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Chatroom Suicide

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Online chatroom users saw father hang himself in front of webcam

 

Karen McVeigh

Saturday March 24, 2007

Guardian

 

Police are investigating the death of a father of two who broadcast himself committing suicide over the internet. Viewers to an online chatroom watched as Kevin Whitrick, 42, hanged himself in front of his webcam.

 

One internet user saw Mr Whitrick begin to "self-harm" and contacted local police in the West Midlands. They then contacted the West Mercia force. Officers broke into Mr Whitrick's flat in the Wellington area of Telford, Shropshire, and tried to resuscitate him, but it was too late. He was declared dead just after 11.15pm on Wednesday.

 

Mr Whitrick's former wife, who did not want to be named, paid tribute to him as a "loving father and family man".

 

She said: "He was always the life and soul of the party, an extremely considerate and kind person and loved by many. He will be so sadly missed by us all. Unfortunately, Kevin had a very serious car accident last July and had never fully recovered back to full health."

 

Detective Chief Inspector Jon Groves, leading the investigation, said: "Our inquiries have revealed that Mr Whitrick was using a chatroom with a number of other people at the time of his death. Police have managed to secure some of the necessary internet files and these will form part of our investigation.

 

"We are working to ensure that witness support facilities are available to those who may have been affected by what they saw. We also have family liaison officers in place to support Kevin's family."

 

Users of the internet site where the chatroom was based said some people had been encouraging Mr Whitrick, while others had tried to get him to stop.

 

Mr Whitrick, who worked at RMW electrical services, had been living in his flat for a year after separating from his wife. The couple had 12-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, who neighbours said visited their father at weekends. They live with their mother nearby.

 

Neighbours described Mr Whitrick as being "happy and friendly" but said his mood was subdued the night he died.

 

Sharon Atwal, from a cornershop opposite Mr Whitrick's flat said: "Every night he'd take eight cans of Boddington's bitter from the fridge and re-stock it with the cans from the shelf. He always seemed quite cheerful."

 

She said he "did not seem himself" on Wednesday and also failed to restock the fridge for the first time.

 

"It was as if he knew he wouldn't be coming back" she said. Her brother Bobby said: "Last week, he told me about his chat room. He was excited and said he had set it up himself. He said he had been speaking to people in Australia on his webcam." A postmortem examination yesterday confirmed that Mr Whitrick died by hanging.

 

Local MP for the Wrekin, Mark Pitchard, said: "This is a very sad and rare incident. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. It is important that the use of the internet in this death is fully investigated."

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,...rss&feed=11

 

:lol:

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Guest Patrokles

Online chatroom users saw father hang himself in front of webcam

 

Karen McVeigh

Saturday March 24, 2007

Guardian

 

Police are investigating the death of a father of two who broadcast himself committing suicide over the internet. Viewers to an online chatroom watched as Kevin Whitrick, 42, hanged himself in front of his webcam.

 

One internet user saw Mr Whitrick begin to "self-harm" and contacted local police in the West Midlands. They then contacted the West Mercia force. Officers broke into Mr Whitrick's flat in the Wellington area of Telford, Shropshire, and tried to resuscitate him, but it was too late. He was declared dead just after 11.15pm on Wednesday.

 

Mr Whitrick's former wife, who did not want to be named, paid tribute to him as a "loving father and family man".

 

She said: "He was always the life and soul of the party, an extremely considerate and kind person and loved by many. He will be so sadly missed by us all. Unfortunately, Kevin had a very serious car accident last July and had never fully recovered back to full health."

 

Detective Chief Inspector Jon Groves, leading the investigation, said: "Our inquiries have revealed that Mr Whitrick was using a chatroom with a number of other people at the time of his death. Police have managed to secure some of the necessary internet files and these will form part of our investigation.

 

"We are working to ensure that witness support facilities are available to those who may have been affected by what they saw. We also have family liaison officers in place to support Kevin's family."

 

Users of the internet site where the chatroom was based said some people had been encouraging Mr Whitrick, while others had tried to get him to stop.

 

Mr Whitrick, who worked at RMW electrical services, had been living in his flat for a year after separating from his wife. The couple had 12-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, who neighbours said visited their father at weekends. They live with their mother nearby.

 

Neighbours described Mr Whitrick as being "happy and friendly" but said his mood was subdued the night he died.

 

Sharon Atwal, from a cornershop opposite Mr Whitrick's flat said: "Every night he'd take eight cans of Boddington's bitter from the fridge and re-stock it with the cans from the shelf. He always seemed quite cheerful."

 

She said he "did not seem himself" on Wednesday and also failed to restock the fridge for the first time.

