Abraham Biggs is dead. He streamed live video of his suicide on the internet via Justin.tv.  He was 19.


The alarming news — beyond the death of a young man — was the hate he received from his live audience:

Mr Biggs lay on his bed motionless for several hours before members of the website became alarmed. With the video still streaming, viewers eventually called the local police, who broke down the door, found the body and switched off the camera. Up to 1,500 people were viewing, according to one report.

A video clip posted on the net shows a police officer entering the room, his handgun drawn, as he checks for any sign of life. Mr Biggs was a member of bodybuilding.com under the name CandyJunkie and was also known under the alias of Feels Like Ecstasy on Justin. tv. He had apparently threatened to commit suicide before.

On Wednesday he went on the bodybuilding.com forum and detailed the amount of drugs he was going to take. The moderators of the forum reportedly did not take him seriously because of his past threats and other forum members egged him on. “You want to kill yourself?” one said. “Do it, do the world a favour and stop wasting our time with your mindless self-pity.”

In his suicide note Mr Biggs said that he had hurt other people and hated himself for being a failure. “I am an a@#hole. I have let everyone down and I feel as though I will never change or never improve. I am in love with a girl and I know that I am not good enough for her,” he wrote.

The death of Abraham isn’t the first example of a public suicide broadcast live on the internet:

Last year a British man hanged himself live on webcam. His suicide was witnessed by about 100 chatroom users. Kevin Whitrick, 42, from Telford, Shropshire, killed himself after being goaded in an “insult” chatroom at the Paltalk website. One of the users is claimed to have told him: “F***ing do it. Get on with it.”

According to one charity that works to prevent suicide, there have been at least 17 deaths in Britain since 2001 involving chatrooms or sites that give advice on suicide methods.

Why did these people want their death recorded in the public square?  Would they find more understanding in death than they found in life?  Are these people mentally ill or spiritually lost?

Was their intention to take their lives or to merely get attention?

What is the point of publishing anonymous advice on the web describing how to kill yourself?

Do you think Abraham expect to be saved from death by his viewership?

14 Comments

  1. Sorry for the tragedy and even more sorry for the ruthlessness of the people who were acting as a mere observer without intervention.
    I think there is a secret cry for help lurking somewhere in that demonstration.
    I find it shocking that the forum members could say “just f***ing do it. Get on with it.”
    How come a supposed to be the most civil society could display such hedious behaviour without intervention?

  2. There’s an old saying, Katha: “People that talk about suicide don’t do it; they’re only asking for help. Those who never speak of suicide are those that succeed.”
    Now that’s a generic statement that many believe to be true — so the taunting, it seems to me, was to push the bluff over the cliff without a real expectation that the deed would ever be done.
    I think that’s why it took so long for someone to call the police. They thought it was all a show — entertainment — instead of real life.

  3. I think for the most part, people doing that kind of thing on camera are either doing it because they know they will attract a large audience based on the shock, or because (as you mentioned) they hope someone will (so to speak) yell out, “Stop! There’s still hope for you yet!”

  4. It seems so, David. People that gamble with their lives like that must realize that to some extent or they perhaps just don’t realize the value of life at all.

  5. Hi David,
    I didn’t question the motive, probably should have.
    It reminds me the story of “The Shepherd Boy who cried Wolf”.
    It seems strange.

  6. What a sad incident, David.
    It’s weird how the cold video image can sometimes make us unfeeling about the very lives that it attempts to bring us closer to.
    At 19, I suppose he was going through what almost everyone does at that age. the self-contempt, the first grande amore and the doubts and misgivings about the world. Maybe he was lost and had no one who understood.