In September 2013, a trio of men dove off 1 World Trade Center in a daring 1,368-foot BASE jump. Those men—James Brady, 32; Andrew Rossig, 33; Marko Markovich, 26 (and lookout Kyle Hartwell, 29)—all turned themselves into police, and the three jumpers were all hit with burglary, reckless endangerment and illegal BASE jumping charges. The trial for the men began this week, and one piece of evidence stands out in particular: a letter Rossig left his mother warning her he was about to get into a "heap of trouble."
"If you’re reading this, Rob probably called you, And you have heard that I went to jump the Freedom tower and am now in a heap of trouble," Rossig wrote his mom in a letter hours before the jump. Assuming he would be facing jail, Rossig told her that he set aside $8,000 for “to cover bills for a while."
"If I’m gonna be away for longer than 6 mo sell the property all the info for it and the house is in the file cab," he wrote of the home he owns. "I love you very much and I needed to write some History so sorry again, Love Andrew."
According to the Post, Detective John McGrade, who executed the search warrant on Rossig’s Upstate home and found the letter, also read jurors entries from a diary that "details 370 of Rossig’s BASE jumps including off the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, a cliff in Switzerland and the World Trade Center."
Brady, who wore the GoPro helmet from which the video below was taken, was one of the ironworkers who helped build 1 WTC. He also was one of four workers to help Time Magazine take a breathtaking 360-degree interactive photo from 1 WTC’s spire. And in the wake of the jump, he and his cohorts were talked about like folk heroes a la legendary tightrope walker Philippe Petit.