 

"It was as if he knew he wouldn't be coming back" she said. Her brother Bobby said: "Last week, he told me about his chat room. He was excited and said he had set it up himself. He said he had been speaking to people in Australia on his webcam." A postmortem examination yesterday confirmed that Mr Whitrick died by hanging.

 

Local MP for the Wrekin, Mark Pitchard, said: "This is a very sad and rare incident. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. It is important that the use of the internet in this death is fully investigated."

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,...rss&feed=11

 

:lol:

 

you reckon?

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Guest Patrokles

As an aside, I hate all this digging around after someone's died. If the cause of death is clear, then let it lie. Don't go investigating someone's personal artefacts after they've died.

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Online chatroom users saw father hang himself in front of webcam

 

Karen McVeigh

Saturday March 24, 2007

Guardian

 

Police are investigating the death of a father of two who broadcast himself committing suicide over the internet. Viewers to an online chatroom watched as Kevin Whitrick, 42, hanged himself in front of his webcam.

 

One internet user saw Mr Whitrick begin to "self-harm" and contacted local police in the West Midlands. They then contacted the West Mercia force. Officers broke into Mr Whitrick's flat in the Wellington area of Telford, Shropshire, and tried to resuscitate him, but it was too late. He was declared dead just after 11.15pm on Wednesday.

 

Mr Whitrick's former wife, who did not want to be named, paid tribute to him as a "loving father and family man".

 

She said: "He was always the life and soul of the party, an extremely considerate and kind person and loved by many. He will be so sadly missed by us all. Unfortunately, Kevin had a very serious car accident last July and had never fully recovered back to full health."

 

Detective Chief Inspector Jon Groves, leading the investigation, said: "Our inquiries have revealed that Mr Whitrick was using a chatroom with a number of other people at the time of his death. Police have managed to secure some of the necessary internet files and these will form part of our investigation.

 

"We are working to ensure that witness support facilities are available to those who may have been affected by what they saw. We also have family liaison officers in place to support Kevin's family."

 

Users of the internet site where the chatroom was based said some people had been encouraging Mr Whitrick, while others had tried to get him to stop.

 

Mr Whitrick, who worked at RMW electrical services, had been living in his flat for a year after separating from his wife. The couple had 12-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, who neighbours said visited their father at weekends. They live with their mother nearby.

 

Neighbours described Mr Whitrick as being "happy and friendly" but said his mood was subdued the night he died.

 

Sharon Atwal, from a cornershop opposite Mr Whitrick's flat said: "Every night he'd take eight cans of Boddington's bitter from the fridge and re-stock it with the cans from the shelf. He always seemed quite cheerful."

 

She said he "did not seem himself" on Wednesday and also failed to restock the fridge for the first time.

 

"It was as if he knew he wouldn't be coming back" she said. Her brother Bobby said: "Last week, he told me about his chat room. He was excited and said he had set it up himself. He said he had been speaking to people in Australia on his webcam." A postmortem examination yesterday confirmed that Mr Whitrick died by hanging.

 

Local MP for the Wrekin, Mark Pitchard, said: "This is a very sad and rare incident. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. It is important that the use of the internet in this death is fully investigated."

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,...rss&feed=11

 

:unsure:

 

:lol:

 

Maybe they thought he was joking, but surely if he was also injuring himself first they would have known? Always an odd subject. His life to technically can do what he wants with it. But then he did have kids to think about as well. Still, why go through the whole webcam thing? Meh, Im no shrink.....

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As an aside, I hate all this digging around after someone's died. If the cause of death is clear, then let it lie. Don't go investigating someone's personal artefacts after they've died.

 

If he was mentally unstable and co-erced into hanging himself by someone else wouldn't they be an accessory to murder?

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Guest Patrokles

As an aside, I hate all this digging around after someone's died. If the cause of death is clear, then let it lie. Don't go investigating someone's personal artefacts after they've died.

 

If he was mentally unstable and co-erced into hanging himself by someone else wouldn't they be an accessory to murder?

 

Clearly he intended to hang himself before anyone encouraged him. Don't be daft.

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As an aside, I hate all this digging around after someone's died. If the cause of death is clear, then let it lie. Don't go investigating someone's personal artefacts after they've died.

 

If he was mentally unstable and co-erced into hanging himself by someone else wouldn't they be an accessory to murder?

 

Clearly he intended to hang himself before anyone encouraged him. Don't be daft.

 

How is that clear? He probably was, but you can't make that assumption.

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As an aside, I hate all this digging around after someone's died. If the cause of death is clear, then let it lie. Don't go investigating someone's personal artefacts after they've died.

