Florida teen commits suicide in front of webcam

  • hartfan

    Posts: 1037

    Nov 22, 2008 12:52 AM GMT

    How sad is this?

    From the Associated Press:
    Florida teen commits suicide in front of webcam

    MIAMI, Fla. (AP) — A South Florida teen died of a lethal drug overdose in front of a live online webcam audience 12 hours after he started blogging about his plan to commit suicide, an investigator said Friday.

    Abraham Biggs, 19, died Wednesday from a toxic combination of opiates and benzodiazepine, a drug used to treat insomnia and depression, said Wendy Crane, an investigator with the Broward County medical examiner's office. At least one of the drugs was prescribed to him and it's unclear how he got the others, Crane said.

    Some of those watching encouraged Biggs, others tried to talk him out of it, and a few were debating whether the dose he took was lethal, Crane said. It's unclear how many people were watching.

    Biggs stated his intentions on a forum at bodybuilding.com, where some users said they did not take him seriously because he had made previous statements about killing himself, Crane said. Biggs posted a link from there to Justin.tv, a site that allows users to broadcast live videos from their webcams.

    Someone finally notified the moderator of the body building site's forum, who traced the teen's location to Pembroke Pines and called police, Crane said. Biggs was dead by the time they got to his house around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Crane said. He had started blogging at 3 a.m.

    "He was just seen laying on the bed at that point," she said.

    Condolences poured into his MySpace page, where the mostly unsmiling teen is seen posing in a series of pictures with various young women.

    A woman who answered the phone at Biggs' home and identified herself as his sister said the family was still dealing with his death and declined immediate comment.

    Biggs' father, Abraham Biggs Sr., told ABCNews.com that he was not home when his son died. He said his son struggled with depression and had been prescribed benzodiazepine to treat bipolar disorder. Biggs had been "doing better," his father said. "He was a good kid."

    The elder Biggs said he was upset that Justin.tv streamed his son's suicide live.

    "There seems to be a lack of control as to what people put out on the Internet," the elder Biggs said. "There's a lot of garbage out there that should not be, and unfortunately this was allowed to happen."

    In a statement, Justin.tv CEO Michael Seibel said: "We regret that this has occurred and want to respect the privacy of the broadcaster and his family during this time."

    Messages left with the body building Web site were not immediately returned Friday. A spokesman said Pembroke Pines police are investigating but declined further comment.

    Crane said she knows of at least one other case in which a South Florida man shot himself in the head in front of an online audience, although she didn't know how much viewers saw.

    In Britain last year, a man hung himself while chatting online.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 22, 2008 3:44 AM GMT
    sounds like he was unsmiling in all those pix with different women for a reason- ppl don't just off themselves from chronic depression and if it was severe i'd imagine his family would have noticed.... i think he was just getting frustrated at having to hide who he was... i think he wanted everyone to watch from a safe distance because he felt so alone and hidden- i'll bet his family was uber-conservative and it would have crushed them to find out he was gay, so he made sure they never would. all very psychologically complex and obvious and sad.
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    Nov 22, 2008 3:48 AM GMT
    suicide is such a weak, cowardly thing to do though, so i have sympathy only for his family, even if they may have driven him to it... that kinda stuff usually starts at home....
    but yeah really its the most selfish thing a person can do. its escapist and hurts everyone else around one.
    self-hate is just an extreme form of selfishness- another fruit of the tree of social and cultural intolerance toward people who are different, driving them to hate themselves like that- arguably so in this case, but most certainly in many others out there.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 22, 2008 3:57 AM GMT
    czarodziej saidsounds like he was unsmiling in all those pix with different women for a reason- ppl don't just off themselves from chronic depression and if it was severe i'd imagine his family would have noticed.... i think he was just getting frustrated at having to hide who he was... i think he wanted everyone to watch from a safe distance because he felt so alone and hidden- i'll bet his family was uber-conservative and it would have crushed them to find out he was gay, so he made sure they never would. all very psychologically complex and obvious and sad.


