Pearl Jam: Jeremy's Mom Speaks Out

The mother of Jeremy Wade Delle, the Richardson, Texas student who committed suicide in front of his English class, inspiring the Pearl Jam song titled after his first name, has broken a 27-year silence about the incident.


Speaking to Dallas-Fort Worth TV station WFAA, Wanda Crane opened up about her son, saying that the "day that he died did not define his life. He was a son, a brother, a nephew, a cousin, a grandson. He was a friend. He was talented." Indeed, Delle had won prizes for his artwork at a young age and his mother proudly showed a couple of his drawings, including one of an elephant that won first prize at the Texas State Fair.

Crane says she still doesn't know why Jeremy killed himself, and that she would "go into a fog" when she thought about the fact that he had murdered himself in front of a room full of children. Twelve years ago she began leading a grief support group at her church.

A classmate of Jeremy's, Brittany King, also spoke for the piece. She appeared to still be haunted by her decision to look at him after he has shot himself with a .357 Magnum. "I remember thinking that. 'Should I look?' And I did, I looked. I don't know why. I don't know why I looked. And I'll never forget. I will never forget it."

Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament and Eddie Vedder wrote the song very soon after the January 1991 shooting was reported in the papers and played it when they went on tour opening for Alice in Chains a month later. Vedder has since said he had two inspirations for the song, the report of Delle's death and a classmate of his in San Diego named Brian, who once shot up a classroom.

Mike Bell

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