Cynthia Wachenheim, a 44-year-old lawyer, jumped out of a window in Harlem Wednesday with her son, Keston, strapped to her chest, the New York Daily News reported.
The mother left a 13-page suicide note, chastising herself for being a bad mother. Her husband, Hal Bacharach, 48, was at work at the time.
Wachenheim landed on her back and died at the scene. Keston survived the plunge with only minor injuries.
"I heard a small scream when she was in the air," said witness Steven Dominguez, 18. "I noticed something falling, but I didn't want to believe it was a person."
Wachenheim worked for the city court system for more than 15 years.
"She was wonderful -- very devoted to the court [and] wonderful with everyone she worked with," said her boss, John Werner, chief court clerk. "It's a tragedy."