    Ummm..i might be wrong, but I don't think there's any mention about him being a gay..or that it has caused him to take his own life..whatever it is, this is a sad and tragic news, he could've grown up to be someone who contributes to the society, unfortunately, that possibility is lost.
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    Nov 22, 2008 3:59 AM GMT
    lol i was making an inference. what else could it be? ok a couple other things but this is the most obvious- happens all the time. sadly.

    its tragic- who's idea was this forum? whata downer
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    Nov 22, 2008 4:11 AM GMT
    Czarodziej70

    I almost completely agree with your second post. People who kill themselves when they have people who love them are very selfish individuals. And, it is often the easier route out of a situation. Therefore, I have a hard time feeling remorse for them as well. However, I do think it is important to look at the entire picture and put things in prospective which, is impossible, in this case, based on the info in original article.

    As for your first post, I don't think we can conclude that he was gay or stuggling with his sexuality at all. It seems that we can only infer that this guy was having a hard time in life. Perhaps, even his family and close friends do not know why. Regardless, this is a sad situation. My heart goes out to all who are struggling with what he chose to do to himself. icon_sad.gif

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    Nov 22, 2008 4:21 AM GMT
    He was bipolar. Sadly there is not much you can do but try to treat it and keep watch, and love them. Even though sometimes it is just not enough.

    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2008-11-21-webcam-suicide-options_N.htmBiggs, who suffered from what his family said was bipolar disorder, or manic depression, lay dead on his bed in his father's Pembroke Pines house Wednesday afternoon, the camera still running 12 hours after Biggs announced his intentions online around 3 a.m.
  • hartfan

    Posts: 1037

    Nov 22, 2008 4:31 AM GMT
    czarodziej saidlol i was making an inference. what else could it be? ok a couple other things but this is the most obvious- happens all the time. sadly.

    its tragic- who's idea was this forum? whata downer


    Sorry for putting this up. I didn't mean to dampen the mood. I just wanted to share something I thought was tragic.

    I'm surprised nobody mentioned the fact that people were actually watching this while it went on. I understand that many times we might not be aware of what's actually happening, but yet I'm still shocked that there were people who egged him on.

    And no, I didn't see any reference to his orientation or if that was even an issue.
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    Nov 22, 2008 4:39 AM GMT
    czarodziej saidsuicide is such a weak, cowardly thing to do though, so i have sympathy only for his family, even if they may have driven him to it... that kinda stuff usually starts at home....
    but yeah really its the most selfish thing a person can do. its escapist and hurts everyone else around one.
    self-hate is just an extreme form of selfishness- another fruit of the tree of social and cultural intolerance toward people who are different, driving them to hate themselves like that- arguably so in this case, but most certainly in many others out there.


    You clearly don't have a clue about mental illness, let alone any empathy for those in deep despair. Didn't the term "bi-polar" give you the slightest hint? Nooo, let's just assume the guy's in stuck in the closet and his online suicide represents his final rebellion against an "uber-conservative" family. I sure hope karma doesn't bite you in the ass during your hour of need.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 22, 2008 4:42 AM GMT
    This reminds me of that Bjork fan who offed himself with a shotgun and sent the video to Bjork.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 22, 2008 4:44 AM GMT
    This was a tragic story - yet fascinating as well. I wonder what his intention was in webcamming his own suicide. Perhaps a final F-you to the world, or a 'I'll show you I'm serious' kind of gesture.

    People often refer to suicides as selfish or cowardly acts. But those who've truly known the black hopelessness of depression and how it can warp a person's judgemnet will understand how complex it is.
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    Nov 22, 2008 5:03 AM GMT
    ruck_us said
    czarodziej saidsuicide is such a weak, cowardly thing to do though, so i have sympathy only for his family, even if they may have driven him to it... that kinda stuff usually starts at home....
    but yeah really its the most selfish thing a person can do. its escapist and hurts everyone else around one.
    self-hate is just an extreme form of selfishness- another fruit of the tree of social and cultural intolerance toward people who are different, driving them to hate themselves like that- arguably so in this case, but most certainly in many others out there.


