TV Death

ST.PAUL, Minn. Aug. 25, 1979 (AP) -- The parents of a 15-year-old boy who jumped 200 feet to his death from a bridge after Battlestar Galactica was canceled say the boy's whole life was wrapped up in the television space show.

"I hope we never ever see it on TV again, because it would just crush us," Dawn Seidel, the boy's stepmother, said Saturday.

Eddie Seidel Jr. was buried Friday. He committed suicide in the pre-dawn darkness Wednesday after telling police from his perch on the High Bridge railing that he was upset that Battlestar Galactica had been dropped by the ABC network.

"I talked about suing ABC or doing something," Mrs. Seidel said. "But my husband said to just leave things like they are and not make a big hassle out of it.

"I know it's not their fault because they had the program."

Like many a teen-age boy, Eddie was deeply absorbed with outer space subjects.

For Eddie, said Mrs. Seidel, it meant a roomful of posters, magazines, plastic models and other paraphernalia about Battlestar Galactica.

"They made a lot of money off him," she said. "He bought everything put on the market. He also took tape recordings of all the shows."

Eddie's world was wrapped up in the programs he viewed in his own bedroom, on a TV set he bought.

His father, Edward Seidel Sr., described Eddie as a sometimes brilliant boy who couldn't find enough in life to keep him interested.

The father said he learned about four years ago the boy had been sniffing gas with friends so he sent him to a psychiatrist.

"The psychiatrist said he was just kind of bored with life, that there was nothing here for him to excel in," said Seidel. "There was no real challenge here on this earth.

His stepmother said he got Bs and B-pluses in school, and an occasional A, but that he was mostly bored with classes.

Seidel said his son came home from his job as a supermarket stockboy about 5 p.m. Tuesday, apparently in good spirits.

The boy went to his room to watch television. The family did not see him the rest of the night. When his 19-year-old sister, Crystal, passed Eddie's door later that night, she found a note -- his last will and testament. He had gone off on his motorbike.

He told his parents in the note they'd find his body under the High Bridge, a half-mile, two-lane link between downtown St. Paul and the suburb of West St. Paul. The Seidels reached it about 10 minutes after Eddie had jumped and landed on ground beside the river.

Seidel said when Eddie learned last spring that Battlestar Galactica was being canceled, he contacted the ABC network to ask officials to keep it on. The last rerun of the program was shown Aug. 5.

"I really should have tried to get him into a gifted chldren type situation," Seidel said. "But it's too late to look back and say I should have."

He said he didn't realize what an influence a TV program could have on his son.

"I was never sure it did influence kids that bad, but now I'm convinced it does," he said.