 

If he was mentally unstable and co-erced into hanging himself by someone else wouldn't they be an accessory to murder?

 

Clearly he intended to hang himself before anyone encouraged him. Don't be daft.

 

 

Actually it's fairly likely that goading could have pushed him from thinking about to actually doing. :lol:

 

He was clearly an unhappy person who'd seemingly lost much of his "life" in the preceeding year, doesn't take a lot to tip someone over in that situation.

An awful lot of men especially kill themselves in that sort of situation (so much so that the goverment is even looking in our very high 18-50 year old male suicide rate).

 

Of course the thing is I guess you never really know how serious someone is in a situation like that.

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He prepared to do this. It wasn't like he was sat feeling a bit down in the dumps, then someone said 'kill yourself!' and he did. He was planning on this, it was deliberate and pre-decided. There is no way that some 12 year old in a chatroom who he has never met would make any difference.

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He prepared to do this. It wasn't like he was sat feeling a bit down in the dumps, then someone said 'kill yourself!' and he did. He was planning on this, it was deliberate and pre-decided. There is no way that some 12 year old in a chatroom who he has never met would make any difference.

 

Most suicide attempts are impulsive acts, in such cases other people persuading CAN make a difference. Why do you think the police try to talk people down from rooftops etc if nothing they say will change anything?

 

Even in this case, where he does seem to have planned his suicide, the police didn't know this, so 'investigating his personal artifacts' was necessary to discover this.

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I still think it's a gross invasion of privacy. I wouldn't like anyone digging through all my conversations, websites visited, diaries, stories I've written, etc, etc. Especially since there's no assurance they'd reach the correct conclusion as to the reasons, etc. It's ghoulish.

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I still think it's a gross invasion of privacy. I wouldn't like anyone digging through all my conversations, websites visited, diaries, stories I've written, etc, etc. Especially since there's no assurance they'd reach the correct conclusion as to the reasons, etc. It's ghoulish.

 

I agree, but on occasion it's necessary.

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He prepared to do this. It wasn't like he was sat feeling a bit down in the dumps, then someone said 'kill yourself!' and he did. He was planning on this, it was deliberate and pre-decided. There is no way that some 12 year old in a chatroom who he has never met would make any difference.

 

 

Maybe but if he just smashed a hole in the ceiling, strung some rope up and kicked a chair away that wouldn't have taken much planning.

 

But even if he had it all planned out and set out there's still a large difference between that and actually doing it (the ratio of people that seriously think about suicide, even intricately plan it, to actually genuinely attempting to kill themselves is massive), most people that kill themselves (and I'm not really talking about cry for help issues here - where someone takes a maybe lethal does of tablets then rings someone etc.) don't really want to die as such, more they want the pain to go away, for an escape, or just for people to understand the extent of their pain (a reason why more men end up like this is probably because men don’t have the social support networks that women tend to have and aren’t as comfortable with it even if they do).

 

In fact that he had an audience probably suggests that he could have been dissuaded…. as does the likelihood that significant alcohol consumption was involved (which both go back to what I said about not really wanting to die per se).

 

Even clinical depression and constant thoughts of suicide is no real guarantee of someone doing it, but no one would bait or encourage a mentally ill person (with a physical mental illness) into harming themselves.... yet really that is exactly what people in the above situation were doing.

 

In the end he may or may not have killed himself, but those people involved most likely influenced him in that direction.

 

Although again with men they tend to be more "successful" with suicide attempts (as well as more likely) as they tend to go for more certain methods.

 

 

 

 

A fireman in North Yorkshire committed suicide in a very similar situation to this guy a few weeks ago, by walking into work dousing himself with petrol and setting himself on fire. At the end of the day just someone seeing him on his way and saying the “right” thing to him may well have avoided that.

 

 

It’s just a very sad situation :lol:, but it’s an important lesson to never mess with someone too much, as you never really know if they are serious about something or not.

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How gruesome is it? And does it show his face? I'm not that keen to look at it, really...

 

It's not gruesome at all, and you don't really see his face, just the side. If anything the previously mentioned comments in the chatroom make it worse, though they clearly can't be blamed.

Edited by nufc4ever

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Guest Patrokles

It's not the funnnniest of subjects, BUT, the comments in the chatroom are so beautifully typical of internet communications that they raise something of a smile.

 

Bustybabe33_1: omg

angelheart100: what sweetchicks ????

Mrs_Doubtfire: His face is purple

sandy pants: his face is red.

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i think its a bit harsh to blame the members goarding him in the chatroom though. Wasnt that the whole point of that particular room to insult each other? suppose its eays with hindsight but it is possible it could have been a stunt/ fake?

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