    You clearly don't have a clue about mental illness, let alone any empathy for those in deep despair. Didn't the term "bi-polar" give you the slightest hint? Nooo, let's just assume the guy's in stuck in the closet and his online suicide represents his final rebellion against an "uber-conservative" family. I sure hope karma doesn't bite you in the ass during your hour of need.


    Usually try to avoid saying extreme things. I wait until I cool off if someone says something that makes me angry thenI try to make my angry reply a "safe" angry statement. But sometimes even the safests statements still offend, for example...

    "People who believe a suicide is selfish are ignorant and arrogant."

    But if suicide is indeed selfish, then so is bearing children. Whats more selfish than bringing a child into the world who doesn't choose to be born? Whats more selfish than the desire to see YOUR lineage grow. Whats makes you so special that your image must be copied and multiplied? Whats more selfish than believing you're so special, you believe you're overall lifestyle is good enough to force someone, out of nothing, into your living situation, someone who may grow to hate their life and decide to take it?

    Selfishness brought the child into the world. Selfishness took him away.
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    Nov 22, 2008 5:15 AM GMT
    Tonyvoyager said
    People often refer to suicides as selfish or cowardly acts. But those who've truly known the black hopelessness of depression and how it can warp a person's judgemnet will understand how complex it is.


    QFT.

    When anyone says a suicide is selfish and/or cowardly, even if they had a shelf full of diplomas and trophies I'd instantly find them uncultivated, having a dense understanding of the human politic.

    On a related note...Paul Krugman on terrorism and suicide bombing.
    ____________________________________________________

    Title: Cowardly?
    By Paul Krugman

    Bush:

    "The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’s democracy."

    Isn’t that an odd adjective to use about a suicide bombing? Yet Bush did the same thing after 9/11. As Tim Noah pointed out, Reagan and Clinton did it too, after previous terrorist attacks — although for what it’s worth, Clinton, unlike Reagan or Bush, wasn’t responding to a suicide bombing.

    I’ll outsource the psychoanalysis to Noah:

    "To call a terrorist “cowardly” is to substitute testosterone for morality. Somehow it isn’t enough to abhor an act of terrorism or even to promise to make the terrorist pay dearly. The rules demand that the terrorist be branded a sissy. This is not only a childish reflex, but one that weakens the moral force of the condemnation and thereby dishonors terrorism’s victims. After all, we don’t want brave people to slaughter innocent people any more than we want cowardly people to do so. Still, the public seems to demand that our presidents call terrorists cowards, and our presidents are too–well, cowardly–to deny them."
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    Nov 22, 2008 5:30 AM GMT
    There was a long thread on suicide a while back ..

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/114747/
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    Nov 22, 2008 7:39 AM GMT
    ruck_us said
    czarodziej saidsuicide is such a weak, cowardly thing to do though, so i have sympathy only for his family, even if they may have driven him to it... that kinda stuff usually starts at home....
    but yeah really its the most selfish thing a person can do. its escapist and hurts everyone else around one.
    self-hate is just an extreme form of selfishness- another fruit of the tree of social and cultural intolerance toward people who are different, driving them to hate themselves like that- arguably so in this case, but most certainly in many others out there.


    You clearly don't have a clue about mental illness, let alone any empathy for those in deep despair. Didn't the term "bi-polar" give you the slightest hint? Nooo, let's just assume the guy's in stuck in the closet and his online suicide represents his final rebellion against an "uber-conservative" family. I sure hope karma doesn't bite you in the ass during your hour of need.


    I don't know why people are arguing with czar...

    I attempted suicide on three occasions before age 16. He's explained my line of thinking then perfectly. In fact, the comment about self-hate is exactly what was concluded and the realization and acceptance of myself is exactly why I am still here.

