Father kills himself live on Webcam

United States
March 24, 2007 2:55am CST
For the whole story, go here: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23390052-details/Chatroom+users+%27egged+on+father+to+kill+himself+live+on+webcam%27/article.do Here is a little part of it: A father-of-two hanged himself live over the internet in Britain's first 'cyber suicide'. Kevin Whitrick, 42, took his life after being goaded by dozens of chatroom users from across the world who initially believed he was play acting. But as they watched in horror, Mr Whitrick climbed onto a chair, smashed through a ceiling and then hanged himself with a piece of rope. Kevin Neil Whitrick, 42, was found dead by police in Wellington, after being alerted by a web user who is thought to have watched in horror as the man harmed himself Stunned by what they had witnessed - broadcast on a popular chatroom website used by millions of people across the globe - chatroom users immediately contacted the police. Officers rushed to the electrician's home in the Wellington area of Shropshire within minutes, smashing down the door to try to save him. Kevin Whitrick had two 12-year-olds who he visited regularly But despite their efforts to save him, he was pronounced dead at the scene. Last night it emerged that Mr Whitrick had been suffering from depression after being badly injured in a car crash last year. Friends said that the breakdown of his marriage with wife, Paula - with whom he had 12-year-old twins - and the recent death of his father had also been causing him some distress. Mr Whitrick told users of web-chat site PalTalk what he was going to do two hours before he killed himself on Wednesday night. He was logged on with around 50 other users to a special "insult" chatroom where people "have a go at each other". Today distraught users of the site said that they felt sick and had previously thought the web broadcast was a hoax. They confirmed Mr Whitrick told friends in the internet chat room of his plans to kill himself but, thinking he was joking, they egged him on telling him to make sure the his webcam was on. Mr Whitrick, using the user-name Shyboy-17-1, switched on his webcam and went ahead with his grisly plan. One anonymous user said: "He tied a rope around an uncovered ceiling joist and stood on the chair as he tied the rope around his neck. "Some of us chatroom users, talking to Kevin over text chat, microphones and video tried to convince him to step down, but others egged him on telling him to get on with it. "We just couldn't believe he was doing it - it was surreal. "One chatter said: 'F***ing do it, get on with it, get it round your neck. For F***'s sake he can't even do this properly'." Another user who did not wish to be named said: "When Kevin stepped off the chair and was left dangling, the mood in the chatroom changed and people began to realise what they had just seen. "We started asking if anyone knew where he lived and saying they should contact the police. "I think someone contacted the police in their local area but sadly no one could get to him in time." Shortly after, moderators on the site closed the feed from Kevin's webcam. 'Considerate and kind' Mr Whitrick had been living in his flat, a converted house, after splitting from his wife Paula two years ago. Don't you think this is absolutely terrible? i simply cannot believe that people actually EGGED HIM ON! i don't care that they thought it was a "joke." They didn't KNOW it was, and you can't just assume someone is joking about that! Now these poor children have to gorw up without a father, knowing that in his last moments people were cheering on his suicide. It just sickens me.
3 people like this
4 responses
@leanette (3004)
• India
24 Mar 07
How awful!! I won't say its naybodys fault, it was on his mind already and nobody could helped him either even if they had tried then.... this news depresses me! :( I feel terrible for the kids!
• United States
24 Mar 07
The thing is, we don't know if anyone could have helped him. If they had talked to him and asked him what was wrong and at least TRIED to talk him out of it, he may have been saved. Instead, they egged him on saying things like "F*cking get to it already!" What kind of a person does that? This man wasn't planning on doing this live on his webcam. Someone told him to turn it on. In his state, he wasn't thinkign clearly and switched it on for all to see. It's just sick. The whole thing is sick.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Mar 07
Yes, everyone thought he was joking...but my god...if someone says they are going to kill themselve, you try to help them NOT do it. You don't egg them on even if you think they are joking.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Mar 07
exactly.that's what they should have done.
24 Mar 07
I wrote a discussion on this last night after hearing it on the news. I feel for the people who saw him do it. I'm still unsure how I feel about the man himself.
• United States
24 Mar 07
i'm sorry, i didn't see your discussion or i woul dnot have posted this. i just heard about it from a friend. i feel sorry for everyone involved, including the man. He obviously had issues and i know what he was feeling. You have no idea what a severe car accident can do to someone. It messes with your whole entire body, including how your brain works. He probably ended up with a severe chemical imbalance that was never even found.
1 person likes this
24 Mar 07
That's ok. No problem! I think if nothing else it really highlights the problems with the freedom of speech we have online. I for one will really be tightening up my security measures for the children when they are online. I thought moderators and stuff existed on such sites to prevent these things from happening.
@Stiletto (4584)
26 Mar 07
Well I wonder about the mentality of the people who encouraged him. It's really irrelevant whether they thought he was winding them up or not - it's not the sort of thing that should be taken lightly. Personally I never use chatrooms because I've always imagined them to be full of social misfits, perverts or really vile people that you wouldn't want to talk to anyway. Seems like I was right!
• United States
27 Mar 07
Aww, you can't judge all people in chat rooms by what these morons did. A lot of chats are really friendly and nice. In fact, my beloved and i met in a Shout Box, which is basically a chat room.
@Anakata2007 (1789)
• Canada
26 Mar 07
yes, this is horrible and sad. I'm still shocked at how mean some people can be. Especially online where they are anonymous. I hope the ba$tards that egged him on are sleeping very fitfully tonight.
• United States
26 Mar 07
some people can be terrible. It makes me sick. You know, i speak my mind and all that and i'm sure sometimes that can be construed as mean, but if someone flat out tells me they are going to end their lives, i do all i can to be ther for them and maybe i can help them change their minds.