsbury until age 4 when we moved to Tiburon, CA. Here, Casey attended kindergarten through her senior year at Redwood High School where she would have graduated in May, 2008, and then gone onto Bennington College that fall, where she gained early admission.

Casey’s Story

About Her

Relationship Status:          Single

Interested In:                     Men

Political Views:                  Very liberal. She would have voted for Obama.

Religious Views:                Atheist without the negative connotation that comes with it

Favorite Bands:                 Grateful Dead, Radiohead, Beatles, Eek-a-Mouse, Cunninlynguists, Andre Nickatina

Favorite TV Shows:           Would claim she doesn’t watch tv, except for: Nip Tuck, Family Guy, America’s Next Top Model, Project Runway, CSI,  

                                          South Park, American Dad, Network News (with Dad).

Favorite Movies:                All of the Disney animated movies, Garden State, Fight Club, Scanner Darkly, i huckabees, Anchorman, Zoolander,

                                          Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Cruel Intentions, Sin City and anything starring Will Ferrel or

                                          Johnny Depp.

Favorite Exercise:             Dance Dance Revolution

Random:                            Acts paradoxically

                                          Is a lefty (i.e. left handed and left leaning)

                                          Could out-sarcastic you

                                          Hugs trees

                                          Could not decline to party if she tried

Astrological summary:       Casey was born a Taurus (Earth sign) with her moon in Leo (Fire sign). Thus, easy going yet very goal oriented, steady,

                                          forceful, independent, go getter, insightful, sees opportunities and has perseverance to achieve them. Inherent conflict in

                                          their expressions; especially between what they need and want and what they think and feel.  Such conflict can provide

                                          great strength  and motivation. Often resents authority of any kind.

                                          Famous Taurus/Leo’s:  Barbara Streisand.


Sarah Butler

Morgan Green

Julia Guarini

Jessica Tai



Alexander Lin

First Place, Childress Award

Redwood High School, 12th Grade

Waiting, a response

Maybe I am waiting for her to come back

to say it was all a cruel joke

or even to hear of her exploits in a far away state

or how she ran far away from home

I am not waiting for the landscape to change

I am not waiting for someone to change it

I am waiting to stop missing

whatever was in that hole

Even though I can’t quite remember

what used to be there

I am waiting, Lawrence, for relief.

See the things I see and I

can’t see where they go.

I am waiting for the enlightenment,

for the shade of Thoreau to say

“I want to learn! Is that not enough?”

Like she did.

I am waiting for Buddha

to smack me in the head with an epiphany.

I am waiting to cry

because I haven’t yet

and it scares me.

Does that make me more of a man,

because I feel my pain longer

instead of bleeding it onto so many sympathetic shoulders?

I am waiting for my new contacts to come in the mail

they’ll make me cry, and at least

afterwards the blur will go away.

I see them less and less in the halls now.

The walking sob machines

are subsided to normal life.

They stand in the hallways

talking to each other about the drama

for this sport

or at that party.

I stand in front of her locker,

standing with an unsheathed sharpie

unsure, unsure

There is a diet dr. pepper resting on her books

that wasn’t there before.

She liked to drink them.

I am waiting for the Experts to tell me on the 6 o’clock news

that the best way to stay on a diet

is by not drinking 16 ounces of nasty chemical sugar water.

I am waiting for the department stores to say

Save 100%, don’t walk in

I am waiting for society to say

we want you

not for your money or your firstborn children

or your death in our name

we just want you.

Authority makes eye contact passing by in the hall,

so I put my pen away.

I walk away.

I wait.

Lawrence, I am waiting, too.

I am not waiting for world peace

or the end of hunger

or even for the war to end

I am waiting for them to put up a fucking fence

to mar the beautiful face of our Gate

All it would take would be a few thousand dollars

A drop in the tax bucket, or better yet

A handful of the decadent Dragons

sitting on their piles of Gold in the hills around San Francisco

could donate a handful

And make it just a little harder

For a friend to drive ten minutes

And end her life in the space between the red steel

and the rolling sea.

A Speech By Roxanne Makoff to the GGB Board,  September, 2008

If you have ever thought about killing yourself please raise your hand. 

If you did not just raise your hand, you are lying.

From the opinions I have read and heard about building a suicide barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge, people today are viewing suicide and suicidal thoughts into a problem only messed up, psychotic, depressed people have. Do you consider yourself messed up, psychotic, and depressed?

The death of one of my best friends, Casey Joanna Brooks was an impulsive decision.  She did not think through the consequences of her actions and I’ll be the first to tell you that what she did was selfish and thoughtless, but I am also telling you today that with a barrier, she would still be among us.

Casey had issues, don’t get me wrong, but her issues only became life or death when she realized the accessibility of the Golden Gate Bridge. One of the most prevalent comments I read on the response to the Marin IJ article was: “if not this way, than another.” Casey would have never slit her wrists, hanged herself, or overdosed on pills to kill herself, her only method of suicide was the Golden Gate Bridge.  I have proof of this because just three weeks before her death, I was riding in her car with her across the Golden Gate Bridge when I casually asked her, “If you were to kill yourself, how would you do it?”  Call me stupid, call me messed up, call me whatever you want, but in this day and age, a question like this one isn’t uncommon.  Casey’s response: “The Golden Gate Bridge of course.  So beautiful, so easy, so clean.”  I agreed.

Had Casey been planning her suicide?  No.  She was not previously suicidal.  The night of Casey’s death she completed all of her homework, studied for all of her tests, and carried on normal conversation with us, her friends.  Somehow after all of this normality, Casey decided her life wasn’t worth living anymore.  It was early in the morning, a lack of sleep had gotten the best of her, and the cold-weather dampened her spirits and somehow in her mind she decided it was time to end her life.  Everyone in this room knows what it’s like to feel exhausted, upset, and alone – Casey’s emotions on the morning of January 29th.

What I’m trying to say is, the Golden Gate Bridge begs impulsive people to jump.  There is no mess in the death, no one is responsible for walking into a room and finding you hanging, bleeding, perpetually sleeping.  There is no cleaning up.  It’s plain and simple.  You jump, you die, your body is washed away. 

Build a suicide barrier.  It is imperative.  The loss of a life to suicide does not affect only the family and the close friends.  It affects an entire community.  Casey was a precious soul with an impulsive mind. Save our loved ones who are similar to Casey Brooks: eliminating the option of the Golden Gate Bridge in addition to increased awareness of suicide and lives will be saved.