    Have any of you actually been apart of a situation like this or an intervention. Self-destruction in any form is of course selfish and explaining this to the person struggling with the mental illness or despair tends to be exactly what saves you. If my cousin hadn't walked in the room on the last occasion and explained it to me that way, my mother would have had quite a mess to clean up, not to mention a funeral to plan. BTW, that selfishness was also bred at home...one reason why I felt that dispair.

    Could he have said this more sensitively? Maybe, but what would it have mattered? He's right, and sensitivity is long behind a person in that emotional condition just because of that selfishness. Jesus, this argument is exactly what's wrong with our country right now. Enough sugarcoating crap, just fix it. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Nov 22, 2008 8:46 AM GMT
    looknrnd

    It was the selfish judgement that sent me off the deep end. It was explained to me. I accepted it. I decided the world would be better off without one less selfish person. Preventing suicide as well as reasons for suicide is complex. Period. If suicide is selflish then isn't nearly every move in life we make selfish? Thats why i disagree with you guys.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Nov 22, 2008 11:31 AM GMT
    czarodziej said, "suicide is such a weak, cowardly thing to do though...:



    STOP!





    That is an unacceptable judgement response. Suicide is the result of suffering and is almost always the result of mental illness. Blaming suicide as weak and cowardly is the same as blaming HIV as a gay disease as what the world initially started to blame on in the early 1980s.



    Suicide is not about character.




  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Nov 22, 2008 11:32 AM GMT
    5537B00B said, "This reminds me of that Bjork fan who offed himself with a shotgun and sent the video to Bjork."



    He didn't send her a video. He sent her a mail bomb. Police found the video at his house after investigating about the bomb.
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    Nov 22, 2008 12:27 PM GMT
    OMFG! icon_evil.gificon_evil.gifI have never been so insluted... even by James Dobson and Fred Phelps!

    I can't believe what i have seen written here! I have struggled endlessly with depresseion for the last six years... going up and down-- never stable

    as a result of my illness i have:

    -tried over 15 medications before finding the right one

    -had 21 treatments of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

    -been hospitalized 4 times

    -tried to commit suicide

    -had hundreds and hundreds of hours of therapy

    -gained 180lbs as a result of meds

    -been diagnosed with 7 different disorders/illnesses

    -and have cut myself over 60 times

    And some of you have the balls to say my reasons for attempting sucicde is due to my selfishness? YOU HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA WHAT I OR MY FAMILY HAVE BEEN THROUGH! YOU HAVE NO PH.D. OR M.D. AND HAVE NO RIGHT TO STEREOTYPE AN ILLNESS YOU CLEARLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND!icon_evil.gif

    Know this: I am a very calm person. I hear ignorance all around me in the news and even on this site. But i cannot believe what I have just read from some of those who posted.

    I had thought of suicide so much from 2002-2007. The only this that kept me from doing it was a threat from my mother--who has been with me through everything. She told me that she would not be able to live without me if I killed myself... that she in turn would kill herself to end her own misery.

    You bastards above (I say that with great retraint since i hate it when people sink so low as to use ad homein attacks--in this case I'll make an exception): Live my life the way I was in 2003 and then tell me that I am selfish for wanting to end my life.

    Rather than condeming the mentally ill, try to understand them... it may just happen to you or a loved one of yours one day.

    Even the Catholic Church is more accepting than you-- they state those with mental illnesses can't be sent to Hell if they commit suicide since it was not truly a choice by the indiviual.

    Living in a state of hell for years--no meds ever working--no therapies working--suicide can be viewed as an escape.. a release from all the pain happening and/ or percieved pain. I guess I have always met people who were sympathic to mental illnesses that I forgot some people out there still prefer to live with their heads up their asses.

