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

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 webcast suicide.

Biography[edit]

Marriage and children[edit]

At the time of his death, he was married to his wife Paula. 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]
  • Suicide of Océane Ebem, an eighteen-year-old woman from Égly in the suburbs of Paris, who on May 10th 2016 livestreamed a long video testimonial before throwing herself under a train.[9]
  • Katelyn Nicole Davis, a 12-year-old girl from Polk County, Georgia who livestreamed herself hanging on December 30, 2016.[10]

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. Archived from the original on April 6, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-27. 
  2. ^ a b "Chatroom users 'egged on father to kill himself live on webcam'". This is London. Associated Newspapers Ltd. 2007-03-24. Archived from the original on March 7, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-15. 
  3. ^ Live hanging shown on web – Alberta suicide-prevention groups brace for copycat deaths Archived 2007-03-28 at Archive.is
  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
  9. ^ Dasgupta, Rana (August 29, 2017). "The first social media suicide". The Guardian. Retrieved September 4, 2017. 
  10. ^ Dukes, Deidra (January 11, 2017). "Girl's 'suicide video' sparks outrage online". WAGA. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 

External links[edit]