Econo-cide: Financial Woes Turn Deadly

In the United Kingdom, Kirk Stephenson, the London-based chief operating officer of an investment firm, died after stepping in front of a train in September. His firm had lost assets in connection to the bankruptcy of former brokerage giant Lehman Brothers and, the Wall Street Journal reported, friends said that Stephenson had been under great pressure at work.

Stephenson, 47, was married and had an 8-year-old son.

Broken by the Financial Crisis

In Germany, billionaire Adolf Merckle, 74, also died after being hit by a train. His family confirmed in a statement earlier this month that he had killed himself, according to the AP.

Adolf Merckle, one of Germany's wealthiest men, committed suicide after his family business empire began unraveling amid mounting debt.

Merckle's holding company, VEM Vermoegensverwaltung -- which owned a stake in the automaker Volkswagen -- had been struggling with escalating debt and heavy losses.

"The distress to his firms caused by the financial crisis and the related uncertainties of recent weeks, along with the helplessness of no longer being able to act, broke the passionate family businessman, and he ended his life," the family's statement said.

For French financier Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, it was the loss of both his family's and his clients' money that apparently led to his suicide.

Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet lost both his family's and his clients' money in the giant Ponzi scheme allegedly perpetrated by Bernard Madoff. Villehuchet killed himself in December.

Villehuchet, 65, reportedly lost more than $1 billion of his clients' money through investments with Bernard L. Madoff, who was later accused of running the largest pyramid scheme in history.

Villehuchet was found dead in his New York office in late December.

The Associated Press and ABC News' Sarah Netter contributed to this report.

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