Kevin Whitrick

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Kevin Whitrick
Born (1964-08-17)17 August 1964
Cross Houses, Shrewsbury
Died 21 March 2007(2007-03-21) (aged 42)
Wellington, Telford, Shropshire, UK
Occupation Engineer
Spouse(s) Paula Whitrick
Children One son, one daughter

Kevin Neil Whitrick (17 August 1964 – 21 March 2007) was a British citizen and an electrical engineer.[1] Whitrick's death was highly publicized for his live, online webcasted suicide.

Biography[edit]

Marriage and children[edit]

At the time of his death, he was married to his wife Paula, and had 12-year-old adopted twins. At the time of his death Kevin lived apart from his family after the breakdown of his marriage two years previously.[2]

Suicide[edit]

On the day of his death, Kevin Whitrick was in a chatroom on PalTalk and was joined by about 60 other users in a special "insult" chatroom where people "have a go at each other".[2] He stood on a chair, punched a hole in his ceiling and placed a rope around a joist, and then tied the other end around his neck, then stepped off the chair. Some people thought this was a prank, until his face started turning blue. Some people in the chat room egged him on while others tried desperately to find his address. A member in the room contacted the police, who arrived at the scene two minutes later. Kevin Whitrick was pronounced dead at 11:15 p.m. GMT.[1][dead link]

Aftermath[edit]

The death has been reported in the press and is notable due to fear it might inspire other suicides,[3] the possibility of the webcam footage being made available on the internet,[4] and discussions over the culpability of web users who encouraged the man.

The police detectives traced about 100 chatroom users to question them about their role in the cyber suicide.[5] The Crown Prosecution Service has stated that none of the chatroom users will face criminal charges.[6]

Similar incidents[edit]

  • Brandon Vedas died of an unintentional drug overdose while engaged in an internet chat, as shown on his webcam.[7]
  • Abraham Biggs, 19, committed suicide by consuming significant quantities of prescription drugs, and streaming his suicide live on Justin.tv under the name feels_like_ecstacy. Before he fell unconscious and subsequently died, Biggs was also chatting on a body building forum, where he had reportedly threatened to commit suicide on numerous occasions.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bale, Joanna (2007-03-24). "Get on with it, said net audience as man hanged himself on webcam". Times Online. Times Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 2007-05-27. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Chatroom users 'egged on father to kill himself live on webcam'". This is London. Associated Newspapers Ltd. 2007-03-24. Retrieved 2009-05-15. [dead link]
  3. ^ Live hanging shown on web – Alberta suicide-prevention groups brace for copycat deaths
  4. ^ Keep online suicide footage offline: police
  5. ^ Ungoed-Thomas, Jon (2007-03-26). "Police consider charging chatroom users for inciting cyber suicide". The Australian. Retrieved 2007-05-27. 
  6. ^ "No charges over 'suicide' on web". BBC News. 2007-05-26. Retrieved 2007-05-27. 
  7. ^ "Net grief for online 'suicide'" BBC News, 4 February 2003.
  8. ^ "Florida teen kills self in front of live webcam"Reuters.com

External links[edit]