    I have to go take my medications now-- 7 pills... which allow me to finally be stable--go to school to become a doctor and one day... this "selfish person" may save your ass!
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    Nov 22, 2008 12:58 PM GMT
    This is sad on very many levels:

    - a young man is dead

    -he's dead because he was mentally ill and in unbearable pain

    -his family and friends are in agony and have a long road ahead of them as survivors of somehow who killed himself

    -evidently a great many people watched him kill himself, many did nothing, some egged him on

    -this thread has laid bare a great deal of misunderstanding (even callousness, in some cases) about mental illness and suicide.
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    Nov 22, 2008 1:54 PM GMT
    I'm pretty disappointed in some of these comments here. I was suicidal in college because I was gay. It caused me a lot of emotional pain, after trying to fight those urges for so long. I considered suicide not because I was being selfish, but because I just wanted the crushing pain to end. It had nothing to do with selfishness, but with a desire to end my pain.

    I'm still here, because I just accepted myself and decided I must not be this evil person like my religious upbringing told me. But equating suicide with selfishness is just a mean point to make. It does nothing to help, and only adds more guilt to the pile so many suicidal people feel. That's not me telling you this, that's my therapist who explained it to me that way. So be nice.
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    Nov 22, 2008 2:59 PM GMT
    Having known a couple of severely depressed people who were amongst the most giving people (to others) of anyone I've met, I would never call them selfish. While I could never fully understand their deep-rooted pain and sadness towards themselves, I felt pain for them through their struggle.

    cjcscuba, thanks for sharing your story and I praise you for fighting hard to overcome this. You definitely have my support and respect and I wish you the best in beating it and becoming that doctor.
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    Nov 22, 2008 3:08 PM GMT
    Some of the comments above are both profoundly judgemental and others are insightful.

    People who commit suicide do so for one of two reasons.
    1.) Outside/socio-environmental instigations. These would include daily torments and/or torture with no perceived end in sight.
    2.) Physiological brain abnormalities/dysfunction or chemical imbalances in the brain.
    The idea of strength of will or moral judgment is always conferred on people like this from the standpoint of someone with no direct personal experience in the matter.
    In the first case it is no different than telling someone who is in a situation (e.g. prisoner of war) that they should simply make the decision to get out of it when it is clearly an outside influence far beyond, if not totally beyond their control.
    In the second case, it is no different than telling someone who is diabetic that lack of insulin can be dealt with through strength of will.

    coolHUSSEINdude is correct in his assessment.

    As to the people watching it on webcam; this doesn't really surprise me although it does sadden me. People who have no real connection to someone can emotionally and morally disengage from them. This is why so many awful reality shows about people doing repulsive things are so popular. The viewers are desensitized to the plight of these people because they are encouraged to view the situation through a very narrow lens. The entire picture of the life of the person on the screen is not presented so they become a soulless puppet.
    There's a self protecting aspect to this though. As when people can be profoundly saddened by the death of an individual, no matter what the cause, but fail to feel a similar emotional connection when a statement on the news says "10,000 people died last month in Darfur."

    Instead of wasting time judging those who commit these acts or those who veiw it, might it not be better to do something about it rather than cast judgments.
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    Nov 22, 2008 3:17 PM GMT
    What a repulsive comment to make that one who either commit suicide is either a coward or selfish..OMFG!

    I had a very dear friend of mine kill himself and all of our circle friends were saying the same thing except me.

    I told as tragic as this is James decided to end his pain...and I can't be mad at him for that. Because only he know the pain he was feeling and he just felt helpless and there was nothing any of us could.

    I told them I'm only going to think of James in a positive light and when his niece Dyland ask me about him I'm only going to tell her that he was a great friend, man and the one of the best people that I have known.


    My heart goes out to this guys family. I saddens me to no end that no took him seriously and if they can track down those who egged him on they should be arrested and charged with a crime.

    If some tells you that they plan to commit suicide it should always be taken seriously.icon_cry.gif
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    Nov 22, 2008 3:20 PM GMT
    Cuba you hang in there sweetie.

    You are a great young man! You are smart and wise beyond your years!
    Thanks for sharing your story because you make have just pulled somone off a cliff!

    You are Awsome!

    BIG CYBER HUG!